Peter O'Toole - Rotten Tomatoes

Peter O'Toole

Highest Rated:   100% My Favorite Year (1982)
Lowest Rated:   7% Supergirl (1984)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Connemara, County Galway
The legendary Irish-born thespian Peter O'Toole proves that when an actor is faced with a bitter personal crisis and struggles with addiction, spirit and determination can often lead to a forceful "third act" in that performer's career that rivals anything to have preceded it. Blessed with an immensity of dramatic power, the fair-haired, blue-eyed, flamboyant, and virile O'Toole chalked up one of the most formidable acting resumes of the 20th century during the 1950s and '60s, before experiencing an ugly bout of self-destruction in the mid-'70s that led to serious health problems, several disappointing and embarrassing roles, and the destruction of his marriage, and threatened (in the process) to bury his career. By 1980, however, O'Toole overcame his problems and resurfaced, triumphantly, as a box-office star.O'Toole began life in Connemara, Ireland, in either 1932 or 1933 (most sources list his birthdate as August 2, 1932, though the year is occasionally disputed). His family moved to Leeds, England in the early '30s, where O'Toole's father earned his keep as a racetrack bookie. Around 1946, 14-year-old O'Toole dropped out of secondary school and signed on with The Yorkshire Evening Post as copy boy, messenger, and eventually, a cub reporter. Within three years, he dropped the newspaper gig and joined the Leeds Civic Theatre as a novice player; this paved the way for ongoing parts at the much-revered Old Vic (after O'Toole's military service in the Royal Navy as a signalman and decoder), beginning around 1955. A half-decade of stage roles quickly yielded to screen parts in the early '60s. O'Toole actually debuted (with a bit role) in 1959, in The Savage Innocents, but international fame did not arrive for a few years, with several enviable back-to-back characterizations in the 1960s: that of the gallant, inscrutable T.E. Lawrence in Sir David Lean's 1962 feature Lawrence of Arabia (for which he received his first Best Actor Oscar nomination); Henry II in Peter Glenville's 1964 Becket (starring longtime friend Richard Burton), for which he received his second Best Actor Oscar nomination; the title character in Lord Jim (1965), and philandering fashion editor Michael James in the popular Clive Donner-Woody Allen sex farce What's New Pussycat? (1965). O'Toole's success continued, unabated, with yet another appearance as Henry II alongside Katharine Hepburn in Anthony Harvey's The Lion in Winter (1968), which netted him a third Best Actor Oscar nod. Unfortunately, O'Toole lost yet again, this time (in a completely unexpected turn of events) to Cliff Robertson in Charly, though a fourth nomination was only a year away, for the actor's work in 1969's Goodbye, Mr. Chips. The early 1970s were equally electric for O'Toole, with the highlight undoubtedly being his characterization of a delusional mental patient who thinks he's alternately Jesus Christ and Jack the Ripper in The Ruling Class (1972), Peter Medak's outrageous farce on the "deific" pretensions of British royalty. That gleaned O'Toole a fifth Oscar nomination; Jay Cocks, of Time Magazine called his performance one "of such intensity that it will haunt memory. He is funny, disturbing, and finally, devastating." Unfortunately, this represented the last high point of his career for many years, and the remainder of the '70s were marred by a series of disappointing and best-forgotten turns -- such as Don Quixote in Arthur Hiller's laughable musical Man of La Mancha (1972), covert CIA agent Larry Martin in Otto Preminger's spy thriller Rosebud (1975), and a Romanian émigré and refugee in Arturo Ripstein's soaper Foxtrot (1976). Meanwhile, O'Toole's off-camera life hit the nadir to end all nadirs. Though long known as a carouser (with friends and fellow Brits Burton, Richard Harris, Peter Finch, and others), O'Toole now plunged into no-holds-barred alcoholism, pushing himself to the very edge of sanity and death. The drinking necessitated major stomach surgery, and permanently en

