Legendary actor, Peter O’Toole has passed away, he was 81. O’Toole rocketed to fame in David Lean’s epic masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia in 1962.
He was eloquent, dashing and seemed to spring out of nowhere.
Peter O’Toole was “born in Ireland and grew up in Leeds, Yorkshire.” After honing his acting skills in London theater, O’Toole “beat out Marlon Brando and Albert Finney” for the lead role in Lawrence of Arabia.
Michael Higgins, the president of Ireland, said, “Ireland, and the world, has lost one of the giants of film and theatre.”
“In a long list of leading roles on stage and in film, Peter brought an extraordinary standard to bear as an actor,” Higgins said. “He had a deep interest in literature and a love of Shakespearean sonnets in particular. While he was nominated as best actor for an Oscar eight times, and received a special Oscar from his peers for his contribution to film, he was deeply committed to the stage. Those who saw him play leading roles on the screen from Lawrence in 1962, or through the role of Henry II in Becket, and The Lion in Winter, or through the dozens of films, will recognise a lifetime devoted to the artform of the camera.
Higgins, who knew O’Toole as a friend since 1969, said “all of us who knew him in the west will miss his warm humour and generous friendship.
“He was unsurpassed for the grace he brought to every performance on and off the stage,” he said.
O’Toole was nominated 8 times for an Oscar, with his final nomination in 2007, for the British film, “Venus,” about “an elderly London actor facing his own mortality who becomes smitten with an actor friend’s free-spirited young grandniece.”
Four years earlier, with his glory days as a leading man seemingly long over, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced that the 70-year-old actor would be given an honorary Oscar for his “remarkable talents [that] have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters.”
In the course of his 50 year career in film and theater, O’Toole “earned best-actor Oscar nominations for “Becket” (1964), “The Lion in Winter” (1968), “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (1969), “The Ruling Class” (1972), “The Stunt Man” (1980) and “My Favorite Year” (1982).”
The Lion in Winter was my favorite…
The L.A. Times has more here.