Peter OToole Retiring: 'Lawrence of Arabia' Star Quits Acting

Peter O'Toole Lawrence of Arabia
Peter O'Toole retiring: O'Toole as T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia

Peter O'Toole retires from acting. Stage and screen star Peter O'Toole, 79, announced earlier today that he is retiring from film and stage work. (Please scroll down to check out O'Toole's statement.)

Among the eight-time Academy Award-nominated O'Toole's film credits are David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Anthony Harvey's The Lion in Winter (1968), and Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor (1987). On stage, O'Toole has brought to life the likes of Shylock in a 1960 Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Merchant of Venice; Hamlet, under the direction of Laurence Olivier; and Pygmalion's Professor Higgins in London and New York in the mid-'80s.

Below is Peter O'Toole's statement announcing his retirement (via The Playbill). Now, he clearly says no more film and stage work, but I'm assuming television is included in that as well.

“Dear All, 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 fulfillment 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. Ever Peter O'Toole"

Peter O'Toole Oscar nominations

Peter O'Toole's Oscar nominations, all in the Best Actor category, were for the following movies: Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Peter Glenville's Becket (1964), Harvey's The Lion in Winter (1968), Herbert Ross' Goodbye Mr. Chips (1969), Peter Medak's The Ruling Class (1972), Richard Rush's The Stunt Man (1980), Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year (1982), and Roger Michell's Venus (2006). Lean holds the record for most acting nominations without a single win.

Among O'Toole's other movie appearances are those in Richard Brooks' Lord Jim (1965), in the title role; John Huston's The Bible: In the Beginning… (1966), as the three angels; Arthur Hiller's Man of La Mancha (1971), as Don Quixote, opposite Sophia Loren's Dulcinea; Jack Gold's Man Friday (1976), as Robinson Crusoe; and Tinto Brass' Caligula (1980), as Tiberius.

More recent credits include voice work in Brad Bird's Ratatouille (2007), played a supporting role in Matthew Vaughn's Stardust (2007), and loaned his stature to Michael Mandell's thriller Eager to Die (2010).

Peter O'Toole's last movie?

As per the IMDb, Peter O'Toole's soon-to-be last movie is Michael Redwood's upcoming, British-made Katherine of Alexandria, about St. Katherine. O'Toole plays (apparently the Roman prefect of Egypt) Gallus.

Another Christian-themed movie, Aloe Entertainment's Mary Mother of Christ, written by Barbara Nicolosi and to be directed by Alister Grierson, is currently in the pre-production stages as per the IMDb. If O'Toole sticks to his word, Aloe will have to find themselves another Simeon.

In 2003, Peter O'Toole won an Honorary Oscar for the bulk of career. He is currently working on the third volume of his memoirs.

Lawrence of Arabia Peter O'Toole as T.E. Lawrence picture: Columbia Pictures.

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