Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
The Empire Podcast #107: Lukas Moodysson, Marc Webb, Avi Arad
Let's go Easter Egg hunting!
Spielberg Plans The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
Yet another potential directing job
First Jersey Boys Trailer
Clint Eastwood's musical adaptation is heating up
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
28 September 2012
Ben Kingsley Could Be Herod
For Mary Mother Of Christ
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Lawrence Of Arabia (2012)
Empire Star Rating
Venus (2007)
Empire Star Rating
Lassie
Empire Star Rating
Mystic India
Empire Star Rating
Troy
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Peter O'Toole Dies
Acting legend was 81

15 December 2013  |  Written by James White  

submit to reddit

Peter O'Toole, Lawrence Of Arabia

Lawrence Of Arabia. Henry II, Tiberius. Anton Ego. No matter how you knew him, Peter O’Toole was a consummate actor and entertainer who brought joy and seemingly effortless craft to generations. So it’s with regret that we must report he died today at the age of 81.

O’Toole’s career spanned both the stage and screens big and small, and he never asked to be famous. Though the legendarily funny man did say this on the subject: “I woke up one morning to find I was famous. I bought a white Rolls-Royce and drove down Sunset Boulevard, wearing dark specs and a white suit, waving like the Queen Mum.” A famous hellraiser in his youthful acting days, he could be found living it up with the likes of Richard Harris, Richard Burton, Michael Caine and Oliver Reed.

Born Peter Seamus O’Toole in County Galway in Connemara, in 1932, he actually grew up in Leeds, though would return to Connemara to live for a long stretch of his later life. After abandoning convent school in his teens, he got a job at the Yorkshire Evening News as a copyboy. Yet acting was his true calling and he joined a local repertory company.

Wartime interrupted his career, and he served in the British Submarine Service, after which he auditioned for, and won a scholarship to, the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art in 1952, attending alongside Harris and Finney. A stint at the Bristol Old Vic followed, and then the Old Vic in London, where he impressed in productions such as Oh My Papa and Hamlet.

TV beckoned before film, but O’Toole gained far wider recognition in 1960 on Disney film Kidnapped and The Savage Innocents. Then The Day They Robbed The Bank Of England brought him to the next level. David Lean chose him to play T.E. Lawrence over Marlon Brando for the role that would define his career, in Lawrence Of Arabia, which was released in 1962 and went on to win seven Oscars. O’Toole was nominated, but it was the first of eight nominations he’d miss out on. When the Academy tried to give him an honorary award in 2002, he turned it down, before accepting the following year. “Always a bridesmaid never a bride,” he said at the ceremony. “My very own Oscar now to be with me till death do us part.”

Other memorable roles included work in The Lion In Winter; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Under Milk Wood; Caligula; The Last Emperor and Bright Young Things, before a whole new range of filmgoers embraced him as cranky critic Anton Ego in Ratatouille. In 2012, he announced his retirement, saying, “It's time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from stage and screen. The heart for it has gone out of me; it won't come back.” That said, he will be seen in Katharine Of Alexandria, though it hasn't yet announced a UK release date.

Our respect and admiration for the man will never leave, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Spoiler Podcast
Featuring Martin Freeman and Jimmy Nesbitt!
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)