Actor Peter O'Toole, who found stardom in 1962 playing T. E. Lawrence in "Lawrence of Arabia," has died, BBC News reports. He was 81.
O'Toole, who overcame a severe stomach sickness in the 1970s, died on Saturday (Dec. 14) at the Wellington hospital in London following a long illness, his agent Steve Kenis confirmed to The Guardian.
The Irish-born leading man of the stage and screen announced last year that he was leaving acting behind, saying, "I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell."
O'Toole was nominated for eight Academy Awards for his roles in "Lawrence of Arabia," "Becket" (1964), "The Lion In Winter" (1968), "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1969), "The Ruling Class" (1972), "The Stunt Man" (1980), "My Favorite Year" (1982) and "Venus" (2006). He allegedly holds the record for the most Academy Award acting nominations without a win. O'Toole won four Golden Globes, a BAFTA and an Emmy, and was the recipient of an Honorary Academy Award in 2003.
"[He was] one of a kind in the very best sense and a giant in his field," Kenis told BBC News.
“His family are very appreciative and completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time," his daughter Kate O'Toole tells Deadline. "Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts. In due course there will be a memorial filled with song and good cheer, as he would have wished. We will be happy to speak to you all then but in the meantime if you could give Peter O’Toole the respect he deserves and allow us to grieve privately we’d appreciate it. Thank you all again for your beautiful tributes – keep them coming.”
O'Toole is survived by daughters, Kate and Patricia, and son, Lorcan.