Another 15 Months of Life

David Lodge, a British actor, was in the British Air Force in 1945; he and others provided entertainment for the troops. He was 23, and another entertainer was only 19. Mr. Lodge noticed a big Welshman picking on the 19-year-old. Mr. Lodge had a big piece of iron that he was using to stir ashes in a wood- or coal-burning stove, and he told the big Welshman to leave the 19-year-old alone. Mr. Lodge was dissatisfied with the big Welshman’s reply, so he gave the big piece of iron to the 19-year-old and said that if he needed to, he ought to hit the big Welshman with the big piece of iron—“And if you don’t, I will.” The big Welshman then stopped picking on the 19-year-old, who turned out to be comic Peter Sellers, who was later the star of Being There and the Pink Panther movies. Mr. Lodge and Mr. Sellers made several films together, and when Mr. Lodge’s mother grew ill with cancer, Mr. Sellers arranged for her to see the best cancer doctors. Mr. Sellers paid for this, and Mr. Lodge believes that his mother got another 15 months of life because of it.

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