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Pete Postlethwaite

Pete Postlethwaite

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Also Known As: Peter William Postlethwaite Died: January 2, 2011
Born: February 7, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Warrington, Cheshire, GB Profession: actor, teacher, sheet metal worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Possessing broken-nose looks as distinctive as his name, stage-trained actor Pete Postlethwaite started out in movies largely playing the heavy, trading on the natural menace inherent in his angular face. Though he made his film debut in the late 1970s, Postlewaite came into prominence a decade later thanks to a riveting performance as an abusive, alcoholic father in "Distant Voices, Still Lives" (1988). He soon broke into Hollywood with turns in Mel Gibson's "Hamlet" (1990) and "Alien 3" (1992), while joining old friend and repertory mate Daniel Day-Lewis in "The Last of the Mohicans" (1992). But it was his incredible supporting performance as a quiet, but fiercely devoted father opposite Day-Lewis in "In the Name of the Father" (1993), which marked one of Postlewaite's finest performances of his career. He followed with an iconic turn as the mysterious lawyer to feared crime figure Keyser Söze in the acclaimed crime thriller, "The Usual Suspects" (1995). Because of those two key roles, doors were opened to Postlewaite, who began enjoying greater prominence in major feature films like "Amistad" (1997) and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (1997), while continuing to film acclaimed British-made movies...

Possessing broken-nose looks as distinctive as his name, stage-trained actor Pete Postlethwaite started out in movies largely playing the heavy, trading on the natural menace inherent in his angular face. Though he made his film debut in the late 1970s, Postlewaite came into prominence a decade later thanks to a riveting performance as an abusive, alcoholic father in "Distant Voices, Still Lives" (1988). He soon broke into Hollywood with turns in Mel Gibson's "Hamlet" (1990) and "Alien 3" (1992), while joining old friend and repertory mate Daniel Day-Lewis in "The Last of the Mohicans" (1992). But it was his incredible supporting performance as a quiet, but fiercely devoted father opposite Day-Lewis in "In the Name of the Father" (1993), which marked one of Postlewaite's finest performances of his career. He followed with an iconic turn as the mysterious lawyer to feared crime figure Keyser Söze in the acclaimed crime thriller, "The Usual Suspects" (1995). Because of those two key roles, doors were opened to Postlewaite, who began enjoying greater prominence in major feature films like "Amistad" (1997) and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (1997), while continuing to film acclaimed British-made movies such as "Brassed Off" (1996). By the time he landed supporting roles in "Inception" (2010) and "The Town" (2010), Postlewaite had become one of the most sough-after character actors working in the business.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Killing Bono (2011)
2.
 Town, The (2010)
3.
4.
 Inception (2010)
5.
 Solomon Kane (2009)
6.
7.
 Ghost Son (2008)
8.
 Closing the Ring (2007)
9.
 Omen, The (2006)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Performed at the Manchester Royal Exchange, the Bristol Old Vic and Liverpool's Everyman Theatre
1977:
Early film appearance, a small role in Ridley Scott's "The Duellists"
1979:
First met actor Daniel Day-Lewis while acting with the British Old Vic repertory; Day-Lewis was his understudy for the role of Ulysses in "Troilus and Cressida"
1979:
Directed Day-Lewis in Mike Stout's "Funny Peculiar"
1984:
Appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company as Hastings in the Antony Sher production of "Richard III"
1987:
Left the Royal Shakespeare Company
1988:
Portrayed Liverpudlian drunk who routinely battered his wife and terrified his children in Terence Davies' "Distant Voices, Still Lives"
1992:
Acted with Day-Lewis in "The Last of the Mohicans"
1992:
Played an inmate of the planetary asylum at which Sigourney Weaver's Ripley arrives in "Alien3"
1993:
Received an Academy Award nomination for his role as Day-Lewis' father in Jim Sheridan's "In the Name of the Father"
1995:
Was memorable as Kobayashi, Keyser Soze's deadpan go-between, in "The Usual Suspects"
1995:
Gave a rich performance as the upwardly mobile chiseler Montague Tigg in the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit" (aired in USA on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre")
1996:
Offered outstanding turn as the dying Yorkshire bandleader in Mark Herman's "Brassed Off"
1996:
Played Father Laurence, the go-between for Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in Baz Luhrmann's modern-dress version of "William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet"
1997:
First association with director Steven Spielberg, "The Lost World: Jurassic Park"; played Roland Tembo, the English "phliosopher-hunter"
1997:
Portrayed the chief prosecutor in Spielberg's "Amistad"
1997:
Starred in the British stage production of "Macbeth"
1999:
Played the Carpenter opposite Peter Ustinov's Walrus in NBC presentation of "Alice in Wonderland"
1999:
Had first romantic role opposite Rachel Griffiths in "Among Giants"; played a pylon painter who falls for an itinerant Australian woman
1999:
Played Farmer Jones in TNT's live action-animatronic version of "Animal Farm"
1999:
Starred as a detective in the TV production, "Butterfly Collectors" (aired in USA on HBO Signature)
2000:
Supported Joan Allen in "When the Sky Falls," a fictionalized account of the life of slain Irish journalist Veronica Guerin
2001:
Had a stage hit in Dublin with the one-person show "Scaramouche Jones"; recreated role at the Bristol Old Vic in 2002 before embarking on tour of Great Britain
2001:
Played newspaperman Tert Card in "The Shipping News"
2002:
Appeared in a Manchester, England revival of Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming"
2005:
Cast opposite Jennifer Connelly in the thriller, "Dark Water," directed by Walter Salles
2005:
Co-starred in "The Constant Gardener," a thriller based on the best-selling John le Carre novel and directed by Academy Award-nominated Fernando Meirelles
2006:
Cast in John Moore's remake of the 1976 classic horror film, "The Omen"
2008:
Cast in a recurring role on the BBC's "Criminal Justice"
2010:
Played Spyros in the remake of the fantasy epic, "Clash of the Titans," opposite Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson
2010:
Acted opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the Christopher Nolan-directed sci-fi thriller, "Inception"
2010:
Cast in the ensemble crime drama, "The Town," directed by Ben Affleck
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

