Pete Postlethwaite RIP

When Pete Postlethwaite heard that Steven Spielberg had called him “the best actor in the world today”, he responded that Mr. Spielberg must have meant, “Mr. Postlethwaite thinks he is the best actor in the world today”.  Pete never seemed to feel that he was “the best”, but others obviously did.

Pete Postlethwaite died Sunday, January 2, at the age of 64 after a long struggle with cancer.  He will be remembered not only for the depth and intensity he brought to his screen roles, but also for the same qualities in his own character.

Postlethwaite is known in different circles for different roles he has undertaken both in films and in real life.  Many people know him best for his work with Steven Spielberg on “The Lost World:  Jurassic Park”, or for his Oscar-nominated performance as Guiseppe Conlon in the film “In The Name of the Father”.  Others will remember him best as the seriously sinister lawyer Kobayashi in “The Usual Suspects”.

In recent years Mr. Postlethwaite has also become widely known and respected as an environmentalist who truly “walks the walk” instead of just talking about it.  When his wife Jacqui earned a degree in environmental studies and shared her knowledge with Pete and their children, he took it very seriously indeed; the family home became a virtual case study in awareness and conservation for homeowners.  He was also very proud of the docudrama about the consequences of climate change, “The Age of Stupid”, that received a lot of attention, not least because Pete was the voice behind it.