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Pete Postlethwaite: 1946 - 2011

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Monday, January 3, 2011

After a long fight with cancer, British screen actor Pete Postlethwaite succumbed to the disease yesterday at the age of 64. His was a face and a presence that you felt in the movies he starred in, and he brought a gravitas to the supporting roles he portrayed.

Postlethwaite began his acting career in 1975 and built a resume from TV and film roles. After making smaller appearances in films shot in England, Postlethwaite's first big part came from a TV series, Horse in the House, in 1979. He kept building his C.V. up, playing minor parts, but it wasn't until 1993's In the Name of the Father where his career took a swing upward. In that drama Postlethwaite played Daniel Day Lewis' troubled father, a role that he received an Academy Award nomination for.

Postlethwaite followed In the Name of the Father with a string of memorable performances: as the mysterious lawyer Kobayashi that sets events in motion in Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects; band conductor Danny in Brassed Off; dinosaur hunter Roland Tembo in Jurassic Park: The Lost World; Holabyrd in Steven Spielberg's Amistad; and many other key supporting parts in American movies.

Postlethwaite never forsake his native England or jobs for the glory of bigger paydays or attention from Hollywood. However, in 2010 he was seen in three high profile American films: as the adopted father of Sam Worthington's Perseus in Clash of the Titans; as the dad of Cillian Murphy's character in Inception and in Ben Affleck's crime drama The Town. In 2011 Postlethwaite will be seen in Killing Bono, a comedy that opens in England come April.

In 2004 Postlethwaite received the Order of the British Empire for his acting work.

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