An Oscar nominee for his role as the father of Daniel Day-Lewis's character in the 1993 In the Name of the Father, the distinctive-looking Postlethwaite also played the menacing owner of a flower shop in last year's The Town, directed by and starring Ben Affleck. In Inception, he was the rich, dying patriarch (his son was played by Cillian Murphy).
Steven Spielberg, who directed Postlewaite in The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Amistad, once called him "the best actor in the world." In response, Postlethwaite – who originally wanted to be a priest – quipped, "I'm sure what Spielberg actually said was, 'the thing about Pete is that he thinks he's the best actor in the world.' "
A political activist, Postlethwaite protested the war in Iraq, supported the Make Poverty History campaign and starred in a 2009 film about global warming, The Age of Stupid, reports Britain's Independent.
Survivors are his wife, Jacqui, his son Will and daughter, Lily, says the newspaper.