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The International Writers Magazine: Obit

Peter O'Toole 1932-2013
• Sam Hawksmoor

No doubt everyone will cite Lawrence of Arabia as their favourite Peter O'Toole movie but there were many others - sadly not seen so much now, but are a lot funnier and off beat than much of what is produced today.

Image: Peter o'Toole and Steve Railsback in The Stuntman

O'Toole  S Railsback

For me The Stunt Man was one of his best performances. It was a film the studios tried to kill but audience reaction was so strong they had to give it a wider release and it went on to gain three Oscar nominations. I remember the crowds queuing to get into it in Vancouver and his electric performance as the driven movie director Eli Cross who'd even risk killing his actors to get 'that perfect shot' was amazing. A year later he had success with My Favourite Year directed by Richard Benjamin and then there his earlier movies- What's New Pussycat (with Woody Allen and Peter Sellers), Beckett, Lord Jim and How to Steal a Million. Peter O'Toole movies were an event!

'The good parts are the people who don't make do. They're the interesting people. Lear doesn't make do.'
Peter O'Toole

Peter O'Toole seemed to be around forever, one the great drinkers, along with Burton and Harris, but unlike some of his boozing generation he survived. And has been performing right the way up to the present day, notably with The Tudors, Stardust and even Ratatouille (Anton Ego). As an older man he captivated audiences again in 'The Last Emperor'. As Lawrence of Arabia he will always be remembered in the history books with those pale blue eyes in the desert but I like the seventies/eighties light comedy, slightly crazy, eccentric characters he favoured and that's how I will remember him. Discover him on DVD - you won't be disappointed.

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