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Sir Peter Ustinov Dead at 82

 
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 05:49 am
Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov (April 16, 1921 - March 28, 2004) actor, director, writer and dramatist, died yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland.


http://wwwi.reuters.com/images/2004-03-29T092749Z_01_ZWE933941_RTRUKOP_1_PICTURE0.jpg

From the BBC

Quote:
Actor Sir Peter Ustinov dies
Actor Sir Peter Ustinov, one of Britain's most respected actors, has died aged 82.

Sir Peter's agent confirmed the actor had died in Switzerland on Sunday night, but could give no further details.

Sir Peter starred in films such as Spartacus, Death on the Nile and Logan's Run, as well as many TV shows.

The son of Russian parents, Sir Peter also worked as an ambassador for the charity Unicef.

Sir Peter's agent Steve Kenis told BBC News 24: "He had a breadth of vision of himself and of the world that few people have.

"He was a writer of note. People forget he was twice-nominated by the Writers' Guild of America for screenplays he wrote.

"Above all he was a great humanitarian. He was a Unicef ambassador and he valued that very highly," Mr Kenis said.

Oscar winner

Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, said of Sir Peter's Unicef work: "(He was) among the first ambassadors who played a very important role.
"When you have the capacity to have an influence on the public, through movies or theatre, it isn't difficult to have the same experience to solve the humanitarian problem."

Director Michael Winner, who worked with Ustinov on the film Appointment with Death, told ITV News: "He was a professional.

"He was a very dear friend for over 50 years. He was very caring and gave of himself unsparingly."

"He had this great eccentricity, he could say lines that were very tedious, but he could say them with a wit that made them interesting," Mr Winner said.
"He was the greatest mimic I've ever met, he could do any voice, he was immensely entertaining."
Sir Peter was born in London in 1921, after his father, an officer in the Russian Czar's army, refused to take an oath to the Eastern Orthodox church because he was a Protestant.

60-year career

Educated at the Westminster School in London, he left at 16 because he hated it, but had almost instant success on the London stage. His first play was staged when he was only 19.

During his time in the army in World War II he was batman to actor David Niven. The pair were to become lifelong friends.

He spent part of the war stationed in Kent at St Margaret's at Cliffe, and returned there in 2002 to open a village hall.

His acting career lasted more than 60 years, and included Academy Awards for two supporting roles - in 1961 for Spartacus, and in 1965 for Topkapi.


He was also nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for Quo Vadis in 1951, and best screenplay for 1968's Hot Millions.

One of his most famous roles was as the Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot in a number of film adaptations of Agatha Christie's novels.

As well as his acting roles Sir Peter was also a novelist and noted public speaker.

In an interview with Reuters last year he said: "I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilised music in the world."

He also said he had decided on the epitaph for his gravestone - "Keep off the grass".

Famous for his rich, musical speaking voice, he was also fluent in French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, and could also speak Greek and Turkish.

Married three times - to Isolde Denham, Suzanne Cloutier and Helene du Lau d Allemans - he had four children.

Sir Peter was knighted in 1990.


If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done.
Peter Ustinov


Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
Peter Ustinov


Contrary to general belief, I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best, they are merely the people who got there first.
Peter Ustinov


He was once asked what would be his ideal epitaph.
With a familiar twinkle in his eye, he swiftly decided on the perfect inscription for his tombstone: "Keep off the grass."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,560 • Replies: 13
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 05:52 am
Oh, Walter, I had not heard. I am so sorry. He was a gem, a one of a kind, and will be missed.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 06:41 am
I liked Ustinov especially because of his broad talent and his true cosmopolitanism:
his mother was French, his father German, and his ancestors Russian.
That diverse background, combined with his command of six languages, has given him an unusually broad cultural and life experience.
0 Replies
 
urs53
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 07:47 am
Sorry to hear that.

Thanks, Walter - I hadn't read or heard anything about it either.
0 Replies
 
doglover
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 07:59 am
Re: Sir Peter Ustinov Dead at 82
Quote:
He was once asked what would be his ideal epitaph.
With a familiar twinkle in his eye, he swiftly decided on the perfect inscription for his tombstone: "Keep off the grass."


What a terrific sense of humor he had. R.I.P. Walter.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 08:04 am
damn - loved him -
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 09:18 am
Re: Sir Peter Ustinov Dead at 82
doglover wrote:
R.I.P. Walter.


I hope, I will :wink:

doglover wrote:
[What a terrific sense of humor he had.


Asked - on German radio - a while back, about that quote, he said, he didn't fear death at all, since he hadn't feared to be born either, as far as he remembered.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 09:27 am
Walter, Ustinov was one of the most versatile actors that I have ever seen. I noticed his obit on Yahoo news just today. His facial expressions were priceless, and as a kid, I went to see Quo Vadis several times just to watch him do Nero. He was also one of my favorite Poirot's.

In pace requiescat.
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 10:17 am
Yes, thanks for posting this, Walter. Ustinov was a one-of-a-kind actor. I should rent Topkapi - never saw that one.
0 Replies
 
doglover
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 02:36 pm
Re: Sir Peter Ustinov Dead at 82
Walter Hinteler wrote:
doglover wrote:
R.I.P. Walter.


I hope, I will :wink:


LOL Laughing

doglover wrote:
[What a terrific sense of humor he had.


Quote:
Asked - on German radio - a while back, about that quote, he said, he didn't fear death at all, since he hadn't feared to be born either, as far as he remembered.


If you think about his explanation, it makes makes perfect sense!
0 Replies
 
pueo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 02:46 pm
he did a travel documentary which included the hawaiian islands, i always wanted to see the whole trip throughout this region.

ustinov was hilarious in "we're no angels"
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 02:51 pm
pueo, I had forgotten about We're No Angels...that line of his was quite ribald for that era of glitterdom. Something about his daughter...then "...wonderful woman, her mother. Wish I had married her...." Smile
0 Replies
 
Raggedyaggie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2004 03:21 pm
Thanks for posting this Walter. Peter Ustinov was a favorite.
As Nero in Quo Vadis he was unforgettable. My favorite Ustinov role, however, was in Spartacus. I shall never forget his expression of both terror,and compassion for Jean Simmons during the closing scene, with hardly a word spoken.
0 Replies
 
Thok
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 02:18 am
Yes,it is very sad. We will miss him.
0 Replies
 
 

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