Victor Spinetti

Active - 1961 - 2003  |   Born - Sep 2, 1929   |   Died - Jun 19, 2012   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Musical

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Born to an Italian father and Welsh mother, actor/writer/director Victor Spinetti attended the College of Music and Drama at Cardiff. Following his debut at a 1953 concert party in Wales, Spinetti built up a solid reputation as a surefire laugh-getter in various theatrical revues and West End plays. In 1964, he won a Tony Award for his interpretation of the Drill Sergeant Major (his favorite part) in the London/Broadway musical hit Oh, What a Lovely War! That same year, Spinetti made an auspicious film bow as the neurotic TV director in The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night. Even funnier was his portrayal of mad scientist Doctor Foot ("With a ring like that I can--dare I say it?--rule the world...with the proper government grant") in the Fab Four's follow-up feature Help! Spinetti's association with the Beatles extended to his theatrical work when, in 1969, he adapted and directed a stage version of John Lennon's book In His Own Write. Other films blessed with Spinetti's presence include Taming of the Shrew (1967), Start the Revolution Without Me (1970), Under a Cherry Moon (1986) and The Krays (1990). In addition to his many theatrical directing assignments, Spinetti has kept busy as a cartoon voiceover artist for such projects as the droll TV weekly Superted. When asked in 1980 if he had any hobbies, Victor Spinetti listed "Writing, talking and occasionally listening."

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