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Buddy Duress death: Robert Pattinson’s Good Time co-star dies aged 38

Good Time actor Buddy Duress has died at the age of 38. The star’s brother Christopher Stathis revealed the cause of his passing on Tuesday (27 February).

He was best known for his performances in Good Time alongside Twilight star Robert Pattinson, and for his role as Mike in the Safdie brothers movie Heaven Knows What.

Duress died of “cardiac arrest from a drug cocktail” in November 2023, according to Stathis, who confirmed the news to People on Tuesday.

His death was announced by filmmaker Jay Karales on X/Twitter on 23 February. Karales had directed Duress in the movie Mass State Lottery which is set to be released later this year.

In an emotional tribute, the director said: “This man was an absolute treasure. Without a doubt, Buddy Duress was one of the most entertaining people I’ve ever met and his stories were unrivalled.

“I remember seeing him in Good Time in 2017 and saying, ‘That is what the future of acting needs to be. That guy.’ He brought a certain authenticity and charisma to the screen that you just don’t see anymore.

“It was a dream to get him in Mass State Lottery, and I feel privileged to have been his director and his friend.”

The actor had lived an unconventional life for most movie stars and had been sent to prison at least 10 times on charges ranging from heroin possession to identity theft, according to the New York Post.

Buddy Duress passed away at the age of 38 (Getty Images)
Buddy Duress passed away at the age of 38 (Getty Images)

He was said to be at the notorious Rikers prison when his breakthrough role in Heaven Knows What premiered in 2014 at the New York Film Festival. He had been recruited for the movie while he was on the run rather than attending a drug in-patient programme.

He previously told SSense: “You know, I still look back at it. If I had went to that programme, I wouldn’t have been in Heaven Knows What, and I probably wouldn’t be an actor right now. That’s the honest truth. I wouldn’t.”

When the movie was finished, he was taken back to prison at Rikers Island. Directors Benny and Josh Safdie asked him to write a journal about his time behind bars, which was adapted into Good Time.

Arielle Holmes and Buddy Duress in 'Heaven Knows What' (Rex)
Arielle Holmes and Buddy Duress in 'Heaven Knows What' (Rex)

Fans shared tributes on social media with one saying, “A harsh life on the streets gave his acting a next level authenticity and rawness. A real loss. RIP”.

Others praised him for role in Good Time: “Recently found out Buddy Duress passed away. What an incredible loss. I don’t think anyone has embodied the energy of the Bronx more than he did in Good Time.”

Karales told People: “What happened is a tragic and frustrating loss of visceral talent. He lived like a cowboy and carrying the weight of that kind of life informed his skills and performances in a way that made him irreplaceable as an actor.”