Peter O'Toole

Actor, Author, Copy boy
One of cinema's greatest leading men, actor Peter O'Toole first came to international superstardom at age 30 for his role as British expatriate T. E. Lawrence in David Lean's epic masterpiece, "Lawrence of Arabia" ... Read more »
Born: 08/01/1932 in Connemara, Galway, IE

Filmography

Actor (88)

Eldorado 2014 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Katherine Of Alexandria 2014 (Movie)

Gallus (Actor)

Love and Virtue 2013 (Movie)

Atlantes (Actor)

Romeo and Me 2013 (Movie)

(Actor)

For Greater Glory 2012 (Movie)

Father Christopher (Actor)

The Tudors 2008 - 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Dean Spanley 2008 (Movie)

Fisk Sr (Actor)

Ratatouille 2007 (Movie)

Voice of Anton Ego (Actor)

Stardust 2007 (Movie)

King (Actor)

Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage 2007 (Movie)

Glen Wessler (Actor)

Lassie 2006 (Movie)

the Duke (Actor)

One Night with the King 2006 (Movie)

Samuel (Actor)

Venus 2006 (Movie)

Maurice (Actor)

Casanova 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Bright Young Things 2004 (Movie)

Colonel Blount (Actor)

Troy 2004 (Movie)

King Priam of Troy (Actor)

AFI's 100 Years..100 Heroes and Villains 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The Education of Max Bickford 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Rock My World 2001 (Movie)

Lord Foxley (Actor)

Phantoms 1998 (Movie)

Timothy Flyte (Actor)

The Manor 1998 (Movie)

Mr Ravenscroft (Actor)

Fairytale - A True Story 1997 (Movie)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Actor)

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien 1997 (Movie)

William Williamson (Actor)

Heavy Weather 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Peter O'Toole 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Ray Bradbury Theater 1987 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Seventh Coin 1993 (Movie)

Emil Saber (Actor)

Champlin on Film 1989 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Rebecca's Daughters 1992 (Movie)

Lord Sarn (Actor)

Isabelle Eberhardt 1991 (Movie)

Major Lyautey (Actor)

King Ralph 1991 (Movie)

Willingham (Actor)

The Nutcracker Prince 1990 (Movie)

of Pantaloon (Voice)

The Rainbow Thief 1990 (Movie)

Prince Meleagre (Actor)

Wings of Fame 1990 (Movie)

Cesar Valentin (Actor)

Crystal or Ash, Fire or Wind, As Long As It's Love 1989 (Movie)

Professor McShoul (Actor)

High Spirits 1988 (Movie)

Peter Plunkett (Actor)

Last Emperor 1987 (Movie)

Reginald "RJ" Johnson (Actor)

Banshee 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Club Paradise 1986 (Movie)

Governor Anthony C Hayes (Actor)

Creator 1985 (Movie)

Dr Harry Wolper (Actor)

Kim 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Supergirl 1984 (Movie)

Zaltar (Actor)

Buried Alive 1983 (Movie)

(Actor)

Pygmalion 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

My Favorite Year 1982 (Movie)

Alan Swann (Actor)

The Stunt Man 1979 (Movie)

Eli Cross (Actor)

Zulu Dawn 1979 (Movie)

Lord Chelmsford (Actor)

Caligula 1978 (Movie)

Tiberius (Actor)

Power Play 1978 (Movie)

Colonel Zeller (Actor)

Man Friday 1975 (Movie)

Crusoe (Actor)

Foxtrot 1974 (Movie)

Liviu (Actor)

Rosebud 1974 (Movie)

Larry Martin (Actor)

Man of La Mancha 1972 (Movie)

Cervantes (Actor)

The Ruling Class 1972 (Movie)

Jack Gurney--14th Earl of Gurney (Actor)

Murphy's War 1971 (Movie)

Murphy (Actor)

Under Milk Wood 1971 (Movie)

Captain Cat (Actor)

Country Dance 1969 (Movie)

Sir Charles Ferguson (Actor)

Goodbye, Mr. Chips 1969 (Movie)

Arthur Chipping (Actor)

Great Catherine 1968 (Movie)

Captain Edstaston (Actor)

The Lion in Winter 1968 (Movie)

