From an NBC News tweet:
Lawrence of Arabia' actor Peter O’Toole dies at 81, British Press Association reports
Amazing actor and total badass, IMO. Lawrence of Arabia is a masterpiece, but he was also great in pretty much every movie he was in. I remember him from My Favorite Year, because it was on The Movie Channel (also passed) constantly back when my parents subscribed.
From The Guardian:
The president of Ireland, Michael Higgins, was among the first to pay tribute: "Ireland, and the world, has lost one of the giants of film and theatre."
"In a long list of leading roles on stage and in film, Peter brought an extraordinary standard to bear as an actor," Higgins said. "He had a deep interest in literature and a love of Shakespearean sonnets in particular. While he was nominated as best actor for an Oscar eight times, and received a special Oscar from his peers for his contribution to film, he was deeply committed to the stage. Those who saw him play leading roles on the screen from Lawrence in 1962, or through the role of Henry II in Becket, and The Lion in Winter, or through the dozens of films, will recognise a lifetime devoted to the artform of the camera.
It seems he was a lefty, too. From Wikipedia:
While studying at RADA in the early 1950s he was active in protesting against British involvement in the Korean War. Later, in the 1960s, he was an active opponent of the Vietnam War.
Before going into acting, O'Toole wanted to be a journalist. From Yahoo:
As a boy, after dropping out of Catholic School (where the nuns forced the left-handed lad to write with his right hand), O'Toole studied to be a reporter and became an apprentice at the Yorkshire Evening Post. O'Toole worked there until he was drafted into the military, and after his release, he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1952. As O'Toole put it, "I soon found out that, rather than chronicling events, I wanted to be the event."
Here's an abridged film history of O'Toole from Talking Points Memo:
O'Toole was tall, fair and strikingly handsome, and the image of his bright blue eyes peering out of an Arab headdress in Lean's spectacularly photographed desert epic (Lawrence of Arabia, 1962) was unforgettable.
Playwright Noel Coward once said that if O'Toole had been any prettier, they would have had to call the movie "Florence of Arabia."
In 1964's "Becket," O'Toole played King Henry II to Richard Burton's Thomas Becket, and won another Oscar nomination. Burton shared O'Toole's fondness for drinking, and their offset carousing made headlines.
O'Toole played Henry again in 1968 in "The Lion in Winter," opposite Katharine Hepburn, for his third Oscar nomination.
Four more nominations followed: in 1968 for "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," in 1971 for "The Ruling Class," in 1980 for "The Stunt Man," and in 1982 for "My Favorite Year." It was almost a quarter-century before he received his eighth and last, for "Venus."
O'Toole received a lifetime achievement Oscar award in 2003.