Legendary Actor Peter O’Toole Dead at 81. Actor Peter O’Toole, best known for playing the eponymous role in 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia, died Saturday at Wellington Hospital in London following a long illness, his agent Steve Kenis confirmed to Mashable. He was 81.
“His family are very appreciative and completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time. Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts,” the actor’s daughter Kate O’Toole said in a statement.
O’Toole was nominated for eight Academy Awards in the best-actor category for films, includingThe Stunt Man, The Ruling Class and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. He never won, but did receive an honorary Oscar in 2003, after initially turning it down in 2002, according to multiple reports. At the time, O’Toole asked the Academy to defer the award until he was 80 because he “still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright.”
The Irish-born actor retired from acting last year. “I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell,” he said, according to the BBC.
However, it was announced last month that O’Toole had come out of retirement to play Cornelius Gallus, a palace orator, in Katherine of Alexandria, a film about ancient Rome. The movie is scheduled for release next year.
Both “Peter O’Toole” and “Lawrence of Arabia” were trending on Twitter following news of the actor’s death. Many users took to the microblogging platform to mourn O’Toole’s passing.