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Peter O'Toole

Peter O'Toole

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Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole (born 2 August 1932) is an Irish
Irish
Irish may refer to:*Irish cuisine* Ireland, an island in north-western Europe, on which are located:** Northern Ireland, a constituent country of the United Kingdom** Republic of Ireland, a sovereign state...

 actor of stage and screen. O'Toole achieved stardom in 1962 playing T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO , known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18...

 in Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia (film)
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company, Horizon Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It is widely...

, and then went on to become a highly-honoured film and stage actor. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, and holds the record for most competitive Academy Award acting nominations without a win. He has won four Golden Globes, a BAFTA, and an Emmy, and was the recipient of an Honorary Academy Award
Academy Honorary Award
The Academy Honorary Award, instituted in 1948 for the 21st Academy Awards , is given by the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to celebrate motion picture achievements that are not covered by existing Academy Awards, although prior winners of...

 in 2003 for his body of work.

Early life


Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole was born in 1932. Some sources give his birthplace as Connemara
Connemara
Connemara is a district in the west of Ireland consisting of a broad peninsula between Killary Harbour and Kilkieran Bay in the west of County Galway.-Overview:...

, County Galway
County Galway
County Galway is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the city of Galway. Galway County Council is the local authority for the county. There are several strongly Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county...

, Ireland
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

, and others as Leeds
Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

, in West Riding of Yorkshire
West Riding of Yorkshire
The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of the three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. From 1889 to 1974 the administrative county, County of York, West Riding , was based closely on the historic boundaries...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, where he grew up. O'Toole himself is not certain of his birthplace or date, noting in his autobiography that, while he accepts 2 August as his birthdate, he has a birth certificate from each country, with the Irish one giving a June 1932 birthdate. O'Toole is the son of Constance Jane (née
Married and maiden names
A married name is the family name adopted by a person upon marriage. When a person assumes the family name of her spouse, the new name replaces the maiden name....

 Ferguson), a Scottish nurse, and Patrick Joseph O'Toole, an Irish metal plater, football player and racecourse bookmaker
Bookmaker
A bookmaker, or bookie, is an organization or a person that takes bets on sporting and other events at agreed upon odds.- Range of events :...

. When O'Toole was one year old, his family began a five-year tour of major racecourse towns in Northern England
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

. He was raised Roman Catholic. O'Toole was evacuated
Evacuations of civilians in Britain during World War II
Evacuation of civilians in Britain during the Second World War was designed to save the population of urban or military areas in the United Kingdom from aerial bombing of cities and military targets such as docks. Civilians, particularly children, were moved to areas thought to be less at risk....

 from Leeds early in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and went to a Catholic school
Catholic school
Catholic schools are maintained parochial schools or education ministries of the Catholic Church. the Church operates the world's largest non-governmental school system...

 for seven or eight years, where he was "implored" to become right-handed. “I used to be scared stiff of the nuns: their whole denial of womanhood – the black dresses and the shaving of the hair – was so horrible, so terrifying,” he later commented. “Of course, that's all been stopped. They're sipping gin and tonic in the Dublin pubs now, and a couple of them flashed their pretty ankles at me just the other day.”

Upon leaving school O'Toole obtained employment as a trainee journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

 and photographer on the Yorkshire Evening Post
Yorkshire Evening Post
The Yorkshire Evening Post is a daily evening publication published by Yorkshire Post Newspapers Ltd in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...

,
until he was called up for national service
National service
National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

 as a signaller
Signaller
In the armed forces, a signaller or signaleer is a specialist soldier or seaman or airman responsible for military communications. Signallers, aka Combat Signallers or signalmen or women, are commonly employed as radio or telephone operators, relaying messages for field commanders at the front line...

 in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. As reported in a radio interview in 2006 on NPR, he was asked by an officer whether he had something he had always wanted to do. His reply was that he had always wanted to try being either a poet or an actor. O'Toole attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art is a drama school located in London, United Kingdom. It is generally regarded as one of the most renowned drama schools in the world, and is one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom, having been founded in 1904.RADA is an affiliate school of the...

 (RADA) from 1952 to 1954 on a scholarship after being rejected by the Abbey Theatre
Abbey Theatre
The Abbey Theatre , also known as the National Theatre of Ireland , is a theatre located in Dublin, Ireland. The Abbey first opened its doors to the public on 27 December 1904. Despite losing its original building to a fire in 1951, it has remained active to the present day...

's drama school
Drama school
A drama school or theatre school is an undergraduate and/or graduate school or department at a college or university; or a free-standing institution ; which specialises in the pre-professional training in drama and theatre arts, such as acting, design and technical theatre, arts administration, and...

 in Dublin by the director Ernest Blythe
Ernest Blythe
Ernest Blythe was an Irish politician.Ernest Blythe was born to a Presbyterian and Unionist family near Lisburn, County Antrim in 1889, the son of a farmer, and was educated locally. At the age of fifteen he started working as a clerk in the Department of Agriculture in Dublin.Blythe joined the...

, because he couldn't speak Irish
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

. At RADA, he was in the same class as Albert Finney
Albert Finney
Albert Finney is an English actor. He achieved prominence in films in the early 1960s, and has maintained a successful career in theatre, film and television....

, Alan Bates
Alan Bates
Sir Alan Arthur Bates CBE was an English actor, who came to prominence in the 1960s, a time of high creativity in British cinema, when he demonstrated his versatility in films ranging from the popular children’s story Whistle Down the Wind to the "kitchen sink" drama A Kind of Loving...

 and Brian Bedford
Brian Bedford
Brian Bedford is an English actor. He has appeared on the stage and in film, and is known for both acting in and directing Shakespeare.-Life and career:...

. O'Toole described this as "the most remarkable class the academy ever had, though we weren't reckoned for much at the time. We were all considered dotty."

