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Pete Postlethwaite Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (23)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (4)

Born in Warrington, Lancashire, England, UK
Died in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, UK  (pancreatic cancer)
Birth NamePeter William Postlethwaite
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

An oddly fascinating bloke with prominent bony cheeks and rawboned figure, Peter William (Pete) Postlethwaite was born on February 16, 1946 and was a distinguished character actor on stage, TV and film. Growing up the youngest of four siblings in a Catholic family in Warrington, Lancashire (near Liverpool) in middle-class surroundings to working-class parents, he attended St Mary's University (London). However, while completing his studies, he developed an interest in theatre, to the chagrin of his father, who wanted his children to find secure positions in life.

A drama teacher initially at a Catholic girls convent school, he decided to follow his acting instincts full-time and gradually built up an impressive array of classical stage credits via repertory, including the Bristol Old Vic Drama School, and in stints with Liverpool Everyman, Manchester Royal Exchange and the Royal Shakespeare Company. By the 1980s he was ready to branch out into film and TV, giving a startling performance as a wife abuser in the Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988).

By 1993 he had crossed over into Hollywood parts and earned his first Oscar nomination for his superb role as Daniel Day-Lewis' father in In the Name of the Father (1993). Other quality roles came his way with The Usual Suspects (1995), Brassed Off (1996), and Amistad (1997). He did fine work on television in Sharpe: Sharpe's Company (1994), Lost for Words (1999), and The Sins (2000). Postlethwaite worked equally both in the UK and abroad, and avoided the public limelight for the most part, except for occasional displays of political activism.

Postlethwaite lived quietly out of the spotlight in England and continued on in films with roles in The Shipping News (2001), The Limit (2004), Dark Water (2005), The Omen (2006), Ghost Son (2007) and Solomon Kane (2009). In 2010, he was seen in Clash of the Titans (2010), Inception (2010) and The Town (2010).

Postlewaite died on January 2, 2011, at age 64, of pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by his wife and son, and by his daughter from a prior relationship.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Family (4)

Spouse Jacqueline Morrish (2003 - 2 January 2011)  (his death)  (2 children)
Children Billy Postlethwaite
Lily Kathleen Postlethwaite
Parents William Postlethwaite
Mary Postlethwaite
Relatives Michael Postlethwaite (sibling)
Anne Postlethwaite (sibling)
Patricia Postlethwaite (sibling)

Trade Mark (2)

Often played very devious characters
Distinctive gruff voice

Trivia (23)

Pete Postlethwaite was the youngest of four children born to working-class Roman Catholic parents, William and Mary Geraldine (née Lawless) Postlethwaite in Warrington (near Liverpool). He had two sisters, Anne and Patricia, and a brother, Michael (1944-2006). He attended St Benedict's RC Junior School and a seminary. He then joined the 4th form at West Park Grammar School, St Helens (Merseyside), and spent an extra year re-sitting some O-levels and then took four A-levels in English, history, geography and French. He trained as a teacher at St Mary's University College (Strawberry Hill, Twickenham), majoring in physical education and drama. He later taught drama at Loreto College, Manchester, a Catholic girls convent school.
He was awarded OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2004 New Year's Honors List for his services to drama. On 16 November 2009, when the Labour government, of which he had been a lifelong supporter, was contemplating commissioning a coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent, he threatened in a speech to Ed Miliband, then Climate Change Minister, to hand back his OBE if the Government went ahead with their plans. The proposal to build a new power station at Kingsnorth was shelved by the coalition government in October 2010.
He once let an agent go after the agent suggested Pete change his last name to something more marquee-friendly.
Steven Spielberg called him "The best actor in the world".
At the beginning of one hit wonder "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba, it's his voice that says these words from the movie Brassed Off (1996): "Truth is I thought it mattered, I thought that music mattered. But does it bollocks! Not compared to how people matter".
He was listed as a potential nominee on the 2006 Razzie Award nominating ballot. He was listed as a suggestion in the Worst Supporting Actor category for his performance in the film Æon Flux (2005). However he failed to receive a nomination.
His portrait by Christopher Thompson was acquired by The National Portrait Gallery.
He and his wife, a BBC drama assistant, had one child, Billy Postlethwaite (b. 1989). He was also the father of Lily Postlethwaite (b. 1996) by his relationship with Jacqueline Morrish).
He is the only actor in Romeo + Juliet (1996) who speaks in iambic pentameter, the rhythm of speech William Shakespeare's plays are written in.
Turned down major roles in Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) and Gangs of New York (2002).
Longtime friend of Sue Johnston.
A political activist, he demonstrated in the streets to oppose the war in Iraq.
Last name is pronounced "POSS-ul-thwait".
Romantically involved with actress Julie Walters during his years at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool.
One of his biggest fans was Daniel Day-Lewis, who use to watch Postlethwaite perform on stage frequently during his impressionable years as a youngster. It was Day-Lewis who recommended him for the father role in In the Name of the Father (1993).
Postlethwaite's nose was broken when he played rugby as a child and was re-broken years later as an adult following several barroom brawls.
He and his Treasure Island (1990) co-star Charlton Heston both portrayed the Player King in film adaptations of "Hamlet": Postlethwaite in Hamlet (1990) and Heston in Hamlet (1996).
Started smoking when he was ten. He continued to smoke heavily until his death, despite admitting it was his "biggest regret".
Was considered for a role in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York (2002).
Although he played Irish characters in several films he was not of Irish descent himself.
He was criticized for saying people should never burn coal, despite claiming that he supported striking miners.
Granted an honorary degree from The University of Liverpool in 2006, alongside British actress Alison Steadman and founders of the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, Terry Hands and Martin Jenkins.
Pete Postlethwaite was sought after for a role in Gangs of New York but turned it down when he was offered a reduced salary. He said "It was the biggest dream of my life to work with Scorsese but I thought it was a bit of a scam. Oh well." He also stated that his friends and previous co-stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio were not offered reduced salaries to star in the film.

Personal Quotes (6)

At the end of the day, acting is all about telling lies. We are professional imposters and the audience accept that. We've made this deal that we tell you a tale and a pack of lies, but there will be a truth in it. You may enjoy it, or it will disturb you.
It's all in the cheekbones, this career of mine. They are quite whopping, aren't they? Who was it that said, 'He looks like he's got a clavicle stuck in his mouth?'
I refuse to be typecast, and I'll have a go at anything so long as it's different, challenging, hard work and demands great versatility.
My first agent wanted me to change [my name]. So I changed him instead. When I made a breakthrough as an actor, people started to say, 'Who's that bloke with the funny name?' They advised me to change it, saying it would never be put up in lights outside theaters because they couldn't afford the electricity. But I would never contemplate changing it. It's who I am. It's my mother and father, my whole family. It's where everything I am comes from. I couldn't imagine living my life with another name.
[in a speech to Ed Miliband, then Climate Change Minister of the Labour government, on 16 March 2009] If you commission a new dirty coal power station at Kingsnorth, then you are clearly unfit to represent the people of Britain at the Copenhagen Climate Summit, and therefore I promise, very sadly, to return to Her Majesty The Queen the OBE that I was given in 2002, because I don't believe that I can be a real Officer of the British Empire if that's what is going to happen. Unfortunately I would *never* be able to vote for the Labour Party again. And I want you to tell that to the Party.
We've got to hope the next generation will do things differently. I'm sure that in 20 years' time the kids will say, 'Can you believe that people actually used to smoke - put these funny little things in their mouths, lit them and sucked all that crap into their lungs?'.

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