Name: Peter Seamus O'Toole
Current residence: London
Possible addresses for correspondence:
Steve Kenis & Co.
72-74 Dean Street
London W1D 3SG, England
Tel: (020) 7534-6001
Fax: (020) 7287-6328
Johnnie Planco (US Representation)
Parseghian Planco LLC
23 East 22nd Street
New York New York 10010
Birthdate: August 2, 1932, Galway, Ireland
Father: Patrick "Spats" O'Toole
Mother: Constance Jane Eliot Ferguson
O'Toole was educated as a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, in London, England. 1952-1954
Married actress Sian Phillips 1959-1979 (divorced)
- two daughters - Patricia and Catherine (Kate - who has her own acting career (anyone want to fill this in?))
- one son, Lorcan, with model Karen Brown (Somerville) - now known as Karen Dempsey
(O'Toole and Brown were married in secret due to Ireland's arcane marriage/divorce laws - he lived with her from 1982-1988 and sued for custody of Lorcan in 1988).
The title character of the comic strip "Alan Ford", popular in Italy, is styled after O'Toole's features.
He currently coaches cricket professionally in London, England when not shooting films.
Sian Phillips' Obituary for Joyce Ruth Getz, whose husband founded Keep Films with O'Toole and was a member of the wedding party at Phillips' and O'Toole's nuptials.
An interview with Sian in The Independant on Sunday, July 29, 2001 "After Peter".
For a titbit of information on Kate O'Toole's acting project, in Anjelica Huston's "The Mammy", see here.
The Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com) lists these two article references:
Interview: * "Us" (USA), March 1989, Vol. 3, Iss. 97, pg. 54-57, by: Pauline Peters, "Back in the saddle"
Article: * "TV Guia" (Portugal), 1998, Iss. 989, pg. 76
Interview with Peter O'Toole in Newsweek, March 2003, following the announcement of his honorary Academy Award
Reckless, courageous and a little bit crazy (interview in guardian.co.uk March 19, 2003)
Article on Peter O'Toole in Gay Talese's book, "Fame & Obscurity".
"Men Behaving Bardly" - interview around Jeffrey Bernard (July 11, 1999) (guardian.co.uk)
A legend still in the making - interview around The Final Curtain (June 16, 2000) (guardian.co.uk)
Backstage at the O'Tooles - interview in The Irish Times (August 11, 2001)
Bar Room Memories of a wild man of Munster - interview with Richard Harris about O'Toole (October 21, 2002)
Peter O'Fooled - about O'Toole's supposed death preceding the 60 Minutes interview in 2001.
Peter O'Toole tried to pull my pregnant girl - around The Final Curtain, May 6, 2001.
LONG Article on O'Toole in Entertainment Weekly from April 13, 2001 here.
"Night and Day" interview with O'Toole, April 2001.
A public appearance by O'Toole supporting 'Loitering With Intent', reported here.
The 1965 Playboy Interview with O'Toole: (large jpegs)
page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6, page 7
The 1982 Playboy Interview with O'Toole: here. (added June 15, 2000)
Profile on O'Toole in A&E Biography Magazine: page 1, page 2
People Magazine article on Kate O'Toole's acting career. page 1, page 2
Interview in a 1982 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine with O'Toole (big!)
Introduction to an Irish Individualist September, 1962 article in the New York Times, by Eugene Archer
Peter O'Toole, From 'Lawrence' to 'La Mancha', September, 1972 article in the New York Times, by Guy Flatley
Peter O'Toole to the Last Drop - The Actor on His Life, Half Empty or Totally Full, article in the April 24, 1993 Washington Post, by Martha Sherrill.
From Lord Jim to Lord God, article in the New York Times, March 6, 1966, by Stephen Watts.
Oriental Safari with 'Lord Jim' O'Toole, article in the New York Times, March 22, 1964, by Howard Thompson.
Lord Jim, The Perils of Peter O'Toole In Filming a Classic, from the January 22, 1964 issue of LIFE Magazine.
Peter's Principles: Don't Drink, Don't Hog, and Don't Be a Nazi, by Marian Christy in A&E Magazine, September 1993.
