The veteran Welsh actor Victor Spinetti has passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer, it's been confirmed. The 82 year-old was believed to have had cancer for a year but had remained in good spirits with friends including Barbara Windsor rallying around him for what he hoped would be a successful battle.
Sadly that has not been the case, but Spinetti leaves behind a fine body of work and a good legacy to be proud of. The UK's Daily Telegraph reports that Victor began his working life in somewhat humdrum surroundings, employed as both a waiter and a factory worker. However he soon rose to international prominence after starring in films made by legendary Liverpool band The Beatles, namely 'A Hard Day's Night', 'Help!' and 'Magical Mystery Tour' in the 1960s. Beatles member George Harrison was once said to have told him "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."
Spinetti was far more than just a Beatles regular however, and his list of both film and stage credits are impressive. Among his roles there were appearances in Dylan Thomas' 'Under Milk Wood' alongside Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Zeffirelli's 'The Taming of the Shrew', 'Voyage of the Damned', 'The Return of the Pink Panther', and 'The Krays'. Stage roles meanwhile included West End appearances in 'Expresso Bongo', 'Candide', 'Cat Among the Pigeons', 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'.