Comedian and actor Rob Brydon was among those to pay tribute, saying:
– Rob Brydon, Comedian and actor
Terribly sad news. One of the funniest raconteurs there's ever been, a lovely man who I was lucky to call a friend
– Barry Burnett, Spinetti's agent
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
Spinetti won a Tony Award for his performance in Oh! What a Lovely War. It was during one of these productions that he struck up his lifelong friendship with Barbara Windsor. Windsor said she and husband Scott Mitchell visited Spinetti at his hospice on Thursday. She said today:
– Barbara Windsor
We were very close. He was another of my great friends from that era. He was such a great man.
We were both on stage together on Broadway in Oh! What A Lovely War. We were both up for the Tony Award. He got it. I didn't but we had a great time.
He was part of my life and I'm going to miss him so much. We'd go out for lunch and have a great gossip together.
He was such a good actor because he took notice of people and used their characters. He portrayed them wonderfully, whatever he did.
She went on to say, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton wanted him at their parties. He was a magnificent man, a wonderful man who was full of great stories. The Beatles loved him. They wouldn't do a film without him.