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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 April, 2004, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Funeral service honours Sir Peter
Sir Peter Ustinov's funeral service
Violinist Ivry Gitlis plays at Sir Peter's Swiss funeral service
The funeral of actor, writer and raconteur Sir Peter Ustinov has taken place in Switzerland.

Four hundred friends, family members and diplomats attended the service in Geneva's St Pierre Cathedral, with apparently no celebrities present.

Double Oscar-winner Sir Peter died from heart failure on Sunday, aged 82.

He worked as an ambassador for charity Unicef, whose executive director Carol Bellamy said: "The children of the world had no greater champion."

She added: "I remember him playing ping-pong with them in Egypt, dancing with them in Cambodia and helping vaccinate children in China.

Sir Peter Ustinov
He had the gift of being a great man while remaining a human being
Pastor Henry Babel
"This is an extraordinarily sad occasion, all the more so because Sir Peter was such a funny man and the world can scarcely afford the loss of such a rich source of laughter."

Israeli concert violinist and friend Ivry Gitlis, 81, played a farewell lullaby to the actor by his coffin.

Pastor Henry Babel, who presided at the Protestant service, said: "He had the gift of being a great man while remaining a human being. Many great men lose their humanity."

The London-born performer, who had a wife and four children, moved to Switzerland in 1957.

He starred in films such as Spartacus, Death on the Nile and Logan's Run, as well as many TV shows.

The service was follow by his private burial in the western village of Bursins, where Sir Peter had lived since 1971.

The BBC's Jenny McCudden
"It was Ustinov's special gift with children that was most remembered"

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