Peter Ustinov

Birth Name: Peter Alexander Freiherr von Ustinov

Date of Birth: 16 April, 1921

Place of Birth: Belsize Park, London, England

Date of Death: 28 March, 2004

Place of Death: Genolier, Vaud, Switzerland

*50% Russian
*12.5% Ashkenazi Jewish
*12.5% German
*12.5% Italian
*6.25% mix of Ethiopian [Amhara] and Portuguese
*6.25% French

Peter Ustinov was a British actor, humorist, writer, dramatist, filmmaker, theatre and opera director, television presenter, stage designer, comedian, newspaper and magazine columnist, and radio broadcaster. He twice won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for Spartacus (1960) and Topkapi (1964). He also played Hercule Poirot in several films.

Peter’s father, Iona von Ustinov (known as “Klop”), was born in Jaffa, Israel, then part of the Ottoman Empire, and was of approximately one half Russian, one quarter Polish Jewish, one eighth German, and one eighth Ehtiopian, including Amhara and Portuguese, ancestry. He was a journalist and diplomat for Germany.

Peter’s mother, Nadezhda/Nadeshda/Nadia Leontievna (Benois), was a Russian-born painter. She was of approximately one eighth French, one eighth German, one quarter Italian, and one half Russian, ancestry.

Peter was married to Helene du Lau d’Allemans, until his death. He had a daughter, actress Tamara Ustinov, with his former wife Isolde Denham; and three children with his former wife, Canadian actress Suzanne Cloutier. Tamara was the half-niece of actress and singer Angela Lansbury; her mother Isolde was the daughter of actors Reginald Denham and Moyna Macgill, who was Angela’s mother.

Peter’s paternal grandfather was Plato Freiherr von Ustinov (born Platon Grigorivich/Grigorievich Ustinov, the son of Grigori/Grigorij Mikhailovich/Mihailovich Ustinov/Oustinov and Maria Ivanovna Panshina). Platon was born in Russia, of Russian ancestry. Grigori was the Russian consul in Hong Kong. He was the son of Mikhail/Mihail Adrianovich/Andrianovich Ustinov/Oustinov and Varvara Guerassimovna Ossorgina or Marfa Andreevna Veshnyakova.

Peter’s paternal grandmother was Magdalena Hall (the daughter of Moritz Hall and Katharina Zander). Magdalena was born in Magdala, Ethiopia. Moritz was born in Krakow, Poland; Moritz is said to been a Jewish-born convert to Christianity. Katharina was born in Ethiopia. Katharina was the daughter of Christoph Eduard Zander, who was born in Kothen, Germany, and of Wäyzäro/Woizero Essete/Isette Work/Verq Meqado de Choa, who was an Ethiopian, of Sub-Saharan African and Portuguese descent; and was the daughter of Johannes Meqado de Choa and Wäyzäro Worku. It was said that Wäyzäro’s grandfather was an Amhara Duke, her father was a soldier, and her mother a noblewoman.

Peter’s maternal grandfather was Leontij/Leontiy/Leon Ludovic Nikolaevich Benois (the son of Nikolai Leontievich/Leontievitch Benois and Camilla Albertovna/Albertnova Cavos). Leontij, a prominent architect, was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Nikolai was born in Russia, the son of Louis Jules Caesar Auguste Leontie Benois, who was French (born in Brie, St-Ouen-sur-Morin), and came to Russia during the French Revolution of the late 1700s; and of Anna/Anne Katarina/Catherine Christina Concordia Groppe, who had German ancestry. Peter’s great-grandmother Camilla was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Camilla’s father, Alberto Cavos (Alberto Catterinovich Cavos), was a prominent architect, who built the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow; he was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to Italian parents, Catterino Albertovich Camillo Cavos, a famous composer, and Camilla Baglioni/Bagnoni. Camilla’s mother, Peter’s great-great-grandmother, was Aloysia/Aloisa Carolina Carobio, who was also of Italian ancestry, and was born in Venice.

Peter’s maternal grandmother was Maria Alexandrovna Sapjhnkoff/Sapojnikova (the daughter of Alexander Sapojnikov and Nina Alexandrovna Kozachenko). Peter’s grandmother Maria Alexandrovna was of Russian ancestry. Peter’s great-grandfather Alexander was the son of Alexander Petrovich Sapojnikov/Sapozhnikov and Pelageya Ivanovna Rostovtseva. Peter’s great-grandmother Nina was the daughter of Alexander Petrovich Kozachenko and Ekaterina Nikiforovna Yavlensky.


Genealogies of Peter Ustinov –


Curious about ethnicity

18 Responses

  1. madman says:

    The book linked below says that Peter’s great-great-grandmother was Wäyzäro Essete Work Meqado de Choa and that she was the daughter of Johannes Meqado de Choa and Wäyzäro Worku. It also says that “her grandmother was said to be a Portuguese from Gondär and her grandfather was an Amhara ‘Duke’, her father was a soldier on Ras Ali’s side and her mother a noble woman from Shoah”.

    Make of this what you want, but Worku appears to be an Amhara surname so change Ethiopian to Amhara Ethiopian. And please remove [Sub-Saharan African], it’s pretty cringe to specify that for an African ethnicity but never for European ones.

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