Peter O'Toole: The Lion in Winter Biographical article in The New York Post (Source)
"A Very Uncommon Man", An interview with O'Toole during the shooting of "Fairy Tale: A True Story" by Sarah Gristwood of The Independent.
Actor Patrick Stewart recounts his London drama school days with O'Toole...
Actress Rose McGowan recounts working with O'Toole in 'Phantoms'. (Rocky Mountain News, Jan 1998)
People Magazine Article from June 1987
- O'Toole his performance in "Pygmalion", his health at the time, and the custody battle over his son, Lorcan.
Taming the 'Orrible 'Iggins, a review of the Pygmalion performance in TIME Magazine
O'Toole recounts his experiences shooting Lawrence of Arabia for TIME Magazine in 1989.
Quentin Tarantino recollects, and Peter O'Toole corroborates, a meeting at a screening of "Jackie Brown".
(The Independant, Jan 1998)
From the "Fairy Tale: A True Story" website:
Peter was born the summer of 1932 in Ireland. His boyhood was spent in Yorkshire where he worked for the Yorkshire Evening News as an apprentice journalist. He served with the Royal Navy from 1951-1953.
Educated in Ireland and England after which he attended RADA, Peter made his professional debut at Brighton under the baton of Sir Adrian Boult with The London Philharmonic Orchestra giving relevant Shakespearean text to Mendelssohn's music to A Midsummer Night's Dream. He made his London debut at the Old Vic playing Peter Shirley in Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara.
Work in the theatre over the years has included four years with the Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company, one year at the Royal Court, one year at Stratford Memorial Theatre and six months with the National Theatre at the Old Vic. Peter was also a member of the Abbey Theatre company, and Artistic Director with the Royal Alexandra Theatre Company in Toronto, which led to a tour of Canada and America. In 1980 Peter was appointed Associate Director of the Old Vic.
Roles included Vladimir in Waiting For Godot (1957); Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger (1957), Dame in Pantomime (1958) Shylock and Petruchio in the 1960 season at Stratford with Dame Peggy Ashcroft.
In 1962 Peter catapulted to international stardom when David Lean cast him as the male lead in "Lawrence of Arabia." Following this success, O'Toole went on to star in a host of other roles for film, television and theatre.
Other theatre roles included Baal at the Phoenix (1963), Hamlet in the inaugural productions at the National Theatre (1963-64), Captain Jack in Juno and the Paycock (1966), Ride a Cock Horse at the Piccadilly (1971), D'Arcy Tuck in Ben Travers' Plunder at the Bristol Old Vic (1973 & 74). Vanya in Uncle Vanya at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto (1978), Gary Essendine in Noel Coward's Present Laughter at the Kennedy Centre, Washington and Macbeth at the Old Vic (1980).
O'Toole pioneered in live television in the early 1950's. Also for television "The Pier," "Once a Horse Player," "The Laughing Woman," "Present Laughter," "Rogue Male," "Masada" and "Strumpet City."
Films include (see filmography page)
After a very successful first run in 1990, Peter returned to play the title role in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Following that he starred in the feature film "Rebecca's Daughters." He then went on to star in Lynda La Plante's television drama "Civvies" for the BBC. In 1992 he starred in Our Song at the Apollo Theatre opposite Tara Fitzgerald.
In 1995 Peter finished writing the second part of his autobiography as well as joining the all-star cast for Duncan Kenworthy's TV production of "Gulliver's Travels." Also that year he was reunited with his fellow RADA classmates for the BBC's production of P.G Wodehouse's Blandings classic, "Heavy Weather".
Peter O'Toole's more recent films have included: "The Final Curtain" and "Global Heresy."
Peter O'Toole now lives in London with his young son and tries to spend as much of his free time playing or teaching cricket as he is a professional cricket coach.
Peter O'Toole has published two volumes of a projected three-volume set of his memoirs, "Loitering with Intent" - the first volume, "The Child", recounts his life up to his acceptance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London, and the second volume, "The Apprentice", is primarily about his experiences as an acting student at the RADA. Both are extremely entertaining and written in O'Toole's own tongue-in-cheek style. He writes like he talks, d'you see? There are links to reviews of his memoirs in the web technical page, as well as links to Amazon.com should you want to purchase them.
