Peter O’Toole retires from acting

Legendary Irish actor Peter O’Toole has announced his permanent retirement from stage and screen.

The 79-year-old, who holds the record for the most Oscar nominations without a win (eight), issued a typically good-humoured but very definite statement through his New York publicist. It follows below:

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.

Can’t argue with that, can you? O’Toole’s eight Oscar nominations were spaced over an extraordinary 45 years (from 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia all the way to Venus in 2006), and he was finally given an honorary Oscar a few years ago in recognition of his general badassery. He used to go to the rugby with Richards Harris and Burton. Can you even begin to process how much you want to have been hanging out with them, watching Peter crush beer cans on his head and listening to Richard Burton make drunkenly racist remarks about Jonah Lomu? ENVY.

Cheerio, Peter. We’ll always have Ratatouille.

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