The acting world has just lost a historical icon. Legendary Hollywood star Peter O'Toole passed away Saturday in a London hospital at the age of 81. O'Toole is said to have died peacefully, following a long battle with an undisclosed illness.
O'Toole was born in Ireland, but raised in England. He began acting on the stage in the early 1950s, making his television debut in 1954. His big break came in 1962, when acclaimed director David Lean cast O'Toole in the title role of his film 'Lawrence of Arabia.' The epic adventure/drama went on to be both a critical and commercial hit, earning over $70 million on a $15 million budget, and raking in 10 Oscar nominations.
O'Toole himself was nominated for Best Actor, but lost to Gregory Peck's work in the equally well regarded 'To Kill A Mockingbird.' This began a rather bittersweet string of Oscar nods for O'Toole, who was nominated seven more times for Best Actor, only to always leave sans trophy. In 2003, the Academy offered a sort of mea culpa to O'Toole, presenting the actor with an Honorary Academy Award for his history of excellent performances.
While Oscar proved elusive for O'Toole, he still managed to carve out a heavily decorated 50 plus year career for himself, appearing in almost 100 different movies and TV shows. Along the way, O'Toole won four Golden Globes, a BAFTA, and even an Emmy for his work in the 1999 miniseries 'Joan of Arc.' While O'Toole was always better known for his big screen work, he did appear in episodes of shows like 'The Ray Bradbury Theater' and 'The Tudors,' as well as several other TV movies and miniseries.
Peter O'Toole is survived by two daughters and one son. On behalf of TVRage, I extend our condolences to Mr. O'Toole's family, friends, and fans.