Pete Postlethwaite, a truly great character actor most famous for his roles of Mr. Kobayashi in The Usual Suspects and more recently Maurice Fisher in Inception, has died at the age of 64 after a long struggle with cancer. Postlethwaite was one of those rare actors who could take any role, regardless of how silly it was, and give it gravitas. He lent an air of sophistication to just about every movie he was in, and was so recognizeable that after I first saw him in The Usual Suspects, I suddenly began to notice him everywhere. I remember seeing him in Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of Romeo + Juliet when I was 14 and thinking “Hey! That’s the guy from Dragonheart!” And then I saw him in The Lost World: Jurassic Park and thought “That’s the guy from Romeo + Juliet!” This cycle continued through Dark Water, Solomon Kane, Clash of the Titans and Inception, and while not all of the movies I’ve listed are stellar examples of cinema, Postlethwaite was awesome in all of them.
Sadly, since Pete Postlethwaite was rarely a leading man, it’s been difficult for me to find good clips of him. He’s given a good scene in the deleted bits of The Lost World, and if you skip to 3:10 in the clip above you can see it. Postlethwaite also had a great role in The Town, which you can see parts of in this TV spot. Rest in peace, Pete.