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.