Peter O'Toole

Biography

Date of Birth 2 August 1932, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland Birth Name Peter Seamus O'Toole Height 6' 2" (1.88 m) Mini Biography A leading man of prodigious talents, Irish-born Peter O'Toole was raised in Leeds, England, the son of a bookie. As a boy, he decided to become a journalist, beginning as a newspaper copy boy. Although he succeeded in becoming a reporter, he discovered the theater and made his stage debut at 17. He served as a radioman in the Royal Navy for two years, then attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, where his classmates included Albert Finney, Alan Bates and Richard Harris. He spent several years on-stage at the Bristol Old Vic, then made an inconspicuous film debut in 1960. In 1962, O'Toole was chosen by David Lean to play T.E. Lawrence in Lean's masterpiece Lawrence de Arabia (1962). The part made O'Toole an international superstar. He continued successfully in artistically rich films as well as less artistic but commercially rewarding projects. He received Academy Award nominations (but no Oscar) for seven different films. However, medical problems (originally thought to have been brought on by his drinking but which turned out to be stomach cancer) threatened to destroy his career and life in the 1970s. He survived by giving up alcohol and, after serious medical treatment, returned to films with triumphant performances in Profesión: el especialista (1980) and Mi año favorito (1982). His youthful beauty lost to time and drink, O'Toole has found meaningful roles increasingly difficult to come by, though he remains one of the greatest actors of his generation. He has two daughters, Pat and Kate O'Toole (I), from his marriage to actress Siân Phillips. He also has a son, Lorcan O'Toole (I), by model Karen Brown. He partnered with Jules Buck in Keep Productions. Spouse Siân Phillips (December 1959 - 1979) (divorced) 2 children Trivia He attended a Catholic school where the nuns beat him to correct his left-handedness. O'Toole & Karen Brown's son's name is Lorcan O'Toole. From 1952 to 1954 he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as a scholarship student. The title character in the comic strip "Alan Ford", widely popular in Italy, is styled after the physical features of Peter O'Toole Coaching cricket professionally in London. [1997] Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#47). [1995] His daughter Kate O'Toole is a well-respected actress in her own right. Is a supporter of Sunderland football club of the English Premiership. Father was Irish, mother was Scottish. He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2000 for Outstanding Achievement Award for his theatrical career. Was friends with fellow Irish actor Richard Harris. After Harris died, his family hoped that O'Toole would replace him as Professor Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter y el prisionero de Azkaban (2004). He is only one of four actors to be nominated for an Oscar twice for playing the same role in two separate films. He was nominated as Best Actor for Henry II in Becket (1964) and for Henry II in El león en invierno (1968). The others are Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson in El buscavidas (1961) and El color del dinero (1986), Bing Crosby as Father O'Malley in Siguiendo mi camino (1944) and Las campanas de Santa María (1945), Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in El padrino (1972) and El padrino. Parte II (1974)and Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I in Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: La edad de oro (2007). Furthermore, O'Toole is the only one of these four who was nominated for playing the same character (at two different stages in his life) in two totally different films, neither of which was a sequel or prequel to the other. Became an Associate Member of RADA. Both he and his fellow Irish actor (and close friend), the late Richard Harris appeared in versions of 'Gulliver's Travels': Harris played the 1977 film version Gulliver's Travels (1977) and O'Toole played the Emperor of Lilliput in the 1996 TV-film version Los viajes de Gulliver (1996) (TV), where Ted Danson played Gulliver. Has the played three kings, one of them twice (King Henry II in Becket (1964),and King Henry II in The Lion In Winter(1968). Sir/King Cedric Willingham in Rafi, un rey de peso (1991)) and King Priam in Troya (2004), two emperors and (Emperor Tiberius Caesar in Calígula (1979) and the Emperor of Lilliput in Los viajes de Gulliver (1996) (TV), a prince (Prince Meleagre in The Rainbow Thief (1990)), a president (President