British actor Pete Postlethwaite dead at 64
Monday 03 January 2011
British actor Pete Postlethwaite, who earned an Oscar nomination for his role in "In the Name of the Father", has died aged 64 following a lengthy illness, a friend announced Monday.
Journalist and friend Andrew Richardson said he died peacefully in hospital in Shropshire, west central England, on Sunday. Postlethwaite had been receiving treatment for cancer.
One of Britain's top character actors, Peter William Postlethwaite was born to a Catholic family in the northwest English town of Warrington. He trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic theatre and took a job as a sheet metal worker making beer kegs to get by.
Honing his skills on stage, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in the mid-1980s.
His leading role as a terrifying father in the 1988 British movie "Distant Voices, Still Lives" - considered by some an overlooked masterpiece - brought him wider recognition.
He broke into Hollywood, appearing alonside Mel Gibson in "Hamlet" (1990), "Alien 3" (1992) and "The Last of the Mohicans" in the same year.
His performance as quiet, devoted parent Giuseppe Conlon in "In the Name of the Father" was one of his finest and earned him an Oscar nomination.
He went on to star in "The Usual Suspects" (1995) and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (1997).
In 2004, Postlethwaite was recognised by his country, being made an OBE - an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to drama.
He is survived by his wife, Jacqui, his son Will and daughter, Lily.
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