King Henry II (Actor)

The Night of the Generals 1967 (Movie)

General tanz (Actor)

How to Steal a Million 1966 (Movie)

Simon Dermott (Actor)

Lord Jim 1965 (Movie)

Lord Jim (Actor)

The Bible 1965 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Sandpiper 1965 (Movie)

(Voice)

What's New, Pussycat? 1965 (Movie)

Michael James (Actor)

Becket 1964 (Movie)

King Henry II (Actor)

Lawrence of Arabia 1962 (Movie)

T E Lawrence (Actor)

The Savage Innocents 1961 (Movie)

1st Trooper (Actor)

Kidnapped 1960 (Movie)

Robin Oig MacGregor (Actor)

The Day They Robbed the Bank of England 1959 (Movie)

Fitch (Actor)

Crossing to Freedom (TV Show)

Actor

Gulliver's Travels (TV Show)

Actor

Hitler: The Rise of Evil (TV Show)

Actor

Joan of Arc (TV Show)

Actor

Masada (TV Show)

Actor

Svengali (TV Show)

Actor

The Dark Angel (TV Show)

Actor

The Final Curtain (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

One of cinema's greatest leading men, actor Peter O'Toole first came to international superstardom at age 30 for his role as British expatriate T. E. Lawrence in David Lean's epic masterpiece, "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), an unforgettable turn that kicked off a film career that spanned five decades and garnered eight Academy Award nominations for Best Actor. He was nothing short of masterful all throughout, delivering career-defining performances in "Becket" (1964), "Lord Jim" (1965) and "The Lion in Winter" (1968). Behind the scenes, of course, O'Toole cultivated a well-deserved reputation as a hard-drinking, two-fisted hell-raiser alongside his equally rough-and-tumble compatriots Richard Harris, Oliver Reed and Richard Burton. Despite the broken bones, trashed hotel rooms and splitting headaches, O'Toole delivered one quality turn after another in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1969) and "The Ruling Class" (1972), though he had a brush with infamy for his participation in the notorious "Caligula" (1979). Following more acclaim for "The Stunt Man" (1980) and "My Favorite Year" (1982), O'Toole receded into the background for supporting roles in "The Last Emperor" (1987), "King Ralph" (1991), and "Joan of Arc" (CBS, 1999). He went on to play Greek king Priam in "Troy" (2005) before earning his eighth and final Oscar nomination for his leading role in "Venus" (2006). Though he worked regularly, most notably as Pope Paul III on "The Tudors" (Showtime, 2007-2010), the actor lost his vigor to continue performing and announced his retirement in July 2012. Upon his death in December 2013, O'Toole left behind a legacy of extraordinary renown that few of any generation could hope to match.

Relationships

Karen Brown

Companion
Lived together c. 1982-88

Kate O'Toole Actor

Daughter
Born 1961; mother, Siân Phillips; carried on stage by Dame Peggy Ashcroft at the age of three months; acted in John Huston's "The Dead" (1987)

Lorcan O'Toole Actor

Son
Born March 17, 1983; mother, Karen Brown

Patrick O'Toole

Father
Irish Catholic; referred to as 'Spats' or 'The Captain' Died in the 1970s

Constance O'Toole

Mother
From aristocratic Irish Protestant family Died in the 1970s

Patricia O'Toole

Daughter
Born 1963; mother, Siân Phillips

Sian Phillips Actor

Wife
Met while touring in "The Holiday" in 1958 Married December 1959 in Dublin, Ireland Divorced 1979; she went on to marry actor Robin Sachs, 16 years her junior

Trudie Styler Actor

Companion
Appeared together on stage in 1978 in "Macbeth" Had romantic involvement; ironically Frances Tomelty (then married to Sting) co-starred and befriended Styler

EDUCATION

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England 1952 - 1954
attended on scholarship; in the same class as Albert Finney, Richard Harris and Alan Bates

quit school at age 14

St Anne's Catholic School

Leeds

Milestones

2012

Featured alongside Andy Garcia in the war drama "For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada"

2012

Announced retirement from acting

2008

Joined seconds season of the Showtime series "The Tudors" as Pope Paul III

2008

Co-starred in family drama "Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage"

