Retrospective: Peter O'Toole's best movies
Celebrating the iconic actor
Lawrence of Arabia, 1962
Peter O'Toole's acting breakthrough was made possible thanks to David Lean, who shot and directed him in the wide screen epic Lawrence of Arabia. It's difficult now to imagine anyone else in the lead role, when in fact, O'Toole was the third favourite for the part, after Albert Finney and Marlon Brando.
The Lion in Winter, 1968
At 30-years-old, Peter O'Toole played the striking role of Henry II, hiding in his castle for Christmas in the year 1183. The plot is a battle of wits – between his ex-wife Queen Eleanor (Katharine Hepburn), and stubborn son Richard (Sir Anthony Hopkins' debut appearance). The Oscar-winning adaptation of James Goldman's play saw O'Toole give rich, diverse monologues.
The Ruling Class, 1972
A film that considered to be a brilliant black comedy, directed by Peter Medak, taunts the idea of the death of aristocracy. O'Toole played protagonist Jack Arnold Alexander Tancred Gurney - a fictional character.
My best year, 1982
"What is the difference between film and reality?" Asks the film's hero, swashbuckling actor Allan Swann played by Peter O'Toole sitting on a roof terrace. The film about a young comedy writer who meets his idol...
The film that saw Peter O'Toole Oscar-nominated for the eighth and final time, Venus is a story about aging, chasing youth and deteriorating health. O'Toole never received the Oscar and perhaps it was approriate in the end. He lived his life as an outsider, the upstart, the actor who played with love, admiration and little caution. "I'm not an ordinary man. I will stir the smooth sands of monotony" he once said. In actual fact, he did more – he created a sandstorm.