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Sir Peter Ustinov's Biography

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Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov was born in London on April 16, 1921 just months after his mother, a painter, arrived from St Petersburg to join her husband, who had been an officer in the Russian Czar's army.

Peter Ustinov left Westminster School at 16 and became an actor, first appearing on stage in 1938. He made several stage appearances before World War II.

After the war, Peter Ustinov was a very busy man as an actor, writer, producer and director.

He won best supporting actor Oscars for his roles in Spartacus, and Topkapi.

One of Peter Ustinov's most famous depictions was Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, whom he portrayed in a series of films.

As well as acting, Peter Ustinov authored many plays, directed several films, wrote a novel and an autobiography, and travelled extensively. He was a raconteur.

British chatshow host, Michael Parkinson rates Peter Ustinov as one of the most entertaining guests that has ever appeared on his show.

Ustinov was a linguist. He was fluent in French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, and could also speak Greek and Turkish.

Sir Peter Ustinov was an ambassador for the UNICEF and was knighted in 1990.

He died on 28 March 2004 in Switzerland.

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