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Peter O'Toole dies at 81

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Dec 15, 2013 | 1:28pm EST

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.

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