Quentin Tarantino bizarrely announces Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's Rick Dalton has died

Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

In a shocking twist, Rick Dalton – the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood character played by Leonardo DiCaprio – has died. Quentin Tarantino announced the sad news via the Video Archives Podcast Twitter account; the director co-hosts the podcast with 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," reads the tweet. "Rick passed away peacefully in his home in Hawaii and is survived by his wife Francesca. RIP Rick Dalton 1933-2023" The tweet was posted on May 19, which we can take as Dalton's official death date.

A follow-up tweet reads: "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."

By our count, Dalton was a respectable 90 years old when he died. Luckily, he leaves behind such an impressive body of work. No word on the fate of his stunt double Cliff Booth, however…

In the real world, Dalton only exists in the movie Once Upon a Time and the novelization penned by Tarantino. Brad Pitt starred opposite DiCaprio as Booth, with Margot Robbie co-starring as Sharon Tate. Margaret Qualley, Dakota Fanning, Austin Butler, Al Pacino, Damian Lewis, and Lorenza Izzo also have roles in the film; Izzo plays Dalton's wife Francesca. 

It remains to be seen exactly what the memorial episode of the Video Archives Podcast will contain, but we can expect an emotional – and fascinating – glimpse at the life of this most venerated of (fictional) actors. 

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Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.