Monday, January 3, 2011

Pete Postlethwaite

Everyone knows the face if not the tongue-twisting name of Pete Postlethwaite, who just passed away at 64 after a long bout with cancer. His face was described as "ideal for Mount Rushmore", with the most prominent cheeks in all of film. It's a sad day for those of us who have seen him in mostly British works for the last four decades.

He is best known as Daniel-Day Lewis' father in In the Name of the Father, which garnered an Oscar® nomination for supporting actor. Some of the biggest films that I remember are Hamlet, Last of the Mohicans, The Usual Suspects, Martin Chuzzlewit (miniseries), The Lost World, Romeo + Juliet, In the Name of the Father, Inception, The Town.

After filming Lost World, Steven Spielberg called him the "greatest actor in the world". Pete quipped "he most likely said 'the actor who thinks he's the greatest in the world'".

My own personal favorite was as Tigg Montague in the TV miniseries of Charles Dickens' first novel Martin Chuzzlewit, probably because it was so long (6 hrs) that Pete had many indelible scenes as a man so devious, and with tongue planted firmly in cheek, that you knew he was reveling in playing the role and let the audience share his devilish delight. Paul Schofield was brilliant in the title role, one of his last, as a dying family patriarch with a large estate which draws relatives from miles around like flies feasting on a rotting corpse.

His bio page and filmography at IMDB

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