Irish Oscar winner Peter O’Toole is to bring the curtain down on one of the world’s greatest acting careers.

The Lawrence of Arabia star has announced that he is to finally ride off into the retirement sunset at the age of 79.

Nominated eight times for an Oscar, and finally granted an honorary gong by the Academy, O’Toole says it is time to retire gracefully.

He made the announcement in a statement released by his agent.

It read: “Dear All, 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 fulfilment 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.

“Ever, Peter O’Toole.”

A renowned wild man, O’Toole played everything from T.E. Lawrence to King Henry II and the definitive schoolmaster in Goodbye, Mr. Chips.

His agent rep said no interviews or further statements would be given and confirmed that the Irish-born, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art-trained legend is focusing on the third volume of his memoirs.