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'Inception' Star Pete Postlethwaite Passed Away at 64

January 4, 2011, 3:03 am GMT

The Oscar-nominated actor died at a hospital in Shropshire, England on Sunday, January 2 following a lengthy illness.

Pete Postlethwaite

British actor Pete Postlethwaite has died at the age of 64. The Oscar-nominated actor passed away at a hospital in Shropshire, England on Sunday, January 2 following a lengthy illness, a friend tells Sky News. He had previously battled testicular cancer in the 1990s.

After starting his career as a teacher, Postlethwaite went on to train at the revered Bristol Old Vic Theatre School before taking to the stage at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre alongside Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce and Julie Walters.

He landed his film break in 1988 in gritty British drama "Distant Voices, Still Lives" before coming to international acclaim with his role as Giuseppe Conlon in 1993's "In the Name of the Father", for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Appearing in huge movies including "Alien 3", "The Usual Suspects", "Romeo + Juliet" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park", he was hailed by Steven Spielberg as "the greatest actor in the world" and in 2004 was awarded an Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the arts.

Postlethwaite secretly battled cancer again last year but continued working with roles in blockbusters "Inception" and "Clash of the Titans". He is survived by his wife Jacqui and two children; William and Lily.

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