The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin has acquired the archive of British theater and film actor Peter O’Toole.
O’Toole began his career as a theater actor in Britain and went on to receive eight Academy Award nominations for films including “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Goodbye, Mr. Chips,” “My Favorite Year,” and “Venus.” His 1962 role as the titular character in “Lawrence of Arabia” made him a household name. In 2002, O’Toole received an honorary Academy Award for his lifetime of work.
The archive contains several theater and film scripts, as well as O’Toole’s writings, including drafts and notes from his three memoirs, the last of which remains unfinished and unpublished since his death. Letters between O’Toole and other renowned members of the film and theater industries are also included, with correspondents like Marlon Brando, Katharine Hepburn, Michael Caine, Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, and Laurence Olivier among them.
“It is with a respect for the past and an eye to the future that I recognize the importance of making my father’s archive accessible and preserving it for future generations,” said actor and daughter of Peter O’Toole and Sian Phillips, Kate O’Toole. “Thanks to the nature of film, my father’s work has already been immortalized. The Ransom Center now provides a world-class home for the private thoughts, conversations, notes and stories that illuminate such a long and distinguished career.”
The archive is also home to numerous multimedia records of O’Toole’s life, including audio recordings of O’Toole rehearsing lines or reciting poetry, theater and film programs and memorabilia, awards, diaries and notebooks, and a selection of iconic props and film pieces.
The materials join several other archival collections at The Ransom Center, including those of Stella Adler, Robert De Niro, Edith Evans, George Bernard Shaw. The Ransom Center also holds a collection of materials of T.E. Lawrence, the British diplomat upon whose life “Lawrence of Arabia” is based.