Monday, December 16, 2013

Gorgeous Portrait—Peter O'Toole

The King is dead. Long live the King! To see a young charismatic, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Peter O'Toole in the epic film Lawrence of Arabia is a wonder to behold. He was Godlike in that role of T.E. Lawrence—all 4 hours of it. And I've watched it several times…thats's how much I adored Peter O'Toole. He sparkled in that role, as he did in his life. So I was sad to hear that he died last night at the age of 81. Here he is on the set of that film with a camel, resting in between scenes. The Ireland native started in the theater and gained recognition as a Shakespearean actor, and that theatrical talent shined through in the film The Lion in Winter, where he bellowed his lines as King Henry II aside Katharine Hepburn playing Eleanor of Aquitaine. He had a reputation for living life large, in a hell-raising sort of fashion, drinking and smoking, much like the Alan Swan character he played in My Favorite Year.

By contrast, and showing his enormous acting range, he played a shy schoolteacher in the remake of Goodbye Mr. Chips, and a dashing gentleman art 'burglar' in a very charming film called How to Steal a Million along with an adorable Audrey Hepburn. He acted in too many roles to note here, but I will say that the last role I watched him in was as Pope Paul III in The Tudors series, and he also was the voice of food critic Anton Ego in the animated film Ratatouille. Suffice to say he had a long and varied career. In my mind he'll always be in the desert, with his blue eyes that matched the cloudless sky, and his long Arabic cape that will blow in the breeze for an eternity. And may you forever dine on a perfect ratatouille, Mr. O'Toole...

It's my job, it's what I do
It's what I'm on earth to do, it's who I am.

The human speech as an art form. 
That is what I truly believe, 
and that is what makes acting, for me, 
such a worthwhile thing to do. 

—Peter O'Toole.

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