RIP Peter O’Toole: A movie career on-demand
James R | On 15, Dec 2013
Peter O’Toole has passed away at the age of 81. Those blue eyes man pierced the screen when he shot to stardom in Lawrence of Arabia – an epic that would cement his position as one of cinema’s greatest actors and set the stage for an even bigger life outside of it.
The hard-living legend was the kind of man who could dazzle you in your seat in front of the cameras and then charm your pants off behind them with his devastating gaze. That irresistible charisma was perfectly showcased opposite Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million – and was still there even in his later years as he played an amorous old flirt infatuated with a teenage girl in Roger Michell’s Venus. His casting as an aged Casanova in a BBC TV comedy drama summed up his reputation with a wry wink, while his role as cynical food critic Anton Ego in Pixar’s Ratatouille reminded the world that he had the voice to go with those powerful eyes.
But he was never one to take himself too seriously. In 1995, he appeared on Letterman by entering the set on the back of a camel while smoking. In 2003, after eight nominations for an Academy Award without ever winning, he was offered an honorary Oscar. He famously wrote to the Academy turning it down, saying he might still “win the bugger outright”.
After relenting, he accepted the award with a humble speech of gratitude, but not after starting with a smile: “Always a bridesmaid never a bride, my foot.”
RIP Peter O’Toole, a titan of the screen whose handsome features, piercing eyes and magnificent sense of humour will never cease to amaze. A legend. A star. And a jolly magnificent bastard.
In tribute to the legendary actor, we round up his films that are currently available to watch on-demand: