STARS paid tribute today to Victor Spinettti, the Cwm-born star of stage and screen who died this morning.

Comedian and actor Rob Brydon said: "Terribly sad news. One of the funniest raconteurs there's ever been, a lovely man who I was lucky to call a friend.’’ Among visitors during the past few days were close friend Barbara Windsor, on whose Radio 2 show he made a recent appearance - one of his final recordings.

Spinetti's agent, Barry Burnett, said: "He had cancer for a year, but he was very cheerful to the end. I spoke to him on Friday and he was talking about his plans and everything.’’ The versatile actor was able to easily turn his hand from serious classical roles to comedy performances and roles in sitcoms.

He has also been a successful stage director, wrote poetry and became known for his appearances in a Jaffa Cake ad campaign.

However, for many fans, Spinetti will always be known for his roles in The Beatles' three live action films - A Hard Day's Night, Help! and Magical Mystery Tour.