Peter Ustinov

Actor, Director, Screenwriter
By his mid-20s, this burly, multi-faceted talent had achieved considerable success in both theater and cinema directing, writing and acting in cultivated, witty comedies. Peter Ustinov later won international acclaim ... Read more »
Born: 04/15/1921 in London, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (89)

Luther 2003 (Movie)

Prince Frederick (Actor)

Salem Witch Trials 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Animal Farm 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Voice

My Khmer Heart 2000 (Movie)

(Narrator)

On the Trail of Mark Twain With Peter Ustinov 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Alice in Wonderland 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Stiff Upper Lips 1999 (Movie)

Horace (Actor)

The Bachelor 1999 (Movie)

Grandad (Actor)

25th International Emmy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Peter Ustinov's Mendelssohn 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Peter Ustinov Talking With David Frost 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebrating Haydn With Peter Ustinov 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Vatican 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Phoenix and the Magic Carpet 1994 (Movie)

of Phoenix (Voice)

The Phoenix and the Magic Carpet 1994 (Movie)

Grandpa (Actor)

The Alistair Cooke Salute 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Travels 1989 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Lorenzo's Oil 1992 (Movie)

Professor Nikolais (Actor)

C'era un castello con 40 cani 1990 (Movie)

(Actor)

Monet: Legacy of Light 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Voice

The Mozart Mystique With Peter Ustinov 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Wonderful Kangaroo 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Narrator

La Revolution Francaise 1989 (Movie)

Mirabeau (Actor)

Appointment With Death 1988 (Movie)

Hercule Poirot (Actor)

Agatha Christie's "Murder in Three Acts" 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Memed My Hawk 1987 (Movie)

Abdi Aga (Actor)

Peep and the Big Wide World 1987 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

The Immortal Beethoven With Peter Ustinov 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Agatha Christie's "Dead Man's Folly" 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Agatha Christie's "Thirteen at Dinner" 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Evil Under the Sun 1982 (Movie)

Hercule Poirot (Actor)

The Great Muppet Caper 1981 (Movie)

Truck Driver (Actor)

Why Didn't They Ask Evans? 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen 1980 (Movie)

Charlie Chan (Actor)

Ashanti 1979 (Movie)

Suleiman (Actor)

Grendel, Grendel, Grendel 1979 (Movie)

of Grendel (Voice)

Players 1979 (Movie)

Spectator (Actor)

Death on the Nile 1978 (Movie)

Hercule Poirot (Actor)

Nous maigrirons ensemble 1978 (Movie)

Victor (Actor)

Tarka the Otter 1978 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

The Thief of Bagdad 1977 (Movie)

Caliph (Actor)

Double Murder on Via Governo Vecchio 1976 (Movie)

Harry Hellman (Actor)

Love, Life, Liberty & Lunch 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

The Last Remake of Beau Geste 1976 (Movie)

Sergeant Markov (Actor)

The Mouse and His Child 1976 (Movie)

of Manny (Voice)

Treasure of Matecumbe 1976 (Movie)

Dr Snodgrass (Actor)

Un Taxi mauve 1976 (Movie)

Taubelman (Actor)

Logan's Run 1975 (Movie)

Old Man (Actor)

One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing 1974 (Movie)

Hnup Wan (Actor)

Burt Bacharach: Opus No. 3 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Robin Hood 1973 (Movie)

of Prince John, a Lion (Voice)

Hammersmith Is Out 1972 (Movie)

Doctor (Actor)

Gideon 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

A Storm in Winter 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

Viva Max! 1969 (Movie)

General Maximilian Rodrigues DeSantos (Actor)

Hot Millions 1968 (Movie)

Marcus Pendleton (Actor)

The Comedians 1967 (Movie)

Ambassador Pineda (Actor)

Lady L 1966 (Movie)

Prince Otto (Actor)

Topkapi 1964 (Movie)

Arthur Simon Simpson (Actor)

John Goldfarb, Please Come Home 1963 (Movie)

Fawz (Actor)

Billy Budd 1962 (Movie)

Captain Edward Fairfax Vere (Actor)

Romanoff and Juliet 1961 (Movie)

The General (Actor)

Spartacus 1960 (Movie)

Batiatus (Actor)

The Sundowners 1960 (Movie)

Venneker (Actor)

The Spies 1957 (Movie)

Russsian (Actor)

Lola Montes 1955 (Movie)

Circus Master (Actor)

We're No Angels 1955 (Movie)

Jules (Actor)

Beau Brummell 1954 (Movie)

Prince of Wales (Actor)

Le Plaisir 1954 (Movie)

of DeMaupassant (Voice)

The Egyptian 1954 (Movie)

Kaptah (Actor)

Quo Vadis 1951 (Movie)

Nero (Actor)

The Magic Box 1950 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Storm in Summer (TV Show)

Actor

Around the World in 80 Days (TV Show)

Actor

Blackbeard's Ghost (Movie)

Capt. Blackbeard (Actor)

Doctor Snuggles (TV Show)

Voice

Granpa (TV Show)

Voice

Hotel Sahara (Movie)

Emad (Actor)

Jesus of Nazareth (TV Show)

Actor

Omni: The New Frontier (TV Show)

Actor

One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (Movie)

Priest (Actor)

The Old Curiosity Shop (TV Show)

Actor

The Seven Dials Mystery (TV Show)

Actor

The Way Ahead (Movie)

Rispoli (Actor)

Victoria & Albert (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (9)

Memed My Hawk 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hot Millions 1968 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Lady L 1966 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Billy Budd 1962 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Romanoff and Juliet 1961 (Movie)

("Romanoff and Juliet") (Play as Source Material)