Paul von Hindenburg in Hitler: El reinado del mal (2003) (TV)) and several lords. In 1976 he underwent surgery to remove parts of his stomach and intestine due to his heavy drinking. In the following year he almost died from a blood disorder. These two serious illnesses greatly affected his ability to work at that time. When he was named the recipient of a Special Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2003, he originally intended to turn it down feeling that the lifetime award signaled the end of his career. He wrote the Academy a letter stating that he was "still in the game" and would like more time to "win the lovely bugger outright." It was only after the Academy informed him that they were bestowing the award on him whether he came to collect it or not that he relented. His performance as "T.E. Lawrence" in Lawrence de Arabia (1962) is the #1 ranked performance of all time in Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006). The 1976 film adaptation of the book "The Man Who Fell To Earth", directed by Nicolas Roeg, was originally meant to be a vehicle for O'Toole. His performance as "Alan Swann" in Mi año favorito (1982) is ranked #56 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time. Nominated 8 times for best actor but has never won an Academy Award. He has more nominations without winning than any other actor. Cites Rose Byrne and Jodie Whittaker as the best young actresses he has ever worked with. Was a close friend of late actress Katharine Hepburn. Although some believe his daughter, Kate O'Toole is named after Hepburn, according to Sian Phillips' autobiography they named their daughter after Kate, the title character in Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew". They were inspired by the line in the play "Kate, sweet Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom". Was originally approached by director Billy Wilder to play "Sherlock Holmes" in La vida privada de Sherlock Holmes (1970), opposite Peter Sellers as "Dr. Watson". Wilder later decided to go with lesser known stars instead. While at RADA in the early 1950s he was active in protesting British involvement in the Korean War. Later in the 1960s he was an active opponent of the Vietnam War. Father of actor Lorcan O'Toole. A close friend of April Ashley. Has named Eric Porter as the actor who has influenced him most. He was almost cast as Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady (1964) due to concerns that Rex Harrison was too old for the part, but his salary demands were more than producer Jack L. Warner was willing to pay. Broke his hip while filming Venus (2006/I), but returned to work after only three weeks. It is interesting to note that the DVD of Rogue Male has a two page biography of Peter O'Toole that at the end reads as follows: Peter O'Toole died in 2003 after a long illness. Whoever entered that erroneous fact must have been very surprised to see Peter show up at the Academy Awards for his nomination in Venus. Resides in Galway, Ireland and London, England. Was the original choice to play King Henry VIII in Un hombre para la eternidad (1966) but Robert Shaw, who went on to receive a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance, was cast instead. His actual date of birth went unrecorded, and O'Toole has said himself that he may have been born in June 1932. Allegedly declined a knighthood for political reasons in 1987. Has said that he learned more about acting by working with José Ferrer in Lawrence de Arabia (1962) than in any acting class. Ferrer himself considers that role to be his best. Ironically, Ferrer nearly declined the role he played because it was so small -- roughly five minutes out of a four hour movie. Won his career-making part in Lawrence de Arabia (1962) after it was turned down by superstar Marlon Brando and a then-unknown Albert Finney. Both director David Lean and producer Sam Spiegel (who produced La ley del silencio (1954), the movie for which Brando and Spiegel won their first Oscars) wanted Brando, but he turned the role down (allegedly saying he didn't want to spend two years of his life riding on a camel). Finney was put through extensive screen-tests costing 100,000 pounds, but refused to sign a seven year contract demanded by Spiegel. O'Toole signed the seven-year contract and got the part. Is a lifelong cricket and rugby fanatic. According to his daughter Kate O'Toole, the actor wears green socks every day due to personal superstitions. He played the first Roman Emperor Augustus in _Imperium: Augustus (2003) (TV) whereas his ex-wife 'Sian Phillips' played Augustus' wife Livia in "Yo, Claudio" (1976).

