Peter O'Toole Dead at 81

'Lawrence of Arabia' star retired from acting in 2012

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 15, 2013 12:20 PM CST

(Newser) – Actor Peter O'Toole, the legend of stage and screen perhaps best known for Lawrence of Arabia, has died at the age of 81, his agent confirms to the BBC. The Brit was nominated eight times for an Oscar but was win-less in his lifetime, though he did begrudgingly accept an honorary Academy Award in 2003. In 2012, the then-79-year-old announced his retirement from acting, saying that, "It's time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from stage and screen. The heart for it has gone out of me; it won't come back."

In this 1961 file photo, actor Peter O'Toole is shown in the title role in the film Lawrence of Arabia.”
In this 1961 file photo, actor Peter O'Toole is shown in the title role in the film "Lawrence of Arabia.”   (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures, file)
This 1968 file image shows Katharine Hepburn as she plays Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine with co-star Peter O'Toole as King Henry II in The Lion In Winter.
This 1968 file image shows Katharine Hepburn as she plays Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine with co-star Peter O'Toole as King Henry II in "The Lion In Winter."   (AP Photo/Avco Embassy Pictures, File)
This file photo shows Peter O'Toole and Jodie Whittaker in Venus.  In a statement Tuesday, July 10, 2012, the 79-year-old actor said he would retire. “The heart of it has gone out of me,” he said, adding, “it won't come back.”
This file photo shows Peter O'Toole and Jodie Whittaker in "Venus." In a statement Tuesday, July 10, 2012, the 79-year-old actor said he would retire. “The heart of it has gone out of me,” he said, adding,...   (AP Photo/Miramax, Nicola Dove)
This 1965 file photo shows actor Peter O'Toole in a scene from How to Steal a Million Dollars and Live Happily Ever After.
This 1965 file photo shows actor Peter O'Toole in a scene from "How to Steal a Million Dollars and Live Happily Ever After."   (AP Photo/Twentieth Century-Fox)
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