Career



O'Toole began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 actor at the Bristol Old Vic
Bristol Old Vic
The Bristol Old Vic is a theatre company based at the Theatre Royal, King Street, in Bristol, England. The theatre complex includes the 1766 Theatre Royal, which claims to be the oldest continually-operating theatre in England, along with a 1970s studio theatre , offices and backstage facilities...

 and with the English Stage Company, before making his television debut in 1954. He first appeared on film in 1959 in a bit part. O'Toole's major break came when he was chosen to play T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO , known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18...

 in David Lean
David Lean
Sir David Lean CBE was an English film director, producer, screenwriter, and editor best remembered for big-screen epics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai , Lawrence of Arabia ,...

's Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia (film)
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company, Horizon Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It is widely...

(1962), after Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

 proved unavailable and Albert Finney
Albert Finney
Albert Finney is an English actor. He achieved prominence in films in the early 1960s, and has maintained a successful career in theatre, film and television....

 turned down the role. His performance was ranked number one in Premiere
Premiere (magazine)
Premiere was an American and New York City-based film magazine published by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., published between the years 1987 and 2007. The original version of the magazine, Première , was started in France in 1976 and is still being published there.-History:The magazine originally...

magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Performances of All Time. The role introduced him to U.S. audiences and earned him the first of his eight nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

.

O'Toole is one of a handful of actors to be Oscar-nominated for playing the same role in two different films; he played King Henry II
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...

 in both 1964's Becket and 1968's The Lion in Winter
The Lion in Winter (1968 film)
The Lion in Winter is a 1968 historical drama made by Avco Embassy Pictures, based on the Broadway play by James Goldman. It was directed by Anthony Harvey and produced by Joseph E...

. O'Toole played Hamlet
Hamlet
The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601...

 under Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

's direction in the premiere production of the Royal National Theatre
Royal National Theatre
The Royal National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom's two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company...

 in 1963. He has also appeared in Seán O'Casey
Seán O'Casey
Seán O'Casey was an Irish dramatist and memoirist. A committed socialist, he was the first Irish playwright of note to write about the Dublin working classes.- Early life:...

's Juno and the Paycock
Juno and the Paycock
Juno and the Paycock is a play by Sean O'Casey, and one of the most highly regarded and oft-performed plays in Ireland. It was first staged at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1924...

at Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, and fulfilled a lifetime ambition when taking to the stage of the Irish capital's Abbey Theatre
Abbey Theatre
The Abbey Theatre , also known as the National Theatre of Ireland , is a theatre located in Dublin, Ireland. The Abbey first opened its doors to the public on 27 December 1904. Despite losing its original building to a fire in 1951, it has remained active to the present day...

 in 1970 to perform in Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett
Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet. He wrote both in English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.Beckett is widely regarded as among the most...

's Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot is an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for someone named Godot to arrive. Godot's absence, as well as numerous other aspects of the play, have led to many different interpretations since the play's...

alongside Donal McCann
Donal McCann
Donal McCann was an Irish stage, film, and television actor best known for his roles in the works of Brian Friel and for his lead role in John Huston's last film, The Dead.-Early life:...

. In 1980, he received wide critical acclaim for playing the director in the behind-the-scenes film The Stunt Man
The Stunt Man
The Stunt Man is a 1980 American film directed by Richard Rush, starring Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, and Barbara Hershey. The movie was adapted by Lawrence B. Marcus and Rush from the novel by Paul Brodeur...

. He received good reviews as John Tanner in Man and Superman
Man and Superman
Man and Superman is a four-act drama, written by George Bernard Shaw in 1903. The series was written in response to calls for Shaw to write a play based on the Don Juan theme. Man and Superman opened at The Royal Court Theatre in London on 23 May 1905, but with the omission of the 3rd Act...

and Henry Higgins in Pygmalion
Pygmalion (play)
Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts is a play by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of...

, and won a Laurence Olivier Award for his performance in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell
Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell
Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell is a play by Keith Waterhouse about real-life journalist Jeffrey Bernard. Bernard was still alive at the time the play was first performed in the West End in 1989.Bernard wrote the "Low Life" column in The Spectator...

(1989). O'Toole was nominated for another Oscar for 1982's My Favorite Year
My Favorite Year
My Favorite Year is a 1982 American comedy film directed by Richard Benjamin which tells the story of a young comedy writer. It stars Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, Joseph Bologna, Lou Jacobi, Bill Macy, Lainie Kazan, Selma Diamond, Cameron Mitchell, and Gloria Stuart. O'Toole was...

, a light romantic comedy about the behind-the-scenes at a 1950s TV variety-comedy show, much like Your Show of Shows
Your Show of Shows
Your Show of Shows is a live 90-minute variety show that appeared weekly in the United States on NBC , from February 25, 1950, until June 5, 1954, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca....

, in which O'Toole plays an ageing swashbuckling
Swashbuckler
Swashbuckler or swasher is a term that emerged in the 16th century and has been used for rough, noisy and boastful swordsmen ever since. A possible explanation for this term is that it derives from a fighting style using a side-sword with a buckler in the off-hand, which was applied with much...

 film star strongly reminiscent (intentionally) of Errol Flynn
Errol Flynn
Errol Leslie Flynn was an Australian-born actor. He was known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films, being a legend and his flamboyant lifestyle.-Early life:...

.

In 1972, he played both Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written...

 and his fictional creation Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha
Man of La Mancha (film)
Man of La Mancha is a 1972 film adaptation of the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion...

, the motion picture adaptation of the 1965 smash hit Broadway musical
Man of La Mancha
Man of La Mancha is a musical with a book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh. It is adapted from Wasserman's non-musical 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote, which was in turn inspired by Miguel de Cervantes's seventeenth century masterpiece Don Quixote...

, opposite Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren, OMRI is an Italian actress.In 1962, Loren won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Two Women, along with 21 awards, becoming the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English-speaking performance...

. Widely criticised for using mostly non-singing actors and shunned by the public at the time, the film has gone on to become more of a success on videocassette
Videotape
A videotape is a recording of images and sounds on to magnetic tape as opposed to film stock or random access digital media. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram...

 and DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

, though there are those who still find fault with it. O'Toole's singing was dubbed by tenor
Tenor
The tenor is a type of male singing voice and is the highest male voice within the modal register. The typical tenor voice lies between C3, the C one octave below middle C, to the A above middle C in choral music, and up to high C in solo work. The low extreme for tenors is roughly B2...

 Simon Gilbert, but the other actors sang their own parts. O'Toole and co-star James Coco
James Coco
James Coco was an American character actor.- Early life and career :Born James Emil Coco in New York City, son of Feliche Coco, a shoemaker and Ida Detestes Coco, James began acting straight out of high school. As an overweight and prematurely balding adult, he found himself relegated to character...

, who played both Cervantes's manservant and Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza is a fictional character in the novel Don Quixote written by Spanish author Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra in 1605. Sancho acts as squire to Don Quixote, and provides comments throughout the novel, known as sanchismos, that are a combination of broad humour, ironic Spanish proverbs,...

, both received Golden Globe nominations for their performances.

O'Toole won an Emmy Award
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

 for his role in the 1999 mini-series Joan of Arc. In 2004, O'Toole played King Priam
Priam
Priam was the king of Troy during the Trojan War and youngest son of Laomedon. Modern scholars derive his name from the Luwian compound Priimuua, which means "exceptionally courageous".- Marriage and issue :...

 in the summer blockbuster Troy
Troy (film)
Troy is a 2004 epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen based on the events of the Trojan War. Its cast includes Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector.It was nominated for the Academy Award for Costume Design.-Plot:...

. In 2005, he appeared on television as the older version of legendary 18th century Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 adventurer Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie , is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century...

 in the BBC drama serial Casanova
Casanova (2005 TV serial)
Casanova is a 2005 British television comedy drama serial, written by television scriptwriter Russell T Davies and directed by Sheree Folkson...

. O'Toole's role was mainly to frame the drama, telling the story of his life to serving maid Edith (Rose Byrne
Rose Byrne
Mary Rose Byrne is an Australian actress.Byrne made her screen debut in 1994 with a small role in the film Dallas Doll...

). The younger Casanova, seen for most of the action, was played by David Tennant
David Tennant
David Tennant is a Scottish actor. In addition to his work in theatre, including a widely praised Hamlet, Tennant is best known for his role as the tenth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, along with the title role in the 2005 TV serial Casanova and as Barty Crouch, Jr...

, who had to wear contact lenses to match his brown eyes to O'Toole's blue.

He was once again nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Maurice in the 2006 film Venus
Venus (film)
Venus is a 2006 British comedy-drama film starring Peter O'Toole, Leslie Phillips, Vanessa Redgrave and Jodie Whittaker. It is directed by Roger Michell and written by Hanif Kureishi....

, directed by Roger Michell
Roger Michell
Roger Michell is an English theatre, television and film director.-Personal life:He was born in Pretoria, South Africa but spent significant parts of his childhood in Beirut, Damascus and Prague as his father was a diplomat. He was educated at Clifton College where he became a member of Brown's...

, his eighth such nomination. Most recently, O'Toole co-starred in the Pixar
Pixar
Pixar Animation Studios, pronounced , is an American computer animation film studio based in Emeryville, California. The studio has earned 26 Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes, and three Grammy Awards, among many other awards and acknowledgments. Its films have made over $6.3 billion worldwide...

 animated film Ratatouille
Ratatouille (film)
Ratatouille is a 2007 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the eighth film produced by Pixar, and was directed by Brad Bird, who took over from Jan Pinkava in 2005...

, an animated film about a rat with dreams of becoming the greatest chef
Chef
A chef is a person who cooks professionally for other people. Although over time the term has come to describe any person who cooks for a living, traditionally it refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation.-Etymology:The word "chef" is borrowed ...

 in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, as Anton Ego, a food critic
Food critic
The terms food critic, food writer, and restaurant critic can all be used to describe a writer who analyzes food or restaurants and then publishes the results of their findings. While these terms are not strictly synonymous they are often used interchangeably, at least in some circumstances...

. O'Toole appeared in the second season of Showtime's hit drama series The Tudors
The Tudors
The Tudors is a Canadian produced historical fiction television series filmed in Ireland, created by Michael Hirst and produced for the American premium cable television channel Showtime...

, portraying Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...

, who excommunicates King Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 from the church; an act that leads to a showdown between the two men in seven of the ten episodes.

Personal life


In a BBC Radio
BBC Radio
BBC Radio is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927. For a history of BBC radio prior to 1927 see British Broadcasting Company...

 interview in January 2007, O'Toole said that he had studied women for a very long time, had given it his best try, but knew "nothing." In 1959, he married Welsh
Welsh people
The Welsh people are an ethnic group and nation associated with Wales and the Welsh language.John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure from Britain, although Brythonic Celtic languages seem to have...

 actress Siân Phillips
Siân Phillips
Jane Elizabeth Ailwên "Siân" Phillips, CBE, is a Welsh actress.-Early life:Phillips was born in Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, Neath Port Talbot, Wales, the daughter of Sally , a teacher, and David Phillips, a steelworker-turned-policeman...

, with whom he had two daughters: award-winning actress Kate
Kate O'Toole (actress)
Kate E. O'Toole is an Irish actress. She is the daughter of actors Peter O'Toole and Siân Phillips and was named after Katharine Hepburn....

 (b. 1960) and Patricia. Peter and Sîan were divorced in 1979. Phillips later revealed in two autobiographies that O'Toole had subjected her to mental cruelty — largely fuelled by drinking — and was subject to bouts of extreme jealousy when she finally left him for a younger lover.

O'Toole and his girlfriend, model Karen Brown, had a son, Lorcan Patrick O'Toole (born 14 March 1983, when O'Toole was fifty years old). Lorcan, now an actor, was a pupil at Harrow School
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

, boarding at West Acre from 1996.

