Tributes paid to Lawrence of Arabia star Peter O’Toole

Actors, politicians and commentators have paid tribute to the actor Peter O’Toole, who died on Saturday aged 81.

In July 2012, after a career spanning 50 years and at the age of 79, O’Toole said he was retiring from the stage and screen.
In July 2012, after a career spanning 50 years and at the age of 79, O’Toole said he was retiring from the stage and screen.

Actors, politicians and commentators have paid tribute to the actor Peter O'Toole, who died on Saturday aged 81.

The star of the 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia had been in hospital where he was being treated for a long illness.

UK PM David Cameron and Irish President Michael D Higgins were among those who paid tribute to the actor.

O'Toole's daughter Kate said the family was overwhelmed "by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us".

Cameron said O'Toole's performance "in my favourite film, Lawrence of Arabia, was stunning".

Higgins added: "Ireland, and the world, has lost one of the giants of film and theatre.

"I was privileged to know him as a friend since 1969. I spent part of 1979 in Clifden where we met almost daily and all of us who knew him in the West will miss his warm humour and generous friendship."

He began his acting career as an exciting young talent on the British stage and his Hamlet in 1955 at the Bristol Old Vic, was critically acclaimed.

He hit international stardom when Sir David Lean cast him as British adventurer TE Lawrence, the World War One soldier and scholar who led an Arab rebellion against the Turks.

In July 2012, after a career spanning 50 years and at the age of 79, O'Toole said he was retiring from the stage and screen.

Film critic Barry Norman described him as a "true movie star", who had "tremendous charisma".

Actor, director and broadcaster Stephen Fry tweeted: "Oh what terrible news. Farewell Peter O'Toole. I had the honour of directing him in a scene. Monster, scholar, lover of life, genius ..."

Writer and actor David Walliams recalled his memories of the actor, saying: "Matt (Lucas) & I had drinks with Peter O'Toole in LA a few years ago. He was hugely entertaining. The greatest company. A legend on screen and off."

The Shield star Michael Chiklis added that O'Toole was the "original, hard drinking, classic, actor's actor", saying: "The piercing blue eyes of Lawrence of Arabia will never fade", while fellow US actor Neil Patrick Harris added: "Lucky to have worked with him for a month in Prague. Wonderful man, remarkable talent."

Journalist Piers Morgan also paid tribute, tweeting: "RIP Peter O'Toole. Spent one of the funniest days of my life with him at Lord's a few years ago. A brilliant actor & crazy, hilarious man."

 

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