This goes without saying, but, for the occasion, I’ll state the point: So long as films are watched and appreciated around the world, Peter O’Toole‘s work will live on, start discussion, and certainly inspire a youngster or two to give acting a shot. But he can’t do this forever and, in a public letter, the Lawrence of Arabia star announced that his acting days have concluded.
You can read it, in full, below:
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.
O’Toole has worked at a pretty steady rate over this millennium — Venus, Ratatouille, Stardust, Troy, and TV’s The Tudors being, I’d say, the most prolific selections — though, with his advanced age (79) and legendary career already in the bag, such a choice is entirely commendable. We aren’t being robbed of any new performances, however; if IMDb is to be believed, the forthcoming Katherine of Alexandria and Mary Mother of Christ will be his last two films.
If that’s really the end of the line, then so be it. He had a great run, and I commend the man for ending it on his own terms.
How do you feel about O’Toole retiring? What’s your favorite performance of his?
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