Pete Postlethwaite laid to rest in private family funeral

Shropshire's Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite was laid to rest in his home county at the weekend, in a small and private family ceremony. Shropshire's Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite was laid to rest in his home county at the weekend, in a small and private family ceremony. Only a handful of family members and close friends were present at the service, held near the family home on the outskirts of Bishop's Castle. Mr Postlethwaite lost his battle against cancer on January 2, aged 64.

Pete Postlethwaite laid to rest in private family funeral

Shropshire's Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite was laid to rest in his home county at the weekend, in a small and private family ceremony.

Only a handful of family members and close friends were present at the service, held near the family home on the outskirts of Bishop's Castle.

Mr Postlethwaite lost his battle against cancer on January 2, aged 64.

Father Nick Postlethwaite, the family member who conducted Saturday's service, said the funeral gave those closest to the actor an opportunity to pay their respects.

"Pete was a very private man and his funeral reflected that. There will be other opportunities for the wider community to pay tribute to him in the fullness of time," he said.

A public memorial is planned for Mr Postlethwaite in London on February 16, when many stars of stage and screen are expected to attend.

The funeral took place as the BBC screened a 45-minute tribute to the actor, featuring tributes from many of the stars he worked with during his 40-year acting career.

Julie Walters, who dated the actor for five years in the early stage of her career, revealed it was "love at first sight" when she first met him at Liverpool's Everyman theatre.

"He was quite simply the most exciting, exhilarating actor of his generation," she said.

Director Franny Armstrong also told how the Shropshire Star played a key role in casting him in the lead role of The Age of Stupid - it was the newspaper's story about his plans for a windfarm which convinced her he was ideal to deliver the film's eco-friendly message.

The actor, famously described by director Steven Spielberg as "the best actor in the world" was Oscar nominated for his role in In The Name Of The Father.

He also appeared in Brassed Off, The Usual Suspects and Spielberg's films Amistad and Jurassic Park: The Lost World.

His final movie role, in musical drama Killing Bono, is due out in April.

His first Shropshire home was at Minton, near Church Stretton, before the family moved to a farm on the outskirts of Bishop's Castle.

"I do love Shropshire," he once said. "Whenever I get home, my shoulders drop by two inches. The only reason I've been able to do the things I've done is because I have my family and Shropshire to come home to. They've made everything else possible."

By Andy Richardson

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