January 03, 2011 at 09:06 PM EST

Image Credit: Everett CollectionCo-stars of actor Pete Postlethwaite, who died yesterday at 64, remember their colleague and friend:

Kevin Spacey, who starred with Postlethwaite in 1995’s The Usual Suspects: “No one was like Pete. I so enjoyed working with him in Usual Suspects. He was a great man of the theatre, as well, and carved a unique life in or himself in film. He probably wasn’t appreciated as much as he should have been, but I suspect that the country will come to regard him as a national treasure. For the rest of the world, he was a guy we could all understand, empathize with, and be frightened by. We will all treasure his performances and remember him with fondness and enormous admiration.”

Daniel Day-Lewis, who played Postlethwaite’s son in 1993’s In the Name of the Father (for which they both earned Oscar nominations), and co-starred with him in 1992’s The Last of the Mohicans: “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, irreverent. He was on our side. He watched out for us. We loved him and followed him like happy children, never a breath away from laughter. He shouldn’t have gone. I wish so much that he hadn’t. There’s a tendency to make lists at this time of the year. When we get to the Best of British, if Pete isn’t at the top of that list, he shouldn’t be far from it.”

Ben Affleck, who co-starred with and directed Postlethwaite in last fall’s The Town: “Pete was a wonderful actor and an extraordinary man. I will miss him as will the countless others whose lives he touched either personally or through his work. This is a great loss of a wonderful man. My prayers go out to his family.”

(Reporting by Jeff Labrecque, Margaret Lyons, Chris Nashawaty)

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