Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins paid tribute to acting great Peter O'toole at a special memorial event over the weekend (17-18May14). The Lawrence of Arabia star passed away in December (13) at the age of 81, and following a funeral service, his ashes were scattered at his birthplace in Connemara, Ireland.
A memorial event was held at London's Old Vic Theatre over the weekend to honour the multi-Oscar nominated actor, and Higgins told guests of his admiration for the star.
He said, "The Peter O'Toole that I knew and loved was a man of immense charm, grace, intelligence and eloquence."
The ashes of acting icon Peter O'toole are set to be scattered in his birthplace of Connemara, Ireland. The Lawrence of Arabia star died on 14 December (13), aged 81, and he was mourned at a funeral in London last weekend (21Dec13).
His body was cremated and now his daughter, Kate, reveals they will be taking his remains back to Connemara to a final resting place, according to Herald.ie.
She says, "We're bringing him home. It's what he would have wanted."
The ashes will be scattered near O'Toole's hilltop retreat, which he purchased in the 1970s and boasts views of the Eyrephort peninsula.
O'Toole was born in Connemara, but his birth was registered in Leeds, England, where his parents moved to when he was a baby.
Leslie Phillips was devastated when he heard Peter O'toole had died as he was due to visit his old friend later that day. The British actor had scheduled a meeting to catch up with his pal after hearing of his recent ill health, but he was too late.
Phillips explains to Britain's Sunday Mirror newspaper, "He was a very private person though and we fell out of contact for a while. That happens with people in this industry. Then recently I read that he had been unwell. I made plans to go and see him, but the day I was supposed to go they told me it was too late because he had died. That came as a great shock to me."
The Lawrence Of Arabia star died on 14 December (13) at the age of 81.
Acting legend Peter O'toole was laid to rest at a funeral in London on Saturday (21Dec13). The Lawrence Of Arabia star passed away on 14 December(13) at the age of 81, and he was mourned at a funeral in the British capital.
The service, attended by his ex-wife, Welsh actress Sian Phillips, took place at Golders Green Crematorium in north London, and was followed by a wake at the late actor's home. Attendees included pop star Sting and Alabama 3.
During the funeral, O'Toole's daughter Kate addressed the congregation and said of her father, "The world has lost a great actor, but I'm not concerned with that. I simply have lost a great dad and the best friend I ever had. Daddy made me laugh more than anyone else I have ever met in my life."
Peter O'Toole, one of the most talented, charismatic, and esteemed actors of any generation, died on Saturday at the age of 81. With his charm and classical training, he starred in a great deal of the most famous and well-regarded films in history, and was nominated for 8 Oscars over the course of his career. Although he holds the record for the most nominations without a win, he was awarded with an Honorary Oscar in 2003, which cemented his role as one of the greatest film actors of all time. Over his 60-year career, he played a great number of iconic roles. Some of them only became cinematic icons after he brought them to live onscreen. Others are the kind of literary, historical, or theatrical icons that are reserved for only the most esteemed of actor, but all of them will forever be remembered as part of O'Toole's long, storied career.
In remembrance of the late, great actor, we've rounded up all Peter O'Toole's most iconic film characters.
T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of ArabiaArguably the most famous and iconic role that O’Toole ever played, the British military commander T.E. Lawrence earned the actor the first of his eight Oscar nominations and made him a household name. With a performance that perfectly captured the complex and divisive nature of his character and still managed to ground the epic scale of the film, it’s no wonder that O’Toole will always be more closely associated with Lawrence's story than even the actual historical figure is. Although he was the first of many more significant and memorable roles to come, Lawrence of Arabia will forever be the iconic Peter O’Toole performance.
Henry II, The Lion in Winter It takes a significant amount of talent and charisma to steal a scene away from Katherine Hepburn, but as Henry II, the aging king who refuses to leave his kingdom to either of his sons, O’Toole turns a major theatrical and historical figure into a cinematic icon. It was actually the second time that O’Toole took on Henry II, having played a younger version of the monarch a few years earlier in Becket, and that experience with the character seems to have served him well in delivering another unforgettable performance.
Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha O’Toole actually played several characters in this musical, including the author himself, Miguel De Cervantes, but it’s his portrayal of the knight-errant who is unable to tell reality from fiction that stands out as the truly iconic role. Don Quixote is one of the most famous literary characters of all time, and O’Toole perfectly blends the tragedy and comedy of his character to wonderfully bring him to life on the big screen, and ensures that his Don Quixote will forever be remembered as just as much of an icon as the character in Cervantes’ story.
Robinson Crusoe, Man FridayAlthough one of his lesser known films, O’Toole puts his own stamp on the famous character of Robinson Crusoe, the English explorer stranded on a deserted island. The film is designed to subvert many of the messages of the original Daniel Defoe novel, which allows O’Toole to switch things up and play a stiff, blunt, overly-proper Englishman, and showcase the range of his talent. It might not be as epic or dramatic as some of his other iconic roles, but in Man Friday, O’Toole is able to interpret another famous literary character in a new unique way while still delivering an incredible, memorable performance.
Sherlock HolmesThere is perhaps no literary hero more iconic than Sherlock Holmes, so it is perfectly fitting that O’Toole took on the role for several animated films in 1983. It’s a testament to O’Toole’s talent that despite only providing his voice for the character, he is still considered to be a vital part of the long, great tradition of esteemed English actors who have undertaken the task of bringing the world’s only consulting detective to life on screen. Fun fact: O’Toole also played Sherlock Holmes’ author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle just over a decade later, in the film FairyTale: A True Story.
Professor Henry Higgins, Pygmalion For a television adaptation of Pygmalion, O’Toole took on another role reserved for the most esteemed of actors when he played Professor Henry Higgins in 1983. Like Sherlock Holmes, his interpretation of the iconic professor will long be considered to be one of the greatest, an opinion which he solidified by reprising the role three years later on Broadway.
Zaltar, Supergirl Yes, O’Toole was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actor for his role in Supergirl, but it says something about O’Toole’s talent and dedication that he still earns award nominations for what is widely considered to be his worst film. Despite this, he managed to make Zaltar an iconic character purely by portraying him onscreen, and also helped prove that just because an actor is both English and held in the highest of esteem, it doesn’t mean that casting him in your superhero film will automatically improve its clout and quality.
Augustus Caesar, Imperium: Augustus O’Toole took on the Roman emperor in 2003 when he played Augustus Caesar in the television movie Imperium: Agustus. The Caesar kin are the kind of iconic historical figures who are always played by the greatest actors of their day. Performers with enough talent and respect to make them almost as famous and iconic as the emperor they are portraying. It’s only fair that O’Toole get his shot at the role, and took on Caesar as an old, aged man, looking back on the glory days of his life.
Anton Ego, RatatouilleSure, Ratatouille might not be on quite the same level as Lawrence of Arabia, but Pixar creates iconic characters in much the same way that giant, sweeping epics do, and when it comes to Pixar villains (or would-be villains), Anton Ego is among the finest. As the snooty, rude, condescending food critic, O’Toole helped to create a character that will make children cower in fear, all the while laughing at his humorous affect. Plus, as one of the few Pixar villains who changes over the course of the film, O’Toole also assisted in creating a character who is just as multi-dimensional as the ones he played in live-action films.
Filmmaker Ron Howard, comedian Neil Patrick Harris and actress Marlee Matlin are among the celebrities who have paid tribute to late actor Peter O'toole. The Lawrence of Arabia star passed away on Saturday (14Dec13) in London, following a long illness.
After the news of his death broke on Sunday (15Dec13), a number of famous faces took to Twitter.com to pay their respects to the iconic star.
Howard writes, "RIP Peter O'Toole. One of his generation's greatest talents", while actor Neil Patrick Harris, who worked with the Irish veteran in 1999 on TV movie Joan of Arc, tweets, "So sad to hear about Peter O'Toole passing away. Lucky to have worked with him for a month in Prague. Wonderful man, remarkable talent."
