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)


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)


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)


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

The Last Emperor

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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Peter O’Toole