2006

Portrayed a veteran English actor in director Roger Michell's "Venus"; received Golden Globe, SAG and Oscar nominations for Best Actor

2005

Appeared in a rare television role as the older version of legendary 18th century Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova in the BBC drama serial "Casanova"

2004

Co-starred with Stephen Rea and Janet McTeer in the romantic drama "Romeo and Me," a love story set during World War II

2004

Cast as Greek king Priam in director Wolfgang Petersen's epic "Troy"

2003

Cast in director Steven Fry's ensemble drama "Bright Young Things"

2003

Awarded Honorary Oscar for his film work; requested that the Academy defer the award until his 80th birthday because he did not want to be perceived as out of the acting game; Academy proceeded with award, O'Toole agreed to collect

2003

Co-starred in the television miniseries "Hitler: The Rise of Evil" (CBS); received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

2002

Guest starred opposite Richard Dreyfuss on the latter's short-lived TV series "The Education of Max Bickford" (CBS)

2002

Appeared with Joan Plowright and Alicia Silverstone in the straight-to-video "Rock My World"

2002

Landed leading role as an unscrupulous TV game show host in "The Final Curtain"

1999

Returned to the London stage in revival of "Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell"; production prompted by the 1998 death of Bernard (a sometime columnist and drunken Soho veteran and friend; filmed for British TV

1999

Portrayed Bishop Cauchon in the CBS miniseries "Joan of Arc"; received Emmy Award

1998

Starred as Timothy Flyte in the film adaptation of Dean Koontz's "Phantoms"

1997

Played Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in "Fairytale: A True Story"

1996

Reunited with former RADA chums Richard Briers, Ronald Fraser, and Bryan Pringle in the P G Wodehouse story "Heavy Weathers" in "Masterpiece Theatre" (PBS)

1996

Acted the part of the Emperor of Lilliput in the NBC miniseries "Gulliver's Travels"

1995

Mounted a camel for the first time in 34 years and rode onstage when David Letterman hosted "The Late Show" (CBS) from London

1993

Wrote first part ("The Child") of his three-part autobiography Loitering With Intent

1990

Again acted with Omar Sharif in fantasy drama "The Rainbow Thief"

1989

Underlined his reputation as one of the last great British stage actors with his performance in Keith Waterhouse's "Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell"

1987

Starred on Broadway as Professor Higgins in "Pygmalion"

1987

Portrayed Reginald Johnston, tutor to the young Pu Yi in Bernardo Bertolucci's award-winning "The Last Emperor"

1983

First time as Henry Higgins in Showtime presentation of "Pygmalion"

1982

Picked up seventh Best Actor Oscar nomination as alcoholic film star Alan Swann in "My Favorite Year"

1981

Made American TV debut as the Roman general leading the siege at "Masada"; earned an Emmy nomination for his work in the ABC miniseries

1980

Delivered a mesmerizing performance as the Christ-like director Eli Cross in "The Stunt Man," filmed in 1978 but put on shelf so as not to conflict with that year's "Hooper," starring Burt Reynolds as a stunt man; received sixth Academy Award nomination a

1979

Co-starred with Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren in "Caligula"

1978

Savaged for his portrayal of "Macbeth" on the London stage, receiving reviews like "His performance suggests that he is taking some kind of personal revenge on the play" (The Observer); unfazed by the critics, completed the 14 week run, playing to

1976

Starred in the BBC-TV movie "Rogue Male"; cast included Alistair Sim and Harold Pinter

1975

Reportedly gave up drinking after an operation on his stomach in which part of his intestines were removed

1973

Rejoined the Bristol Old Vic to play the title role in "Uncle Vanya"

1972

Starred in two more projects involving music, the hilarious, irreverent black comedy "The Ruling Class" (for which he earned an Oscar nod) and the abysmal adaptation of the popular musical "The Man of La Mancha"

1972

Took a sabbatical from acting; lived on family property in the west of Ireland

1968

Displayed his singing ability (or lack of it) opposite Petula Clark in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips"; earned fourth Best Actor Oscar nominaton for his sensitive portrayal of the somewhat prissy and martinetish teacher; then-wife Sian Phillips stole all her scenes

1968

Garnered third Best Actor Academy Award nomination as Henry II in "The Lion in Winter" opposite Katharine Hepburn's Eleanor of Acquitaine

