Leon Vitali: A Stanley Kubrick Collaborator and Barry Lyndon Actor Have Passed Away!
Leon Vitali, the actor who played Barry Lyndon and later became one of Stanley Kubrick’s closest associates, died at 74.
Vitali died on Friday in Los Angeles, according to his family, on Sunday. He died peacefully, surrounded by his family, which included his three children, Masha, Max, and Vera.
“Leon was a special and lovely man who spread love and warmth wherever he went,” his children said. “He will be remembered fondly and missed by the many people he touched.”
Though Vitali was frequently referred to as Kubrick’s assistant, the 2017 documentary Filmworker shed light on his enormous and largely unsung contributions to one of cinema’s most significant figures’ work, from The Shining to Eyes Wide Shut.
From casting and coaching actors to overseeing restorations, he did it all. Vitali even installed a video monitor so Kubrick could monitor his dying cat. On Sunday, Matthew Modine, who starred in Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, tweeted his condolences.
We occasionally encounter people who have a significant impact on our lives. According to Modine, one such person in my life was Leon Vitali. “An artist in every aspect of his life, a devoted father, and many people’s friend.” a sympathetic, giving, and forgiving personality He was the epitome of grace.
Lee Unkrich, the director, expressed his “complete heartbreak” in a separate tweet. “I’m devastated that he won’t read my Shining book because he has been so helpful to me.” He was an important member of Stanley Kubrick’s team as well as a sweet, kind, modest, and generous man.
Prior to meeting Kubrick, Vitali was a rising British actor who appeared in a number of British television series, including Notorious Woman, Follyfoot, Z Cars, and Softly, Softly. In 1974, he was cast as Lord Bullingdon, Ryan O’Neal’s character’s son-in-law, in Barry Lyndon.
Because he was so fascinated by Kubrick and his methods, Vitali made the unusual decision to give up acting and devote himself solely to the renownedly demanding director for more than two decades.
More to Read:
- Judds Requests the Court to Seal the Death Inquiry Report!
- Star Trek Picard Season 3 Release Date: Who Will Be Returning?
Vitali’s next Kubrick project as “personal assistant to the director” was The Shining, but that’s only half the story; he also famously assisted in casting Danny Lloyd, then four, as Danny Torrance and Louise and Lisa Burns as the unsettling Grady twins (citing Diane Arbus as inspiration).
He described his meeting with Stanley as “a watershed moment for me.” Through him, I began to see things differently. “OK, let’s see what happens,” Stanley said when I mentioned working with him.
In the same year, he described his decision to stop acting as the “one truly, truly radical change in my life.” After Kubrick died in 1999, Vitali oversaw the restoration of many of his films and was honoured by the Cinema Audio Society for his efforts.
He later worked with Todd Field on the films Little Children and In the Bedroom. Tony Zierra, the film’s director, claimed that he and many Kubrick fans were aware of Vitali for his roles in Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut.
In which he played Red Cloak, as well as being a significant figure in Kubrick’s inner circle, prior to producing the documentary Filmworker. When he finally met Vitali to make the film, he was impressed by “his kindness, humility, and the fascinating scope of his story.”
The director’s cut of Filmworker, which Zierra is currently working on, will include new footage that Vitali and he wanted to include in the film but were unable to complete in time for its Cannes premiere in 2017.