Peter O'Toole announces his retirement from acting
Legendary actor and one-time hellraiser Peter O'Toole, 79, has handed in his resignation. Quitting acting after eight Oscar nominations, the 'Lawrence of Arabia' star leaves behind a legacy of incredible work.
In a statement he said: “It is time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from films and stage. The heart for it has gone out of me: it won't come back."
"My professional acting life, stage and screen, has brought me public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort," he said.
He added: "It has brought me together with fine people, good companions with whom I've shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits.
"However, it's my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one's stay. So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell."
Born Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole, the star was raised in Northern England after being born in Ireland. He was a journalist and radioman in the Navy before taking a stab at acting. His piercing blue eyes, handsome looks, refined speaking voice and charm saw him prosper at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art alongside classmates Albert Finney, Alan Bates and Richard Harris, who - along with Richard Burton - became well known for their boozy antics as well as their acting talent.
O'Toole's big break came in David Lean's 1962 masterpiece 'Lawrence of Arabia' which brought him his first Oscar nomination. The following two decades were incredibly lucrative for the star as he racked up seven Oscar nominations in the Best Actor category: 'Becket' (1964), 'The Lion in Winter' (1968), 'Goodbye Mr Chips' (1969), 'The Ruling Class' (1972), 'The Stunt Man' (1980) and 'My Favourite Year' (1982)
Ill health and dodgy career picks blunted his career for the next two decades but his stand-out supporting part in 'The Last Emperor' was well noticed. He picked up an honorary Oscar in 2003 after initially refusing it, citing that "I am still in the game and might win the bugger outright". He almost did a few years later when nominated again for 'Venus'.
Now with his stage and screen work behind him, the legend is getting to work on the third volume of his memoirs.
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