A blond, blue-eyed six-footer, Mr. O’Toole had the dashing good looks and high spirits befitting a leading man, and he did not disappoint in “Lawrence,” David Lean’s wide-screen, almost-four-hour homage to T.E. Lawrence, the daring British soldier and adventurer who led an Arab rebellion against the Turks in the Middle East during World War I.I thought that members of the community with adequate bandwidth might appreciate some video of this masterful artist. So, here are a few clips from some of my favorites of Mr. O'Toole's many great performances, first, from his film introduction in the aforementioned Lawrence of Arabia.
The performance brought Mr. O’Toole the first of eight Academy Award nominations, a flood of film offers and a string of artistic successes in the 1960s and early ‘70s. In the theater — he was a classically trained actor — he played an anguished, angular tramp in Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” and a memorably battered title character in Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya.”
Another favorite of mine, The Lion in Winter, includes this remarkable monologue by Mr. O'Toole playing Henry II of England:
Another O'Toole film I have always adored is rarely seen these days, but is equally worthy, The Stunt Man;
It is a quote widely attributed to the great 19th Century English actor Edmund Kean on his deathbed: "Death is easy; comedy is hard." Not so for the great O'Toole, as shown in this clip from my favorite O'Toole comedy, My Favorite Year.
I am deeply saddened by the passing of this film and stage legend. Goodbye, Mr. Chips.