'Lawrence of Arabia' Star Peter O'Toole Dies at 81, Celebrities Pay Tribute

Peter O'Toole

Filmmaker Ron Howard pays respects to the late 'Lawrence of Arabia' star, calling him 'one of his generation's greatest talents' in a Twitter post.
Veteran actor Peter O'Toole, who probably is most popular for his role in "Lawrence of Arabia", has passed away. According to his agent, Steve Kenis, the Irish star died on Saturday, December 14 at the Wellington Hospital in London. He was 81. O'Toole suffered from a long illness prior to his death.

"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. Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts," O'Toole's daughter, Kate O'Toole, said in a statement.

Popular names such as director Ron Howard and Neil Patrick Harris took to Twitter to mourn the death of the veteran actor. "RIP Peter O'Toole. One of his generation's greatest talents," Howard wrote. Harris who worked with O'Toole on "Joan of Arc" added, "So sad to hear about Peter O'Toole passing away. Lucky to have worked with him for a month in Prague. Wonderful man, remarkable talent."

The president of Ireland also issued a statement following O'Toole's passing, saying, "Ireland, and the world, has lost one of the giants of film and theatre. He was unsurpassed for the grace he brought to every performance on and off the stage." Prime Minister David Cameron, meanwhile, said, "My thoughts are with Peter O'Toole's family and friends. His performance in my favorite film, Lawrence of Arabia, was stunning."

Seamus Peter O'Toole was born on August 2, 1932. He joined the Yorkshire Evening Post and later national military service with the navy before taking an audition for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and won a scholarship.

O'Toole received eight Oscar nominations throughout his career. The first nomination was for his role in 1962's "Lawrence of Arabia". His second nomination was brought by 1964's "Becket". His acting alongside Katharine Hepburn in 1968's "The Lion in Winter" earned him his third nomination. He received his last Oscar nomination in 2006 with "Venus". Although O'Toole did not win any, he received honorary Oscar in 2003.

The actor, who took part in nearly 100 titles, announced his retirement in 2012. "I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell," he said.

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