Three unauthorized biographies exist (to my knowledge) - both presumably published after his success in "My Favourite Year":
Peter O'Toole: By Nicolas Wapshott, New English Library, London 1983
Peter O'Toole: By W.H. Allen, London, 1983
Peter O'Toole: By Michael Freedland, 19??
These have been described as thin, inaccurate, vague, passable and remotely interesting to only the most fanatical O'Tooleophile. Probably because they came out in a hurry when O'Toole's star experienced a rebirth of sorts with the release of "My Favourite Year" and "The Stunt Man". I have not yet read them, but I am close to getting my hands on them so I'll let you know more when I find out!
Comments from Craig Furnas on two of the (now) three biographies of O'Toole I know to exist:
Incidentally, I've read two O'Toole biographies, one by Wapshott, and another by Michael Freedland (I haven't read the one by W.H. Allen). Wapshott's is better over all, but is marred in spots by a vicious gossipy tone. We want to know gossip, but not because we dislike O'Toole, but because we like him. The Freedland biography has a nicer tone to it, but is not as well researched. Neither one is a brilliant biography, but they have very interesting stories in them and are well worth reading.
One thing the Freedland biography has is a picture of O'Toole's nose in it's original state (that I saw in the movie KIDNAPPED, too.) before the nose surgery. It was on the big side, but not at all a bad nose, and he still was a handsome fellow. What isn't mentioned in articles about O'Toole is that he had TWO nose jobs. You can tell from the photos in the Freedland book that O'Toole had a nose job that occured before he did THE DAY THEY ROBBED THE BANK OF ENGLAND (I haven't seen the movie itself). O'Toole's nose is different than his natural one here, but was still rather wider than the one he has now. It then got narrowed for LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. So O'Toole had TWO nose jobs. But he came out looking splendid, so I don't begrudge him his decision(s) at all. I believe it's the Wapshott biography that says Sam Spiegel and David Lean insisted he get a (second) nose job so he would look more like T.E. Lawrence. I don't know that I believe that, since that's an awful lot to ask an actor to do for the sake of one movie. He did have the second nose job, but it was likely his own decision. Anyway, these photos (and the nicer tone) are the main asset of the Freedland biography over the Wapshott one.
Awards, Commendations, etc:
Received Honorary Academy Award, 2003 "Peter O'Toole: Whose remarkable talents have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters."
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Received the 2000 Olivier Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement
Received the Oldie of the Year Award from The Oldie Magazine, 2000.
Received the London Critics Award for best actor of the year, 1959 for The Long and the Tall and the Short
Received the title Commandant de l'ordre des beaux-arts et lettres, 1989 France.
- The Final Curtain - 2002 Awarded Cherbourg-Octeville Festival of Irish & British Film, Best Actor
- The Last Emporer - 1987 Nominated for BAFTA Award, Best Actor in a Supporting Role
- My Favourite Year - 1982 Nominated for Academy Award, Best Actor
- My Favourite Year - 1982 Nominated for Golden Globe Award, Best Actor in a Comedy
- The Stunt Man - 1980 Nominated for Academy Award, Best Actor
- The Stunt Man - 1980 Nominated for Golden Globe Award, Best Actor in a Drama
- The Stunt Man - 1980 Best Actor, The National Society of Film Critics Awards USA
- The Man of La Mancha - 1972 Nominated for Golden Globe Award, Best Actor in a Comedy
- The Man of La Mancha - 1972 Best Actor, the National Board of Review USA
- The Ruling Class - 1972 Best Actor, the National Board of Review USA
- The Ruling Class - 1972 Nominated for Academy Award, Best Actor
- Goodbye Mr. Chips - 1969 Nominated for Academy Award, Best Actor
- Goodbye Mr. Chips - 1969 Awarded Golden Globe Award, Best Actor in a Musical
- Goodbye Mr. Chips - 1969 Best Actor, The National Board of Review USA
- The Lion in Winter - 1968 Nominated for Academy Award, Best Actor
- The Lion in Winter - 1968 Awarded Golden Globe Award, Best Actor in a Drama
- Beckett - 1964 Nominated for Academy Award, Best Actor
- Beckett - 1964 Awarded Golden Globe Award, Best Actor in a Drama
- Beckett - 1964 Nominated for BAFTA Award, Best British Actor
- Lawrence of Arabia - 1962 Awarded BAFTA Best British Actor
- Lawrence of Arabia - 1962 Nominated for Academy Award, Best Actor
Nominated for Razzie Award - 1987 (Worst Supporting Actor) for Club Paradise (1986)
Nominated for Razzie Award - 1985 (Worst Supporting Actor) for SuperGirl (1984)
Interesting Facts and Starcrossings:
There is a reference to Peter O'Toole in Bob Dylan's song, "Clean-Cut Kid".
