peter o

By Philip Berk

So Peter O’Toole is gone, and we’re all the lesser for it.
What a wonderful man he was. Not only was he one of the great actors and movie stars of all time, he was also an uncommonly generous and kind human being. I remember at his HFPA press junket for Troy in 2004 when asked his opinion of his costar Brad Pitt he was surprisingly forthcoming. Their key scene together boiled down to the possibility of human goodness. “I had to rely completely on Brad, and  Brad had to rely completely on me,” he said. “We were in each others’ hands. Anything that I did, any passion or thought that I could express he had to receive. He had to mill it around his consciousness and send it back to me. It was a colossal competition. I’m good. Achilles will be better. Priam will be better than Achilles. I’m talking about acting now. And the winner of this competition between two actors was the scene. It was a joy working with young Brad.” Though he never won an Oscar for his nine nominated performances, he was honored four times by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn, earning his first Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer in 1963, the year he starred in Lawrence of Arabia. He went on to  win best actor Golden Globes for Becket in 1965, The Lion in Winter in 1969  and Goodbye Mr. Chips in l970. May he rest in peace.