I found with deep regret that Peter O’Toole left us as well. He was sick and bored, so there’s no big fuss. The difference between him and Paul Walker is that Peter O’Toole will live forever in out hearts, and I’m also sure that it’s not just a matter of tastes.
Peter O’Toole was born in 1932. The date of his birth is not known, he claimed at a time that he may have been born in June, so we can consider him a Gemini, more than a Cancer. He became prominent as a Shakespearean actor, before his film debut in 1959. One of the most Academy Awards Nominated actors in movies history, he received in 2002 the Academy Honorary Award for his entire body of work. In his acceptance speech he joked, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, my foot!”
I think he holds the record for the most nominations without a win. He started with his impersonation of T.E. Lawrence, in Lawrence of Arabia (still considered one of the best performances in a motion picture of all times) in 1962. This is what made him real famous, this and his striking good looking, actually. The Oscar for the Best Actor has been won by Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird.
[source of all pictures, from imdb]
He continued the nominations’ list playing King Henry II in Beckett, a movie where his co-star, Richard Burton was nominated as well, for his role as Beckett himself. They were both record-men for most Oscar nominations, until O’Toole played in yet another Oscar role, in 2006, in Venus, a movie I have watched and enjoyed a lot.
It is a matter of luck and marketing after all. At least it is not only the talent, when the Academy nominates the nominees. In 1964, he was beaten by Rex Harrison for his unforgettable role in My Fair Lady. In 1968, he has been nominated again for playing the same character, Henry II, in The Lion in Winter, co-starring Katharine Hepburn and Anthony Hopkins, but was bested by Cliff Robertson. Next year, came Goodbye, Mr. Chips, but John Wayne went home with the statue, for the first version of True Grit, a movie remade in 2010.
1972 seemed closer, but unfortunately, even playing with astonishing (and why not, expected and hoped) wit, an Earl, Jack Arnold Alexander Tancred Gurney, the 14th Earl of Gurney, he had the extraordinary misfortune to intersect with Marlon Brando‘s Don Vito Corleone, who suffered for American Indians Rights at the time, and refused the statuette. Nice point he made, nice and courageous. The statue stayed in Hollywood. In 1980 he received a nomination for his role of Eli Cross in The Stunt Man, but the award went home with Robert De Niro for boxing and beating his wife in Raging Bull.
He was next nominated for a comic role in My Favorite Year in 1982, but Ben Kingsley played Gandhi in that year, so his fellow colleagues Academy members voted for the great historic role and performance, and Ben Kingsley rose phenomenally his stakes and fees after that. After twenty four years, his chance came again with Venus. He was a little bit decrepit already and played such a guy, a retired great actor. Excellent movie, by the way. Idi Amin, in the person of Forest Whitaker has been “stronger”.
You have in the above video, Meryl Streep presenting an Honorary Oscar to Peter O’Toole, whose remarkable talents have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters (75th Academy Awards in 2003). I have searched for something closer to the man Peter O’Toole, a remarkable good interview, but this clip is the best I could find.
He was a great actor. He died after an age, like Nelson Mandela, in a hospital bed, and Paul Walker died young in a car accident, so the media is still concentrated there. After “acting” in seven sequels of the poorest movie ever made, with co-stars of whom the only quality is the good looking given by a gym and some packs of steroids, the tabloid media is still talking about Paul Walker. But after the media will cease to talk, people will forget his name. Without media talking and discussing Peter O’Toole, people know him and will always remember his name, even if they will say just “Lawrence of Arabia”. RIP Lawrence of Arabia!
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