Pete Postlethwaite dies…

I found out about the death of actor Pete Postlethwaite from a friend in town this pm… This is really a post in response from reader Ciaran who writes:

…could we have a post on the late great actor Pete Postlethewaite who has just died of cancer at the relatively young age of 64? Folks from this neck of the woods will probably remember him best for his role as Giuseppe Conlon in In the Name of the Father, Jim Sheridan’s account of the Guildford 4 saga.

But his roles in Brassed Off, The Usual Suspects and the Constant Gardener, among many other films and TV shows form the last 30 years are also worth noting.

  • Mark

    His role as Keyser Soze’s lawyer / hachet man Mr Kobayashi was brilliant . He came accross as very menacing . Fitz makes a good point on another thread about his ” looks ” . He was very disarming and that meant he could play wide range of characters very well .

  • CW

    Thanks Mick.

    If you define a great actor as one who has the versatility to play a wide rane of contrasting characters, then PP certainly fitted the bill. His portrayal of sympathetic characers such as Giusseppe Conlon, the conductor of the miners’ band in Brassed Off or the South African famine relief doctor in Constant Gardener contrasted with villainous roles such as the sinister Kobayashi as Mark mentions above and the character he played in Sharpe.

    He was also a campaigner for various political and environmental causes and a man who never forgot his roots.

    It sounds like a cliche to say this, but he definitely was one of the finest actors of his generation.

  • CW

    PS – one of his lesser known films which deserves a mention here is the 1998 British independent production, Among Giants, a variation on the “it’s grim up north” type film set in Sheffield where PP plays an electricity pylon painter who meets a young Australian backpacker played by Rachel Griffiths. A mixture of comedy, pathos, love story and gritty kitchen sink-style realism worthy of Ken Loach or Mike Leigh, although directed by Sam Miller.

    Not a cinematic classic, but well worth watching – and not just for the full frontal nudity. The cinematogrpahy of the industrial landscape comes through well.
    Coincidentally I was a student in Sheffield at the time when the area was still basking in the glory of the Full Monty’s success.

    With the current state of the economy combined with the relative of ease and cheapness of film-making thanks to modern technology, hopefully we’ll see a lot more of this type of film in the years to come.

  • pippakin

    For me P.P was what a great actor should be. He became the character and its the characters he played that so many of us remember.


  • Mark

    CW ,

    I presume you meant Rachel Griffiths and not Pete Postlethwaite when referring to the full frontal nudity scene … LOL .

  • Rory Carr

    Postlethwaite was England’s best film actor by a country mile (and Steven Spielberg agrees with me on that.) He will be much missed.

    I have been eagerly anticipating an opportunity to see Ben Affleck’s film The Town and will now be all the more eager since Pete Postlethwaite is among a strong cast that also includes an American actor , Chris Cooper, who has many parallels with the late Postlethwaite in having a low profile married to such great ability.

  • RepublicanStones

    Rory, Afflecks ‘The Town’ is quite good. And though he is only in a few scenes, Postlethwaite steals them (as usual) as the local crime kingpin ‘Fergie the Florist’. I more recently got round to watching ‘Inception’ last week, where he played a dying man, again only one or two scenes. My first memory of him was in the risible Alien 3, a year before ‘In the Name of the Father.’

    You’re spot on with the Cooper comparison. Not least the fact that both of them excel in supporting roles, usually to the detriment of the headliners.