1966

Reteamed with "Lawrence" co-star Omar Sharif in "Night of the Generals"

1964

Delivered first of two Oscar-nominated turns as Henry II in "Becket"

1963

Starred in the title role of the National Theatre Company's inaugural production of "Hamlet"

1962

Rode to fame on the back of a camel, playing the title role in David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia"; picked up first of several Best Actor Academy Award nominations and subsequently referred to Lean as the biggest single influence in his adult life

1960

Made film acting debut in "Kidnapped" (released in USA, 1960)

1960

Joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company, Stratford-on-Avon

1959

Formed Keep Films with producer Jules Buck

1959

Gained recognition for performance as a barrack-room lawyer in the London stage production of "The Long and the Short and the Tall"; part had been written for Finney, but when he suffered from appendicitis during rehearsals, O'Toole took over; it was anno

1956

Made London stage debut in "Major Barbara" with the Bristol Old Vic

1955

Joined Bristol Old Vic company; first appeared in "The Matchmaker"; stayed three years and performed in 73 roles

1952

Appeared with Albert Finney in RADA production of "As You Like It"

1949

Made amateur stage debut with Leeds Civic Theatre at age 17

Spent two years with Royal Navy as a seaman and decoder on a submarine

First job, wrapping cartons in a warehouse

Raised in Leeds; family subsequently moved to London

At 14, joined the Yorkshire Evening News; worked first as messenger and copy boy, and then reporter

Bonus Trivia

.

At a party following the premiere of "Lawrence in Arabia" in December 1962, Noel Coward told O'Toole, "If you'd been any prettier, it would have been 'Florence of Arabia.'"

.

An athletic six-footer, O'Toole once boxed, played rugby, and was an expert swimmer. He remained an avid fly-fisherman and was passionate about cricket, which he sometimes coached.

.

"In performance O'Toole's mock-heroic gestures, like the Emperor's New Clothes, seem to reveal rather than conceal a naked insecurity. His remarkable, almost feminine handsomeness of feature makes the disclosure of inadequacy doubly disturbing." – from The Illustrated Who's Who of the Cinema (MacMillan Publishing, New York, 1983)

.

"It was funny about the movie ['Lawrence of Arabia']. Between its London premiere and its New York opening, it lost 20 minutes, which had been edited out by the producer, Sam Spiegal, an appalling man. It looked as if a swarm of rodents had nibbled it.""Almost 30 years later, they dug up the missing 20 minutes, but without sound, so a group of us gathered in a studio to dub the dialogue in a 'restored' version. It was a thrilling moment for David [Lean], who was a master, and this was the chance for him to see his masterpiece as he meant it to be; but it was strange too, with Omar [Sharif] and Alec [Guinness] and I all looking at those young people on the screen and speaking their lines in voices that had changed from baritone to alto.""They opened the restored version in New York, and, of course, they had all us ancients hobble out on stage and take a bow before the film was shown. I didn't have time to get back to the VIP seats in the rear, so I just took a seat in the front row and began to watch.""I saw the scene where I'm learning to ride a camel, and suddenly, the movie house, all the people there, and everything that had happened in all the years since we made the movie were erased. I was right back there, on the desert. It was incredible." – O'Toole to Chicago Tribune, Nov. 6, 1997

.

About acting in "Caligula" (as the Emperor Tiberius), a bit of soft porn produced by Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione: "Everyone was in it. Johnny Gielgud, Helen Mirren, Malcolm McDowell. Originally it was to be "Gore Vidal's Caligula." Gore realized about the week before the kick-off that something was up. He got very beady and went off in a huff, tapping his little crocodile-skin shoes."When I went on the set there were lots of rubber choppers everywhere and enormous blokes walking around on tiptoe covered in chiffon with big pricks on display. Johnny Gielgud came up to me in a muslin gown and said, 'Do you think we're in a blue film?' But we had a lovely, lovely time. I don't think I've given a funnier performance in my life." – O'Toole quoted in Neon, March 1998

.

"Comedy is among the most difficult crafts. I've never know a good actor who couldn't play comedy. I know no actor who finds it easy." – O'Toole to Esquire magazine, January 2007

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