Peter Ustinov was born in 1921 in London. His father was a journalist, his mother a painter. He was educated at Westminster School, and he served in the army from 1942 to 1946. His career encompassed stage and film acting, directing and writing. Play scripts included House of Regrets, The Tragedy of Good Intentions, The Love of Four Colonels and Romanoff and Juliet (which was also made into a film). He also wrote screenplays for a number of films. As an actor, his film appearances were numerous, they included One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1941); The Way Ahead (1944), Spartacus (1960), The Sundowners (1961), Blackbeard's Ghost (1967), One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing (1974), Logan's Run (1975), Evil Under the Sun (1981), Lorenzo's Oil (1992), Stiff Upper Lips (1996) and Luther (2003). He received Academy Awards as Best Supporting Actor for the films Spartacus (1960) and Topkapi (1964). He played Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot in a number of films, including Death on the Nile (1978), as well as on television. His factual television programmes included Peter Ustinov's Russia (1987), Ustinov Aboard the Orient Express (1992), Ustinov meets Pavarotti (1993) and Planet Ustinov (1998). Amongst the many books he wrote are plays, his autobiography Dear Me (1977), the collections of writing Ustinov at Large (1991), Quotable Ustinov (1995) and novels including Monsieur René (1988). He was Rector of the University of Dundee, Chancellor of the University of Durham and Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, and he received honorary doctorates from a number of universities. He also received a number of humanitarian awards for his work with UNICEF and UNESCO. Peter Ustinov was knighted in 1990, and died in 2004.
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