Sad news over the weekend: Peter O’Toole has passed away at the age of 81.
The truth is, I knew O’Toole better for his silly work than his serious work. The first movie I ever saw him in — and generally the first movie I think of when I hear his name — was High Spirits. (A truly awful trailer for it is here.) I haven’t seen High Spirits in many a year, but I have the distinct impression that it was probably as terrible as that trailer suggests. Nevertheless, I loved it as a kid, and I maintain a fondness for it — and for O’Toole’s campy performance — in a little nostalgic sliver of my heart.
Of course, Peter O’Toole was also rather well-known for his work in critically acclaimed movies such as Lawrence of Arabia and The Lion in Winter. Over the course of his career, he was nominated for eight different Academy Awards, although — somewhat shockingly — he never actually took a statue home. Regardless, he will be remembered for the remarkable talent that he was, and he will be missed. Rest in peace, Mr. O’Toole.
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