Monday, December 16, 2013


The sad news arrived while I was asleep, so everyone in America (and some folks in Korea) got the drop on me: actor Peter O'Toole, he of the porn-star name, has entered parinirvana at the ripe old age of 81. O'Toole had apparently been sick and ailing for some time. He died on December 14, 2013, in London.

The man was nominated eight times for an Academy Award; he never won. That must have been frustrating. He did, however, win numerous other awards, including a BAFTA (Britain's answer to the Oscar) and a couple Golden Globes. My buddy Mike tweeted that, as a tribute, he would have to queue up "Lawrence of Arabia," "The Lion in Winter," and "My Favorite Year"—the same three films I'd have picked for an O'Toole tribute. A mad Irishman, O'Toole had the capacity to be as wound-up and manic as Mel Gibson, but was invested with more English urbanity. He was not, however, averse to appearing on talk shows while drunk: witness his not-entirely-sober turn on David Letterman in the 1990s, with what is perhaps the most awesome entrance onto a talk-show set ever performed by a human being.

It's impossible to mention Peter O'Toole without mentioning his soul-mate and drinking buddy, Richard Harris, who beat O'Toole to the Pearly Gates by eleven years. Harris passed away in 2002, just a few weeks before the premiere of the second "Harry Potter" film, in which he played Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. Like Mike, I can only hope that the two men, now reunited, are enjoying a Guinness in the celestial realm.

If I find one thing regrettable about O'Toole's storied career, it's that he never donned a "Star Trek 2"-era Starfleet uniform and commanded a Federation starship. He would have been more amazing than even his fellow Royal Shakespearean, Patrick Stewart.

RIP, Peter O'Toole. You will be missed.


1 comment:

  1. Also dying were Joan Fontaine and Tom Laughlin (the guy who was Billy Jack). No great outpourings of love on the Tweety for them. (And Mr. Laughlin was married to the same gal for 60 years!)

    It will be a sad Christmas this year for the families of the newly departed. And that sucks a great deal.


    P.S. Watching 'Lawrence of Arabia' in HD is beautiful.



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