Peter O’Toole was the Keith Richards of stage and screen. When I was a tadpole, my group of friends and I (we called ourselves the clique but we were really more of a claque) had a list of the famous folks we thought were most likely to die next. Keith Richards and Peter O’Toole were #1 and #2 on the dead list. Keef is still with us but the man with the double phallic name died today at 81.
O’Toole had a long and erratic career, but when he was great-Lawrence of Arabia, The Ruling Class, and My Favorite Year to name a few- he was REALLY GREAT. He was a flamboyant ham who rarely left a piece of scenery uneaten or a drink undrunk. He was one of a kind and I always enjoyed seeing him even when the material wasn’t up to snuff. Why? Peter O’Toole was never boring.
Here’s a scene from the hilarious 1982 comedy My Favorite Year: