Legendary Actor Peter O'Toole Announces Retirement from Acting
Veteran actorPeter O'Toole, the 79-year-old star of the classic Lawrence of Arabia, announced his retirement today, stepping down from acting after more than fifty years on stage and film. He was nominated for eight Academy Awards during his career but never won, and he's one of the few actors who earned a nomination playing the same character in different films (King Henry II in both Becket and The Lion in Winter). In 2003, the Academy awarded him an Honorary Oscar that celebrated his life's work, and though O'Toole initially refused, still wanting to legitimately win an Oscar himself, he ultimately accepted it.
Dear All, 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. Ever Peter O’Toole.
O'Toole starred in countless classics from the 60's all the way up through Ratatouille in 2007, and was nominated for Best Actor for his performances in Goodbye, Mr. Chips; The Ruling Class; The Stuntman; and My Favorite Year along with his aforementioned nominations. But the actor will most likely always be best remembered for his work in Lawrence of Arabia, since that's the film that launched him to stardom and took his career to another level entirely. Lawrence occasionally plays around the country in 70mm, and I'd highly recommend experiencing the film on as big a screen as possible if you haven't seen it yet. O'Toole gives a titanic performance, and it's easy to see why he became a star after holding David Lean's three and a half hour epic on his shoulders.
In recent years, he's starred as wise old kings in films like Troy and Stardust, but I can't fault anyone who no longer has a passion for their work making the decision to move on, especially at his age. In addition, his turn in Venus garned a lot of attention as well. Playbill notes that O'Toole will spend his time working on the third volume of his memoirs, and the fact that this guy can fill three full volumes just of memoirs chronicling his experiences in life should be enough to convince anyone of his importance in Hollywood history. We wish him the best and will miss him on the big screen.