Severe illness almost ended his life in the late 1970s. Owing to his heavy drinking and a digestive defect from birth, he underwent surgery in 1976 to have his pancreas
Pancreas
The pancreas is a gland organ in the digestive and endocrine system of vertebrates. It is both an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin, as well as a digestive organ, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes that assist...

 and a large portion of his stomach removed, which resulted in insulin
Insulin
Insulin is a hormone central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle....

-dependent diabetes. In 1978 he nearly died from a blood disorder. O'Toole eventually recovered and returned to work, although he found it harder to get parts in films, resulting in more work for television and occasional stage roles. However, he did appear in 1987's much-garlanded The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor is a 1987 biopic about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, whose autobiography was the basis for the screenplay written by Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci. Independently produced by Jeremy Thomas, it was directed by Bertolucci and released in 1987 by Columbia Pictures...

. He has resided in Clifden
Clifden
Clifden is a town on the coast of County Galway, Ireland and being Connemara's largest town, it is often referred to as "the Capital of Connemara". It is located on the Owenglen River where it flows into Clifden Bay...

, County Galway
County Galway
County Galway is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the city of Galway. Galway County Council is the local authority for the county. There are several strongly Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 since 1963 and at the height of his career maintained homes in Dublin, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 (at The Ritz
Hôtel Ritz Paris
The Hôtel Ritz is a grand palatial hotel in the heart of Paris, the 1st arrondissement. It overlooks the octagonal border of the Place Vendôme at number 15...

 which was the hotel where he was supposedly staying in the film How to Steal a Million
How to Steal a Million
How to Steal a Million is a 1966 heist comedy film, directed by William Wyler and starring Peter O'Toole, Audrey Hepburn, and Hugh Griffith. It is set and filmed in France, though the characters speak entirely in English...

), but now keeps only his home in London. While studying at RADA in the early 1950s he was active in protesting against British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 involvement in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. Later, in the 1960s, he was an active opponent of the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

.

He is perhaps the only one of his "London" acting contemporaries not to be knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

ed. However, according to London's Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

, he was offered a knighthood or honorary knighthood in 1987, but turned it down for personal and political reasons.

In an interview with National Public Radio in December 2006, O'Toole revealed that he knows all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnet
Sonnet
A sonnet is one of several forms of poetry that originate in Europe, mainly Provence and Italy. A sonnet commonly has 14 lines. The term "sonnet" derives from the Occitan word sonet and the Italian word sonetto, both meaning "little song" or "little sound"...

s. A self-described romantic, O'Toole regards the sonnets as among the finest collection of English poems, reading them daily. In the movie Venus
Venus (film)
Venus is a 2006 British comedy-drama film starring Peter O'Toole, Leslie Phillips, Vanessa Redgrave and Jodie Whittaker. It is directed by Roger Michell and written by Hanif Kureishi....

,
he recites Sonnet 18
Sonnet 18
Sonnet 18, often alternately titled Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?, is one of the best-known of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare...

, "Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day." O'Toole has written two memoirs. Loitering With Intent: The Child chronicles his childhood in the years leading up to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1992. His second, Loitering With Intent: The Apprentice, is about his years spent training with a cadre of friends at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art is a drama school located in London, United Kingdom. It is generally regarded as one of the most renowned drama schools in the world, and is one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom, having been founded in 1904.RADA is an affiliate school of the...

. The books have been praised by critics such as Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

, who wrote: "A cascade of language, a rumbling tumbling riot of words, a pub soliloquy to an invisible but imaginable audience, and the more captivating for it. O'Toole as raconteur is grand company." O'Toole spent parts of 2007 writing his third installment. This book will have (as he described it) "the meat," meaning highlights from his stage and filmmaking career.

O'Toole is a noted fan of rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

, and used to attend Five Nations
Six Nations Championship
The Six Nations Championship is an annual international rugby union competition involving six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales....

 matches with friends and fellow rugby fans Richard Harris
Richard Harris
Richard St John Harris was an Irish actor, singer-songwriter, theatrical producer, film director and writer....

, Kenneth Griffith
Kenneth Griffith
Kenneth Griffith was a Welsh actor and documentary filmmaker.-Early life:He was born Kenneth Reginald Griffiths in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales. Six months after his birth his parents split up and left Tenby, leaving Kenneth with his paternal grandparents, Emily and Ernest, who immediately adopted...

, Peter Finch
Peter Finch
Peter Finch was a British-born Australian actor. He is best remembered for his role as "crazed" television anchorman Howard Beale in the film Network, which earned him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor, his fifth Best Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and a...

 and Richard Burton
Richard Burton
Richard Burton, CBE was a Welsh actor. He was nominated seven times for an Academy Award, six of which were for Best Actor in a Leading Role , and was a recipient of BAFTA, Golden Globe and Tony Awards for Best Actor. Although never trained as an actor, Burton was, at one time, the highest-paid...

. (O'Toole, Harris and Burton have a combined 17 Oscar nominations.) He is also a lifelong player, coach and enthusiast of cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

. O'Toole is licensed to teach and coach cricket to children as young as ten.

O'Toole has been interviewed at least three times by Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose
Charles Peete "Charlie" Rose, Jr. is an American television talk show host and journalist. Since 1991 he has hosted Charlie Rose, an interview show distributed nationally by PBS since 1993...

 on The Charlie Rose Show
Charlie Rose (talk show)
Charlie Rose is an American television interview show, with Charlie Rose as executive producer, executive editor, and host. The show is syndicated...

.
In the 17 January 2007 interview, O'Toole said that Eric Porter
Eric Porter
Eric Richard Porter was an English actor of stage, film and television.-Early life:Porter was born in Shepherd's Bush, London, to Richard John Porter and Phoebe Elizabeth Spall...

 was the actor who had most influenced him. He also said that the difference between actors of yesterday and today is that actors of his generation were trained for "theatre, theatre, theatre." He also believes that the challenge for the actor is "to use his imagination to link to his emotion" and that "good parts make good actors." However, in other venues (including the DVD commentary for Becket
Becket
Becket or The Honor of God is a play written in French by Jean Anouilh. It is a depiction of the conflict between Thomas Becket and King Henry II of England leading to Becket's murder in 1170. It contains many historical inaccuracies, which the author acknowledged.-Background:Anouilh's...

