Peter O'Toole

British actor (1932–2013)

Peter Seamus O'Toole (2 August 1932 – 14 December 2013) was a British stage and movie actor. He was known for his stage plays that were mostly based on that of William Shakespeare.[1]

Peter O'Toole
O'Toole as T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Peter Seamus O'Toole

(1932-08-02)2 August 1932
Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died14 December 2013(2013-12-14) (aged 81)
St. John's Wood, London, England
Cause of deathStomach cancer
  • Actor
  • author
Years active1954–2012
(m. 1959; div. 1979)

O'Toole was born on 2 August 1932 in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England

O'Toole's career lasted almost 60 years. He became famous for his role as T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962). He received his first Academy Award nomination for that role. He received seven more Academy Award nominations – for Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982), and Venus (2006). O'Toole holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations by an actor without a win.[2]

O'Toole won four Golden Globes, a BAFTA Award, and an Emmy Award. He also received an honorary Academy Award in 2003.[1]

O'Toole died on 14 December 2013 in London, England from stomach cancer. He was 81 years old.

Early life


O'Toole was born on 2 August 1932 in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. His mother was Constance Jane Eliot (née Ferguson), a Scottish nurse. His father was Patrick Joseph O'Toole, an Irish footballer. O'Toole studied to become an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from 1952 until 1954.


Publicity photo for Lawrence of Arabia
Publicity photo for Present Laughter

O'Toole's career began in 1954 on stage. His movie career began in 1960 in the movie Kidnapped as Robin MacGregor. His became famous when he played T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia. He became one of the most famous actors during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1972 O'Toole played both Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha.

In 1980, he received good reviews for playing the director in the behind-the-scenes movie The Stunt Man.[3][4] He received mixed reviews as John Tanner in Man and Superman and as Henry Higgins in Pygmalion. He won a Laurence Olivier Award for his performance in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (1989).[5]

O'Toole played King Priam in the 2004 movie Troy. His last worldwide movie role was as food critic Anton Ego in the 2007 Disney-Pixar movie Ratatouille. On 10 July 2012 O'Toole released a statement that he would be retiring.[6]



He was offered a knighthood but rejected it in objection to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's policies.

O'Toole was nominated for eight Academy Awards. He holds the record of having the most nominations for an Academy Award without winning.[2] He won four Golden Globes, a BAFTA Award, and an Emmy Award. In 2003 O'Toole received an honorary Academy Award.

Personal life


O'Toole was married to Siân Phillips from 1959 until they divorced in 1979.[1] O'Toole had three children; two daughters with Phillips (Kate and Patricia) and a son by his girlfriend Karen Brown (Lorcan Patrick O'Toole).[1] O'Toole lived in London, England.[1] He was lifelong friends with Irish actor Richard Harris until Harris' death in 2002.[1]

Illness and death


O'Toole recovered from stomach cancer in the 1970s. He also had stomach cancer for the last eighteen months of his life. He died of the disease in the Wellington Hospital in London, aged 81. President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins lead a tribute to O'Toole. Higgins called O'Toole "a friend".



O'Toole's funeral was held on 20 December 2013 at his London home.[7] Rock star Sting and ex-wife Siân attended his funeral.[7][8] His remains were later cremated.[8] O'Toole's remains ware being planned to be taken back to his birthplace of Connemara, Ireland. His daughter Kate said, "We're bringing him home. It's what he would have wanted."[9] At the mean time, O'Toole's ashes are kept in a safe in the Irish presidential mansion.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Peter O'Toole, one of the giants of film and theatre, dies at 81". 15 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Peter O'Toole, wayward genius". 16 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  3. "The Stunt Man". Roger Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  4. "The Stunt Man". New York Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  5. Gibbons, Fiachra (19 February 2000). "National upsets the form book at awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  6. "Peter O'Toole announces retirement from show biz". 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Peter O'Toole's devoted cat Sydney says goodbye to a legend in wake at Lawrence Of Arabia star's home". Daily 21 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Peter O'Toole's ex-wife makes an appearance at his funeral". 22 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  9. "Peter O'Toole's ashes heading home to Ireland". Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  10. "Ashes of Peter O'Toole are kept safe in Áras". Retrieved 21 November 2014.

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