Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite has died after a long fight with cancer.
Journalist and friend Andrew Richardson said Mr Postlethwaite passed away peacefully in hospital in Shropshire on Sunday. He was 64.
Julie Walters led tributes to a man equally at home on a British stage or the set of a Hollywood blockbuster.
Ms Walters, who worked with him at Liverpool's Everyman Theatre in the 1970s, told the Press Association: "He was quite simply the most exciting, exhilarating actor of his generation. He invented 'edgy'. He was an exhilarating person and actor."
Daniel Day-Lewis said: "Pos was the one. As students it was him we went to see on stage time and time again. It was him we wanted to be like; wild and true; lion hearted; unselfconscious and deliciously irreverent.
"He shouldn't have gone. I wish so much he hadn't."
Mr Postlethwaite, who was made an OBE in 2004, was once described by director Steven Spielberg as "probably the best actor in the world today".
In response, Mr Postlethwaite, who worked with him on The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Amistad, 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'."
Mr Postlethwaite's films included Brassed Off, The Usual Suspects, The Shipping News, Inception and Romeo & Juliet.
He received his Oscar nomination for his performance as Guiseppe Conlon in the 1993 film In The Name Of The Father, about the wrongful convictions of the Guildford Four for an IRA bomb attack.
© Press Association