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01/03/2011

Oscar nominee Pete Postlethwaite dies at 64 [Updated]

January 3, 2011 |  3:51 am

Oscar-nominated British actor Pete Postlethwaite, described by director Steven Spielberg as "the best actor in the world," has died in Shropshire in western England at 64 after a long battle with cancer.

[Updated 2:05 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said Postlethwaite died in London.]

Journalist Andrew Richardson, a longtime friend of the actor, said Monday that Postlethwaite died Sunday in a hospital.

A gritty and powerful actor, Postlethwaite was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the 1993 Postlethwaite-blog film "In the Name of the Father." He had recently been seen in the critically acclaimed film "Inception" and had worked with Spielberg on "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" and "Amistad."

Postlethwaite initially planned to become a priest but was drawn to acting.

He received an OBE in 2004, along with many other honors for his long career in movies, theater and television.

Postlethwaite lived in the hills of rural Shropshire, in western England. He was a political activist known for his opposition to the recent war in Iraq and his call for policies to fight global warming.

He recently had returned to the stage to star as King Lear.

The actor had been treated at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Shortly before his death, he publicly thanked the hospital staff in the Shropshire Star newspaper for their "wonderful" treatment and care during his illness.

He is survived by his wife, Jacqui, his son, Will, and daughter, Lily.

-- Associated Press

[Update 6:51 p.m.: The Times' staff-written obit on Postlethwaite can be found here.]

Photo: Pete Postlethwaite with Sophia Loren in 2002. Credit: Myung Jung Kim / Associated Press

 

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