Peter Cook
British actor
Peter Cook
Peter Edward Cook was an English actor, satirist, writer and comedian. An extremely influential figure in modern British comedy, he is regarded as the leading light of the British satire boom of the 1960s. Cook has been described as "the funniest man who ever drew breath", although his work was also controversial. Cook was closely associated with anti-establishment comedy that emerged in Britain and the United States in the late 1950s.
Biography
Peter Cook's personal information overview.
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News
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AT&T deal draws high-profile suit by Justice Department - Washington Post
Google News - over 5 years
Peter Cook reports on Bloomberg Television's "InBusiness with Margaret Brennan." (Source: Bloomberg) With AT&T vowing to fight Justice's challenge, it looks like antitrust enforcers are heading for a rare courtroom showdown
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New Jersey American Water Facility On The Mend - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
I visited the New Jersey American Water Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant in Millburn Township on Monday, Aug. 29, to capture some pictures of the facility and the challenges it faced after the flood. Hurricane Irene raised the Passaic
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Docking: Display honours villager's work - Lynn News
Google News - over 5 years
Rector, the Rev Peter Cook, who had the idea of hosting the event at two sites, said: “There was a nice buzz in the church and we had a constant stream of visitors. “It's a good way of keeping Tony's memory alive and encouraging people to continue to
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CUT OFF!: Springfield Levees Topped - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
For the first time in this reporter's 50-plus years of life experience, the levees bordering Washington Park and Riverside Drive have been topped by flood waters from the Rahway River. Access to Morris Avenue is cut off by flood waters
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COMEDY RULES: FROM THE CAMBRIDGE FOOTLIGHTS TO YES, PRIME MINISTER BY JONATHAN ... - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
The Cambridge Footlights Dramatic Club nurtured everyone from Peter Cook and Miriam Margolyes to Stephen Fry and Sacha Baron Cohen. Also in the throng was Jonathan Lynn, who - with Antony Jay - was later to create Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister,
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Biota books annual net loss of $28mln - Ninemsn
Google News - over 5 years
Biota chief executive Peter Cook said that although there had been a significant fall in Relenza royalties, solid commercial progress was being made with the company's second royalty-generating product, Inavir, which was launched by Daiichi Sankyo in
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Root-and-branch transformation: Pair of green-fingered grafters create 'human ... - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
Peter Cook and Becky Northey spend years guiding each tree's growth along predetermined routes with wires. Meticulous planning: Peter Cook and Becky Northey used wires to guide these trees into human-like shapes. The process took many years From
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US Treasury's Debt Limit Contingency Plan - Bloomberg
Google News - over 5 years
... due if lawmakers fail to reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, according to an administration official. Bloomberg's Peter Cook reports. Cook speaks with Carol Massar and Matt Miller on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)
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Photos: Springfield's Farmers Market - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
This Monday, Springfield's Farmers Market saw a steady flow of shoppers seeking locally grown produce and specialty items. This year, the market expanded from four booths to eight, and each vendor offered a variety of flavors
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Warner Fears Stock `Panic Sell' Without Debt Limit Plan - Washington Post
Google News - over 5 years
Warner, speaking with Peter Cook on Bloomberg Television's "Bottom Line," also discusses the implications that would accompany a US default or credit rating downgrade. (Source: Bloomberg) (/Bloomberg) Correction: Clarification: SuperFan badge holders
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Christie Brinkley says 'marriage is ridiculous,' she won't be doing it again - Zap2it.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
By Mikey O'Connell If you thought the two years since Christie Brinkley's very public, very bitter divorce from philandering ex-husband Peter Cook had given her time to cool down, you're wrong. Speaking with UK magazine Stella, the 57-year-old model
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Christie Brinkley loves her age, hates marriage - SheKnows.com
Google News - over 5 years
Her marriage to her last husband, Peter Cook, ended badly when he was caught having an affair with an 18-year-old girl and even paid her $300000 to keep quiet. She and Cook have two children, Jack and Sailor, together -- and she was awarded sole
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Pelosi: "We are not Greece" - Business Insider
Google News - over 5 years
"With all due respect to Greece, we are not Greece," she said in an interview with Bloomberg Television's Peter Cook Thursday afternoon. "What I would say to the markets is that we must and we will not default on these loans. This is about paying past
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Peter Cook
    FIFTIES
  • 1995
    Age 57
    Dudley Moore attended Cook's memorial service in London in May 1995.
