Richard Henry "Peter" Sellers, CBE (8 September 1925 – 24 July 1980) was an English comedian, actor, and performer, who came to prominence on the BBC radio series The Goon Show and later became a film star.
Sellers was born in Southsea, Portsmouth, England, to a family of entertainers. Despite his real name being Richard Henry Sellers, his parents called him "Peter" from an early age, in memory of his older stillborn brother of that name.
Following his family in the variety circuit, Sellers learnt this popular yet difficult art and the immediate instinct of the "gag". He was a very versatile artist: an excellent dancer, a drummer good enough to tour with several jazz bands (Sellers drumming is showcased in a clip of the Steve Allen show in 1964), and a skillful player of the ukulele and banjo.
During World War II, Sellers was an airman in the Royal Air Force, rising to corporal by the end of the war. However, due to poor eyesight, he was relegated to RAF ground staff duties throughout this period.
Sellers' film success came with a series of British comedies, including The Ladykillers (1955), I'm All Right Jack (1959) and The Mouse That Roared (1959). Internationally he began receiving attention for the portrayal of an Indian doctor in The Road to Hong Kong in 1962, the seventh and last in the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope/Dorothy Lamour "Road" series.