Monday, August 02, 2010

Loitering with Intent

The pretty fellow above is one Peter O'Toole, and he was born in either Leeds, England or Galway Ireland. He has conflicting birth certificates, and the Irish one gives a June, 1932 birthday. However, he has pretty much accepted August 2nd, 1932 as his birthday, and for our purposes, so shall we. Wherever he was born, he was the son of a Scottish nurse, and an Irish racecourse bookmaker. This led to him, at the age of one, embarking on a tour of the racecourses in Northern England. After leaving school, he worked as a trainee journalist, but eventually wound up at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He was there from 1952 to 1954, and then took his act onto the stage.

However, it was in 1962 that he got "the" break all actors dream about. He was cast as the lead in David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia." It is an awesome, awesome film, though I have heard it described as a "three six pack" movie. It is worth a look, and I have seen it all the way through about 3 times. It is one of those films that never get old, and it earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. It is an award for which he has been nominated 8 times, and has never won. It is pretty hard to believe that such an actor giving such performances like the ones he gave in "The Lion in Winter," "Beckett," or "My Favorite Year" could lose out to anyone, but he did. His 8 nominations without a win is the record, and a damn shame.

He eventually accepted, in 2003, an Honorary Oscar, but it is a crying shame he never won it outright. He has lead a rather eventual personal life too, and has written about it in his book(s) "Loitering with Intent." I might have to check it out one day, if I can ever pull myself away from watching his films. It for those films, and those 8 nominations that Peter O'Toole (August 2nd, 1932-present), you are my (350th) hero of the day.

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