Quentin Tarantino announced the sad news this weekend on social media. However, the only catch is the actor who he reports to have died doesn’t actually exist.
Rick Dalton, who “died” on Saturday aged 90, was the lead actor character Leonardo DiCaprio played in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
In the 2019 Oscar-nominated role, the star portrayed him as a washed-up former Western TV actor struggling to make it in the New Hollywood of 1969.
Since the film’s release, Tarantino has penned a novelisation of the movie and has confessed to having drawn up the fictional character’s life and career up to today including interactions at film screenings with himself.
Yet now the director has decided to kill off Rick and has plans to pay tribute to him.
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Tarantino tweeted on The Video Archives Podcast Twitter feed: “We are saddened by the news of the passing of actor Rick Dalton, best known for his roles in the hit TV series Bounty Law and The Fireman trilogy. Rick passed away peacefully in his home in Hawaii and is survived by his wife Francesca. RIP Rick Dalton 1933-2023.”
The news comes just in time for DiCaprio to hit the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival with his new movie Killers of the Flower Moon.
Tarantino added: “Because of his passing, the episode for Rollerball has been postponed. Instead, we will come back on Tuesday with a memorial episode designed by Quentin that features some of Rick’s best roles.”
The Video Archives Podcast is an audio show the director hosts with Roger Avary in which they review films that could have been available for rental at the titular store they both used to work at before making it big in Hollywood.
After Video Archives closed in 1995, Tarantino purchased its VHS collection and had the store rebuilt in his home.