St Mary's College: Harlow , Essex -
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School: Bristol , England -

Notes

Postlethwaite has always had a political conscience. Born into an English working-class family, he drew inspiration from the careers of Albert Finney and Michael Caine, two actors who proved themselves in important stories that looked at working-class life in a non-pejorative way. He also worked in the theater during a time (the 70s) when politics and socialism were not dirty words. Still a staunch liberal, he performed in a Capraesque political broadcast (directed by Stephen Frears) for the Labour Party in April 1997, exhorting the public to come out and vote.

"An odd thing, I play baddies all my life, and I get an Oscar nomination for playing a man without a bad bone in his body. Giuseppe thought the same way as my Dad; love God, keep the family together. There was extraordinary unskilled virtue about Giuseppe.

"I went to the Golden Globes in a white tuxedo, the only member of the audience not in black. I mingled well that night--with the waiters. When I got the Oscar nomination, I had a telegram from a friend which read: Congratulations. Now burn the white tux."

Hollywood's response to his Oscar-nominated turn: "They asked, yeah, but can he play tough? As if that isn't what I've been doing for twenty years." --From New York Newsday, March 10, 1994

About his work on Bryan Singer's "The Usual Suspects": "Bryan asked me who I'd like to play, and I said I didn't mind. He said it didn't matter anyway, since all the characters were Keyzer Soze! Kobayashi gave me my favorite review. One critic said, 'This guy had a false tan, a false accent, a false suit and a false name--and we still believe him.' For actors, reviews don't get better than that." --Pete Postlethwaite quoted in Los Angeles Times, May 18, 1997

"Sometimes, I do feel like the centipede who has been asked which leg it starts off with, and I've made mistakes because of that. I don't think I could quite hold my hand on my heart and 100 percent endorse every film I've ever done. There's a small area that didn't quite fulfill expectations, or maybe I didn't fulfil expectations in them.

"The world of international film-making is crazy and as amorphous and as sort of hands-on messy as running a theatre company. When you work at the Royal Shakespeare Company, you learn that productions come and productions go. In a way, it's like the whole world is a big repertory company, but what you're always looking for is good work." --Postlethwaite to the London Times, July 14, 1997

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Julie Walters. Actor. Worked with her at the Liverpool Everyman repertory.
companion:
Jacqueline Morrish. Film technician. Mother of Will and Lily Postlethwaite; met while he was filming a BBC drama and she was assistant floor manager.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Bill Postlethwaite. Cooper, school caretaker. Died in 1988.
son:
William Postlethwaite. Born c. 1989; mother, Jacqueline Morrish.
daughter:
Lily Postlethwaite. Born c. 1996; mother, Jacqueline Morrish.

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