The 2017 documentary “Filmworker” make clear Vitali’s huge and largely unsung contributions to the work of one among cinema’s best figures.
LOS ANGELES — Leon Vitali, the “Barry Lyndon” actor who turned one among Stanley Kubrick’s closest associates, has died. He was 74.
Vitali died Friday in Los Angeles, his household advised The Related Press Sunday.
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 among cinema’s best figures from “The Shining” by means of “Eyes Broad Shut.” He did every thing from casting and training actors to overseeing restorations. Vitali even as soon as arrange a video monitor in order that Kubrick might control his dying cat.
Matthew Modine, who starred in Kubrick’s “Full Metallic Jacket,” tweeted his condolences Sunday.
“There are folks we meet who’ve a profound influence upon our lives. Leon Vitali was one such particular person in mine,” Modine wrote. “An artist in each facet of his life. A loving father & buddy to so many. A form, beneficiant & forgiving nature. He exemplified & personified grace.”
Filmmaker Lee Unkrich additionally tweeted that he was, “Utterly heartbroken to listen to concerning the passing of Leon Vitali. He helped me (asterisk)enormously(asterisk) with my Shining e book and I’m gutted that he gained’t see it. He was a candy, form, humble, beneficiant man and an important a part of Stanley Kubrick’s crew.”
Earlier than assembly Kubrick, Vitali was a rising actor in England, showing in a number of British tv exhibits together with “Softly, Softly,” “Follyfoot,” “Z Vehicles” and “Infamous Lady.” Then in 1974 he acquired his greatest break but, when he was solid in “Barry Lyndon” as Lord Bullingdon, the stepson of Ryan O’Neal’s title character.
Vitali was so fascinated by Kubrick and his processes that he made an uncommon determination: He gave up on performing and devoted himself fully to the famously demanding director for over twenty years. His subsequent Kubrick credit score was as “private assistant to the director” on “The Shining,” although that’s solely a part of the story — Vitali famously helped solid 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 really, really radical change in my life and that was once I mentioned, ‘I’m extra considering that’ than I used to be within the performing,” Vitali advised the Related Press in 2017. “That’s the largest acutely aware determination I’ve ever made. There have been some sacrifices, however there have been good points 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. He later labored with director Todd Area on his movies “Little Youngsters” and “Within the Bed room.”
Vitali died surrounded by family members together with his three youngsters, Masha, Max and Vera.
“Leon was a particular and beautiful man pushed by his curiosity, who unfold love and heat wherever he went,” his youngsters mentioned in an announcement supplied by Masha Vitali. “He can be remembered with love and be massively missed by the many individuals he touched.”
Earlier than making the documentary, Zierra mentioned that he and plenty of Kubrick-obsessed followers knew Vitali for his performances in “Barry Lyndon” and “Eyes Broad Shut,” through which he performed Purple Cloak, and as a key member of Kubrick’s interior circle. However once they lastly met Vitali to make the movie, they have been struck by “his kindness, humility and the fascinating scope of his story.”
Zierra is engaged on a director’s reduce of “Filmworker” that can embody new footage that he and Vitali wished within the movie, however couldn’t get executed in time for its Cannes debut in 2017.