Peter Ustinov

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Deep down, no one really believes they have a right to live. But this death sentence generally stays tucked away, hidden beneath the difficulty of living. If that difficulty is removed from time to time, death is suddenly there, unintelligibly.
Jean Baudrillard
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Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov, CBE (April 16, 1921 - March 18, 2004), born Peter Alexander von Ustinov, was an Academy Award-winning English-German actor, writer, dramatist and raconteur.

Sourced

  • I don't know why I have these dreams. I've never wanted to be Pope. In fact, I have a greater affinity to Martin Luther.
    • Sir Peter Ustinov's 'Bizarre' Pope Dreams, 2001
  • Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them.
  • Contrary to general belief, I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best, they are merely the people who got there first.
  • Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our one duty is to furnish it well.
  • Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.
    • Achtung! Vorurteile, 2003
Original German: "Der Terrorismus, der im furchtbaren 11. September kulminierte, ist ein Krieg der Armen gegen die Reichen. Der Krieg ist ein Terrorismus der Reichen gegen die Armen." Amazon.de, typically cited in short: "Terrorismus ist der Krieg der Armen und der Krieg ist der Terrorismus der Reichen."
  • The truth is really an ambition which is beyond us.

Ustinov's comic touch, BBC News (March 12, 2004)

  • Her virtue was that she said what she thought, her vice that what she thought didn't amount to much.
  • I have four children which is not bad considering I'm not a Catholic.
  • It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously.
  • To refuse awards is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal.
  • Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
  • Critics search for ages for the wrong word, which, to give them credit, they eventually find.

Attributed

  • A diplomat these days is nothing but a head-waiter who's allowed to sit down occasionally.
  • By increasing the size of the keyhole, today's playwrights are in danger of doing away with the door.
  • Children are the only form of immortality that we can be sure of.
  • Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.
  • Corruption is nature's way of restoring our faith in democracy.
  • When people say to me "Have a nice day", I reply "Sorry, I've made other plans".
  • Sex is a conversation carried out by other means.
  • I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me the most civilized music in the world.
  • I'm convinced there's a small room in the attic of the Foreign Office where future diplomats are taught to stammer.
  • If Botticelli were alive today he'd be working for Vogue.
  • If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done.
  • In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from.
  • Laughter would be bereaved if snobbery died.
  • Parents are the bones on which children cut their teeth.
  • Pavarotti is not vain, but conscious of being unique.
  • People who reach the top of the tree are only those who haven't got the qualifications to detain them at the bottom.
  • Playwrights are like men who have been dining for a month in an Indian restaurant. After eating curry night after night, they deny the existence of asparagus.
  • The only reason I made a commercial for American Express was to pay for my American Express bill.
  • The point of living, and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come.
  • The social sciences were for all those who had not yet decided what to do with their lives, and for all those whose premature frustrations led them into the sterile alleys of confrontation.
  • There is no question but that if Jesus Christ, or a great prophet from another religion, were to come back today, he would find it virtually impossible to convince anyone of his credentials despite the fact that the vast evangelical machine on American television is predicated on His imminent return among us sinners.
  • Unfortunately, the balance of nature decrees that a super-abundance of dreams is paid for by a growing potential for nightmares.

Criticism

  • Sunshine Sally and Peter Ustinov don't like the scene anyhow.


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