Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite passed away this weekend after a long battle with cancer. He was 64 and is said to have died "peacefully" in England. Postlethwaite was one of those actors you probably know by sight but not name as he appeared in a long line of top-billed movies but never was much in the public eye.
He had a face that was both fascinating and flexible, allowing him to play diverse and haunting roles. Most recently he appeared in The Town as the crime boss who eerily snipped roses while threatening Ben Affleck, who doggedly pursued him to play the role.
In 1993 he was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in In the Name of the Father as Daniel Day-Lewis' father.
His role in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet was legendary. Guy Logde at Incontention.com said, "His dry wit and gigantic cross tattoo redefined Friar Lawrence for my generation of high-school students." IMDb notes that Postlethwaite was the only actor in the film who spoke in iambic pentameter, the rhythm of speech in which Shakespeare wrote his plays.
Here he is as Roland Tembo in The Lost World: Jurassic Park:
Postlethwaite had countless other roles in films like Inception, Alien 3, and the The Usual Suspects and was highly regarded yet humble. When Steven Spielberg called him "the best actor in the world," he responded by saying, "I’m sure what Spielberg actually said was, ‘The thing about Pete is that he thinks he’s actually the best actor in the world.’”
He leaves behind his wife of more than 23 years, Jacqueline Morrish, and two children -- Lily and William. R.I.P., Pete.
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