An actor who was featured in all three of the Beatles’ major 1960s films — “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Help!” and “Magical Mystery Tour” — has died, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reports. Victor Spinetti was 82.
The Welsh-born Spinetti died today, June 19, 2012, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Spinetti was a staple of stage productions on London’s West End, also appearing on Broadway. He was also a successful stage director and a poet.
As an actor, he was known for his versatility, equally comfortable in comedic work — including sitcom roles — and in serious classical productions.
Said Barry Burnett, Spinetti’s agent: “He had cancer for a year, but he was very cheerful to the end. I spoke to him on Friday and he was talking about his plans and everything.”
Spinetti was a close friend of the Beatles at the height of their popularity, and reportedly was told by George Harrison: “You have got to be in all our films. If you are not in them, my mum won’t come and see them because she fancies you.”
His film credits included “Under Milk Wood,” with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton; “Voyage of the Damned” and “The Return of the Pink Panther.” He also had an extensive resume on U.K. television series from the 1960s on.