Amistad, Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, In The Name Of The Father, Inception, Kobayashi, London, Pete Postlethwaite, Royal Shakespeare Company, Shropshire, Steven Spielberg, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, The Usual Suspects
AP By GREGORY KATZ
Known for playing Kobayashi in “The Usual Suspects.”
LONDON— Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite, a craggy-faced British character actor described by director Steven Spielberg as “the best actor in the world,” has died at age 64 after a long battle with cancer. Friend and journalist Andrew Richardson said Monday that Postlethwaite died in a hospital Sunday. The actor was instantly recognizable for his unusually shaped face — with prominent cheekbones that gave him a lean, rugged look — and his intense eyes. He was not conventionally handsome like many film stars but had a powerful presence and authenticity on screen and on stage.
His extended battle against cancer was well documented in the local newspapers where he lived in rural Shropshire, 170 miles northwest of London. He had recently thanked the staff at the Royal Shrewsbury hospital for their kind treatment and care. “They have been wonderful and I am grateful to them,” he told the Shropshire Star newspaper. “I cannot thank them enough for everything that they have done for me.”
Postlethwaite originally wanted to be a priest but was drawn to acting despite his father’s objections about the insecurity of a career in show business. He worked first as a drama teacher before striking out on his own. Like many English actors, he started his career on stage, performing at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool and working with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He branched out into movies and television work in the 1980s, most often taking roles as an occasionally menacing working-class figure. He reached what some viewed as his professional peak when he received a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his role in “In the Name of the Father”, a film starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson.
Postlethwaite played Day-Lewis’ father in the drama about the complex ramifications of Day-Lewis’ forced confession to an IRA bombing he didn’t commit. He had recently been seen in the critically acclaimed film “Inception” and had worked with Spielberg on “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and “Amistad” in performances that sparked the extravagant compliment from Spielberg, a longtime admirer. Despite the plaudits, and the steady flow of quality roles, Postlethwaite never fully embraced the Hollywood star culture and kept a good distance between himself and the film colony. Friends and colleagues described him as honest and down-to-earth in a profession filled with big egos. “Anyone who worked with him felt great affection for him,” actor David Schneider told BBC News. “He was very un-actory. Sort of like a national treasure. There is so much affection for him, a wonderful actor and a wonderful bloke.”
The manuscript Blue Lines is the fictional coming of age narrative of a young California woman Key Yemaya Walker, and her 2 year growing journey through school, love, and life period piece, written by Kenneth Suffern, Jr., taking place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between the years of 1997 – 1998. Loosely based on true events, and experiences during that time, told through the eyes and voice of the main female protagonist, a freshman first attending the school.