According to The Associated Press , Stanley Kubrick’s right-hand man, Leon Vitali, passed away on Friday in Los Angeles. According to his family, he died away quietly while surrounded by loved ones, including his three children Masha, Max, and Vera. Age-wise, he was 74.
His children described him as a unique and charming man who was driven by his curiosity and who brought love and warmth wherever he went in a statement sent to the AP by Masha Vitali. The many lives he touched will cherish their memories of him and will mourn him dearly.
In the 1970s, Vitali began his acting career in television, making appearances in British shows like The Fenn Street Gang and Notorious Woman. His most notable performance was as Lord Bullingdon alongside Ryan O’Neal in Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon in 1975.
Advertisement The collaboration between Vitalis and Kubrick came to define his life. He essentially stopped performing in front of the camera to work with Kubrick behind the scenes for the remainder of his career. He was listed as the director’s personal assistant in his subsequent film, The Shining, although he was actually involved in many other elements of production, including casting, where he assisted in finding Danny Lloyd to play Danny Torrance and Louise and Lisa Burns to play the sinister Grady twins. To reprise his role as Red Cloak in Stanley Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut, Vitali appeared in front of the camera.
The odd relationship between the two was explored in Tony Zierra’s 2017 documentary Filmworker. He recalled his dedication to the renown for being tough, saying (per IndieWire ), “I’d work 14, 16-hour shifts, seven days a week.” Sometimes, it wasn’t like that. It was simply typical.