Peter Ustinov has died. The following is from the Age.
Already a celebrity before he turned 20, he was an actor, playwright, author, mimic, opera director, satirist, UNICEF ambassador, newspaper columnist and, above all, raconteur. Ustinov was to many the quintessential renaissance man.
He affected to being indolent, yet wrote 23 plays, 13 books and nine films, acted in 40 films and 20 plays, directed eight films, eight plays and 14 operas. He won two Oscars, three Emmy Awards and, despite his deep ambivalence towards Britain, accepted a knighthood in 1990. He spoke five languages fluently and a smattering of others.
Ustinov hankered to be taken seriously as a writer and commentator in Britain, as he was in Europe. But he seemed fated and eventually even resigned to playing the role of the fat, funny foreigner in his own country. To that end he was perhaps his own worst enemy - for as a storyteller, Ustinov was a very funny man indeed.