It’s been 40 years since comedy film star Peter Sellers died. And now his ex-wife and James Bond actress Britt Ekland has opened up about their relationship in a revealing new BBC documentary that airs this week called Peter Sellers: A State of Comic Ecstasy. Ekland famously got hitched to the 39-year-old after dating for just three weeks when she was 21.
The Swedish actress’ marriage to Sellers from 1964 to 1968 saw much press attention and difficulties in their private life.
According to The Observer, in the new documentary, the 77-year-old spoke of her husband’s “serious ill health” and alcohol and cocaine dependency.
And also his mental instability and controlling nature towards her.
Ekland said how Sellers would tell her what to wear after purchasing all her clothes without getting her opinion.
On his mental health, The Man With The Golden Gun star said: “He obviously suffered from or was bipolar, severely bipolar.
“He was a very tormented soul who should have had more help.
“But instead he was unable [to] because he was such a valuable asset.”
Ekland also claimed that Sellers managed to get her fired from 1964 movie Guns at Batasi.
The Bond star said: “He called me and said, ‘Ask the production if you can have an extra day off’.
“And they said no. He just said that’s taken care of. Someone drove me to the airport.
“The next thing I know I land in California, where I’d never been before, with no clothes. The plan was I would spend the weekend [there] and then I would fly back.
“When I arrived, he said, ‘I have a doctor here because you don’t look well’. The doctor said, ‘She’s suffering strain and stress. You can’t possibly go back to filming’.”
Despite once calling her marriage “an atrocious sham”, the documentary’s director and producer John O’Rourke told the outlet: “She’s always quite private about this chapter of her life because she had her first child, Victoria, with Sellers.
“She hasn’t gone into huge amounts of detail. There have been a lot of books and documentary films made about Sellers over the years.
“She refused to speak to them … She mentioned bipolar disorder. Obviously Britt’s not a medical professional. But she did live with him for four years.”
Peter Sellers: A State of Comic Ecstasy airs on BBC Two on May 9.
Published at Mon, 04 May 2020 09:51:00 +0000