July 10, 2012 at 10:48 am #64862
veteran and 8-time Academy Award nominee Peter O’Toole has just released a
statement announcing his retirement from films and stage. His full statement is
is time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from films and stage. The
heart for it has gone out of me: it won’t come back.
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.
it’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s
I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.
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.
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’.
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!”
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.
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.
sad news. Such a great actor.
I wish him well and feel very grateful for all his wonderful contributions to
the world of art.
July 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm #64864
For me, one of the all-time greatest actors…EVER!!
Should have won for THE LION IN WINTER, lost to that sappy
Cliff robertson performance in that sappy Charlie!!
We all know that Robertson’s rich wife Dina Merrill wined and dined the entire academy.
Peter O’Toole’s LION IN WINTER performance was a towering achievement..
Made much worse in 2006 losing again to a terribly flamboyant
supporting performance by Forest Whitaker in The last King of
Shame on you academy!!!
At least he has his lifetime achievent award..
Thanks for all the pleasure you gave me, Mr. O’Toole!!July 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm #64865
Peter O’Toole Retires: 6 Underrated Performances
Published: July 10, 2012 @ 2:22 pm
By Brent Lang
Peter O’Toole, the icy blue eyed, gloriously idiosyncratic star of “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Stunt Man,” announced he was stepping out of the spotlight Tuesday and retiring from acting.
Since first blazing onto the big-screen in 1962 as the vainglorious T.E. Lawrence in David Lean’s epic, O’Toole has given richly etched performances in a variety of films.
He was a megalomaniac film director in “The Stunt Man,” an aging King Henry II in “The Lion in Winter,” a younger and more rakish King Henry II in “Beckett” and a dying lothario in “Venus,” earning Oscar nominations for all. He would receive eight nominations in all, but amazingly never won the “lovely bugger,” in his words.
To be sure, there were duds, a fact O’Toole alluded to in his statement announcing his retirement — reflecting on “the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits.” Yet, there were unheralded gems too, many of them unlikely to be recounted in the appreciations that are certain to greet Tuesday’s announcement and, yes, his eventual death.
Here’s a look at six of O’Toole greats that deserve to be rediscovered.
O’Toole enjoyed something of a career resurgence thanks to his Oscar-nominated work in “Venus,” but for our money, his last great film performance came as the haughty restaurant critic Anton Ego in this Pixar masterpiece. The way his rave review of the rodent chef plays out over the climax of the film is a testament to the RADA trained actor’s mastery of diction and voice. If only they gave performance awards for animated films, he’d have been a lock.
“JEFFREY BERNARD IS UNWELL” (1989 & 1999)
Technically a filmed version of a stage play, “Jeffrey Bernard” is worth watching thanks to O’Toole’s funny and moving performance as a perpetually soused columnist. One senses that the legendary rabble rouser drew on personal experiences to portray a person who might have gone farther in life an career had he not been always suffering from hangovers.
“FAIRYTALE: A TRUE STORY” (1997)
O’Toole portrays Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the “Sherlock Holmes’ stories, in this children’s film about the Cottingley Fairies, a series of sprites that famously appeared in hoax photographs in the early 20th century.
As the legendary mystery writer, O’Toole conveys a quiet dignity and a yearning to believe in the supernatural. The story itself is mushy, playing fast and loose with some of the historical circumstances and amping up the whimsy, but the acting legend makes it stick.
Tinto Brass’ drama about the notorious Roman emperor drowns in sex and gore, courtesy of additional scenes filmed by Penthouse founder Bob Guccione. But before the whole thing flies off the rails in a barrage of beheadings and gratuitous nudity, O’Toole manages to stand out as the Syphilis-riddled Emperor Tiberius.July 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm #64866
I’m reminded that Helen Mirren is in “Caligula”, as Caesonia.
I will miss Mr O’Toole and his fabulous thespian works. Here’s to his thorough enjoyment of his retirement.July 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm #64867
Wow … I really want this man to receive a competitive Oscar.
Guess that won’t be happening now.July 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm #64868
I was hoping he’d win a competitive Oscar. I would have given him two wins out of his nominations. This is very sad news indeed. He is (imo of course) right up there with Gene Hackman (also in retirement) as the two greatest living actors.July 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm #64869
Well if he doesn’t have the passion or love for acting anymore then i guess it’s for the best.July 14, 2012 at 10:59 pm #64870
I echo all the above sentiments.
I will just add that a late friend who knew Peter well shared that O’Toole had been very ill some years back.
Knowing that, i am just grateful he has survived as long as he has.
Ironically, my friend has passed away while O’Toole is still around.July 15, 2012 at 7:02 am #64871
What a class act and a classy decision. ” Art For Bucks” be damned. Good for you Mr. O’Toole.
He brought integrity to his art and now he’s bringing integrity to his profession. Rather than faking
it on screen by serving up Hamburger Helper, he’s bowing out along with his kryptonite. Truly one
of the best actors of all time and easily earned his place in my personal top 5 actors list. He leaves
his profession without a competitive oscar is true sacrilege. Rex Harrison has an oscar for his overrated,
borefest of a performance in “My Fair Lady” over O’Toole’s brilliant work in “Beckett” – outrageous.
Worse still, his masterclass in acting performance for ” A Lion In Winter ” ( one of the best performances
ever captured on film ) is trumped by Cliff Robertson’s performance in “Charly” ?Madness.
Great. Peter O’Tool is retiring while Nicolas Cage is still on set.
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