The actor Peter Otoole has announced that he is quitting acting, at the age of 79. BBC News reports that the veteran screen star announced that it was time to "chuck in the sponge." He revealed that "the heart for it has gone out of me, it won't come back." In his statement, he added "My professional acting life, stage and screen, has brought me public support, emotional fulfilment and material comfort. However, it's my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one's stay." With the announcement will inevitably come a rush of interest in O'Toole's greatest acting achievements, so for the uninitiated, here is a run-down of five of his greatest cinematic moments:
'Lawrence of Arabia': Peter O'Toole is probably best known for his performance in the 1962 cinematic classic, in which he played the title role. He beat director's choice, Albert Finney, to the role and the movie soon became the stuff of movie legend. It was an early role for O'Toole but he earned himself instant respect when he was nominated for Best Actor at the 35th Academy Awards. Six years later, he would appear in 'The Lion In Winter': Starring alongside Anthony Hopkins (in his movie debut) and Katharine Hepburn, O'Toole took on the role of King Henry II and was nominated for another 'Best Actor' Oscar for his performance. The accolade would come once more for O'Toole: he was nominated again in 1970, for playing Arthur Chipping in 'Goodbye Mr. Chips': he starred opposite Petula Clark, for the movie, though he failed to bring home the golden statuette, something which has eluded him throughout his career, despite several nominations.
In more recent years, Peter O'Toole has provided the voice for Anton Ego in the hit animation movie 'Ratatouille' and in 2004, played the role of Priam in the 2004 movie 'Troy.' That performance saw him sharing screen time with some of Hollywood's new guard; with Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom heading the cast list. When the Academy tried to award him with an honorary Oscar in 2003, he told them that he wanted to hold off and wait until he was 80 - confident that he could win one the traditional way. Sadly, that honor continued to evade him.