It wasn't until 1982 that Peter O'Toole actually watched the entirety of Lawrence of Arabia, on a hotel television in Amman, Jordan. (Source:Lawrence of Arabia: The 30th Anniversary Pictoral History - Anchor Books)
British Pop Singer Sting's Song "Demolition Man" was written at Peter O'Toole's Cottage in Ireland.
According to a Timothy Dalton biography page, Dalton got his start in acting as the young King of France in O'Toole's1968 film, The Lion in Winter. (added April 23/00)
"Peter O'Toole let me stay in his cottage in Connemara one summer. I wrote Demolition Man there. O'Toole said he liked the lyrics. Grace Jones recorded an androgynous version in '81. The Police a year later. I make no apologies for the wah wah pedal in this version."
Bring On The Night Album Liner Notes, '86 - from this Source.
Craig Furnas furthers this anecdote with the following:
Just thought I'd add a little background to the story of Sting writing "Demolition Man" at Peter O'Toole's place in Ireland. It might be assumed that Sting and O'Toole are two famous people who met as famous people, and Sting ended up at O'Toole's place that way. But actually, Sting's wife was the actress who played Lady MacBeth opposite O'Toole's MacBeth in the famously troubled Old Vic production of that play in the late 70's or so. So Sting knew O'Toole through his then wife (which might have pre-dated Sting's own fame, I'm not sure).
Bill Wyman, the Rolling Stones' bass player, said:
(courtesy of Craig Furnas)
"Once in Los Angeles, I invited Peter O'Toole to come to one of our shows and he was absolutely astounded. He said he'd never seen or experienced any energy or any moment in his life that he'd felt at that concert. He said it was like the entry of the gladiators. I had to ask him, `But don't you feel the same thing knowing you are seen by millions of people in the movies?' `No,' he said. `you don't get that energy feedback, you don't get that amazing spectacle.' He was astounded by it. But me? I don't always think about it much."
...from The Rolling Stones, by Philip Kamin & Peter Goddard, after the Stones' 1981 tour.
Jodie Foster, speaking of her exposure to O'Toole in the film "Svengali", as quoted in People Magazine in 1982: (O'Toole is the big Master Teacher to Foster's singing career):
"Peter O'Toole could charm any girl into singing her brains out!"
Rex Reed, talking about Sophia Loren (once rumoured to have been involved with O'Toole): (added Oct 31/98)
"She has sung duets with Noel Coward, dined with Queen Elizabeth II and shooed President Tito of Yugoslavia out of her kitchen for sticking his finger in her spaghetti sauce... she has beaten Taylor, Burton and another friend, Peter O'Toole, at both Scrabble and Poker."
Rose McGowan, talking about working with Peter O'Toole in Phantoms, in Fansmagora Magazine, Issue 171: (added Oct 27/01)
"I'm madly in love with Peter O'Toole," Rose McGowan raves. "Love, love and more love. He and I got on like white on rice, and together we formed a mutual admiration society. He suggested things I could do if I was having trouble with dialogue. I also remember asking him if there were millions of girls chasing him around the planet after he did Lawrence of Arabia, and he said, "My dear girl, I didn't need movies to do that."" (submitted by Paul Morton)
Director Ridley Scott, disputing his reputation for long-windedness:
"I remember watching this conversation between Orson Welles and Peter O'Toole on BBC,'' he says. ``Both were two consummate professionals who were still extremely articulate -- I believe O'Toole was around 40 at the time -- and I think the show was supposed to run for a half-hour.
Well, they went on and on for two hours -- they were both drinking on television -- and the BBC just let the program run. That proved to me that two guys who know what they're talking about -- even if it's two talking heads -- will always be more fascinating than anything else you could watch. I've never forgotten that.''