Pete Postlethwaite OBE (7.2.1946 - 2.1.2011)
Pete Postlethwaite was a British actor, who worked in stage, film and television, to great acclaim. He was highly revered within his industry and earned himself a number of awards in his time as an actor. Steven Spielberg once referred to him as 'the greatest actor in the world' after they worked together on Jurassic Park: The Lost World.
Childhood: Pete Postlethwaite was born to William and Mary Postlethwaite in Warrington, Lancashire. His family was Roman Catholic and working class. Postlethwaite trained to be a teacher at St. Mary's College, Strawberry Hill. He then went on to teach drama at Loreto College, Manchester, before training to be an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Acting Career: Pete Postlethwaite's career started at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre. His fellow colleagues at that time included Jonathan Pryce Bill Nighy, Julie Walters and Anthony Sher.
In 1981, Pete Postlethwaite landed the leading role in The Muscle Market, which was a spin-off of Boys from the Blackstuff. The series also starred Alison Steadman.
Postlethwaite then went on to land a few smaller parts in TV series such as the Professionals (starring Martin Shaw). His film success started with 1988's Distant Voices, Still Lives. Postlethwaite's film work was sparse for a few years but in 1993, he earned himself an Oscar nomination for his role in In The Name of the Father. The film also starred Daniel Day Lewis and Emma Thompson.
One of Postlethwaite's best-known film roles was playing the mysterious lawyer Mr. Kobayashi in The Usual Suspects, alongside Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro and Kevin Spacey.
He then went on to feature in a number of successful mainstream films, including Alien 3 (starring Sigourney Weaver), Amistad (with Anthony Hopkins), Brassed Off (featuring Ewan McGregor) and The Shipping News with Julianne Moore and Judi Dench. Pete Postlethwaite then landed a role in the critically acclaimed film The Constant Gardener, along with Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes.
In 2010, Pete Postlethwaite could be seen in the blockbuster Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page.
The author Terry Pratchett has stated that he always imagined his Discworld character as a 'younger, slightly bulkier version of Pete Postlethwaite.'
Among Postlethwaite's other notable roles were playing the antagonist Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill in the ITV series Sharpe, which starred Sean Bean. The two actors then went on to work together again in When Saturday Comes.
In 2008, Postlethwaite returned to the Liverpool Everyman Theatre, where his career began, appearing in a production of King Lear. The following year, he featured in The Age of Stupid, which focused on the topic of climate change. It was a topic close to his heart as he had recently installed a wind turbine in his own garden.
In 2004, Pete Postlethwaite received an OBE in the New Year's Honours List.
Personal Life: In 2003, Pete Postlethwaite married his wife Jackie Morrish, a former BBC producer. They have two children together, William John (b.1999) and Lily Kathleen (b. 1992).
Pete Postlethwaite was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1990 and had to have a testicle removed. In 2011, he died from cancer, at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
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