Pete Postlethwaite (1946-2011)

Distinguished character actor Pete Postlethwaite, best known for his roles as Daniel Day-Lewis’s father in In the Name of the Father and as Kobayashi in The Usual Suspects, died Sunday of cancer.  Steven Spielberg once described him as “the best actor in the world.”

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Thank you, Lefty. I think this death and Mandlebrot’s have given me the most sad.

Hey! It’s the guy (one of many) who was eaten by the Xenomorph aka Alien in the otherwise forgettable Alien 3.

He was in a PBS production of Martin Chuzzlewit – he was great.

he has a string of credits that go back to the 70s

I remember James and the Giant Peach.

He was best known to me for being the T-Rex hunter in Jurassic Park II.

@Serolf Divad: To me he’ll always be the friar in Romeo + Juliet.

Four fighter jets are circling my neighborhood and freaking me the fuck out.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Wow, big time! I just get the occasional police chopper.

@Dodgerblue: It’s especially creepy to me because I’ve never seen or heard MTRs occurring this close to Sky Harbor airport and because those didn’t look like F-16s which are the predominant jets flown at Luke AFB (approx. 25 mi. away).

@Capt Howdy: Yes, James and the Giant Peach. My name is James, James is what they call me…

Maybe F-22s?

Some F-16s from Luke went out last summer for F-22s from Langley to train against. Maybe it’s a return visit. Also, F-22s have been going out there for the past couple of years for air shows, flyovers and various other events.

@redmanlaw: Nope. The wing’s not right. It was more like an F-16 with a double tail. Dark blue belly with white or yellow stripe at the wing tip.

@JNOV: One of those buzzed me as I was driving out of Death Valley last year. Very impressive.

@Dodgerblue: Pilots are rotten! Did he really buzz you? Remember when pilots tore down those cables in Italy?

One of my favorite characters played by Postlethwaite was the slimy Obadiah Hakeswill in the Sharpe’s Rifles series. He must have thoroughly enjoyed that job, because his sinister glee burst right through the screen.

@redmanlaw: Flying in close formation would be a tipoff.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:


Most likely Blue Angels. No active service Western Aircraft these days has anything but mulit shades of gray unlike when I was a kid…. I’m old enough to say that… shit.

@mellbell: Son of RML said he wants to see a “modern” version of R+J since the 90’s version is about as old as he is.

@JNOV: @redmanlaw: Yes, on the F-18.

@ManchuCandidate: That’s what I thought at first, but the Angels have wording on the underside of the wings. These didn’t. See the picture RML posted. Also, it was a different color blue – more grayish really – than the Blue Angels.

I forget the source — might have been Kevin Pollak in a podcast — but I heard over the weekend that Usual Suspects is a go-to reference for college students. If I were clever, I’d find the reviewer who complained that the ending undermined the entire movie.

@nojo: The Current network butchered The Big Lebowski last night. John Tururro as Jesus was cut, as was the conception of the Little Lebowski referenced at the end of the film. Booooooo.

@redmanlaw: Whoever runs The Fugitive all the time (TNT?) has the good sense to allot it a two-and-a-half-hour timeslot. There are still some abridgments, but nothing as horrific as that.

Very nice man with a keen appreciation for 15 or so pints of beer when I worked with him. And a lot of fun both before and after. I was shocked to read of his death though not entirely surprised given the way he looked in What’s it called? the one where it’s all a dream or it’s not unless it isn’t? His face was always too big and lumpy for life but looked great on a stage or on screen. And invested all kinds of crap with a sense of authenticity: which is perhaps what Mr. Spielberg is talking about. He’s very good in a very sweet and pointed movie about a brass band and the destruction of Britain’s traditional working class called Brassed Off. He’s also in my favorite film about the working class, family life, romance, sing-alongs, the consumption of alcohol in pubs, and the long reaches of time entitled Distant Voices: Still Lives made for the Beeb and released theatrically. It’s superb, haunting, and deeply strange. Pete plays the family nutter. I have it on VHS and will now go check Netflix.

@mellbell: I saw The Fugitive in Japan, which was a hoot — my friend and I were a second or two ahead of the audience, since they had to read the subtitles.

@Benedick: Didn’t see it on NetFlix. It’s on for sale or what they call rent.

@Dodgerblue: It’s not at Netflix. I loved it but it’s been a while and movies have a way of changing in the box. Brassed Off is charming in a good way and Pete’s terrific. Worth watching. About a lass joining a colliery band to play cornet. Eee bah gum.

@Dodgerblue: Also at Amazon: “Ragnar’s Guide To Home And Recreational Use Of High Explosives.” Sounds like a hoot, but it apparently was pulled from publication because of some silly fears involving possible misuse of the information therein, so bound copies and shitty .pdfs go for about $100 a copy. Found it via a gun blog item on an event involving long range shooting at explosive targets. Sounds like fun to me.

Pete Postlethwaite was in one of my favorite comedies, A Private Function, along with Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Liz Smith, Alison Steadman, and Denholm Elliott, among other luminaries. The script is by Malcolm Mowbray and Alan Bennett. It’s based on a incident from the life of Bennett’s father, a Yorkshire butcher, during the postwar years when rationing was still in force (and enforced). PP played the butcher in cahoots with local dignitaries to raise and slaughter an unlicensed pig for a banquet celebrating Princess Elizabeth’s engagement.

@lynnlightfoot: It’s a lovely movie but I thought that was Michael Palin.

@lynnlightfoot: @Benedick: You are, per IMDb, both correct — Palin was the lead and Postlethwaite played the butcher.

@lynnlightfoot: @mellbell: You might want to look for a movie not dissimilar about a Julie Waters running a whorehouse called Personal Services.

@Benedick: Thanks for the tip. I’ll look for Personal Services.

@lynnlightfoot: It’s really enchanting in a very similar vein. As the cross-dressing Wing Commander client says “Forty-four sorties over France wearing girdle and bra!”

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