Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

R.I.P. Pete Postlethwaite (1946-2011)

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist January 3, 2011 at 1:58AM

Terribly sad news to start off the new year today, with the announcement that the great British actor Pete Postlethwaite passed away on Sunday, at the age of 64. He'd been working through treatment for cancer in the last year, and died peacefully in hospital in Shropshire on Sunday, according to a friend (via The Daily Telegraph).
6

Terribly sad news to start off the new year today, with the announcement that the great British actor Pete Postlethwaite passed away on Sunday, at the age of 64. He'd been working through treatment for cancer in the last year, and died peacefully in hospital in Shropshire on Sunday, according to a friend (via The Daily Telegraph).

Postlethwaite was born in Warrington, Cheshire, in 1946, and started his working life as a teacher, before training as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school. He came to prominence on stage at the Liverpool Everyman (where he returned in 2008 for his final stage performance, in "King Lear") and at the Royal Shakespeare Company, before moving into film with a fine performance in Terence Davies' classic "Distant Voices, Still Lives."

This was followed swiftly with roles in Franco Zeffirelli's "Hamlet," David Fincher's "Alien³" and Michael Mann's "The Last of the Mohicans," but it was his tremendous, Oscar-nominated turn opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in "In The Name of the Father" that brought him to late-breaking fame; he made a strong impression as Friar Laurence in "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet," and was one of the highlights of "The Usual Suspects" as lawyer-of-indeterminate-origins Kobayashi.

Steven Spielberg, who once called him the "best actor in the world" (to which Postlethwaite responded with characteristic modesty, "I'm sure what Spielberg actually said was, ‘The thing about Pete is that he thinks he’s the best actor in the world'"), cast him in both "Amistad" and "Jurassic Park: The Lost World," but he continued to work at home, most notably in the beloved comedy "Brassed Off" -- the latter home to one of his finest moments, as seen below.

He worked steadily in the last decade, with stand-out roles in "The Constant Gardener" and on BBC TV, opposite Ben Whishaw in the drama "Criminal Justice." Wonderfully, he was busier in 2010 than ever before, appearing in "Solomon Kane," "Clash of the Titans," "Inception" and "The Town." The last of these, as the terrifying gang boss Fergie Colm, a wiry pit-bull of a man who pulls apart the flowers in his shops with all the barely restrained fury you'd expect from a professional killer, must count among the actor's finest performances.

He'll be seen in the 2011 comedy "Killing Bono," and there were more than enough performances across his career (this writer was lucky enough to see his astonishing take on Prospero in "The Tempest" at the Royal Exchange in Manchester a few years ago) to ensure that he'll never be forgotten. He's survived by his wife Jackie and his children William and Lily.

This article is related to: Actors, Pete Postlethwaite


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates