In Memoriam: Peter O’Toole
by Naman Ramachandran
- Lawrence Of Arabia star and Ireland born British acting icon dies at 81
Ireland born British acting icon Peter O’Toole has died after a protracted illness. He was 81. After stints as a journalist and as a Royal Navy signaller, O’Toole attended the prestigious Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art. Post drama school, O’Toole trod the boards and acquired a reputation for being a fine Shakespearean actor, with his Hamlet in particular receiving favourable notices. Television and a few minor film roles inevitably followed.
O’Toole broke through and burst upon the global consciousness with his debut feature as leading man, David Lean’s Lawrence Of Arabia, for which he won his first best actor Oscar nomination. He went on to be nominated seven more times, for Becket, The Lion In Winter, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Ruling Class, The Stunt Man, My Favourite Year and Venus [+see also:
film profile]. His eight nominations in the best actor category without a win is an Oscar record. In 2003, he was awarded an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar, which he eventually accepted after initially demurring.
The Golden Globes were kinder to O’Toole and he won most promising newcomer for Lawrence Of Arabia and best actor for Becket, The Lion In Winter and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. He won the best British actor BAFTA for Lawrence Of Arabia.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said, “My thoughts are with Peter O'Toole's family and friends. His performance in my favourite film, Lawrence Of Arabia, was stunning.”
Irish President Michael D Higgins said, “Ireland, and the world, has lost one of the giants of film and theatre.”
O’Toole’s last film role is in the yet to be released Katherine Of Alexandra, directed by Michael Redwood.
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