Born: 2 August 1932
Birthplace: Leeds, England
Best known as: Star of the epic film Lawrence of Arabia
Peter O'Toole is an Irish-English actor of stage and screen who became internationally famous for his lead performance in the 1962 epic film Lawrence of Arabia. He earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of T.E. Lawrence, and in the next decade starred in Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968, with Katharine Hepburn), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) and The Ruling Class (1972), earning Oscar nominations for each. Tall and lean, with blonde hair and bright blue eyes, O'Toole became a leading man whose wily charm on the big screen seemed to reflect the mischief he was making in real life. Stories of O'Toole's drinking were abundant, and in the mid-1970s his health took a turn for the worse and his career stalled. He bounced back in The Stunt Man (1980) and My Favorite Year (1982), scoring two more Oscar nominations for best actor. In the 21st century he has taken supporting roles in the TV mini-series Augustus (2003) and the feature films Troy (2004, starring Brad Pitt and Eric Bana) and Lassie (2005, with Samantha Morton). After seven nominations and no Oscar, O'Toole was given an honorary award in 2003, which he accepted despite first saying that he'd rather "win the lovely bugger outright." In 2007 he was again nominated (and again didn't win) for his lead performance in the May-December romantic comedy Venus (2006). Lifetime achievement award aside, his eight nominations make him the most-nominated actor never to actually win the Oscar.
Extra credit: Peter O'Toole's birthplace is commonly given as Connemare, Ireland, and O'Toole is known to be proudly Irish. O'Toole himself says Connemare is his birthplace, citing "family history." An article dated 28 January 2007 in the Irish Independent, however, cited the General Registry Office in Leeds, England in its claim that O'Toole was actually born in Leeds, England as Peter James O'Toole.
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