Romanoff and Juliet 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

School For Scoundrels 1960 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Carnival (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

The Way Ahead (Movie)

(Screenwriter)
Director (5)

Memed My Hawk 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Hammersmith Is Out 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Lady L 1966 (Movie)

(Director)

Billy Budd 1962 (Movie)

(Director)

Romanoff and Juliet 1961 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (3)

My Khmer Heart 2000 (Movie)

("presents") (Producer)

Billy Budd 1962 (Movie)

(Producer)

Romanoff and Juliet 1961 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

By his mid-20s, this burly, multi-faceted talent had achieved considerable success in both theater and cinema directing, writing and acting in cultivated, witty comedies. Peter Ustinov later won international acclaim and reached the peak of his fame in the early 1960s for his appearances in sweeping epics and lighthearted romps. He won two Best Supporting Actor Oscars, for his clown in "Spartacus" (1960) and his engaging con man in "Topkapi" (1964). Ustinov has also earned critical praise for his directorial efforts (which he also produced, starred in and wrote): "Romanoff and Juliet" (1962), a biting Cold War satire based on his own play, the bracing "Billy Budd" (1962) and the "Faust"-inspired Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton vehicle "Hammersmith Is Out" (1972). The spotlight fell on Ustinov as a personality, too. Throughout the 60s and early 70s, he was a favored raconteur on talk shows whether or not he was publicizing a film. Yet his increasing girth often made his screen work seem either effortless or as if he were holding back and only giving a lazy indication of what he could muster.

Relationships

Helene du Lau d'Allemans

Wife
married in 1972

Nadia Benois

Mother

Alexandre Benois

Grandfather
designed Abel Gance's "Napoleon" maternal grandparent

Suzanne Cloutier

Wife
married on February 15, 1954 divorced in 1971 mother of Pavla, Igor and Andrea

Isolde Denham

Wife
married in 1940 divorced in 1945 mother of Tamara half-sister of Angela Lansbury

Iona Ustinov

Father
German wrote under the pseudonym 'Klop'

Andrea Ustinov

Daughter
mother, Suzanne Cloutier

Pavla Ustinov

Daughter
mother, Suzanne Cloutier

Tamara Ustinov

Daughter
born on July 25, 1945 mother, Isolde Denham

Igor Ustinov

Son
mother, Suzanne Cloutier

EDUCATION

Mr Gibbs Prep School

Westminster School

began writing plays; left at 16 before taking exams

London Theatre Studio

1937 - 1939
studied with Michel St Denis

Milestones

2003

Co-starred in "Luther," a biopic of religious reformer Martin Luther

2003

Cast as William Stoughton in the TV MiniSeries "The Salem Witch Trials

2001

Appeared in the British TV drama "Victoria & Albert"; aired on A&E in USA

1999

Returned to features as a tea plantation owner in Raj India in the comic spoof "Stiff Upper Lips"

1992

Last film for seven years, "Lorenzo's Oil"

1986

Served as host for BBC TV series "Peter Ustinov's Russia: A Personal History"

1981

Hosted TV series, "Omni: The New Frontier"

1978

Played Hercule Poirot in "Death on the Nile"

1964

Co-starred in "Topkapi"; won second Oscar

1960

Won first Oscar for his comic turn in "Spartacus"

1957

US TV debut, "The Life of Samuel Johnson"; won first Emmy Award

1957

Broadway acting debut, "Romanoff and Juliet"; also wrote play; later toured the USA

1953

NY stage debut as playwright, "The Love of Four Colonels"

1949

First film as producer, "Private Angelo"; also director and screenplay)

1946

Directed first film, "School For Secrets"; also screenplay)

1943

First screenwriting credit, "The Way Ahead" (with Eric Ambler)

1941

Joined Royal Sussex Regiment of Army; transferred to the Directorate of Army Psychiatry, writing recruitment and propaganda films

1940

Began stage directing career with "Squaring the Circle"

1940

Wrote first full-length staged play, "House of Regrets"

1940

Screen acting debut, "Mein Kampf" (semi-documentary)

1939

Joined Aylesbury Repertory Company

1938

First stage appearance as Waffles in "The Wood Demon" at Barn Theatre in Shere

Recited his monologues in a short film, "Hello, Fame!"

Joined Leonard Sachs' Players' Theatre where he wrote and performed monologues

Bonus Trivia

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He was named Commander of the British Empire in 1975 and knighted in 1990.

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Until 2000 when Michael Caine picked up his second Oscar, Ustinov was the only British male to have won two acting Academy Awards.

.

"Peter Ustinov is probably the most famous and popular middlebrow entertainer in Britain today. Equally in his plays as in his turns, he always seems to be 'on', to be there, providing a characteristic flourish, a typical ironic joke, a custom-built piece of business, as if the characters and players were projections of himself beaming from some 3-D projector backstage." --Critic Alan Brien, quoted in "The Great Stage Stars" by Sheridan Morley.

.

Ustinov was a rector of Dundee University (1968, and 1971-73).

.

He a recipient of the Distingished Service Award, UNICEF (1975).

.

He was awarded the Prix de la Butte (1978).

.

Ustinov was named Best Actor for the Variety Clubs of Great Britain (1979).

.

He was named Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 1985 by the French government.

.

Ustinov was elected to the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris (1988).

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Among the honorary degrees Ustinov has received are an honorary doctrate in music from the Cleveland Institute of Music (1967), honorary LLDs from the University of Dundee (1969), LaSalle College of Philadelphia (1971) and University of Lancaster (1972) and an honorary doctorate from the University of Toronto (1984).

.

Received the UNICEF medal for distinguished services

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