    More Details Hide Details He and Martin Lewis presented a two-night memorial for Cook in Los Angeles the following November to mark what would have been Cook's 58th birthday. Cook is widely acknowledged as a strong influence on the many British comedians who followed him from the amateur dramatic clubs of British universities to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and then to radio and television. On his death some critics choose to see Cook's life as tragic, insofar as the brilliance of his youth had not been sustained in his later years. However, Cook himself always maintained he had no ambitions at all for sustained success. He assessed happiness by his friendships and his enjoyment of life. Eric Idle and Stephen Fry said Cook had not wasted his talent but rather that the newspapers had tried to waste him. Several friends honoured him with a dedication in the closing credits of Fierce Creatures (1997), a comedy film written by John Cleese about a zoo in peril of being closed. It starred Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Michael Palin. The dedication displays photos and the lifespan dates of Cook and of British naturalist and humourist Gerald Durrell.
  • 1994
    Age 56
    He made his last TV appearance on the show Pebble Mill at One in November 1994.
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  • 1993
    Age 55
    He also appeared, on 26 December, in the 1993 Christmas special of One Foot in the Grave ("One Foot in the Algarve"), playing a muckraking tabloid photographer.
    More Details Hide Details Before the end of the next year his mother died, and a grief-stricken Cook returned to heavy drinking.
    On 17 December 1993, Cook appeared on Clive Anderson Talks Back as four characters – biscuit tester and alien abductee Norman House, football manager and motivational speaker Alan Latchley, judge Sir James Beauchamp and rock legend Eric Daley.
    More Details Hide Details The following day he appeared on BBC2 performing links for Arenas "Radio Night".
    Unscripted interviews with Cook as Streeb-Greebling and satirist Chris Morris were recorded in late 1993 and broadcast as Why Bother? on BBC Radio 3.
    More Details Hide Details Morris described them:
  • 1989
    Age 51
    In late 1989, Cook married for the third time, to Malaysian-born property developer Chiew Lin Chong in Torbay, Devon.
    More Details Hide Details She provided him with some stability in his personal life and he reduced his drinking, to the extent that for a time he was teetotal. He lived alone in a small 18th century house in Perrins Lane, Hampstead, once owned by H. G. Wells, while his wife kept her own property only 100 yards away. Cook returned to the BBC as Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling for an appearance with Ludovic Kennedy in A Life in Pieces. The 12 interviews saw Sir Arthur recount his life based on the Twelve Days of Christmas.
  • 1988
    Age 50
    In 1988, Cook appeared as a contestant on the improvisation comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?
    More Details Hide Details Cook was declared the winner, his prize being to read the credits in the style of a New York cab driver – a character he had portrayed in Peter Cook & Co. Cook occasionally called in to Clive Bull's night-time phone-in radio show on LBC in London. Using the name "Sven from Swiss Cottage", he mused on love, loneliness and herrings in a mock Norwegian accent. Jokes included Sven's attempts to find his estranged wife, in which he often claimed to be telephoning the show from all over the world, and his hatred of the Norwegian obsession with fish. While Bull was clearly aware that Sven was fictional he did not learn of his real identity until later.
    Also that year he spent time working with Martin Lewis on a political satire about the 1988 US presidential elections for HBO, but the script went unproduced.
    More Details Hide Details Lewis suggested Cook team with Moore for the US Comic Relief telethon for the homeless. The duo reunited and performed their "One Leg Too Few" sketch.
  • FORTIES
  • 1987
    Age 49
    He appeared as Mr Jolly in 1987 in The Comic Strip Presents episode "Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door", playing an assassin who covers the sound of his murders by playing Tom Jones records.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, Cook made a big splash on American shores when he appeared in The Princess Bride as the "Impressive Clergyman" who officiates the wedding ceremony between Buttercup and Prince Humperdinck, uttering the now famous line "Mawage!".
  • 1986
    Age 48
    In 1986 he partnered Joan Rivers on her UK talk show.
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  • 1985
    Age 47
    He narrated the short film "Diplomatix" by Norwegian comedy trio Kirkvaag, Lystad and Mjøen, which won the "Special Prize of the City of Montreux" at the Montreux Comedy Festival in 1985.
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  • 1983
    Age 45
    In 1983 Cook played the role of Richard III in the first episode of Blackadder, "The Foretelling", which parodies Laurence Olivier's portrayal.
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  • 1982
    Age 44
    He also hosted a spoof film awards ceremony that was part of the world première of the film in London in March 1982.
    More Details Hide Details Following Cook's 1987 stage reunion with Moore for the annual American benefit for the homeless, Comic Relief (not related to the UK Comic Relief benefits), Cook repeated the reunion for a British audience by performing with Moore at the 1989 Amnesty benefit The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball.
