Peter O’Toole

The news that Peter O’Toole has died, aged 81, brings back fond memories of both the charismatic Irish actor as well as reminding me of one of my favourite quotes which, when it became imprinted on my mind in my early 20’s, inspired me to pursue many exciting adventures.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

From ‘The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom’ by T.E. Lawrence

Peter O' Toole

Picture: Original Print and Autograph From The Neil Hendry Collection

[shareaholic app=’share_buttons’ id=’396202′]

Seven Pillars Of Wisdom – T.E. Lawrence

This epic, sweeping autobiography is made even more incredible by the fact that T.E. Lawrence actually lost his first completed manuscript of the book (except for the introduction and final two books), by leaving it along with his briefcase on a platform at Reading Train Station in 1919….

The Film – Lawrence Of Arabia

The film, with it’s majestic cast, including Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn and Peter O’Toole, combined with stunning locations, the extraordinary panoramic direction by David Lean and the dramatic score by Maurice Jarre, is a cinematic classic.

It is also certainly of it’s time. But perhaps that is also one of the beauties of cinema, that it captures on film not only a story but also the acting techniques and style of it’s period.



The Myth And The Man

Lawrence of Arabia as a character and as a story has always been fuelled in equal measures by both the truth and the myth. Where one actually ended and the other one began has always been subject of much speculation. The press reports of war have also always been used as tools of propaganda and spin, further fuelling the sense of public awe that began to surround Lawrence.

Autobiographies are frequently selective with regards to the truth and these question have certainly be asked of this book. But regardless of these issues, perhaps the true inspiration in both the book and film is that it taps into some of deepest and innermost parts of our psyche and imagination. The fact that throughout history, we have loved our stories and our heroes. And when both of these elements are served up with a quirky and offbeat character in the lead role, as is the case with T.E Lawrence ‘Lawrence Of Arabia’, then the recipe is complete.

Perfect Casting

The perfect casting of O’Toole in the leading role was both masterful and apt. His charismatic onscreen performance of this almost mythical character was further strengthened by his own relative obscurity as an actor at that point. ‘Who really is this man?’ could have been asked equally, by cinema audiences, of both Lawrence and O’Toole at that time.

Guardian Obituary: Peter O’Toole

A Career In Clips

An Anecdote With Peter, Ian, Richard Burton And Bob Ponton

Peter O’Toole’s passing also reminded me of a colourful anecdote from Gabriel’s book, where he recalled the meeting between Ian, Bob Ponton, Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole in a green room of a film studio, where each argued and proclaimed their ‘greatness’ as an actor. And as Gabriel pointed out, perhaps the only hell-raiser missing from this group was Oliver Reed!

Certainly, Peter O’Toole’s death marks another close in a chapter of a ‘golden era’ of both film and television.

Thanks for the memories Peter.

Peter O’Toole (2nd August 1932 – 14th December 2013)

[shareaholic app=’share_buttons’ id=’396202′]

 

_________________________________________

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Website of Ian Hendry

 

Comment and Share Please! We love to read all your comments and appreciate it when you take time to share the articles. It really helps a site like ours in the search engines too! Please share and comment on this article using the form below:

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read:  ‘Send in the Clowns – The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry’ by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

Comment and Share Please! We love to read all your comments and appreciate it when you take time to share the articles. It really helps a site like ours in the search engines too! Please share and comment on this article using the form below:

Official Website of Ian Hendry – Homepage

More From Ian Hendry