Actress Marlee Matlin writes, "Sad to read about passing of acting great Peter O'Toole. Eight Oscar nominations highlight what a talent he was. RIP" and Ben Stiller posts, "From Lawrence of Arabia to My Favorite Year… and so many others. One of the movie greats is gone. Respect to Peter O'Toole."
Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Baldwin, Tony Bennett, Simon Pegg and La Toya Jackson have also added tributes on Twitter.
Acting icon Peter O'toole has died at the age of 81. The Lawrence of Arabia star, who overcame stomach cancer in the 1970s, passed away at the Wellington hospital in London on Saturday (14Dec13) following a long illness, according to his agent.
O'Toole began his career in theatre, rising to fame as a Shakespearean actor, and starring in several plays including King Lear, Othello and Hamlet.
He made his TV debut in 1954, but landed his big break in 1962, when he scored the starring role as T.E. Lawrence in movie epic Lawrence of Arabia. He was offered the job after both Marlon Brando and Albert Finney turned down the role.
The film earned O'Toole his first of eight Academy Award nominations throughout his career. He also gained critical acclaim and Oscar nods for Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982) and Venus (2006), although he failed to garner any wins.
Despite his bad luck at the Oscars, O'Toole was honoured with a slew of other accolades including four Golden Globes, a BAFTA and an Emmy.
He was also the recipient of an Honorary Academy Award in 2003, which he initially refused and asked bosses at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to delay the award until he was 80, saying he was "still in the game and might win the bugger outright".
The Irish actor was also known for his work in The Last Emperor (1987), Ratatouille in 2007 and on hit TV series The Tudors in 2008.
He is survived by his two daughters, Pat and Kate O'Toole, from his marriage to actress Sian Phillips, and his son, Lorcan O'Toole, by model Karen Brown.
Veteran actor Peter O'toole has cited his deteriorating health as the reason behind his decision to step away from the spotlight. The 80-year-old movie icon announced his retirement last summer (12), 50 years after he broke into the industry with a star turn in 1962's Lawrence of Arabia, and he admits persistent health battles prompted him to quit acting.
O'Toole was hospitalised while filming a movie in Kazakhstan in 2011, and he admits the incident was the final push he needed to start considering his future.
He tells Britain's GQ magazine, "(Retiring) wasn't a sudden decision. I'd been a bit poorly. I'd caught some vicious viral infection in my lungs and bladder. Perhaps while filming in Kazakhstan, perhaps on the way back. The recovering gave me a lot of time to think...
"I thought of all the things I never wanted to do again. Getting up in the mornings... putting on trousers at 5.30 in the morning... Getting the old vocal equipment up to concert pitch at eight-a-f**king-clock in the morning and keeping at concert pitch until eight at f**king night. And I played leading roles right the way through (my career)... I'm 80. I don't fancy shuffling on as a butler."
There is something particularly unnerving about demon possession. It's the idea of something you can't see or control creeping into your body and taking up residence eventually obliterating all you once were and turning you into nothing more than a sack of meat to be manipulated. Then there's also the shrouded ritual around exorcisms: the Latin chants the flesh-sizzling crucifixes and the burning Holy Water. As it turns out exorcism isn't just the domain of Catholics.
The myths and legends of the Jews aren't nearly as well known but their creepy dybbuk goes toe-to-toe with anything other world religions come up with. There are various interpretations of what a dybbuk is or where it comes from — is it a ghost a demon a soul of a sinner? — but in any case it's looking for a body to hang out in for a while. Especially according to the solemn Hasidic Jews in The Possession an innocent young person and even better a young girl.
The central idea in The Possession is that a fancy-looking wooden box bought at a garage sale was specifically created to house a dybbuk that was tormenting its previous owner. Unfortunately it caught the eye of young Emily (Natasha Calis) a sensitive artistic girl who persuades her freshly divorced dad Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan of Watchmen and Grey's Anatomy) to buy it for her. Never mind the odd carvings on it — that would be Hebrew — or how it's created without seams so it would be difficult to open or why it's an object of fascination for a young girl; Clyde is trying really hard to please his disaffected daughters and do the typical freshly divorced parent dance of trying to please them no matter the cost.
