Pete Postlethwaite

Sad news for movie lovers: the great Irish actor Pete Postlethwaite – who Steven Spielberg (who directed him in AMISTAD) once proclaimed as “the best actor in the world” – passed away yesterday at 64 years old.  He was battling cancer.

He started acting in TV and film later in life, beginning his career on stages and as director. Notable roles came in the 1996 Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S ROMEO + JULIET (he was the only actor in the film to actually speak his dialogue in iambic pentameter, the language of Shakespeare’s play), THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, the wonderful BRASSED OFF, and more recently in INCEPTION and the Ben Affleck-directed THE TOWN. He’s probably most remembered by film goers for a movie I detested – the 1996 cult classic THE USUAL SUSPECTS, where he played Kobayashi. In 2004, he was honored by Queen Elizabeth with England’s OBE,

Always a force of nature, he was nominated for an Oscar for the 1993 film IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER.

2011’s “In Memoriam” is 12 months away, but the greats are already leaving us.