Magazine article The Spectator

A Rare, Unvarnished Honesty: Pete Postlethwaite Remembered

Magazine article The Spectator

A Rare, Unvarnished Honesty: Pete Postlethwaite Remembered

Article excerpt

Pete Postlethwaite, with whom, sadly, I never worked, belonged to that group of journeymen actors who command the respect and admiration of their peers but are denied the wider honours until death claims them. How amazed he would have been by the enormous photograph that graced the front-pages of the newspapers - his unique, craggy face that had never known B otox or cosmetic surgery, displaying more character than many of his more vaunted fellow thespians.

It is sometimes forgotten that an actor's career is more often than not sculptured in snow and disappears so quickly when he or she is removed from public view, for it is an inescapable fact that for the majority who choose the profession there is little public recognition.

But then, suddenly, an artist like this one proves the exception, reminding us that we can still recognise and applaud true quality. He was content to be judged by his work, not by his views on marriage, abortion, the cost of television licences or any other subjects which pass for instant wisdom by Z-list celebrities in some sections of the popular press. The most individual of actors, he used his sometimes grief-frozen face to rivet our attention with a rare, unvarnished honesty that reminded me of the late and now neglected star Eric Portman. …

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