×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oscar honors O’Toole for his trade

Actor graceful in acceptance of honorary award

Related
 
Main Story: ‘Chicago’ shimmies to best pic
 

Winners
 

High notes for ‘Pianist’ & Polanski
 
 

Wins cap wild ride for Miramax
 

‘Chicago’ likely to reap all that B.O.

 

Oscar honors O’Toole for his trade

 

Army Archerd

 

Silence before the Oscars

 

Scream play goes to protests

 

Backstage notes

 

‘Night Before’ party hearty after all

 

Review

 

Arrivals

Until the Iraqi war broke out, Peter O’Toole provided the biggest guessing game of this Oscar season: Would he show up to receive his honorary statue for lifetime achievement?

He did come, and delivered a graceful and grateful thank-you to the Academy that had long honored him with nominations and adulation, but never with an Oscar.

“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, my foot,” said a regal if subdued O’Toole, brandishing the award. “I have my very own now, and I’m as delighted as I am honored, and I am honored.” Backstage, he said receiving the award was “exhilarating and charming.”

But until the ceremony began there were still questions about whether he indeed would turn up. After the Academy announced its plans, O’Toole sent a letter to prexy Frank Pierson, pleading that the Acad not give him the honorary award just yet, in the hope that at 70, he might still win one the hard way. Though “enchanted” by the offer, he wrote that because he was “still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright, would the Academy please defer the honor until I am 80?”

It was the sort of slightly mad punctuation to a sterling career that perfectly fit O’Toole’s storied but never simple career, one spent playing dreamers, schemers, drunks, madmen and other rarefied sorts. And he still has a chance, given his latest role, as Priam in next year’s swords-and-sandals epic “Troy.”

Born in Ireland and reared in the north English industrial town of Leeds, O’Toole was already a busy stage performer in England when he burst onto the bigscreen as the title character in 1962’s “Lawrence of Arabia.” His charismatic, intense perf scored the first of his seven Oscar nominations, all for best actor. Other noms came for playing Henry II in both “Becket” and “The Lion in Winter”; a Mephistophelean director (“The Stunt Man”); a love-besotted but timid teacher (“Goodbye, Mr. Chips”); a dissolute actor (“My Favorite Year”); and a mad nobleman (“The Ruling Class”).

On Oscar night, he ladled kudos on actors young and old, and “the United States and the loves and friendships” he has had here over the past 50 years.

“And now,” he said, “at this last, you’ve given me this delightful shock.”

(Jill Feiwell contributed to this report.)

More Film

  • Cassandra Butcher Joins Bron Studios as

    Fox Searchlight Executive Cassandra Butcher Joins Bron Studios as Chief Marketing Officer

    Related Main Story: ‘Chicago’ shimmies to best pic Winners High notes for ‘Pianist’ & Polanski   Wins cap wild ride for Miramax  ‘Chicago’ likely to reap all that B.O.   Oscar honors O’Toole for his trade   Army Archerd   Silence before the Oscars   Scream play goes to protests   Backstage notes   ‘Night Before’ party hearty after […]

  • greenbook BTS Peter Farrelly

    'Green Book' Director Peter Farrelly on His Production Crew's Drive for Authenticity

    Related Main Story: ‘Chicago’ shimmies to best pic Winners High notes for ‘Pianist’ & Polanski   Wins cap wild ride for Miramax  ‘Chicago’ likely to reap all that B.O.   Oscar honors O’Toole for his trade   Army Archerd   Silence before the Oscars   Scream play goes to protests   Backstage notes   ‘Night Before’ party hearty after […]

  • Aretha Franklin performs at pre-inaugural festivities,

    Aretha Franklin Documentary 'Amazing Grace': Helping Her 'Family to Heal and Move on'

    Related Main Story: ‘Chicago’ shimmies to best pic Winners High notes for ‘Pianist’ & Polanski   Wins cap wild ride for Miramax  ‘Chicago’ likely to reap all that B.O.   Oscar honors O’Toole for his trade   Army Archerd   Silence before the Oscars   Scream play goes to protests   Backstage notes   ‘Night Before’ party hearty after […]

  • Scott Budnick

    Scott Budnick’s One Community Aims to Make a Difference With Activist Content

    Related Main Story: ‘Chicago’ shimmies to best pic Winners High notes for ‘Pianist’ & Polanski   Wins cap wild ride for Miramax  ‘Chicago’ likely to reap all that B.O.   Oscar honors O’Toole for his trade   Army Archerd   Silence before the Oscars   Scream play goes to protests   Backstage notes   ‘Night Before’ party hearty after […]

  • The Quiet Place BTS John Krasinski

    Unexpected Hopefuls Enliven This Year's Oscar Race for Director Gold

    Related Main Story: ‘Chicago’ shimmies to best pic Winners High notes for ‘Pianist’ & Polanski   Wins cap wild ride for Miramax  ‘Chicago’ likely to reap all that B.O.   Oscar honors O’Toole for his trade   Army Archerd   Silence before the Oscars   Scream play goes to protests   Backstage notes   ‘Night Before’ party hearty after […]

  • Writer of Ennio Morricone Story Made

    Writer of Ennio Morricone Story Criticizing Tarantino Made 'Terrible Mistakes,' Playboy Says

    Related Main Story: ‘Chicago’ shimmies to best pic Winners High notes for ‘Pianist’ & Polanski   Wins cap wild ride for Miramax  ‘Chicago’ likely to reap all that B.O.   Oscar honors O’Toole for his trade   Army Archerd   Silence before the Oscars   Scream play goes to protests   Backstage notes   ‘Night Before’ party hearty after […]

  • Matthew LibatiqueAmerican Society of Cinematographers Awards,

    'A Star Is Born' Cinematographer Matthew Libatique Arrested for Assault

    Related Main Story: ‘Chicago’ shimmies to best pic Winners High notes for ‘Pianist’ & Polanski   Wins cap wild ride for Miramax  ‘Chicago’ likely to reap all that B.O.   Oscar honors O’Toole for his trade   Army Archerd   Silence before the Oscars   Scream play goes to protests   Backstage notes   ‘Night Before’ party hearty after […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content