Legendary LAWRENCE OF ARABIA Actor Peter O'Toole Dies at 81

Legendary actor and 8-time Academy Award nominee Peter O'Toole has died yesterday in London at the age of 81, according to The New York Times.

O'Toole's daughter, Kate, confirmed the news earlier today in a statement. She confirmed that her father had been ill "for some time," per the report.

Last year, O'Toole announced that his lustrous stage and screen career would be coming to an end with his retirement.

After service in the Royal Navy, Peter O'Toole studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Acclaimed as the finest 'Hamlet' of his generation, he continued in this vein by playing, at the age of 27, 'Shylock' in 'The Merchant of Venice' at Stratford on Avon, which was equally acclaimed.

After these theatrical successes, he turned to the cinema playing the role of 'T.E. Lawrence' in David Lean's masterpiece 'Lawrence of Arabia' which brought him worldwide fame. Other notable roles include 'Arthur Chipping' in 'Goodbye Mr. Chips', the 'Earl' in 'The Ruling Class', 'Eli' in 'The Stuntman', 'Alan Swann' in 'My Favourite Year'and 'King Henry II' in both 'Becket' and 'The Lion in Winter'. His last Oscar nomination in 2007 was for 'Maurice' in 'Venus'.

Peter O'Toole in the film 'My Favourite Year' as the dissolute movie matinee idol Alan Swann at one point exclaims, "I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!"

In a professional life starting in 1954 Peter O'Toole has shown that he is both an actor and a movie star. He has acted successfully at all the major theatre venues: The Old Vic, Stratford on Avon, the Royal Court, The Abbey Theatre Dublin, the West End of London, Broadway New York, and holds the record for theatre attendance at the Kennedy Centre Washington.

Peter O'Toole has won the BAFTA Award, four Golden Globes, the Emmy and numerous other theatre and cinema awards, including in 2000 The Olivier Award for his performance as 'Jeff' in 'Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell' at The Old Vic Theatre, London. In 2003 he was awarded an Honorary Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Photo by Sara De Boer/Retna Ltd.




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