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Stanley Kubrick’s right-hand man dies at age 74

Legendary actor Leon Vitali, played one of Stanley Kubrick’s closest advisers in movie “Barry Lyndon.” He died on Friday.



The “Barry Lyndon” actor Leon Vitali, who was one of Stanley Kubrick’s closest friends, passed away. He was 74.

According to his relatives, Vitali passed away in Los Angeles on Friday. He went away quietly in the company of his three children, Masha, Max, and Vera.

Despite the fact that Vitali was frequently referred to as Kubrick’s helper, Tony Zierra’s 2017 film “Filmworker” highlighted Vitali’s significant and generally unrecognized contributions to one of the greatest filmmakers, from “The Shining” to “Eyes Wide Shut.” He oversaw restorations in addition to casting and training performers. Even once, Vitali set up a video monitor so Kubrick could watch his dying kitten.

Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” star Matthew Modine expressed his sympathy on Sunday.

We occasionally come across persons who have a significant influence on our life. One such individual in my life was Leon Vitali, according to Modine. “In every element of his life, an artist. a devoted parent and many people’s buddy. a sympathetic, giving, and forgiving temperament. He personified and embodied grace.

In a separate tweet, director Lee Unkrich expressed his “complete heartbreak” at Leon Vitali’s demise. I’m devastated that he won’t read my Shining book because he helped me greatly. He was a crucial member of Stanley Kubrick’s crew and a charming, polite, modest, and giving man.

Prior to meeting Kubrick, Vitali was a rising actor in England who had roles in a number of British television series, including “Notorious Woman,” “Follyfoot,” “Softly, Softly,” and “Follyfoot.” Then, in 1974, he received his biggest break yet when he was chosen to play Lord Bullingdon, the titular character’s son-in-law, in the film “Barry Lyndon.”

As a result of his fascination with Kubrick and his methods, Vitali made the rare choice to give up acting and spend the next two decades to the notoriously exacting filmmaker. On “The Shining,” Vitali’s next Kubrick project, he served as “personal assistant to the director,” but that is only part of the story. Vitali is renowned for having assisted in the casting of young Danny Lloyd as Danny Torrance and Louise and Lisa Burns as the unsettling Grady twins (citing Diane Arbus as inspiration).

In 2017, Vitali told the Associated Press, “I made one truly, truly dramatic transformation in my life and that was when I decided, ‘I’m more interested in that’ than I was in the acting. The largest conscious choice I’ve ever made was that. There were some losses, but there were also some wins.

Vitali directed the restoration of many of Kubrick’s films after his passing in 1999. He was honored by the Cinema Audio Society for his contribution. Later, Vitali collaborated with Todd Field on the motion pictures “Little Children” and “In the Bedroom.”

Prior to producing the documentary, Vitali was well-known to Zierra and many other Kubrick aficionados for his roles in “Barry Lyndon” and “Eyes Wide Shut,” in which he played Red Cloak, as well as for being an important figure in Kubrick’s inner circle. However, they were impressed by “his compassion, modesty, and the intriguing span of his story” when they finally met Vitali to create the movie.

A director’s edit of “Filmworker,” which Zierra is now working on, will include new footage that Vitali and he planned to put in the movie but were unable to complete in time for its Cannes premiere in 2017.