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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Goodbye, Mr. O'Toole

Actor Peter O'Toole passed away December 15, age 81, after decades of failing health. He was born in Connemara, Ireland and schooled in England, gaining recognition onstage at Bristol's Old Vic. He made his screen debut in 1959 in Kidnapped, but it was in 1962 that he became a leading man as T.E. Lawrence in the epic Lawrence of Arabia.

Becket, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye, Mr Chips, The Ruling Class, The Stuntman, My Favorite Year and The Last Emperor were among his most accomplished screen roles of a long career in film. His body of work was acknowledged by the Academy Awards in 2003 with an Honorary Award presented to him by Meryl Streep.

Although rejecting Catholicism at an early age,  O'Toole considered himself "a retired Christian" and told The New York Times, "No one can take Jesus away from me...there’s no doubt there was a historical figure of tremendous importance, with enormous notions. Such as peace."

O'Toole was married to the actress Sian Phillips. They had two daughters before they ultimately divorced. He later fathered a boy with girlfriend Karen Brown, a professional model.

Peter O'Toole will be best remembered for his long career of powerful motion picture performances spanning five decades. R.I.P., Peter O'Toole.

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