Pete Postlethwaite Dies at 64 (1946 – 2011)
Some of the most tragic news I’ve read in a while when I got on my computer this morning, one of my favorite actors who never really got enough credit for his extraordinary career. He is always referred to in passing, “that bald guy with a British accent.” And yet, through the years, he has remained one of the most recognizable actors in cinema. That’s not just because he’s always there, but because he’s always good.
He got his first real commercial success in David Fincher’s “Alien 3” opposite Sigourney Weaver and, ironically, a bunch of other bald guys with British accents. After that, he had a small supporting role in “The Last of the Mohicans,” before receiving his first and only Academy Award nomination for “In the Name of the Father.” In both films he starred alongside Daniel Day Lewis.
Since then, the man has had memorable performances in “The Usual Suspects,” “Dragonheart,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “Amistad,” “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Among Giants,” “The Shipping News,” “The Constant Gardener” and “The Omen.”
A story I always enjoyed hearing was of how after working on two projects in one year with Pete, director Steven Spielberg called him the best actor working in the world. In response, Postlethwaite laughed the compliment off, saying, “Steven probably said that ‘Pete thinks he’s the best actor in the world.'”
In 2010, Pete had roles in three American films: “Clash of the Titans,” “Inception,” and “The Town.” Perhaps, as a fitting end to his career, its joyous to think that two of those three films are very likely contenders to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. No other actor or actress will have pulled off this feat during 2006.
I leave you with a video that actually does not promo Postlethwaite’s silver screen work, but one that displays his acting chops nonetheless.
Goodbye, Pete. We thank you for your many amazing roles and you will be missed.