Quentin Tarantino has killed off ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ character

The director pays tribute to the character in a special podcast episode

Quentin Tarantino has killed off his fictional character Rick Dalton from Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

The character, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2019 film, was declared dead on May 19 in a tweet from The Video Archives Podcast, hosted by Tarantino and longtime friend Roger Avary.

“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,” the message reads. “Rick passed away peacefully in his home in Hawaii and is survived by his wife Francesca. RIP Rick Dalton 1933-2023.”


The news was followed by a memorial episode released today (May 23) dedicated to Dalton’s life and career, with a second part set to arrive on June 6.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’

“On this episode of the Video Archives Podcast, we invite you to remember Rick Dalton,” the synopsis reads. “In Part 1 of our memorial episode, we discuss his most famous roles, including standout TV performances in Cade’s County and Manhunter.

“We’ll also hear excerpts of a Q&A conducted by Quentin in 1999 between him and Rick. Stay tuned for more of our celebration of Dalton’s life and work, coming in two weeks.”

Since Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Tarantino has released a film novelisation which expanded Dalton’s backstory. A planned upcoming book, titled The Films Of Rick Dalton, is expected to provide further details on the fictional actor’s life and career.


Speaking about whether the book will be released (via Empire), Tarantino said: “I think there’s a limited audience to it but everybody who likes Rick, and cares about Rick, and is interested in the trajectory of Rick and has now become invested in my alternate history of Hollywood… well, this takes the alternative history of Hollywood all the way to the bitter end.”

Last year, Tarantino released his first non-fiction book Cinema Speculation, which explored 1970s cinema through reviews and personal essays.

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