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Actor Pete Postlethwaite dies at 64

by Shannon Harris on January 3, 2011

British actor Pete Postlethwaite died on Sunday at the age of 64 after a long battle with cancer, leaving behind a legacy of memorable roles, the most recent of which included his stint in the 2010 movies Inception and The Town.

"Pete Postlethwaite was the consummate "that guy," having appeared in over two dozen notable films in a variety of roles," says MTV's Kyle Anderson, designating Postlethwaite as belonging to "that strange third category of great actors who you always recognize but perhaps don't know their names or acknowledge them as being as talented as they are."

Steven Spielberg once called Postlethwaite "the best actor in the world." The witty actor responded in a humble manner, quipping that he was sure that "what Spielberg actually said was, "the thing about Pete is that he thinks he's the best actor in the world."

The actor began his career on stage in the 1970s at the the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, CNN reports.

Postlethwaite starred in a number of films beginning in the 1990s, including The Constant Gardener, Alien 3, The Last of the Mohicans, Romeo and Juliet, Amistad, The Usual Suspects, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Clash of the Titans, The Shipping News and Killing Bono.

Postlethwaite received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his role in the 1993 film The Name of the Father. He was also awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2004.

Also an activist, Postlethwaite starred in a 2009 film about global warming called The Age of Stupid. He also protested the war in Iraq and supported anti-poverty campaigns, the U.K.'s Independent reports.

The actor, who is survived by his wife and two children, died peacefully in a Shropshire hospital where he was being treated, according to his close friend Andrew Richardson.

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