Sunday, December 15, 2013

Peter O'Toole - RIP

Peter O'Toole has died. He was 81 years old.

The eclectic British actor was a wild child in film, even in his last years of work. O'Toole starred in many celebrated works of art, but he also was willing to deliver a memorably campy performance in movies of lower caliber. Whether it was Caligula, Supergirl, or Thomas Kinkade's The Christmas Cottage, he was always prepared to steal the spotlight.

His long, eventful career will have everyone pick their favorites. For animation lovers, and most modern audiences, it would be his sinister role as the prejudging French food critic in the Pixar classic Ratatouille, where he delivers an amazing monologue during its closing moments. The die-hards of ink and paint like myself will also recognize him from The Nutcracker Prince. The normal film-goers and bookworms will go back to his most critically acclaimed work, ranging from his double duty as Henry II in Becket and The Lion in Winter, to his variation of Errol Flynn in My Favorite Year. For myself, O'Toole will always be the insanely brilliant auteur in The Stunt Man.

Of course, he will forever will be known for two huge things: his major breakthrough performance as the titled character in David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia, one of the first film roles he took, and his legacy as being nominated for the Oscars' Best Actor award the most (8), and sadly unable to walk away with one.

He will sorely be missed.

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