Peter O’Toole retires, says his ‘heart’ for acting is gone

Share via

Screen legend Peter O’Toole announced today that he is retiring from acting.

“It’s time for me to chuck in the sponge,” he said in a statement. “To retire from stage and screen. The heart for it has gone out of me; it won’t come back.”

O’Toole, who turns 80 on Aug. 2, achieved international stardom and his first Oscar nomination for David Lean’s 1962’s Academy Award-winning epic “Lawrence of Arabia.” O’Toole was 27 when he earned the coveted title role. When he was cast in 1960, The Times quoted a London critic who called the young actor “a blazing new talent.”

At the time, O’Toole was known mainly for his work on stage. But producer Sam Spiegel told The Times he wanted a new face for the part of T.E. Lawrence.


O’Toole went on to earn best actor nominations -- but no wins -- for 1964’s “Becket,” 1968’s “The Lion in Winter,” 1969’s “Goodbye, Mr. Chips,” 1972’s “The Ruling Class,” 1980’s “The Stunt Man,” 1982’s “My Favorite Year” and 2006’s “Venus.” He earned an honorary Oscar in 2003.

This Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is presenting the U.S. premiere of the new digital restoration of “Lawrence of Arabia” at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.


Peter O’Toole on camels, booze and an Oscar ‘outrage’

Appreciation: Ernest Borgnine, the mug with a bear-hug way

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ producers De Luca and Brunetti: A primer