Acting legend SIR Peter Ustinov has died aged 82.

The London-born actor and entertaining raconteur passed away in Switzerland yesterday (28MAR04).

His acting career spanned more than 60 years - including Academy Awards for two supporting roles in SPARTACUS (61) and TOPKAPI (65).

Ustinov was a talented linguist - fluent in French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Russian - and could also speak Greek and Turkish. He was a novelist and noted public speaker, and also worked as an ambassador for the charity Unicef.

The son of Russian parents, Ustinov left school at 16, but had almost instant success on the London stage. His first play was staged when he was only 19.

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990.

29/03/2004 14:24