Peter O’Toole, one of the most respected and talented actors ever, has died at 81. Best known for his role as T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, O’Toole continued his career turning in one brilliant performance after another. Although nominated for eight Oscars for acting, O’Toole never won (he did win an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar in 2003). Still, O’Toole’s talent was undeniable as he was nominated in four different decades.
O’Toole’s breakout performance was also his first when he was choosen by David Lean to play the titular role in Lawrence of Arabia. Thus began an illustrious career for O’Toole, who followed up his nominated performance with another nominated performance in Becket. O’Toole’s propensity for drinking was legendary, however, as his battle with alcoholism led to more questionable roles in the late 70’s. After an emergency surgery due to his volatile drinking led to having parts of his stomach and intestines cut out, O’Toole gave up drinking. This led to a resurgence of his career with two roles leading to two more Oscar nominations in the 80’s (The Stunt Man and My Favorite Year) The roles again slowly tapered off as O’Toole grew older, but he still managed to get his last nomination in Venus as an older man who falls in love with a much younger woman. Peter O’Toole passed away at the Wellington Hospital in London on saturday.