LONDON: Actor Peter O’Toole, who shot to international fame in the blockbuster movie “Lawrence of Arabia,” has died aged 81 in London after a long illness, his agent said Sunday.
O’Toole, who had survived a bout of stomach cancer in the 1970s, died in a London hospital Saturday, Steve Kenis, his agent, told Reuters.
O’Toole’s striking good looks and charm sustained him through a stage and film career of more than 50 years that swung wildly between triumph and disaster.
The starring role, as gallant British army officer T.E. Lawrence, would win him the first of eight Oscar nominations.
“His voice had a crack like a whip,” his friend and later co-star Richard Burton wrote. “Most important of all, you couldn’t take your eyes off him.”
The son of an Irishman, O’Toole grew up in England.
“Peter O’Toole’s family announced today that very sadly Peter died yesterday, peacefully in hospital. He had been ill for some time,” Kenis said.
Kate O’Toole, his daughter, thanked the public for what she described as an outpouring of love and affection for the late actor.
She asked for her family to be allowed to grieve in private, saying in the same statement it would organize a memorial service “filled with song and good cheer” in due course.