), O'Toole has also credited Donald Wolfit
Donald Wolfit
Sir Donald Wolfit, KBE was a well-known English actor-manager.-Biography:Wolfit, who was "Woolfitt" at birth was born at New Balderton, near Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire and attended the Magnus Grammar School and made his stage début in 1920...

 as being his most important mentor. In an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on 11 January 2007, O'Toole said that the actor he most enjoyed working with was Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

, his close friend, with whom he played Henry II to her Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. As well as being Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, she was queen consort of France and of England...

 in The Lion in Winter
The Lion in Winter
-Synopsis:Set during Christmas 1183 at Henry II of England's château in Chinon, Anjou, Angevin Empire, the play opens with the arrival of Henry's wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, whom he has had imprisoned since 1173...

.


O'Toole remains close friends with his Lawrence of Arabia co-star Omar Sharif
Omar Sharif
Omar Sharif is an Egyptian actor who has starred in Hollywood films including Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and Funny Girl. He has been nominated for an Academy Award and has won two Golden Globe Awards.-Early life:...

 and his RADA classmate Albert Finney
Albert Finney
Albert Finney is an English actor. He achieved prominence in films in the early 1960s, and has maintained a successful career in theatre, film and television....

.

O'Toole is a fan of Sunderland A.F.C.
Sunderland A.F.C.
Sunderland Association Football Club is an English association football club based in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear who currently play in the Premier League...

, as he told Chris Evans on an episode of TFI Friday
TFI Friday
TFI Friday is an entertainment show broadcast on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom from 1996 to 2000. The show produced by Ginger Productions, written by Danny Baker and hosted by Chris Evans, for the first 5 series. The final series was hosted by a number of Guest Presenters. It was broadcast on...

,
dated Friday, October 11, 1996. The allegiance may well have lapsed. Coincidentally, however, the mother of T. E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, was born in Sunderland.

Although he lost faith in organised religion as a teenager, O'Toole has expressed positive sentiments regarding the life of Jesus Christ. In an interview for The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, he said 'No one can take Jesus away from me...there’s no doubt there was a historical figure of tremendous importance, with enormous notions. Such as peace.' Earlier in the interview, he announced 'I am a retired Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

'.

Academy Award nominations


O'Toole has been nominated eight times for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

, making him the most-nominated actor never to win the award.
Year Film Winner Also Nominated
1962 Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia (film)
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel through his British company, Horizon Pictures, with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It is widely...

Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor.One of 20th Century Fox's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play important roles well into the 1980s. His notable performances include that of Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won an...

 – To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird (film)
To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film adaptation of Harper Lee's novel of the same name directed by Robert Mulligan. It stars Mary Badham in the role of Scout and Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch....

Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster was an American film actor noted for his athletic physique and distinctive smile...

 – Birdman of Alcatraz
Birdman of Alcatraz (film)
Birdman of Alcatraz is a 1962 film starring Burt Lancaster and directed by John Frankenheimer. It is a fictionalized version of the life of Robert Stroud, a federal prison inmate known as the "Birdman of Alcatraz" because of his life with birds. In spite of the title, much of the action is set at...


Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. He starred in more than 60 films including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts , Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925June...

 – Days of Wine and Roses
Days of Wine and Roses (film)
Days of Wine and Roses is a film directed by Blake Edwards with a screenplay by JP Miller adapted from his own 1958 Playhouse 90 teleplay of the same name....


Marcello Mastroianni
Marcello Mastroianni
Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni, Knight Grand Cross was an Italian film actor. His honours included British Film Academy Awards, Best Actor awards at the Cannes Film Festival and two Golden Globe Awards.- Personal life :...

 – Divorce, Italian Style
Divorce, Italian Style
Divorce, Italian Style is a 1961 Italian comedy film directed by Pietro Germi. The screenplay was written by Ennio De Concini, Pietro Germi, Alfredo Giannetti, and Agenore Incrocci; based on the novel Un delitto d'onore by Giovanni Arpino...

1964 Becket Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
Sir Reginald Carey “Rex” Harrison was an English actor of stage and screen. Harrison won an Academy Award and two Tony Awards.-Youth and stage career:...

 – My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady (film)
My Fair Lady is a 1964 musical film adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical, of the same name, based on the 1938 film adaptation of the original stage play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. The ballroom scene and the ending were taken from the previous film adaptation , rather than from...

Richard Burton
Richard Burton
Richard Burton, CBE was a Welsh actor. He was nominated seven times for an Academy Award, six of which were for Best Actor in a Leading Role , and was a recipient of BAFTA, Golden Globe and Tony Awards for Best Actor. Although never trained as an actor, Burton was, at one time, the highest-paid...

 – Becket
Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn
Antonio Rodolfo Quinn-Oaxaca , more commonly known as Anthony Quinn, was a Mexican American actor, as well as a painter and writer...

 – Zorba the Greek
Peter Sellers
Peter Sellers
Richard Henry Sellers, CBE , known as Peter Sellers, was a British comedian and actor. Perhaps best known as Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther film series, he is also notable for playing three different characters in Dr...

 – Dr. Strangelove
1968 The Lion in Winter
The Lion in Winter (1968 film)
The Lion in Winter is a 1968 historical drama made by Avco Embassy Pictures, based on the Broadway play by James Goldman. It was directed by Anthony Harvey and produced by Joseph E...

Cliff Robertson
Cliff Robertson
Clifford Parker "Cliff" Robertson III was an American actor with a film and television career that spanned half of a century. Robertson portrayed a young John F. Kennedy in the 1963 film PT 109, and won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the movie Charly...

 – Charly
Charly
Charly is a 1968 American film directed by Ralph Nelson. The drama stars Cliff Robertson , Claire Bloom, Lilia Skala, Leon Janney and Dick Van Patten and tells the story of a mentally retarded bakery worker who is the subject of an experiment to increase human intelligence...

