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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 September, 2004, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
Spacey's Darin film hits Toronto
Kevin Spacey
Spacey is the Artistic Director of London's Old Vic Theatre
Kevin Spacey's biopic of 'Mack the Knife' singer Bobby Darin has received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The Oscar-winning actor takes the lead role in Beyond The Sea, as well as producing, directing and co-writing it.

Darin became one of the biggest musical acts of the 1950s and 60s before his death, aged 37, in 1973.

"Of all the Rat Pack... Bobby isn't as known and revered because he died too young," said Spacey at the premiere.

'Forgotten one'

"I hope this movie finally brings the attention and revival to his whole catalogue, and to who he was as an entertainer, that I just think is long overdue.

"I think he's been the forgotten one," added the 45-year-old actor.

Beyond The Sea - in which Spacey also sings - charts Darin's 17-year career, which included million-selling singles, Hollywood movies and a successful TV career.

Bobby Darin
Bobby Darin was a huge star in the 50s and 60s

He won two Grammy awards in 1959 - Best Record for Mack the Knife, and Best New Artist.

Mack the Knife stayed in the top 10 in the US for 52 weeks, nine of those at number one.

Darin made his first film in 1960 and in 1964 was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Captain Newman, MD.

He underwent heart surgery in 1971 and suffered from bouts of ill health until his death, in December 1973, following further heart surgery.

Electic selection

One hundred movies will be given their world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The 10-day event features 328 films from 61 countries.

The Canadian festival does not award prizes, but it is often used to identify potential Oscar winners.

Thousands of film industry distributors and publicists attend the annual festival, known for its eclectic selection of films.

"People see us as an international festival of discovery, which is how we've always wanted to be seen," said festival co-director Noah Cowan.

The majority of films shown at the Toronto festival will appear in cinemas by the end of the year.

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