Peter Postlethwaite

133Peter William Postlethwaite was an English male actor born February 7th, 1946 and died January 2nd, 2011 at the age of 64. He was survived by his wife and two children. During his life Postlethwaite had been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, and was given an Honorary Degree from Liverpool University. He had also been nominated for an Academy Award for his role in In the Name of the Father.


Born in Warrington, UK, Postlethwaite began his career teaching drama at Loreto College before beginning acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. His first role in film was the 1975 short film The Racer, and he continued to perform in other small roles until 1981. In 1987, Peter Postlethwaite married Jacqueline Morrish, and the two remained married until Postlethwaite’s death in 2011. Postlethwaite entered his first lead role in 1981 with the English TV dark-comedy The Muscle Market and continued to work in television and small film roles until his lead role in the 1988 film Distant Voices, Still Lives. In 1997, trioPostlethwaite took the role of big game hunter Roland Tembo in the Universal Studios film The Lost World: Jurassic Park. In March of 2009, Postlethwaite was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and so Postlethwaite’s final role in the 2010 film The Florist was specially written to accommodate the actor’s illness. In 2011, Postlethwaite finally succumbed to cancer at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, in the UK.

Selected Filmography

  • The Racer (1975)
  • Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
  • Hamlet (1990)
  • Alien 3 (1992)
  • The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
  • In the Name of the Father (1993)
  • James and the Giant Peach (1996)
  • Dragonheart (1996)
  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
  • The Omen (2006)
  • Clash of the Titans (2010)

Work for The Lost World: Jurassic Park

rolandhuntingDirector Steven Spielberg said that for the character of Roland Tembo an actor of tremendous presence was required, as the character was to portray the myth of the ‘Great White Hunter’, leading to the casting of Pete. When filming the scene where Roland Tembo and Roland’s best friend, Ajay Sidhu, find the infant Tyrannosaurus rex nest, Postlethwaite was initially confused as to why he and fellow actor Harvey Jason were directed to wave their hands in front of their faces, to which Spielberg explained that Industrial Light and Magic would be adding computer generated flies to the scene in post-production. After the film, Steven Spielberg was reportedly quoted as calling Pete¬†“the best actor in the world.”