Thursday, April 18, 2024

Peter O’Toole, Legendary Star of Lawrence of Arabia, Dead at 81: “He Went Home to Die”


Peter O’Toole, one of the greatest actors of our time, is dead at 81. The legendary star of “Lawrence of Arabia” had retired recently. A friend told me this morning: “He went home to die. He just closed up. He was a very private man.”

O’Toole famously also starred in “Goodbye Mr. Chips,” “The Lion in Winter,” 2008’s “Venus,” “The Ruling Class,” “The Last Emperor,” “The Stunt Man.” and of course, my favorite, “My Favorite Year.” All are must see’s if you don’t know them. He was nominated 8 times for the Academy Award, and won a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2003. He also won an Emmy award and back to back Golden Globes in 1969 and 1970.

In addition to his movie work, O’Toole had an exhaustive theater resume, mostly in the West End, at the Old Vic in Bristol, England, and in Dublin. He never appeared on Broadway. But when he was in New York, O’Toole was a denizen of the legendary Chelsea Hotel.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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