Peter O’Toole, the star made famous by his role in the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, passed away on Saturday following a lengthy illness. He was 81.
Although he is best remembered for his lead role in Lawrence of Arabia, O’Toole went on to be nominated for eight Oscars and was awarded and honorary Oscar in 2003.
O’Toole, who was Irish born, was honored in a statement by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.
He said: “In a long list of leading roles on stage and in film, Peter brought an extraordinary standard to bear as an actor. He had a deep interest in literature and a love of Shakespearean Sonnets in particular. While he was nominated as Best Actor for an Oscar eight times, and received a special Oscar from his peers, for his contribution to film, he was deeply committed to the stage.”
Back in 2007 NPR spoke to Peter O’Toole about how he got into the world of acting in the first place. He said:
“I served with men who’d been blown up in the Atlantic, who’d seen their friends drinking icy bubbles in oil and being machine gunned in the water. And I mentioned that I wasn’t particularly satisfied with what I was doing in civilian life, which was working for a newspaper. And the skipper said to me one night, have you any unanswered calls inside you that you don’t understand or can’t qualify? I said, well, yes, I do. I quite fancy myself either as a poet or an actor. He said, well, if you don’t at least give it a try, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”
Peter O’Toole was a Hollywood legend, a true icon and role model. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, and all those who loved him.