The Irish icon broke into the industry exactly 50 years ago, thanks to his star turn in 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia, and now O’Toole has decided to leave his acting days behind, confessing he no longer has the heart for either the stage or the screen.
A statement from the 79 year old reads, “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 fulfilment and material comfort. 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.”
The actor famously holds the record for the most Oscar nominations without winning – throughout his career he received a total of eight nods for his work in such films as The Ruling Class, Venus, and My Favorite Year.
The news comes just two months after O’Toole forever solidified his place in Hollywood history by cementing his hand and footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in May (12).