Alan Arkin
Alan Arkin
Alan Wolf Arkin is an American actor, director, musician and singer. He is known for starring in such films as Wait Until Dark, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Catch-22, The In-Laws, Edward Scissorhands, Glengarry Glen Ross, Marley & Me, and...

 – The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (film)
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is a 1968 film adaptation of the Carson McCullers novel of the same name. It was directed by Robert Ellis Miller. It stars Alan Arkin, Sondra Locke, Laurinda Barrett, Stacy Keach, Percy Rodriguez, Chuck McCann and Cicely Tyson...


Alan Bates
Alan Bates
Sir Alan Arthur Bates CBE was an English actor, who came to prominence in the 1960s, a time of high creativity in British cinema, when he demonstrated his versatility in films ranging from the popular children’s story Whistle Down the Wind to the "kitchen sink" drama A Kind of Loving...

 – The Fixer
The Fixer (film)
The Fixer is a 1968 British drama film based on the 1966 semi-biographical novel of the same name, written by Bernard Malamud.-Plot:Like the book, the film's main character Yakov Bok, a Jew living in the Russian Empire, who was unjustly imprisoned based on prejudice and the charge of having...


Ron Moody
Ron Moody
Ron Moody is an English actor.- Personal life :Moody was born in Tottenham, North London, England, the son of Kate and Bernard Moodnick, a studio executive. His father was of Russian Jewish descent and his mother was a Lithuanian Jew. He is a cousin of director Laurence Moody and actress Clare...

 – Oliver!
Oliver! (film)
Oliver! is a 1968 British musical film directed by Carol Reed. The film is based on the stage musical Oliver!, with book, music and lyrics written by Lionel Bart. The screenplay was written by Vernon Harris....

1969 Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969 film)
Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a 1969 American musical film directed by Herbert Ross. The screenplay by Terence Rattigan is based on James Hilton's 1934 novella of the same name, which originally was adapted for the screen in 1939.-Plot:...

John Wayne
John Wayne
Marion Mitchell Morrison , better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height...

 – True Grit
Richard Burton
Richard Burton
Richard Burton, CBE was a Welsh actor. He was nominated seven times for an Academy Award, six of which were for Best Actor in a Leading Role , and was a recipient of BAFTA, Golden Globe and Tony Awards for Best Actor. Although never trained as an actor, Burton was, at one time, the highest-paid...

 – Anne of the Thousand Days
Anne of the Thousand Days
Anne of the Thousand Days is a 1969 costume drama made by Hal Wallis Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Charles Jarrott and produced by Hal B. Wallis. The film tells the story of Anne Boleyn...


Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960. He has been known for his versatile portrayals of antiheroes and vulnerable characters....

 – Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama film based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It was written by Waldo Salt, directed by John Schlesinger, and stars Dustin Hoffman and newcomer Jon Voight in the title role. Notable smaller roles are filled by Sylvia Miles, John...


Jon Voight
Jon Voight
Jonathan Vincent "Jon" Voight is an American actor. He has received an Academy Award, out of four nominations, and three Golden Globe Awards, out of nine nominations. Voight is the father of actress Angelina Jolie....

 – Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama film based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It was written by Waldo Salt, directed by John Schlesinger, and stars Dustin Hoffman and newcomer Jon Voight in the title role. Notable smaller roles are filled by Sylvia Miles, John...

1972 The Ruling Class
The Ruling Class
The Ruling Class is a 1972 British black comedy film. It is an adaptation of Peter Barnes' satirical stage play which tells the story of a paranoid schizophrenic British nobleman who inherits a peerage. The film costars Alastair Sim, William Mervyn, Coral Browne, Harry Andrews, Carolyn Seymour,...

Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

 – The Godfather
The Godfather
The Godfather is a 1972 American epic crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the 1969 novel by Mario Puzo. With a screenplay by Puzo, Coppola and an uncredited Robert Towne, the film stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard...

(declined)
Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Sir Michael Caine, CBE is an English actor. He won Academy Awards for best supporting actor in both Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider House Rules ....

 – Sleuth
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 – Sleuth
Paul Winfield
Paul Winfield
Paul Edward Winfield was an American television, film, and stage actor. He was known for his portrayal of a Louisiana sharecropper who struggles to support his family during the Great Depression in the landmark film Sounder which earned him an Academy Award nomination. Winfield also portrayed Dr....

 – Sounder
Sounder (film)
Sounder is a 1972 film starring Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Kevin Hooks, Carmen Mathews, Taj Mahal, Eric Hooks and Janet MacLachlan. It was adapted by Lonne Elder III and directed by Martin Ritt from the 1970 Newbery Medal-winning novel Sounder by William H...

1980 The Stunt Man
The Stunt Man
The Stunt Man is a 1980 American film directed by Richard Rush, starring Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, and Barbara Hershey. The movie was adapted by Lawrence B. Marcus and Rush from the novel by Paul Brodeur...

Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

 – Raging Bull
Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

 – The Great Santini
The Great Santini
The Great Santini is a 1979 film which tells the story of a Marine officer whose success as a military aviator contrasts with his shortcomings as a husband and father. The film explores the high price of heroism and self-sacrifice...


John Hurt
John Hurt
John Vincent Hurt, CBE is an English actor, known for his leading roles as John Merrick in The Elephant Man, Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Mr. Braddock in The Hit, Stephen Ward in Scandal, Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant and An Englishman in New York...

 – The Elephant Man
The Elephant Man (film)
The Elephant Man is a 1980 American drama film based on the true story of Joseph Merrick , a severely deformed man in 19th century London...


Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. He starred in more than 60 films including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts , Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925June...

 – Tribute
1982 My Favorite Year
My Favorite Year
My Favorite Year is a 1982 American comedy film directed by Richard Benjamin which tells the story of a young comedy writer. It stars Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, Joseph Bologna, Lou Jacobi, Bill Macy, Lainie Kazan, Selma Diamond, Cameron Mitchell, and Gloria Stuart. O'Toole was...

Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley
Sir Ben Kingsley, CBE is a British actor. He has won an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards in his career. He is known for starring as Mohandas Gandhi in the film Gandhi in 1982, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor...

 – Gandhi
Gandhi (film)
Gandhi is a 1982 biographical film based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. The film was directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi. They both...

Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960. He has been known for his versatile portrayals of antiheroes and vulnerable characters....

 – Tootsie
Tootsie
Tootsie is a 1982 American comedy film that tells the story of a talented but volatile actor whose reputation for being difficult forces him to go to extreme lengths to land a job. The movie stars Dustin Hoffman and Jessica Lange, with a supporting cast that includes Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman,...


Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. He starred in more than 60 films including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts , Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925June...

 – Missing
Missing (film)
Missing is a 1982 American drama film directed by Costa Gavras, and starring Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron, John Shea, Charles Cioffi and Janice Rule...


Paul Newman
Paul Newman
Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, professional racing driver and auto racing enthusiast...

 – The Verdict
The Verdict
The Verdict is a 1982 courtroom drama film which tells the story of a down-on-his-luck alcoholic lawyer who pushes a medical malpractice case in order to improve his own situation, but discovers along the way that he is doing the right thing. Since the lawsuit involves a woman in a persistent...

2006 Venus
Venus (film)
Venus is a 2006 British comedy-drama film starring Peter O'Toole, Leslie Phillips, Vanessa Redgrave and Jodie Whittaker. It is directed by Roger Michell and written by Hanif Kureishi....

Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker
Forest Steven Whitaker is an American actor, producer, and director. He has earned a reputation for intensive character study work for films such as Bird and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and for his recurring role as ex-LAPD Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh on the gritty, award-winning television...

 – The Last King of Scotland
The Last King of Scotland (film)
The Last King of Scotland is a 2006 British drama film based on Giles Foden's novel of the same name, adapted by screenwriters Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock, and directed by Kevin Macdonald...

Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer. He has received many awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Aviator , and has been nominated by the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television...

 – Blood Diamond
Blood Diamond (film)
Blood Diamond is a 2006 political thriller film co-produced and directed by Edward Zwick and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou...


Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling
Ryan Thomas Gosling is a Canadian actor and musician. He first came to public attention as a child star on the Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club and went on to appear in other family entertainment programmes including Are You Afraid of the Dark? , Goosebumps , Breaker High and Young Hercules...

 – Half Nelson
Half Nelson (film)
Half Nelson is a 2006 American drama film directed by Ryan Fleck and written by Anna Boden and Fleck; it stars Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps and Anthony Mackie. The film was scored by Juno Award winning Canadian band - Broken Social Scene. Gosling received an Academy Award nomination for lead actor...


Will Smith
Will Smith
Willard Christopher "Will" Smith, Jr. , also known by his stage name The Fresh Prince, is an American actor, producer, and rapper. He has enjoyed success in television, film and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood...

 – The Pursuit of Happyness
The Pursuit of Happyness
Varèse Sarabande released the soundtrack on January 9, 2007, which included sixteen tracks.-Box office:The film debuted first at the North American box office, earning $27 million during its opening weekend and beating out heavily promoted films such as Eragon and Charlotte's Web...



In 2003, the Academy honoured him with an Academy Honorary Award
Academy Honorary Award
The Academy Honorary Award, instituted in 1948 for the 21st Academy Awards , is given by the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to celebrate motion picture achievements that are not covered by existing Academy Awards, although prior winners of...

 for his entire body of work and his lifelong contribution to film. O'Toole initially balked about accepting, and wrote the Academy a letter saying that he was "still in the game" and would like more time to "win the lovely bugger outright." The Academy informed him that they would bestow the award whether he wanted it or not. Further, as he related on The Charlie Rose Show
Charlie Rose (talk show)
Charlie Rose is an American television interview show, with Charlie Rose as executive producer, executive editor, and host. The show is syndicated...

in January 2007, his children admonished him, saying that it was the highest honour one could receive in the filmmaking industry. O'Toole agreed to appear at the ceremony and receive his Honorary Oscar. It was presented to him by Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep is an American actress who has worked in theatre, television and film.Streep made her professional stage debut in 1971's The Playboy of Seville, before her screen debut in the television movie The Deadliest Season in 1977. In that same year, she made her film debut with...

, who has the most Oscar nominations of any actress (16). However, his old friend Kenneth Griffith
Kenneth Griffith
Kenneth Griffith was a Welsh actor and documentary filmmaker.-Early life:He was born Kenneth Reginald Griffiths in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales. Six months after his birth his parents split up and left Tenby, leaving Kenneth with his paternal grandparents, Emily and Ernest, who immediately adopted...

 was bitterly disappointed that he had belittled himself to accept such a "ridiculous award."

1955–1958 Bristol Old Vic

  • King Lear
    King Lear
    King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The title character descends into madness after foolishly disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all. The play is based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological...

    (1956) (Cornwall)
  • The Recruiting Officer
    The Recruiting Officer
    The Recruiting Officer is a 1706 play by the Irish writer George Farquhar, which follows the social and sexual exploits of two officers, the womanising Plume and the cowardly Brazen, in the town of Shrewsbury to recruit soldiers...

    (1956) (Bullock)
  • Major Barbara (1956) (Peter Shirley)
  • Othello
    Othello
    The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565...

    (1956) (Lodovico)
  • Pygmalion
    Pygmalion (play)
    Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts is a play by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of...

    (1957) (Henry Higgins)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
    A Midsummer Night's Dream
    A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that was written by William Shakespeare. It is believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta...

    (1957) (Lysander)
  • Look Back in Anger
    Look Back in Anger
    Look Back in Anger is a John Osborne play—made into films in 1959, 1980, and 1989 -- about a love triangle involving an intelligent but disaffected young man , his upper-middle-class, impassive wife , and her haughty best friend . Cliff, an amiable Welsh lodger, attempts to keep the peace...

