Leon Vitali, the “Barry Lyndon” actor who grew to become one in all Stanley Kubrick’s closest associates, has died. He was 74.
Vitali died Friday in Los Angeles, his household informed The Related Press Sunday. He handed peacefully surrounded by family members together with his three youngsters, Masha, Max and Vera.
“Leon was a special and lovely man driven by his curiosity, who spread love and warmth wherever he went,” his youngsters stated in an announcement offered by Masha Vitali. “He will be remembered with love and be hugely missed by the many people he touched.”
Although Vitali was typically described as Kubrick’s assistant, Tony Zierra’s 2017 documentary “ Filmworker ” make clear Vitali’s huge and largely unsung contributions to the work of one in all cinema’s biggest figures from “The Shining” by means of “Eyes Wide Shut.” He did every little thing from casting and training actors to overseeing restorations. Vitali even as soon as arrange a video monitor in order that Kubrick might keep watch over his dying cat.
Matthew Modine, who starred in Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” tweeted his condolences Sunday.
“There are people we meet who have a profound impact upon our lives. Leon Vitali was one such person in mine,” Modine wrote. “An artist in every aspect of his life. A loving father & friend to so many. A kind, generous & forgiving nature. He exemplified & personified grace.”
Filmmaker Lee Unkrich additionally tweeted that he was, “Completely heartbroken to hear about the passing of Leon Vitali. He helped me (asterisk)enormously(asterisk) with my Shining book and I’m gutted that he won’t see it. He was a sweet, kind, humble, generous man and a vital part of Stanley Kubrick’s team.”
Earlier than assembly Kubrick, Vitali was a rising actor in England, showing in a number of British tv reveals together with “Softly, Softly,” “Follyfoot,” “Z Cars” and “Notorious Woman.” Then in 1974 he bought his largest break but, when he was forged 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 an uncommon resolution: He gave up on appearing and devoted himself solely to the famously demanding director for over twenty years. His subsequent Kubrick credit score was as “personal assistant to the director” on “The Shining,” although that’s solely a part of the story — Vitali famously helped forged 4-year-old Danny Lloyd to play Danny Torrance and Louise and Lisa Burns because the creepy Grady twins (citing Diane Arbus as inspiration).
“I made one truly, truly radical change in my life and that was when I said, ‘I’m more interested in that’ than I was in the acting,” Vitali informed the Related Press in 2017. “That’s the biggest conscious decision I’ve ever made. There were some sacrifices, but there were gains too.”
After Kubrick’s demise in 1999, Vitali oversaw restorations for a lot of of Kubrick’s movies. He obtained a Cinema Audio Society award for his work. Vitali later labored with director Todd Discipline on his movies “Little Children” and “In the Bedroom.”
Earlier than making the documentary, Zierra stated that he and plenty of Kubrick-obsessed followers knew Vitali for his performances in “Barry Lyndon” and “Eyes Wide Shut,” through which he performed Purple Cloak, and as a key member of Kubrick’s internal circle. However after they lastly met Vitali to make the movie, they had been struck by “his kindness, humility and the fascinating scope of his story.”
Zierra is engaged on a director’s minimize of “Filmworker” that can embody new footage that he and Vitali needed within the movie, however couldn’t get finished in time for its Cannes debut in 2017.