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Overview for Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole

Peter O'Toole


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Also Known As: Died: December 14, 2013
Born: August 2, 1932 Cause of Death: undisclosed illness
Birth Place: Connemara, Galway, IE Profession: Cast ...


At a party following the premiere of "Lawrence in Arabia" in December 1962, Noel Coward told him, "If you'd been any prettier, it would have been 'Florence of Arabia'."

An athletic six-footer, O'Toole once boxed, played rugby and was an expert swimmer. He remains an avid fly-fisherman and is passionate about cricket, which he has sometimes coached.

"In performance O'Toole's mock-heroic gestures, like the Emperor's New Clothes, seem to reveal rather than conceal a naked insecurity. His remarkable, almost feminine handsomeness of feature makes the disclosure of inadequacy doubly disturbing." --From "The Illustrated Who's Who of the Cinema" (MacMillan Publishing, New York 1983)

"It was funny about the movie ["Lawrence of Arabia"] Between its London premiere and its New York opening, it lost 20 minutes, which had been edited out by the producer, Sam Spiegal, an appalling man. It looked as if a swarm of rodents had nibbled it.

"Almost 30 years later, they dug up the missing 20 minutes, but without sound, so a group of us gathered in a studio to dub the dialogue in a 'restored' version. It was a thrilling moment for David [Lean], who was a master, and this was the chance for him to see his masterpiece as he meant it to be; but it was strange too, with Omar [Sharif] and Alec [Guinness] and I all looking at those young people on the screen and speaking their lines in voices that had changed from baritone to alto.

"They opened the restored version in New York, and, of course, they had all us ancients hobble out on stage and take a bow before the film was shown. I didn't have time to get back to the VIP seats in the rear, so I just took a seat in the front row and began to watch.

"I saw the scene where I'm learning to ride a camel, and suddenly, the movie house, all the people there, and everything that had happened in all the years since we made the movie were erased. I was right back there, on the desert. It was incredible." --Peter O'Toole to Chicago Tribune, November 6, 1997.

About acting in "Caligula" (as the Emperor Tiberius), a bit of soft porn produced by Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione: "Everyone was in it. Johnny Gielgud, Helen Mirren, Malcolm McDowell. Originally it was to be "Gore Vidal's Caligula". Gore realised about the week before the kick-off that something was up. He got very beady and went off in a huff, tapping his little crocodile-skin shoes.

"When I went on the set there were lots of rubber choppers everywhere and enormous blokes walking around on tiptoe covered in chiffon with big pricks on display. Johnny Gielgud came up to me in a muslin gown and said, 'Do you think we're in a blue film?' But we had a lovely, lovely time. I don't think I've given a funnier performance in my life." --O'Toole quoted in Neon, March 1998.

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