Belfast Telegraph

Michael D Higgins' tribute to film giant Peter O'Toole

By Michael McHugh

Actor Peter O'Toole, who achieved stardom in the Oscar-winning classic Lawrence Of Arabia, has been remembered as a man of grace and genius by the Irish President.

Michael D Higgins led tributes to the acclaimed leading man, who received an honorary Academy Award in 2003 for his lifetime's work, during a special celebration at London's Old Vic Theatre marking his memory.

O'Toole, who died in December aged 81, was renowned for wild living as well as his brilliance as a performer on stage and screen.

Mr Higgins said: "The Peter O'Toole that I knew and loved was a man of immense charm, grace, intelligence and eloquence who was assiduously professional about the vocation of acting.

"To be in his company or to share his friendship was not an experience in the raising of hell – as some tabloids would have it – rather it was about the witness of great talent, mischief, and genius too."

O'Toole retired from showbusiness in 2012. The eight-time Academy Award nominee – who never won Hollywood's top acting honour – shot to screen stardom 50 years ago in the title role of Lawrence Of Arabia.

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