Broadway veteran and 8-time Academy Award nominee Peter O'Toole has just released a statement announcing his retirement from films and stage. His full statement is as follows:
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.
After service in the Royal Navy, Peter O'Toole studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Acclaimed as the finest 'Hamlet' of his generation, he continued in this vein by playing, at the age of 27, 'Shylock' in 'The Merchant of Venice' at Stratford on Avon, which was equally acclaimed.
After these theatrical successes, he turned to the cinema playing the role of 'T.E. Lawrence' in David Lean's masterpiece 'Lawrence of Arabia' which brought him worldwide fame. Other notable roles include 'Arthur Chipping' in 'Goodbye Mr. Chips', the 'Earl' in 'The Ruling Class', 'Eli' in 'The Stuntman', 'Alan Swann' in 'My Favourite Year'and 'King Henry II' in both 'Becket' and 'The Lion in Winter'. His last Oscar nomination in 2007 was for 'Maurice' in 'Venus'.
Peter O'Toole in the film 'My Favourite Year' as the dissolute movie matinee idol Alan Swann at one point exclaims, "I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!"
In a professional life starting in 1954 Peter O'Toole has shown that he is both an actor and a movie star. He has acted successfully at all the major theatre venues: The Old Vic, Stratford on Avon, the Royal Court, The Abbey Theatre Dublin, the West End of London, Broadway New York, and holds the record for theatre attendance at the Kennedy Centre Washington.
Peter O'Toole has won the BAFTA Award, four Golden Globes, the Emmy and numerous other theatre and cinema awards, including in 2000 The Olivier Award for his performance as 'Jeff' in 'Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell' at The Old Vic Theatre, London. In 2003 he was awarded an Honorary Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.