The Death of Peter O’Toole

December 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

“I will not be a common man. I will stir the smooth sands of monotony.” 

Peter_O'Toole _Lawrence_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage_Toronto

Peter O’Toole died 5 days ago…and I’m gutted…

He of “golden voice that lifts, gilds and animates ordinary words, and the light in his eyes as if he’d swallowed the pale blue moon” left this mortal coil at the age of 81.

With those burning blue eyes, no one smouldered on the silver screen like Peter. Even for his time he was considered an edgy antihero who could charm the pants off of Lucifer himself. That voice, that laugh, that quicksilver wit; I fear we shall never see the likes of him again…*sigh*

Peter_O'Toole _Lawrence_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage_Toronto

Peter_O'Toole _Brunette_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage_Toronto

Peter_O'Toole _Glasses_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage_Toronto

When I recall that ‘gilded voice’, I also can hear the echo of his growl, and see the ferocious beast that lurked behind those pale peepers. He was a bad boy after all. A lifelong battle with the drink, best friend to the Burton’s and that devious smile was always a welcomed contrast to his Aryan angelic features.

Peter_O'Toole _Becket_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage_Toronto

Upon deciding who should take the role as King Henry II and Thomas Becket, both Peter & Richard Burton holed themselves in a hotel room, went on a bender and then appeared from the shadows knowing who would be who. Peter played King Henry again in the bitingly savage, The Lion in Winter, alongside the radiant, yet aged Katherine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine; their vicious banter is the stuff of Virginia Wolf’s wet dreams. Y Peter was denied the Golden statuette, but as the saying goes...”Even King’s don’t get second chances”.

Peter O’Toole possessed a duality and depth of character which made him so desirable and irresistable. He was a silver tongued devil that lashed out insults like a cracking whip, seduce you with the recitation of a Shakespearean sonnet, or tickle your ears awaiting to hear a loud appreciative laugh. The man could be a gentleman, comedian & bastard all at once. And I loved him for it…

It was his breakout role in Lawrence of Arabia that cemented my fandom; David Lean’s epic set upon the desert suns-capes captured my heart.

Peter_O'Toole _LawrencePoster_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage_Toronto

We’ve all heard the quote, but it begs repeating, “if you had been any prettier, the film would have been called Florence of Arabia”.

Peter_O'Toole _LawrenceBedoin_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage_Toronto

It was this film that started a fire within me that propelled me to pursue film school; the vibrant and saturated hues of Arabia breathed life into celluloid and I wanted to do the same. My imagination was alight with adventure.

Peter_O'Toole _LawrenceArmy_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage_Toronto

The scene below is one my favourites; it was unscripted, unrehearsed and absolutely perfect. In that gorgeous white fabric with only a blade to admire oneself, I would have done the exact same thing…

Peter O’Toole was a gem, whose genius was not always recognized in his time, but will be admired by generations to come. He will always be at the pinnacle of acting and remain my #1 in regards to authenticity. He remained as sharp as a bloody tack until his death and always possessed an air of mischief & dignity. Dear Peter, I shall miss you terribly, but will comfort myself in knowing you are free from suffering and will remain immortal.

Rest in Peace: 1932 t0 2013

Peter_O'Toole _Blue_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage_Toronto


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