Irish actor and Hollywood legend Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole (78) has been immortalized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The sharply dressed actor was joined by his son and daughter, Lorcan and Kate, as he marked his handprints and footprints in wet cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles as part of the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival honouring classic film and movie stars.
Born in Connemara in 1932 and raised in Leeds in the UK, O'Toole made his stage debut aged just 17. His became an international star when he got the part of T. E. Lawrence in David Lean's 'Lawrence of Arabia' (1962) after Marlon Brando proved unavailable and Albert Finney turned down the role, to which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. This award nomination was the first of 8 Academy Award nominations to come.
Severe illness almost ended his life in the late 1970s. Owing to his heavy drinking and a digestive defect from birth, he underwent surgery in 1976 to have his pancreas and a large portion of his stomach removed, which resulted in insulin-dependent diabetes. In 1978 he nearly died from a blood disorder. O'Toole eventually recovered and returned to work, although he found it harder to get parts in films, resulting in more work for television and occasional stage roles.
In 2003, the Academy honoured him with an Academy Honorary Award for his entire body of work and his lifelong contribution to film.
O'Toole initially hesitated in accepting the Honorary Award, and wrote the Academy a letter saying that he was 'still in the game' and would like more time to 'win the lovely bugger outright.' The Academy informed him that they would bestow the award whether he wanted it or not. It was presented to him by Meryl Streep, who has the most Oscar nominations of any actress at a total of 16. However, his old friend Kenneth Griffith was bitterly disappointed that he had belittled himself to accept such a "ridiculous award."
Peter O'Tooles 8 Academy Award nominations:
1962 Lawrence of Arabia
1968 The Lion in Winter
1969 Goodbye, Mr. Chips
1972 The Ruling Class
1980 The Stunt Man
1982 My Favorite Year