- Birth name:
- Date of Birth:
- 2 September 1933 Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK
Comic eccentric and gifted raconteur Victor Spinetti was born in Wales on September 2, 1933, the son of Giuseppe Spinetti and Lily (Watson) Spinetti. He was educated at Monmouth School. Initially interested in a teaching degree, he turned to acting instead and studied for the stage at the College of Music and Drama, Cardiff. A familiar stage presence in London's West End, his roles included "Expresso Bongo" with Paul Scofield and Leonard Bernstein's "Candide." He also spent six years with Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop. Noticed in some of his more important theater pieces such as "The Hostage," "Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'be," "Henry IV, Parts I & II," and "Every Man in His Humour," his triumph in "Oh! What a Lovely War" led to Broadway and both the Tony and Theatre World awards. In the late 1960s, Victor co-starred in "The Odd Couple" with Jack Klugman when it toured London. A noted performer with the Royal Shakespeare Company, he has been equally adept in theatre musicals, providing delicious villainy as Fagin in "Oliver!" and Captain Hook in "Peter Pan." A theatre director of both legit and musical plays as well, Victor's one man show "A Very Private Diary" has played all over the world. At age 70+, Victor is still quite active on stage, more recently playing Baron Bomburst in the musical version of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" in 2003, and "The Merry Widow" in 2004. In 1960s film, Victor became a vital part of the "Beatlemania" phenomenon earning international recognition as he added to the insanity of three of The Beatles' cult vehicles: A Hard Day's Night (1964), Help! (1965) and their hour-long Magical Mystery Tour (1967) (TV). A TV favorite in England, he scored in many comedy series over the years. He is an excellent conversationalist and storyteller who has often extended his talents into writing.