Peter O’Toole, the most nominated actor (8) to never win a competitive Oscar in Hollywood history, is retiring from his craft. In 2003, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did honor the star with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He has earned four Golden Globes, a Bafta, and an Emmy award.
In a classy and eloquent open letter to the press on Tuesday, O’Toole wrote:
It 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. My 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. However, it’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay. So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.
The gifted Irish actor starred in a variety of fine cinema, including Lawrence of Arabia, Becket, What’s New Pussycat, How to Steal a Million, Casino Royale, A Lion in Winter, Goodbye Mr. Chips, The Ruling Class, Man of La Mancha, The Stunt Man, My Favorite Year, The Last Emperor, Venus, and most recently, For Greater Glory; an impressive body of work.
Back in Great Britain, Peter O’Toole also appeared many times on stage, with roles before a live audience at the Old Vic; the Royal Court Theatre, the National Theatre, and with the Stratford Royal Shakespeare Company. Two of his closest friends have remained Albert Finney and Omar Sharif.
The footprint of a legendary performer such as Peter O’Toole is likely to remain elusive. We have visited an immense quality of his motion pictures over the past fifty years, reminding us how fortunate the theater-goer has been for his efforts.
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