Oscar nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite has died in hospital after a long illness.UNIVERSAL PICTURES - British actor Pete Postlethwaite has died following a long battle with cancer.
The 64-year-old passed away on Sunday (January 2) in hospital in Shropshire, England.
The Oscar nominated actor continued to work during his illness, stopping just a few months ago.
A family spokesman said he had been unwell off and on for two years and had been working less than normal during that time.
Last year he starred in the films "Inception", "The Town" and "Clash of the Titans" and will appear in the film "Killing Bono" due for release in April.
Postlethwaite was made an OBE in the 2004 New Year's Honours list.
He received a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his performance as Guiseppe Conlon in the 1993 film "In The Name Of The Father".
Other notable film credits included "Jurassic Park" and "Usual Suspects".
Postlethwaite had been described by director Steven Spielberg as "probably the best actor in the world today". The two worked together on the movies "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" and "Amistad".
Postlethwaite was well known for his political activism, appearing as front man in the climate change film "The Age of Stupid" and arriving at the 2009 London premiere on a bicycle.
Postlethwaite is survived by his wife, Jacqui, son Will and daughter, Lily.