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Peter O’Toole Retires: Time to ‘Chuck In the Sponge’

Peter O'Toole Retires
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Hollywood icon Peter O’Toole, 79, announced his plan to retire from acting — or “chuck in the sponge,” as he called it — a profession he pretty much mastered over the decades.

O’Toole will always be remembered for conquering the desert in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ or taming Shakespeare on stage in productions of ‘Hamlet’ or ‘The Merchant of Venice.’ The Oscar eluded O’Toole, though he was nominated eight times, most recently for ‘Venus’ in 2006. His other nominations came from 1964′s ‘Becket,’ 1968′s ‘The Lion in Winter,’ 1969′s ‘Goodbye, Mr Chips,’ 1972′s ‘The Ruling Class,’ 1980′s ‘The Stunt Man’ and 1982′s ‘My Favorite Year.’

In a statement, O’Toole wrote:

Dear All,
It is time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from films and stage. The heart for it has gone out of me: it won’t come back.
My professional acting life, stage and screen, has brought me public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort. It has brought me together with fine people, good companions with whom I’ve shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits.
However, it’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay.
So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.
Ever
Peter O’Toole

And we thank you, sir, for your magnificent contributions to the world of cinema, television and live theater. Weigh in with your favorite Peter O’Toole performance, and honor his majestic memory by revisiting some of his best works this weekend.

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