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Known For
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Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence

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Ratatouille

Anton Ego (voice)

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Supergirl

Zaltar

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King Ralph

Willingham

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The Lion in Winter

Henry II

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Zulu Dawn

Lord Chelmsford

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How to Steal a Million

Simon Dermott

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High Spirits

Peter Plunkett

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Phantoms

Dr. Timothy Flyte

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Becket

His King / King Henry II

Starring In
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Call Me Kate

Self (archive footage) (uncredited)

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Die vielen Gesichter des Peter O'Toole

Self (archive footage)

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Hannibal Hopkins & Sir Anthony

Self (archive footage)

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Diamond Cartel

Tugboat

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Decline of an Empire

Gallus

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And the Oscar Goes To...

Himself (archive footage)

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A Belfast Story

Alley Victim

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For Greater Glory

Father Christopher

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Fractional

David Crowe

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Venus & Vegas

Maurice

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Dean Spanley

Fisk Senior

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Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage

Glen

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Stardust

King

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Ratatouille

Anton Ego (voice)

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One Night with the King

Samuel, the Prophet

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Venus

Maurice

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Mystic India

(narrator)

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Lassie

The Duke

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Troy

Priam

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Augustus

Augustus Caesar

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Hitler: The Rise Of Evil

President Paul von Hindenburg

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Bright Young Things

Colonel Blount

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Sex at 24 Frames Per Second

Self (archive footage)

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The Final Curtain

J.J. Curtis

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Rock My World

Lord Charles Foxley

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The Sinister Saga Of Making 'The Stunt Man'

Himself

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Joan of Arc

Bishop Cauchon

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The Manor

Mr. Ravenscroft

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Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell

Jeffrey Bernard

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Molokai: The Story Of Father Damien

William Williamson

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Rosamunde Pilcher's Nancherrow

Colonel Edgar Carey-Lewis

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AFI's 100 Years - 100 Movies (CBS Television Special)

Himself

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Phantoms

Dr. Timothy Flyte

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50 Years: The Best Of Hollywood

Interview

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Fairy Tale: A True Story

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Heavy Weather

Clarence, Earl of Emsworth

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Die siebente Münze

Emil Saber

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King Ralph

Willingham

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Isabelle Eberhardt

Maj. Lyautey

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Pied Piper - Der Rattenfänger

John Sidney Howard

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The Nutcracker Prince

Pantaloon (voice)

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The Rainbow Thief

Prince Meleagre

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Hotel zur Unsterblichkeit

Cesar Valentin

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Diese vitale Wut

Prof. Yan McShoul

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High Spirits

Peter Plunkett

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The Last Emperor

Reginald Johnston (R.J.)

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Club Paradise

Governor Anthony Cloyden Hayes

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Creator

Dr. Harry Wolper

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Supergirl

Zaltar

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Kim - O'Toole

Lama

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Pygmalion

Professor Henry Higgins

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Svengali

Anton Bosnyak

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Sherlock Holmes and the Sign of Four

Sherlock Holmes (voice)

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Is There One Who Understands Me?: The World of James Joyce

Self - Host

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My Favorite Year

Alan Swann

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The Stunt Man

Eli Cross

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Caligula

Tiberius

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Zulu Dawn

Lord Chelmsford

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Power Play

Colonel Zeller

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Rogue Male

Sir Robert Hunter

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Foxtrot

Liviu

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Rosebud

Larry Martin

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Man Friday

Robinson Crusoe

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Man of La Mancha

Don Quixote de La Mancha/Miguel de Cervantes/Alonso Quijana

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The Ruling Class

Jack Arnold Alexander Tancred Gurney - 14th Earl of Gurney

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Under Milk Wood

Captain Tom Cat

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Murphy's War

Murphy

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Brotherly Love

Sir Charles Ferguson

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Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Arthur Chipping

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The Lion in Winter

Henry II

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Casino Royale

Scottish Piper (uncredited)

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The Night of the Generals

General Tanz

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The Bible... In The Beginning

The Three Angels

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How to Steal a Million

Simon Dermott

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The Sandpiper

(voice) (uncredited)

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What's New Pussycat

Michael James

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Lord Jim

Lord Jim

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Becket

His King / King Henry II

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Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence

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Kidnapped

Robin MacGregor

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The Day They Robbed the Bank of England

Capt. Monty Fitch

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The Savage Innocents

First Trooper

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Rebecca's Töchter

Lord Sarn

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