Peter O'Toole. Date unknown. Photo by David Montgomery.
Peter O'Toole on Wikipedia
Peter O'Toole on the Internet Movie Database
Peter O'Toole
Forecourt Ceremony held on Saturday, April 30, 2011
Born: August 2, 1932, in either Connemara, County Galway, Ireland or Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Age at the time of the ceremony: 78
Died: December 14, 2013, in London, England, age 81
Despite that he claimed to not know where he was really born, Peter O'Toole grew up with his older sister Patricia, and his Scottish mother (a nurse) and Irish father (a metal worker, footballer, and bookmaker) in Leeds.

Early in World War II, the O'Toole's were evacuated from Leeds — not very far, as it turned out — to Hunslet, where young Peter attended a Catholic school. Upon finishing his schooling, he took a job as scribbler at the Yorkshire Evening Post, until he was called to the National Service. In the Royal Navy, an officer asked him what did he want to do when he grew up? Peter replied that he wanted to be either a poet or an actor. Strangely, in his career, he combined the two.

O'Toole won a scholaship to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art or RADA in 1952. His classmates were Albert Finney and Alan Bates. Upon graduating, O'Toole signed on at the Old Vic in Bristol England, undertaking major Shakespeare and Shaw roles. He had his first taste of television work as an extra on an episode of The Scarlet Pimpernel, aired over ITV in March 1956.

Working in the West End a good deal, O'Toole was spotted by many a film producer, but he turn them down, instead doing a nine-month stint at the RSC in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Producer Jules Buck gave O'Toole third billing in his heist film The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (released in May 1960) with Aldo Ray.

His turn in Bank of England caught the attention of director David Lean, who cast the actor in his epic Lawrence of Arabia (released in December 1962) with Anthony Quinn. The masterful film became a worldwide success with O'Toole's performance being a central ingredient. The almost four-hour long film made him a star.

Forming Keep Films with Jules Buck, the pair joined with producer Hal B. Wallis to have O'Toole appear as King Henry II in Becket (released in March 1964) with Richard Burton; Keep Films would produce Lord Jim (released in February 1965) with James Mason. When some Keep projects became ensnarled, O'Toole co-starred with Peter Sellers in
What's New Pussycat? (released in June 1965).

He starred in the rom-com heist picture How to Steal a Million (released in August 1966) with Audrey Hepburn, then returned to essaying King Henry II once more in The Lion in Winter (released in October 1968) with Katherine Hepburn. O'Toole is a powerhouse in this film, but he played a fairly bland Arthur Chipping for director Herbert Ross in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (released in November 1969) with Petula Clark. The film's lackluster box-office put O'Toole's career in a bit of a tailspin.

But O'Toole came bounding back with his amazing performance in The Ruling Class (released in May 1972) with Alastair Sim. The picture is not for everybody, but O'Toole is astounding in it. After getting a drubbing as star of Man of La Mancha (released in December 1972) with Sophia Loren, O'Toole took some time off from films, returning to the Bristol Old Vic.

O'Toole appeared as Robinson Caruso in Man Friday (premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1975) with Richard Roundtree in the title role; this was the last of his Keep Films productions.

The epic Zulu Dawn (released in premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1979) with Burt Lancaster did not set the world afire, while his turn as Roman Emperor Tiberius in Caligula (released in August 1979) with Malcolm McDowell in the title role, had so much porn footage added to it, that it became box-office poison.

After this bizarre turn of events, O'Toole opened the 1980s with the wildly interesting The Stunt Man (released in June 1980) with Steve Railsback. He followed this with a sweetly comic turn as an Errol Flynn type forced to do a television show in My Favorite Year (released in October 1982) with Mark Linn-Baker.

O'Toole starred as Henry Higgins in a production of Shaw's Pygmalion aired over Showtime in 1983 with Amanda Plummer as Eliza Doolittle. Later, they decided to mount the show on Broadway, where this revival of Pygmalion ran for 113 perfs, from April to August 1987.

Meanwhile, O'Toole played teacher Reginald Johnston in director Bernardo Bertolucci's epic The Last Emperor (premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival in October 1987) with John Lone in the title role. Irish director Neil Jordan got O'Toole to play a hotelier in his comedy High Spirits (released in November 1988) with Daryl Hannah. This was followed by O'Toole overseeing a process which places American slob John Goodman on the throne of England in King Ralph (released in February 1991). He published his first autobiography, Loitering with Intent: The Child, in 1992. The second volume, Loitering with Intent: The Apprentice, came out in 1997.

O'Toole played Arthur Conan Doyle in FairyTale: A True Story (released in October 1997) with Florence Hoath, then won an Emmy for his performance as Bishop Pierre Cauchon in Joan of Arc aired over CBS in 1999 with Leelee Sobieski in the title role. Many people thought O'Toole's role as Priam was the best thing in Troy (released in May 2004) with Brad Pitt.

He played the older Casanova in Casanova aired over the BBC in March 2005, with David Tennant as the younger one, and did the voice for Anton Ego in Ratatouille (released in June 2007). He played Pope Paul III in The Tudors aired over Showtime in May 2008, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Hery VIII.

A life-long heavy drinker and smoker, O'Toole struggled with health problems from the 1980s onward. As a result of the removal of part of his stomach, O'Tolle became a diabetic, and probably succumed to complications of this desease on December 14, 2013 at the age of 81. After his death, a film where he played Gallus, Decline of an Empire was released in August 2014.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Peter O'Toole Forecourt block. Executed by unknown, Saturday, April 30, 2011. 48 x36 inches.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Peter O'Toole Forecourt ceremony, Saturday, April 30, 2011. Peter O'Toole gives out a grin while placing his hands in the cement.
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