Sunday, June 04, 2006

Peter Ustinov

January 16, 2006

"The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come." ~Peter Ustinov

Who was Peter Ustinov? Peter Ustinov (1921 - 2004) was born in London in 1921, and studied at the Westminster School. He left school 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.

His acting career spanned more than 60 years, and included Academy Awards for two roles -- in 1961 for Spartacus, and in 1965 for Topkapi. He also received nominations for best supporting actor and best screenplay. In January 1963, he was sued for canceling out of The Pink Panther, and was replaced by Peter Sellers. One of Peter Ustinov's most famous depictions was Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, whom he portrayed in a series of films.

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

Ustinov is remembered as the portly British character actor, the master playwright, and acclaimed storyteller who excelled at comedic roles and dramatic performances alike. He died of heart failure on the 28th March, 2004, at Genolier, Switzerland. He chose the epitaph for his gravestone to be: "Keep off the grass."


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