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Irish Legend Peter O’Toole Retires From Acting
11 Jul 2012 : By Steve Cummins
Peter O'Toole as Pope Paul 111 in ‘The Tudors’
Irish actor and screen legend Peter O'Toole, best known for his acclaimed performance in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, has announced his retirement from acting saying: “I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.”

The veteran actor, who turns 80 on August 2, said in a statement that his career had brought him “public support, emotional fulfilment and material comfort. It has brought me together with fine people, good companions with whom I've shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits.”

He added: "However, it's my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one's stay. It is time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from films and stage. The heart for it has gone out of me: it won't come back."

O'Toole, who was born Peter Seamus O'Toole in Connemara, Co Galway in 1932, is best known for playing T.E Lawrence in 'Lawrence of Arabia' in 1962. He began his career on the stage and went into acting after studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Part of a generation of fine theatre actors, he rose to Hollywood fame after making his first movie, The Castiglioni Brothers, for television back in 1958. He went on to earn eight Oscar nominations - but no wins - and was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2003. His list of notable film roles included ‘The Ruling Class,’ ‘Becket,’ ‘My Favourite Year’ and ‘The Stunt Man’.

One of his most recent roles included that of Pope Paul 111 in ‘The Tudors’, which he shot in Ireland and for which he won a best supporting actor IFTA in 2009.

His full statement read: "Dear All,

“It is time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from films and stage. The heart for it has gone out of me: it won't come back.

"My professional acting life, stage and screen, has brought me public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort. It has brought me together with fine people, good companions with whom I've shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits.

"However, it's my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one's stay. So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.

"Ever

"Peter O'Toole"


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