Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov, CBE, FRSA (16 April 1921 28 March 2004) was an English actor, playwright, screenwriter, stage and opera director, stage designer, radio and television host, newspaper columnist, raconteur, erudite and diplomat of Russian, Polish Jewish, German and Ethiopian descent. He also spoke six languages fluently.
In short, a prime example of Renaissance Man. A very witty and very knowledgeable one at that.
He earned his first Oscar nomination for his role as Roman emperor Nero in the 1951 adaptation of Quo Vadis. This was followed by two Oscar wins in the Best Supporting Actor category, for Spartacus (the only Oscar ever awarded to a performance in a Stanley Kubrick film) and Topkapi. He also received numerous other accolades including three Emmy Awards for his performances in Omnibus: The Life of Samuel Johnson, Barefoot in Athens, and A Storm in Summer. He also won a Grammy for his narration of Peter and the Wolf. He never did win a Tony sadly, although he was nominated twice for his 1958 play Romanoff and Julie as both the playwright and actor. Among his many other roles, he portrayed Hercule Poirot five times, starting with Death on the Nile in 1978.
In his later years he scaled back his acting career doing charity work for UNICEF as Goodwill Ambassador.
Works with pages on this wiki:
- One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942) as the Priest
- Quo Vadis (1951) as Nero
- The Egyptian (1954) as Kapteh
- Lola Montes (1955) as the Circus Master
- We're No Angels (1955) as Jules
- Spartacus (1960) as Batiatus
- The Sundowners (1960) as Rupert Venneker
- Billy Budd (1962) as Captain Vere — also directed
- Topkapi (1964) as Arthur Simon Simpson
- Blackbeard's Ghost (1968) as Captain Edward "Blackbeard" Teach
- Viva Max! (1969) as General Maximilian Rodrigues De Santos
- Robin Hood (1973) as Prince John/King Richard (voice)
- One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing (1975) as Hnup Wan
- Logan's Run (1976) as the Old Man
- Jesus of Nazareth (1977) as Herod the Great
- Death on the Nile (1978) as Hercule Poirot
- The Great Muppet Caper (1981) as the Truck Driver
- Around the World in Eighty Days (1989) as Detective Fix
- Lorenzo's Oil (1992) as Professor Nikolais
- Alice in Wonderland (1999) as the Walrus