Date of Birth: February 7, 1945
Growing up in Warrington, Cheshire, England, legendary stage, television and
film actor Pete Postlethwaite escaped the middle-class life by going to
college in London. While completing his studies, he became involved in theater.
Deciding to be an actor was not much appreciated by his parents. His father, who had done various manual labor jobs all his life, didn't think his son's choice of career would last. This opinion remained until both parents
watched their son meet and talk with Queen Elizabeth after a performance at
the Swan Theatre at Stratford. He continued to work in theater for many years, performing with companies like the Liverpool Everyman, Manchester Royal Exchange and the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company.
Inspired by the works of actor Albert Finney, Poslethwaite began to work in television and film. By the mid '80s, he was discovered by film audiences. The performance that announced him was almost too painful to watch - that of the Liverpudlian drunk who routinely batters his wife and terrifies his children in Terence Davies's Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988). By 1993 he earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his
portrayal of Guiseppe Colon in the film In the name of the Father. Other roles in big budget films like The Usual Suspects, Hamlet, Dragonheart, Romeo + Juliet, Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Amistad followed.
Television has also been a lucrative playing ground for Postlethwaite.
Numerous telefilms including Cyrano de Bergerac, Treasure Island,
Sharpe's Enemy and Animal Farm complemented his work in
series like Needle and The Sins. He also garnered a couple
of Best Actor nominations from BAFTA for his work in the telefilm Lost
for Words and mini series, Martin Chuzzlewit.
Preferring to keep out of the Hollywood limelight, up until his death from cancer on January 2, 2011, Postlethwaite lived with his wife of 23 yearsJacqueline, a BBC drama assistantand their two children in a small village in Shropshire, England.