Actor Pete Postlethwaite dies

Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite has died. He was 64.

Journalist and friend Andrew Richardson said Mr Postlethwaite passed away peacefully in hospital in Shropshire yesterday following a lengthy illness.

The actor had continued to work until recent months despite receiving treatment for cancer.

His family has requested that the media respect their privacy.

Mr Postlethwaite, who was made an OBE in the 2004 New Year's Honours List, was described by Hollywood director Steven Spielberg as "the best actor in the world". They worked together on The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Amistad.

In response to the praise, Mr Postlethwaite joked: "I'm sure what Spielberg actually said was, 'the thing about Pete is that he thinks he's the best actor in the world'."