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Pete Postlethwaite 1946-2011

3rd January 2011 Pete Postlethwaite in the Everyman in 2008 (c) Mark McNulty

We are all deeply saddened by the news of the passing of one of the greatest stage and film actors this country has ever produced. Pete Postlethwaite began his illustrious career at the Everyman in the 1970s under the artistic directorship of Alan Dossor and was to return there in 2008 during the European Capital Culture to perform King Lear.

The Everyman was a theatre very dear to Pete’s heart and his time with us in 2008 left us all in his awe and profoundly touched by his genius and humanity. Indeed Pete was quite overwhelmed by the love that he felt on his return to Liverpool and being Pete never refused a friendly handshake or trip down memory lane from the many members of the general public who wanted to let him know how welcome he was. Many too remembered his extraordinary performance in Scaramouche Jones at the Playhouse. He was by any standards an exceptional man and actor, at once great and simultaneously utterly one of us. He had that rare ability to bring power and dignity to any role without losing the vulnerability of what it is to be human. He was a king and a peasant, a tragedian and a clown. He was truly an” everyman”actor and everyone of us will hold dear our memories of him and feel very privileged that we saw or knew him.

Our thoughts are with his wife, Jacqui and his children William and Lily.


Pete Postlethwaite 

Warrington-born Pete Postlethwaite first came to Liverpool in the mid 1970s when he joined the seminal Alan Dossor company at the Everyman where fellow actors included Julie Walters, Matthew Kelly, Bill Nighy, Anthony Sher, Trevor Eve, Jonathan Pryce, George Costigan and Alison Steadman. His extensive film and tv credits include The Constant Gardener, Brassed Off, Romeo and Juliet, The Usual Suspects, Jurassic Park, Criminal Justice, Inception and he was nominated for an Oscar for 1993’s In the Name of the Father. His recent theatre credits include The Tempest (Manchester Royal Exchange) Scaramouche Jones (UK/World Tour) and The Homecoming (Manchester Royal Exchange) and King Lear (Liverpool Everyman and Young Vic).

At the 2008 Liverpool Capital of Culture press launch Pete commented on doing the role of King Lear and returning to the Everyman:
Doing King Lear is a big, big privilege – terrifying and exciting at the same time - and I hope it will fulfill all our dreams and hopes. I feel it is the right time, in the right place, with the right people. To me, the Everyman is one of the most exciting spaces and venues in the world” 

King Lear 08 cast outside the Everyman (c) Collette Rawlinson
Pete (back row) with the King Lear 08 cast outside the Everyman (c) Collette Rawlinson

Pete Postlethwaite At the Everyman

“I came here as a 16 year-old…it all blew my mind, seeing plays like Waiting for Godot and Look Back in Anger. As an actor what mattered most about the Everyman was the soul and spirit of the place, which gave you the ability to be right – or wrong. I would not be as brave as an actor if it were not for being here.”

Seasons in Everyman Rep:
Spring Summer 1974
Autumn Winter 1974/75
Spring Summer 1975

Most notable plays:
The Sea Anchor by Ted Whitehead directed by Jonathan Pryce Dec 1974
Cantril Tales directed by Jonathan Pryce Dec 74 – Jan 75
Breezeblock Park by Willy Russell directed by Alan Dossor May 1975 with Julie Walters 

To leave your own tribute to Pete Postlethwaite click here

Picture Gallery

  • Pete Postlethwaite in King Lear by William Shakespeare
  • Pete Postlethwaite in rehearsal for King Lear 2008 (c)Graham Michael
  • Pete Postlethwaite, Kevin Lloyd, Stephanie Fayerman & Kate Fahy The Sea Anchor (1974)
  • Pete Postlethwaite talking about King Lear at the theatres' press launch for 08 Capital of Culture
  • Pete Postlethwaite and Keith Washington in Coriolanus (1975)
  • Death in Leicester (1975)
  • The Sea Anchor (1974)
  • Scaramouche Jones (2003)
Back to list…

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