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The cover story of Time magazine once featured actor Peter Sellers (Mar 3, 1980). Appearing on The Muppet Show, he was told by Kermit the Frog that it was all right to "just relax and be yourself.’ To which Sellers replied, "I could never be myself. You see, there is no me. I do not exist."

Acknowledging that it was a good joke, Time saw a deeper significance: "The real Peter Sellers, at 54, is virtually a cipher (zero, nobody)." The magazine quoted a longtime friend as saying, "Peter is the accumulation of all the roles he’s played and all the people he’s met. He’s directing traffic inside all that."

Sellers died less than six months later. We don’t know if he ever found himself. Nor do we know if, indeed, he ever searched for himself, although he may have.

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