Peter Ustinov

Playwright, Film actor

1921 – 2004

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Who was Peter Ustinov?

Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov, CBE was an English actor, writer and dramatist. He was also renowned as a filmmaker, theatre and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, humorist, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster and television presenter. A noted wit and raconteur, he was a fixture on television talk shows and lecture circuits for much of his career. He was also a respected intellectual and diplomat who, in addition to his various academic posts, served as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and President of the World Federalist Movement.

Ustinov was the winner of numerous awards over his life, including two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor, Emmy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards for acting, a Grammy Award for best recording for children, as well as the recipient of governmental honours from, amongst others, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. He displayed a unique cultural versatility that has frequently earned him the accolade of a Renaissance man. Miklós Rózsa, composer of the music for Quo Vadis and of numerous concert works, dedicated his String Quartet No. 1, Op. 22 to Ustinov.

Famous Quotes:

  • A diplomat these days in nothing, but a head waiter who is allowed to sit down occasionally.
  • The point of living, and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come.
  • Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our duty is to furnish it well.
  • Parents are the bones on which children sharpen their teeth.
  • To refuse awards is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal.
  • I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best, they are merely the people who got there first.
  • Unfortunately, the balance of nature decrees that a super-abundance of dreams is paid for by a growing potential for nightmares.
  • Sex is a conversation carried out by other means. If you get on well out of bed, half the problems of bed are solved.
  • There is no question but that if Jesus Christ, or a great prophet from another religion, were to come back today, he would find it virtually impossible to convince anyone of his credentials despite the fact that the vast evangelical machine on American television is predicated on His imminent return among us sinners.
  • Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.

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Apr 16, 1921
Swiss Cottage
Also known as
  • Peter Alexander Ustinov
  • Alexander von Ustinov
  • Peter Alexander Freiherr von Ustinov
  • Ustinov
  • Peter Alexander Baron von Ustinow
  • Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov
  • Sir Peter Ustinov
  • Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov, CBE
  • England
  • United Kingdom
  • Westminster School
  • Durham University
Lived in
  • Swiss Cottage
Mar 28, 2004

on July 23, 2013


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