  • 1980
    Age 42
    In 1980, Cook starred in the LWT special Peter Cook & Co.
    More Details Hide Details The show included comedy sketches, including a Tales of the Unexpected parody "Tales of the Much As We Expected". This involved Cook as Roald Dahl, explaining his name had been Ronald before he dropped the "n". The cast included John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson, Beryl Reid, Paula Wilcox and Terry Jones.
    In 1980, partly spurred by Moore's growing film star status, Cook moved to Hollywood and appeared as an uptight English butler to a wealthy American woman in a short-lived United States television sitcom, The Two of Us, also making cameo appearances in a couple of undistinguished films.
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  • 1979
    Age 41
    In June 1979, Cook performed all four nights of The Secret Policeman's Ball – teaming with John Cleese.
    More Details Hide Details Cook performed a couple of solo pieces and a sketch with Eleanor Bron. He also led the ensemble in the finale – the "End of the World" sketch from Beyond The Fringe. In response to a barb in The Daily Telegraph that the show was recycled material, Cook wrote a satire of the summing-up by Mr Justice Cantley in the trial of former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe, a summary thought by some to show bias in favour of Thorpe. Cook performed it that same night (Friday 29 June – the third of the four nights) and the following night. The nine-minute opus, "Entirely a Matter for You", is considered by many fans and critics to be one of the finest works of Cook's career. Cook and show producer Martin Lewis brought out an album on Virgin Records entitled Here Comes the Judge: Live of the live performance together with three studio tracks that further lampooned the Thorpe trial.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1977
    Age 39
    He was in the second Amnesty gala in May 1977, An Evening Without Sir Bernard Miles.
    More Details Hide Details It was retitled The Mermaid Frolics for the cast album and TV special. Cook performed monologues and skits with Terry Jones.
  • 1976
    Age 38
    He performed on all three nights of the first show in April 1976, A Poke in the Eye (With a Sharp Stick), as an individual performer and as a member of the cast of Beyond the Fringe, which reunited for the first time since the 1960s.
    More Details Hide Details He also appeared in a Monty Python sketch, taking the place of Eric Idle. Cook was on the cast album of the show and in the film, Pleasure at Her Majesty's.
    Cook and Moore hosted Saturday Night Live on 24 January 1976 during the SNL first season.
    More Details Hide Details They did a number of their classic stage routines, including "One Legged Tarzan" and "Frog and Peach" among others, in addition to participating in some skits with the show's "not ready for prime-time" ensemble. In 1978, Cook appeared on the British music series Revolver as the manager of a ballroom where emerging punk and new wave acts played. For some groups, these were their first appearances on television. Cook's acerbic commentary was a distinctive aspect of the programme. In 1979, Cook recorded comedy-segments as B-sides to the Sparks 12-inch singles "Number One in Heaven" and "Tryouts for the Human Race". The main songwriter Ron Mael often started off a banal situation in his lyrics, and then went at surreal tangents in the style of Cook and S. J. Perelman. Cook played multiple roles on the 1977 concept album Consequences, written and produced by former 10cc members Kevin Godley and Lol Creme. A mixture of spoken comedy and progressive rock with an environmental subtext, Consequences started as a single that Godley and Creme planned to make to demonstrate their invention, an electric guitar effect called the Gizmo, which they developed in 10cc. The project grew into a triple LP boxed set. The comedy sections were originally intended to be performed by a cast including Spike Milligan and Peter Ustinov, but Godley and Creme eventually settled on Cook once they realised he could perform most parts himself.
  • 1973
    Age 35
    Cook returned to Britain and in 1973 he married the actress and model Judy Huxtable.
    More Details Hide Details Later, the more risqué humour of Pete and Dud went farther on long-playing records as "Derek and Clive". The first recording was initiated by Cook to alleviate boredom during the Broadway run of Good Evening and used material conceived years before for the two characters but considered too outrageous. One of these audio recordings was also filmed and tensions between the duo are seen to rise. Chris Blackwell circulated bootleg copies to friends in the music business. The popularity of the recording convinced Cook to release it commercially, although Moore was initially reluctant, fearing that his rising fame as a Hollywood star would be undermined. Two further Derek and Clive albums were released, the last accompanied by a film.
  • 1971
    Age 33
    Cook became a favourite of the chat show circuit but his own effort at hosting one for the BBC in 1971, Where Do I Sit?, was said by the critics to have been a disappointment.
