Sunday, December 15, 2013

Peter O'Toole, 1932-2013

Peter O'Toole as Lawrence of Arabia, which netted O'Toole his first Best Actor nomination

Another great actor has died: Peter O'Toole died December 14 after a long illness, aged 81. O'Toole was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar eight times without ever having won, which is a record. He did eventually receive an honorary Oscar for the body of his work 10 years ago, although at first he wanted to refuse it since he felt he still had something left to give to the acting profession. It turned out he was right, as at the time he had only been nominated seven times, with the eight nomination for Venus still to come.

I haven't done much in the way of recommending Peter O'Toole's work, perhaps in part because I've never been much of a fan of Lawrence of Arabia. I did briefly mention Becket, in which O'Toole plays English King Henry II, before.

When it comes to that period of English history, there's also The Lion in Winter, in which O'Toole once again plays Henry II, this time with Katharine Hepburn playing Eleanor of Aquitaine in a drama about a very dysfunctional family. In looking for the photo above, I found something that I had rather forgotten about:

Peter O'Toole starred opposite Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million, which deals with O'Toole helping Hepburn to steal a statue from a Paris museum, because the statue is actually a forgery done by her father (Hugh Griffith).

I presume TCM is going to be doing a programming tribute to O'Toole at some point, but I have no idea when it's going to be: there's all the Christmas movies coming up, as well as Fred Astaire's Wednesdays as Star of the Month, and the Friday night Hollywood costume design movies. Besides, they have to have time to do at least some minimual publicity for their programming changes.

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