I’m sure Richard Burton, fellow Irishman Richard Harris and classmate Alan Bates greeted their Shakespearean equal with wide grins, glasses in hand and a bottle to share. Fans around the world aware that we’ve lost another icon and are running out of the best.
Upon hearing the news of O’Toole’s death as with all the greats who leave us, a deep sadness set in. Flashes of all the movies, masterpieces, performances he blessed us with went flying through my mind. As a child I remember the raves of what seemed everybody on Lawrence of Arabia, adults and teens alike were flocking to the theaters to see not one but two handsome men with Omar Sharif. Though it would be O’Toole that would captivate the audience.
Me when a teen loved Becket, but it would be Richard Burton that I found myself drooling over until the day he died. I thought strange two of the best actors nominated so many times but never chosen to win the main prize, Oscar. In Becket both were nominated.
Between O’Toole, Harris and Burton combined 17 Oscar nominations, none of them won and God knows both Burton & O’Toole should have at least won one. Makes you wonder what in the hell more the Academy wanted out of them.
But in 1964 four out of the five actors nominated were Brits. Rex Harrison who won, along with O’Toole, Burton, Peter sellers & Anthony Quinn. Again in 69′ O’Toole & Burton would leave empty-handed. The plays & countless movies these men would light up, how can one not blame O’Toole for not wanting the Honorary award.
Though I am glad he changed his mind for he had deserved many for the works he created. I believe had Burton lived he also would have been granted the same, but to me it was the ultimate insult when you look over the receipts that those movies took in at the box office for their day.
In reality my favorite Peter O’Toole movie would end up being “How To Steal A Million” with Audrey Hepburn. It seemed anything that Hepburn was in made it delightful to watch. I don’t think it quite matched the chemistry she had with Cary Grant in Charade three years previously, but her and O’Toole did click in this film making it fun.
I don’t know guess I liked Goodbye Mr. Chips as well with Petula Clark who thankfully is still with us also born in 1932.
How can one really choose? The movies of days past. Yes my parents era had their stars who drank, popped some pills and raised hell off the screen but always managed to retain their Class.
Something very well long gone.
So today we’ve lost another extraordinary beloved actor or as Peter O’Toole would put it in character of another legendary film, My Favorite Year.
“I’m not an actor, I’m a movie star!
Yes sir you were and you will most certainly be missed.
What a Charismatic Era.