    (1957) (Jimmy Porter)
  • Man and Superman
    Man and Superman
    Man and Superman is a four-act drama, written by George Bernard Shaw in 1903. The series was written in response to calls for Shaw to write a play based on the Don Juan theme. Man and Superman opened at The Royal Court Theatre in London on 23 May 1905, but with the omission of the 3rd Act...

    (1958) (Tanner)
  • Hamlet
    Hamlet
    The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601...

    (1958) (Hamlet)
  • Amphitryon '38 (1958) (Jupiter)
  • Waiting for Godot
    Waiting for Godot
    Waiting for Godot is an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for someone named Godot to arrive. Godot's absence, as well as numerous other aspects of the play, have led to many different interpretations since the play's...

    (1957) (Vladimir)

1959 Royal Court Theatre

  • The Long and the Short and the Tall
    The Long and the Short and the Tall (play)
    The Long and the Short and the Tall is a play written by British playwright Willis Hall. Set in World War II, the play premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in January 1959; it was directed by Lindsay Anderson and starred Peter O'Toole and Robert Shaw. It was Anderson's first major...

    (Bamforth)

1960 Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford

  • The Taming of the Shrew
    The Taming of the Shrew
    The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1591.The play begins with a framing device, often referred to as the Induction, in which a mischievous nobleman tricks a drunken tinker named Sly into believing he is actually a nobleman himself...

    (Petruchio)
  • The Merchant of Venice
    The Merchant of Venice
    The Merchant of Venice is a tragic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic...

    (Shylock)
  • Troilus and Cressida
    Troilus and Cressida
    Troilus and Cressida is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1602. It was also described by Frederick S. Boas as one of Shakespeare's problem plays. The play ends on a very bleak note with the death of the noble Trojan Hector and destruction of the love between Troilus...

    (Thersites)

1963–1965

  • Baal
    Baal (play)
    Baal was the first full-length play written by the German modernist playwright Bertolt Brecht. It concerns a wastrel youth who becomes involved in several sexual affairs and at least one murder...

    (Phoenix Theatre, 1963) (Baal)
  • Ride a Cock Horse (Piccadilly Theatre, 1965)

1966 Gaiety Theatre, Dublin

  • Juno and the Paycock
    Juno and the Paycock
    Juno and the Paycock is a play by Sean O'Casey, and one of the most highly regarded and oft-performed plays in Ireland. It was first staged at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1924...

    (Jack Boyle)
  • Man and Superman
    Man and Superman
    Man and Superman is a four-act drama, written by George Bernard Shaw in 1903. The series was written in response to calls for Shaw to write a play based on the Don Juan theme. Man and Superman opened at The Royal Court Theatre in London on 23 May 1905, but with the omission of the 3rd Act...

    (Tanner)

1973–1974 Bristol Old Vic

  • Uncle Vanya
    Uncle Vanya
    Uncle Vanya is a play by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. It was first published in 1897 and received its Moscow première in 1899 in a production by the Moscow Art Theatre, under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavski....

    (Vanya)
  • Plunder
  • The Apple Cart
    The Apple Cart
    The Apple Cart: A Political Extravaganza is a 1928 play by George Bernard Shaw. It is satirical comedy about several political philosophies which are expounded by the characters, often in lengthy monologue...

    (King Magnus)
  • Judgement (monologue)

1978 Toronto, Washington and Chicago

  • Uncle Vanya
    Uncle Vanya
    Uncle Vanya is a play by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. It was first published in 1897 and received its Moscow première in 1899 in a production by the Moscow Art Theatre, under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavski....

    (Vanya)

  • Present Laughter
    Present Laughter
    Present Laughter is a comic play written by Noël Coward in 1939 and first staged in 1942 on tour, alternating with his lower middle-class domestic drama This Happy Breed...

    (Gary Essendine)

  • Caligula (film)
    Caligula (film)
    Caligula is a 1979 American-produced Italian biographical film directed by Tinto Brass, with additional scenes filmed by Giancarlo Lui and Penthouse founder Bob Guccione. The film concerns the rise and fall of Roman Emperor Gaius Caesar Germanicus, better known as Caligula...

    (Tiberius)

1980–1999

  • Macbeth
    Macbeth
    The Tragedy of Macbeth is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607...

    (1980) (Macbeth) (Old Vic Theatre)
  • Man and Superman
    Man and Superman
    Man and Superman is a four-act drama, written by George Bernard Shaw in 1903. The series was written in response to calls for Shaw to write a play based on the Don Juan theme. Man and Superman opened at The Royal Court Theatre in London on 23 May 1905, but with the omission of the 3rd Act...

    (Theatre Royal, Haymarket)
  • Pygmalion
    Pygmalion (play)
    Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts is a play by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of...

    (Professor Higgins) (Shaftesbury Theatre, 1984, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, and Plymouth Theatre
    Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
    The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 236 West 45th Street in midtown-Manhattan named for Gerald Schoenfeld....

    , New York, 1987)
  • The Apple Cart
    The Apple Cart
    The Apple Cart: A Political Extravaganza is a 1928 play by George Bernard Shaw. It is satirical comedy about several political philosophies which are expounded by the characters, often in lengthy monologue...

    (Theatre Royal Haymarket, 1986)
  • Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell
    Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell
    Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell is a play by Keith Waterhouse about real-life journalist Jeffrey Bernard. Bernard was still alive at the time the play was first performed in the West End in 1989.Bernard wrote the "Low Life" column in The Spectator...

    (Apollo Theatre, 1989, Shaftesbury Theatre, 1991 and Old Vic, 1999)
  • Our Song (Apollo Theatre, 1992).

2008
  • The Tudors
    The Tudors
    The Tudors is a Canadian produced historical fiction television series filmed in Ireland, created by Michael Hirst and produced for the American premium cable television channel Showtime...

    (Ireland, 2008)

External links