Beatles Film Actor Victor Spinetti Dead at 82
Actor Victor Spinetti, who appeared in three different films starring the Beatles, died this morning (June 19) at age 82 in Monmouth, Wales after a long battle with cancer. Paul McCartney once described the actor as a man "who makes clouds disappear."
According to the BBC, Beatles' guitarist George Harrison reportedly and jokingly convinced Spinetti, an established star of London West End musical productions as well as the big screen, to be in the band's first movie, 1964's 'A Hard Day's Night,' by pleading, "Me mum will only go to see (the movies) if you're in them."
The actor went on to appear in the group's follow-up film, 1965's 'Help!,' as well as their 1967 TV movie 'Magical Mystery Tour.' Spinettie also helped turn John Lennon's 1964 book 'In His Own Write' into a play, which he himself directed for a 1968 run at the National Theatre in London.
Spinetti, who was born in South Wales and moved to London to pursue his acting career, won a Tony award for his Broadway performance in 1965's 'Oh, What a Lovely War.' His friends have taken to Twitter to sing his praises, including actor Rob Brydon, who wrote "So sad Victor Spinetti has died. The funniest story teller I've ever met and a lovely warm man. Proud to have been his friend."
Watch Victor Spinetti Perform in 'A Hard Day's Night'