    More Details Hide Details He was replaced after only two episodes by Michael Parkinson, the start of Parkinson's career as a chat show host. Parkinson later asked Cook what his ambitions were, Cook replied jocularly " in fact, my ambition is to shut you up altogether you see!" Cook and Moore fashioned sketches from Not Only.But Also and Goodbye Again with new material into the stage revue called Behind the Fridge. This show toured Australia in 1972 before transferring to New York City in 1973, re-titled as Good Evening. Cook frequently appeared on and off stage the worse for drink. Nonetheless, the show proved very popular and it won Tony and Grammy Awards. When it finished, Moore stayed in the U.S. to pursue his film acting ambitions in Hollywood.
  • 1970
    Age 32
    In 1970, Cook took over a project initiated by David Frost for a satirical film about an opinion pollster who rises to become President of Great Britain.
    More Details Hide Details Under Cook's guidance, the character became modelled on Frost. The film, The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer, was not a success, although the cast contained notable names.
  • 1968
    Age 30
    In 1968, Cook and Moore briefly switched to ATV for four one-hour programmes entitled Goodbye Again, based on the Pete and Dud characters.
    More Details Hide Details Cook's increasing alcoholism led him to become reliant on cue cards and the show was not a popular success, owing in part to the publication of the ITV listings magazine, TV Times, being suspended because of a strike. John Cleese was a cast member.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1963
    Age 25
    In 1963, Cook married Wendy Snowden; the couple had two daughters, Lucy and Daisy, but the marriage ended in 1970.
    More Details Hide Details Cook expanded television comedy with Eleanor Bron, John Bird and John Fortune. His first regular television spot was on Granada Television's Braden Beat with Bernard Braden, where he featured his most enduring character: the static, dour and monotonal E. L. Wisty, whom Cook had conceived for Radley College's Marionette Society. Cook's comedy partnership with Dudley Moore led to Not Only... But Also. This was originally intended by the BBC as a vehicle for Moore's music, but Moore invited Cook to write sketches and appear with him. Using few props, they created dry, absurd television that proved hugely popular and lasted for three series between 1965 and 1970. Cook played characters such as Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling and the two men created their Pete and Dud alter egos. Other sketches included "Superthunderstingcar", a parody of the Gerry Anderson marionette TV shows, and Cook's pastiche of 1960s trendy arts documentaries – satirised in a parodic TV segment on Greta Garbo.
  • 1961
    Age 23
    In 1961, Cook opened The Establishment, a club at 18 Greek Street in Soho in central London, presenting fellow comedians in a nightclub setting, including American Lenny Bruce.
    More Details Hide Details Cook said it was a satirical venue modelled on "those wonderful Berlin cabarets... which did so much to stop the rise of Hitler and prevent the outbreak of the Second World War"; as a members-only venue it was outside the censorship restrictions. Cook befriended and supported Australian comedian and actor Barry Humphries, who began his British solo career at the club. Humphries said in his autobiography, My Life As Me, that he found Cook's lack of interest in art and literature off-putting. Cook's chiselled looks and languid manner led Humphries to observe that whereas most people take after their father or mother, Cook seemed more like an aunt. Dudley Moore's jazz trio played in the basement of the club during the early 1960s. In 1962, the BBC commissioned a pilot for a television series of satirical sketches based on the Establishment Club, but it was not picked up straight away and Cook went to New York City for a year to perform in Beyond The Fringe on Broadway. When he returned, the pilot had been refashioned as That Was the Week That Was and had made a star of David Frost, something Cook resented. The 1960s satire boom was closing and Cook said "England was about to sink giggling into the sea". He complained that Frost's success was based on copying Cook's own stage persona and Cook dubbed him "the bubonic plagiarist", and said that his only regret in life, recalled Alan Bennett at Cook's memorial service, had been saving Frost from drowning.
  • 1960
    Age 22
    It was at Pembroke that Cook performed and wrote comedy sketches as a member of the Cambridge Footlights Club, of which he became president in 1960.
    More Details Hide Details His hero was fellow Footlights writer and Cambridge magazine writer David Nobbs. Whilst still at university, Cook wrote for Kenneth Williams, providing several sketches for Williams' hit West End comedy revue Pieces of Eight and much of the follow-up, One Over the Eight, before finding prominence in his own right in a four-man group satirical stage show, Beyond the Fringe, with Jonathan Miller, Alan Bennett and Dudley Moore. Beyond the Fringe became a great success in London after being first performed at the Edinburgh Festival and included Cook impersonating the prime minister, Harold Macmillan. This was one of the first occasions satirical political mimicry had been attempted in live theatre and it shocked audiences. During one performance, Macmillan was in the theatre and Cook departed from his script and attacked him verbally.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1937
    Born
    Born on November 17, 1937.
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