Pete Postlethwaite, English Actor, Died at 65


Dead, Peter William “Pete” Postlethwaite on the 2nd of January 2011 at the age of 65, he was an English actor.

After minor television appearances, including in The Professionals, his first success came with the 1988 film Distant Voices, Still Lives.

Born in Warrington, Lancashire on the 7th of February 1946 he is the fourth and youngest child of William (1913–1988) and Mary Postlethwaite (née Lawless; 1913–2011), working-class Roman Catholics.

Postlethwaite played Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill on Sharpe.

He trained as a teacher and taught drama before training as an actor.

Director Steven Spielberg called him “the best actor in the world” after working with him on The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for In the Name of the Father in 1993 and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2004 New Year Honours list.

He trained as a teacher at St Mary’s College, Strawberry Hill and taught drama at Loreto College, Manchester, before training as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Despite portraying Irish characters on multiple occasions, Postlethwaite was not of Irish descent. Postlethwaite’s first film success came with the film Distant Voices, Still Lives in 1988. He received an Academy Award nomination for his role in In the Name of the Father in 1993.

He is well known for his role as mysterious lawyer Mr. Kobayashi in The Usual Suspects.

He made appearances in several successful films, including Alien 3, Amistad, Brassed Off, The Shipping News, The Constant Gardener, Inception, and as Friar Lawrence in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.

By 1993 he had crossed over into Hollywood parts and earned his first Oscar nomination for his superb role as Daniel Day-Lewis’ father in In the Name of the Father (1993).

Other quality roles came his way with The Usual Suspects (1995), Brassed Off (1996), and Amistad (1997).

Television has been a creative and positive venue as well with fine work in Sharpe’s Company (1994), Lost for Words (1999) and The Sins (2000).

Working equally both here and abroad these days, Postlethwaite avoids the public limelight for the most part and lives quietly in England.

In 1996, he starred as the leader of a local brass band in “Brassed Off,” a melancholy and sentimental comedy about the threatened closing of a coal mine in a village in northern England that would also mean the end of the band, the village’s pride and joy.

His later films included “The Shipping News” and a remake of the 1976 horror film “The Omen.”

He continued to perform onstage throughout much of his career, and two years ago he returned to Liverpool’s Everyman as King Lear.

Dominic Cavendish wrote in The Telegraph of London, “The journey Postlethwaite takes is beautifully shaded, by turns semi-serious, pensive and pained before arriving, touchingly, at some dazed, carefree state where madness has become his sole means of self-preservation.”

Postlethwaite’s survivors include his wife, Jacqui Morrish; a son, Will, who is a drama student in London; and a daughter, Lily.