Soon enough the creepy voices calling to Emily from the box convince her to open it up; inside are even creepier personal objects that are just harbingers of what's to come for her her older sister Hannah (Madison Davenport) her mom Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) and even Stephanie's annoying new boyfriend Brett (Grant Show). Clyde and Stephanie squabble over things like pizza for dinner and try to convince each other and themselves that Emily's increasingly odd behavior is that of a troubled adolescent. It's not of course and eventually Clyde enlists the help of the son of a Hasidic rabbi a young man named Tzadok played by the former Hasidic reggae musician Matisyahu to help them perform an exorcism on Emily.
The Possession is not going to join the ranks of The Exorcist in the horror pantheon but it does do a remarkable job of making its characters intelligent and even occasionally droll and it offers up plenty of chills despite a PG-13 rating. Perhaps it's because of that rating that The Possession is so effective; the filmmakers are forced to make the benign scary. Giant moths and flying Torahs take the place of little Reagan violently masturbating with a crucifix in The Exorcist. Gagging and binging on food is also an indicator of Emily's possession — an interesting twist given the anxieties of becoming a woman a girl Emily's age would face. There is something inside her controlling her and she knows it and she is fighting it. The most impressive part of Calis's performance is how she communicates Emily's torment with a few simple tears rolling down her face as the dybbuk's control grows. The camerawork adds to the anxiety; one particularly scary scene uses ordinary glass kitchenware to great effect.
The Possession is a short 92 minutes and it does dawdle in places. It seems as though some of the scenes were juggled around to make the PG-13 cut; the moth infestation scene would have made more sense later in the movie. Some of the problems are solved too quickly or simply and yet it also takes a while for Clyde's character to get with it. Stephanie is a fairly bland character; she makes jewelry and yells at Clyde for not being present in their marriage a lot and then there's a thing with a restraining order that's pretty silly. Emily is occasionally dressed up like your typical horror movie spooky girl with shadowed eyes an over-powdered face and dark clothes; it's much more disturbing when she just looks like an ordinary though ill young girl. The scenes in the heavily Hasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn look oddly fake and while it's hard to think of who else could have played Tzadok an observant Hasidic Jew who is also an outsider willing to take risks the others will not Matisyahu is not a very good actor. Still the filmmakers should be commended for authenticity insofar as Matisyahu has studied and lived as a Hasidic Jew.
It would be cool if Lionsgate and Ghost House Pictures were to release the R-rated version of the movie on DVD. What the filmmakers have done within the confines of a PG-13 rating is creepy enough to make me curious to see the more adult version. The Possession is no horror superstar and its name is all too forgettable in a summer full of long-gestating horror movies quickly pushed out the door. It's entertaining enough and could even find a broader audience on DVD. Jeffrey Dean Morgan can read the Old Testament to me any time.
Actors like Peter O'Toole are a rarity. Although the 79-year-old film and stage performer is best known for his earlier works, most notably the starring role in the cinematic classic Lawrence of Arabia, O'Toole has endured as a virile talent in Hollywood, contributing to great contemporary films as well. Earlier today, it was reported that O'Toole had announced his plans to retire from acting. The world of film has not existed without O'Toole's presence in over fifty years; needless to say, this will leave a hefty gap in the hearts of cinephiles.
Below are just a few of O'Toole's most noteworthy cinematic contributions. What are some of your favorites?
T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
King Henry II in Becket (1964)
Arthur Chipping in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)
Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha 1972)
Tiberius in Caligula (1979)
Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Valley of Fear, and The Baskerville Curse (1983)
Zaltar in Supergirl (1984)
R.J. Johnson in The Last Emperor(1987)
Priam in Troy (2004)
Maurice in Venus (2006)
Anton Ego in Ratatouille (2007)
King in Stardust (2007)
[Image Credits: Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, United Artists, Produzioni Atlas, TriStar Pictures, Warner Bros., Miramax/FilmFour Productions, Pixar]
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