Cinema lost a great character actor today, as Pete Postlethwaite passed away at the age of 65 after a long battle with cancer. Too soon.

I imagine many people (especially here in the United States) knew  Postlethwaite’s face more than they knew his name — his craggy and stern demeanor was lurking in films that were truly great, films that were quite small, and films that were pure and utter popcorn. Postlethwaite did them all, and he was memorable in every single one of them.

Steven Spielberg called him the best actor in the world, a compliment Postlethwaite laughed off with typical humbleness.

He only earned one Oscar nomination in his long and illustrious career for In the Name of the Father, but he deserved a dozen more.   But its actors like Pete Postlethwaite who have all the guts and none of the glory.  The character actors such as he often do the really heavy work of building a fictional world we invest in. It’s how we know their faces, and not their names and it seems so unfair in the end.

Rest in peace, Mr. Postlethwaite.  We’ll miss your warmth, humor, and menace.  And they should have found enough lights to spell your name out.