Legendary Actor Peter O’Toole Passes Away at 81
Sad news today, as legendary film and stage actor Peter O’Toole has passed away in London at the age of 81. The Irish actor, who just announced his retirement last year, was known for his work in films like ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ ‘The Lion in Winter,’ ‘Goodbye Mr. Chips,’ and the 2006 film ‘Venus,’ for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.
As first reported by The Guardian and the Daily Mail in the UK, Peter O’Toole was checked into the hospital on Friday for an illness and passed away on Saturday due to complications. His agent has confirmed his passing to these outlets, as well as to CBS News.
O’Toole first achieved major stardom as T.E. Lawrence in ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ and went on to earn eight Oscar nominations for his roles in films including ‘Goodbye Mr. Chips,’ ‘The Lion in Winter,’ and ‘The Ruling Class,’ though he never took home the statue. In 2002, the Academy announced that they would bestow him with an honorary Oscar, and he responded with a letter in which he turned it down, claiming with cheeky certainty that he was “still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright, would the Academy please defer the honour until I am 80.”
O’Toole accepted the award anyway, and went on to be nominated again in 2006 for his performance in the drama ‘Venus’ as a lecherous old man; he lost to Forest Whitaker for his performance in ‘The Last King of Scotland.’ Following his appearance in ‘Venus,’ he lent his vocal talents to Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille’ as the harsh restaurant critic Anton Ego, and portrayed Pope Paul III on the Showtime series ‘The Tudors.’
Just last year, O’Toole announced he was retiring from acting at the age of 80, but recently revealed his participation in an upcoming film titled ‘Katherine of Alexandria,’ in which he would play Cornelius Gallus, an ancient Roman palace orator.
O’Toole leaves behind two daughters, Kate and Patricia, whom he shares with his wife, actress Sian Phillips.