Peter O’Toole, Film Legend, Dies At Age 81By: Tobias Roth - December 15, 2013
Hollywood lost a true legend. Peter O’Toole, who was highly regarded in Hollywood, and the star of many films, will always be remembered for his iconic role in Lawrence of Arabia.
The classic film, released in 1962, launched his career, and gave him international fame, while the film itself is regarded as one of the best films of all time.
As a star that rose to fame in the 60’s, Peter O’Toole was one of the most beloved actors of his generation. He died in a London hospital on Saturday at the age of 81.
He began his career in the British theater with a critically acclaimed role in a 1955 version of Hamlet. Shortly after, he was seen as T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence Of Arabia, in a film that told the story of a mythic British World War I soldier, and scholar who led an Arab rebellion against the Turks. He also had a major role in The Lion In Winter in 1968.
In a statement made by Peter O’Toole’s daughter Kate, she expressed her gratitude for all of the support, and said “The family was overwhelmed by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time. … In due course there will be a memorial filled with song and good cheer, as he would have wished.”
Before becoming a legendary icon on both the stage and screen, he was born in Ireland in 1933 as Peter Seamus O’Toole. Throughout his long career, he was nominated for 8 Oscars, and received an honorary Oscar in 2003, after he had been snubbed from the awards show throughout his career somehow.
He was most recently recognized for his work in the 2006 film Venus, when he received a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination for his work on the film. He lost that year to Forest Whitaker for his performance in The Last King Of Scotland. Younger audiences may also remember him from Stardust and Ratatouille, which were both released in 2007. With his nomination in 2007, he set the record for most Academy Award nominations without a win.
At the age of 79, he officially retired from acting in 2012, admitting the heart for it has gone, and will not be coming back.
O’Toole wrote his memoirs, which became two volumes of a planned trilogy, and he said that he would continue on the third volume during his retirement.
His career and personal health both went significantly downhill in the 1970s. His father died, and his marriage to the revered Welsh actress Sian Philips ended, in addition to having surgery for a long-term stomach ailment.
Peter O’Toole is survived by his two daughters with Phillips, actress Kate O’Toole and Patricia O’Toole, as well as a son with model Karen Brown, actor Lorcan Patrick O’Toole.
Image via Youtube