June 19, 2012 13:05

Beatles actor Victor Spinetti dies aged 82

Welsh actor starred in 'A Hard Day's Night', 'Help!' and 'Magical Mystery Tour'

Beatles actor Victor Spinetti dies aged 82

Photo: PA

Comic actor Victor Spinetti, who appeared in three Beatles films, has died aged 82.

The Welsh star appeared in a string of acclaimed movies as well as appearing on the West End and Broadway. He died in a hospice in Monmouth this morning after battling with pancreatic cancer, reports BBC.

Once described by Paul McCartney as "the man who makes clouds disappear", Spinetti was the only non-Beatle to appear in the films A Hard Day's Night, Help! and Magical Mystery Tour.

Born Victorio G A Spinetti on 2 September 1929 south Wales, he attended Monmouth School before studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. He worked as a waiter and factory worker before his acting career took off.

Spinetti appeared in more than 30 films, including Zeffirelli's The Taming Of The Shrew, The Return Of The Pink Panther, The Krays, and Under Milk Wood with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. He also appeared frequently on television and theatre as an actor and director.

George Harrison once told him: "You've got to be in all our films. If you're not in them me mum won't come and see them – because she fancies you."

In 1968, he also worked with John Lennon to turn Lennon's book, In His Own Write, into to a play which he then directed at the National Theatre – where Laurence Olivier was Artistic Director. Speaking to MOJO back in March, Spinetti said of the project:

I rang up John Lennon and I said, John, the National Theatre want to do a play based on your books. He said, 'They must be fucking mad. I'll give you the rights, you do it.' I said, No John, why don't we do it together? And that was it. When I told Olivier that we now had John Lennon's permission to go ahead, he said, 'I'd very much like to meet with Johnny Lennon, I've never met with him.'

Victor Spinetti's partner of 44 years, Graham Curnow, died in 1997.

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