Peter to be honoured at TCM Film Festival
(from TCM press release)
Irish-Born Actor’s Hand and Footprints to be Enshrined in Concrete at Famed Grauman’s Chinese Theater
Celebration to Include Extensive Conversation with Robert Osborne, Plus Special Screening of O’Toole’s Oscar®-Nominated Performance in Becket (1964)
Legendary actor Peter O’Toole will be a special guest at the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival as attendees from around the globe join TCM in honoring the Irish-born actor’s extraordinary career. Several special events are planned for the celebration, including an in-depth conversation between O’Toole and TCM host Robert Osborne and a special screening of O’Toole’s Oscar®-nominated performance in Becket (1964).
The TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 28 - May 1 in Hollywood. As part of the festival activities, O’Toole will place his hand and footprints in cement in front of the world-famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Saturday, April 30. “Caught at last. Forensics will have my dabs forever,” O’Toole said about the honor.
On Friday, April 29, Osborne will sit down with O’Toole for an extensive conversation about his life and career for a special live taping that will air later on TCM. The conversation will be recorded in front of a live audience of festival attendees at The Music Box, the newest venue to be added to the TCM Classic Film Festival.
Also on Friday, the celebration will include a screening of Becket (1964), which earned O’Toole the second of eight Best Actor Oscar® nominations. O’Toole will introduce the film, in which he plays England’s King Henry II, whose friendship with Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket turned into a power struggle that ended with Becket’s murder. Richard Burton, who plays the title role, joined his co-star and good friend on the list of 1964’s Best Actor Oscar nominees. O’Toole took on the visage of Henry II again four years later in The Lion in Winter (1968), which marked his third Oscar nomination.
“For more than five decades, Peter O’Toole has been a commanding presence on film with his impeccable talent and artistry, all of which has only grown stronger over time,” Osborne said. “We couldn’t be more pleased that he will be with us in person in Hollywood when we celebrate his life and career at the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival. His being with us promises to be one of the highlights of an amazing and star-studded event.”
O’Toole was born in County Galway, Ireland, and grew up in Leeds, England, the son of a bookmaker father and a Scottish-born nurse mother. After service in the Royal Navy, he became interested in theatre and acting and was accepted by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
O’Toole was in repertory at the Bristol Old Vic for three years. Followed by work at the Royal Court with the other so-called ‘angries’ and then at Stratford playing Shakespeare where, at the age of 27, his ‘Shylock’ was hailed by press and public as the finest of his generation, perhaps even of the century. Prior to Stratford he had played in a film called The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960). This film was seen by David Lean who telephoned O’Toole in Stratford. They met in London. Lean offered O’Toole the part of T.E.L. in Lawrence of Arabia. In the first major screen role of O’Toole’s career, the golden-haired, blue-eyed actor made a powerful impact on audiences as the conflicted British liaison officer caught at the center of an Arab revolt. The film also marked O’Toole’s first Oscar nomination.
Over the next 10 years, he would garner a string of nominations for performances in Becket and The Lion in Winter (1968), as well as the musical version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) and the wildly offbeat comedy The Ruling Class (1972).
O’Toole garnered his sixth Oscar nomination as a tyrannical director in The Stunt Man (1980). Two years later, he received a seventh nomination for his funny-yet-touching performance in the nostalgic My Favorite Year (1982), in which he plays a former screen idol brought out of the woodwork to guest-star on a live television comedy show in the 1950s. Since then, he has co-starred in a wide range of films, including Bernardo Bertolucci’s Oscar-winning film The Last Emperor (1987), the comedy hit King Ralph (1991) and the epic blockbuster Troy (2004).
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award on O’Toole in 2003. Four years later, he was back at the Oscars with his eighth Best Actor nomination for the May-December romance Venus (2006). He continues to be extremely active, with such recent credits as Ratatouille (2007), Stardust (2007), Dean Spanley (2008), Christmas Cottage (2008) and the popular television series The Tudors.
Throughout his film career O’Toole has continued his theatre work, averaging a play every two years. He retired from the stage in 1999.