Peter O’Toole Retiring: His 12 Best Roles Over 50 Years

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)

Lawrence of Arabia

King Henry II in Becket (1964)

Becket

Arthur Chipping in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)

Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha 1972)

Man of La Mancha

Tiberius in Caligula (1979)

Caligula

Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Valley of Fear, and The Baskerville Curse (1983)

Sherlock Holmes

Zaltar in Supergirl (1984)

Supergirl

R.J. Johnson in The Last Emperor(1987)

The Last Emperor

Priam in Troy (2004)

Troy

Maurice in Venus (2006)

Venus

Anton Ego in Ratatouille (2007)

Ratatouille

King in Stardust (2007)

Stardust

[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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Peter O’Toole

Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.

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