Remembering Peter O’Toole

Peter-otoole-deadDavid Thomson at The New Republic:

To meet O’Toole was to be thrilled, if bewildered, by the restless panache that managed to be life-affirming and self-destructive at the same time. He was very well read, and he wrote two memoirs that are better than most books by actors. Without doubt, he slammed many doors in his career, and earned the reputation of being too difficult. It’s easy to say his Lawrence is all wrong historically, but he carries that film along. The Stunt Man is seldom seen these days, but it is a sardonic dark comedy. In addition, in years when he was working as an alternative to being smashed, he did Captain Tom Cat in Under Milk Wood; Don Quixote in the lumbering Man of La Mancha; Tiberius in the Bob Guccione Caligula; the Roman general in Masada; a brilliant Svengali to Jodie Foster’s Trilby; Henry Higgins in a TV Pygmalion (with Margot Kidder as Eliza); the bicycling tutor in Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, and an enormous amount of rubbish.

He was not like the others. That may have been his cause all along, and there will be O’Toole stories long after respectable actors are forgotten.

more here.