RIP Peter O'Toole

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Peter O'Toole dies - latimes.com

He received his eighth Oscar nomination for best actor in 2007 for "Venus," a bittersweet British drama about an elderly London actor facing his own mortality who becomes smitten with an actor friend's free-spirited young grandniece.

Four years earlier, with O'Toole's glory days as a leading man seemingly long over, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced that the 70-year-old actor would be given an honorary Oscar for his "remarkable talents [that] have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters."

O'Toole asked the academy to defer the honor, saying he was "still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright."

On stage at the Academy Awards ceremony, however, he expressed his delight in being honored and wryly observed: "Always a bridesmaid never a bride — my foot! I have my very own Oscar now to be with me till death us do part."

Over the years, O'Toole's many film roles included a 19th-century seaman (in "Lord Jim"), a shy schoolmaster (in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips"), a flamboyantly autocratic movie director (in "The Stunt Man"), a faded alcoholic movie swashbuckler (in "My Favorite Year") and England's King Henry II — twice — (in "Becket" and "The Lion in Winter").
But "Lawrence of Arabia," which won seven Academy Awards including best picture, made O'Toole's film career.

His Oscar nomination came as a result of his adept handling of what a critic for Variety called "Lawrence's many moods" — from his "veiled insolence and contempt of high authority" to his "courage, pain, vanity and fanaticism."

And, the critic noted, O'Toole was sure to attract female fans.

Indeed, with blond hair and a tanned face setting off his piercing blue eyes, O'Toole cut a strikingly handsome figure as Lawrence. Or as Noel Coward famously quipped to O'Toole at a premiere party: "If you'd been prettier, it would have been 'Florence of Arabia.' "
So Peter, Tom Laughlin - who will be the third.
 

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