Film legend Peter O’Toole has passed away. He was taken to the Wellington hospital in London on Friday, where his agent says that he died following a long illness. O’Toole’s health had been an issue at other times in his life. He successfully overcame a bout with stomach cancer in the 1970s.
A native of County Galway, Ireland, Peter O’Toole was best known for his role as the titular character in 1962’s “Lawrence of Arabia” and as opposite the legendary Katharine Hepburn in 1968’s “The Lion in Winter”. Moviegoers may also remember him as the voice of Anton Ego in 2007’s “Ratatouille”. He also played Pope III in Showtime’s “The Tudors”. O’Toole’s career spanned far and wide over a period of decades. He was fully acknowledged as a star of both stage and screen.
O’Toole had an announcement made last year that he intended to bring an end to his acting career.
He wrote, “My professional acting life, stage and screen, has brought me public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort. It has brought me together with fine people, good companions with whom I’ve shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits. However, it’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay. So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.”
It sounded as if O’Toole was ready to let go, having given everything to the acting world that he could. There were no regrets and he was simply ready to enjoy his life and non-acting pursuits. He was known as a “Hollywood Hellraiser”, one of what he called a different breed of emerging actors during the 1960s. Age and a knighthood seemed to have deemed the wild-streak, but never the gleam.
O’Toole is survived by his daughters Kate and Patricia and a son, Lorcan Patrick O’Toole.
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