Leon Vitali, Stanley Kubrick collaborator and Barry Lyndon actor, dies aged 74

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Leon Vitali, the Barry Lyndon actor who turned one in every of Stanley Kubrick’s closest associates, has died on the age of 74.

Vitali died on Friday in Los Angeles, his household mentioned on Sunday. He died peacefully surrounded by family members together with his three youngsters, Masha, Max and Vera.

“Leon was a particular and wonderful man pushed by his curiosity, who unfold love and heat wherever he went,” his youngsters mentioned. “He might be remembered with love and be vastly missed by the many individuals he touched.”

Although Vitali was usually described as Kubrick’s assistant, the 2017 documentary Filmworker make clear his huge and largely unsung contributions to the work of one in every of cinema’s best figures, from The Shining via Eyes Large Shut. He did all the things from casting and training actors to overseeing restorations. Vitali even as soon as arrange a video monitor so Kubrick might regulate his dying cat.

Matthew Modine, who starred in Kubrick’s Full Steel Jacket, tweeted his condolences on Sunday.

“There are folks we meet who’ve a profound impression upon our lives. Leon Vitali was one such individual in mine,” Modine wrote. “An artist in each facet of his life. A loving father and pal to so many. A sort, beneficiant and forgiving nature. He exemplified and personified grace.”

The film-maker Lee Unkrich additionally tweeted that he was “fully heartbroken”. “He helped me enormously with my Shining guide and I’m gutted that he gained’t see it. He was a candy, variety, humble, beneficiant man and an important a part of Stanley Kubrick’s group.”

Earlier than assembly Kubrick, Vitali was a rising actor within the UK, showing in a number of British tv reveals together with Softly, Softly, Follyfoot, Z Automobiles and Infamous Girl.

In 1974 he was solid in Barry Lyndon as Lord Bullingdon, the son-in-law of Ryan O’Neal’s title character.

Vitali was so fascinated by Kubrick and his processes that he made the weird resolution to surrender on performing and dedicate himself solely to the famously demanding director for greater than twenty years.

Vitali’s subsequent Kubrick credit score was as “private assistant to the director” on The Shining, although that’s solely a part of the story; he famously helped solid four-year-old Danny Lloyd to play Danny Torrance and Louise and Lisa Burns because the creepy Grady twins (citing Diane Arbus as inspiration).

“Assembly Stanley was a turning level for me,” he informed the Guardian in 2017. “By way of him, I began seeing issues from a unique angle. I talked to Stanley about working with him, and he mentioned, ‘OK, let’s see what occurs.’” That very same 12 months, he described his resolution to surrender performing because the “one actually, actually radical change in my life”.

After Kubrick’s loss of life in 1999 Vitali oversaw restorations of a lot of Kubrick’s movies and acquired a Cinema Audio Society award for his work. He later labored with the director Todd Discipline on his movies Little Youngsters and Within the Bed room.

Earlier than making the documentary Filmworker, its director, Tony Zierra, mentioned he and plenty of Kubrick-obsessed followers knew Vitali for his performances in Barry Lyndon and Eyes Large Shut, through which he performed Purple Cloak, and for being a key member of Kubrick’s interior circle. However when he lastly met Vitali to make the movie, he was struck by “his kindness, humility and the fascinating scope of his story”.

Zierra is engaged on a director’s minimize of Filmworker that may embody new footage that he and Vitali wished within the movie however couldn’t get achieved in time for its Cannes debut in 2017.


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