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Diamond Cartel
  • Actor
2017
No Score Yet Diamond Cartel
  • Tugboat
2017
No Score Yet Decline Of An Empire
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Katherine of Alexandria
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Mary Mother of Christ
  • Symeon
2013
20% For Greater Glory
  • Father Christopher
$5.7M 2012
No Score Yet Eldorado
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage
  • Glen Wessler
2008
86% Dean Spanley (My Talks with Dean Spanley)
  • Fisk Senior
2008
76% Stardust
  • The King
$38.3M 2007
96% Ratatouille
  • Anton Ego
$112.5M 2007
89% Venus
  • Maurice
$3.3M 2006
19% One Night With the King
  • Samuel
$13.4M 2006
93% Lassie
  • The Duke
$0.6M 2006
No Score Yet Casanova
  • Actor
2005
65% Bright Young Things
  • Colonel Blount
$0.9M 2004
54% Troy
  • King Priam
$132.6M 2004
No Score Yet Augustus
  • Augustus
2003
No Score Yet The Final Curtain
  • J.J. Curtis
2003
No Score Yet Hitler: The Rise of Evil
  • President Hindenburg
2003
86% Mystic India
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Rock My World (Global Heresy)
  • Lord Foxley
2001
No Score Yet The Sinister Saga of Making 'The Stunt Man'
  • Actor
2000
63% Molokai: The Story of Father Damien
  • William Williamson
1999
11% Joan of Arc
  • Bishop Cauchon
1999
No Score Yet Panstvi
  • Mr. Ravenscroft
1999
No Score Yet Coming Home
  • Actor
1998
13% Phantoms
  • Timothy Flyte
1998
52% Fairy Tale: A True Story
  • Arthur Conan Doyle
1997
No Score Yet Gulliver's Travels
  • Actor
1996
No Score Yet The Rainbow Thief
  • Prince Meleagre
1994
No Score Yet The Seventh Coin
  • Emil
1993
20% King Ralph
  • Willingham
1991
No Score Yet Dark Angel
  • Actor
1991
No Score Yet The Nutcracker Prince
  • Pantaloon
1990
No Score Yet Wings of Fame
  • Cesar Valentin
1989
No Score Yet In una notte di chiaro di luna (As Long as It's Love) (On a Moonlit Night)
  • Prof. McShoul
1989
23% High Spirits
  • Peter Plunkett
1988
92% The Last Emperor
  • Reginald Johnston "R.J."
1987
11% Club Paradise
  • Gov. Anthony Cloyden Hayes
1986
36% Creator
  • Dr. Harry Wolper
1985
7% Supergirl
  • Zaltar
1984
No Score Yet Kim
  • Lama
1984
No Score Yet Sherlock Holmes in the Baskerville Curse
  • Sherlock Holmes
1984
No Score Yet Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet Pygmalion
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Svengali
  • Anton Bosnyak
1983
100% My Favorite Year
  • Alan Swann
1982
No Score Yet Masada
  • Cornelius Flavius Silva
1981
89% The Stunt Man
  • Eli Cross
1980
57% Zulu Dawn
  • Lord Chelmsford
1979
24% Caligula
  • Tiberius
1979
No Score Yet Strumpet City
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet Power Play
  • Col. Zeller
1978
No Score Yet Rogue Male
  • Sir Robert Hunter
1976
No Score Yet Foxtrot
  • Liviu
1976
40% Rosebud
  • Larry Martin
1975
No Score Yet Man Friday
  • Robinson Crusoe
1975
46% Man of La Mancha
  • Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote/Alonso QuijanaCervantes-Don Quixote-Quijana
1973
60% Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood
  • Captain Cat
1973
82% The Ruling Class
  • 14th Earl Of Gurney
1972
No Score Yet Murphy's War
  • Murphy
1971
100% Goodbye, Mr. Chips
  • Arthur Chipping
1969
91% The Lion in Winter
  • Henry II
$18.7k 1968
29% Casino Royale
  • Scotch Piper
1967
No Score Yet The Night of the Generals
  • General Tanz
1967
No Score Yet The Bible
  • The Three Angels
1966
100% How to Steal a Million
  • Simon Dermott
1966
31% What's New, Pussycat?
  • Michael James
1965
54% Lord Jim
  • Lord Jim
1965
10% The Sandpiper
  • Actor
1965
76% Becket
  • King Henry II
1964
98% Lawrence of Arabia
  • T.E. Lawrence
1962
90% The Savage Innocents
  • 1st Trooper
1961
No Score Yet The Day They Robbed the Bank of England
  • Captain Fitch
1960
No Score Yet Kidnapped
  • Robin Oig MacGregor
1960

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
71% The Tudors
2007-2010
  • Pope Paull III Pope Paul III
  • 2008
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
1999-2015
  • Guest
  • 2007
No Score Yet The Ellen DeGeneres Show
2003
  • Guest
  • 2007
No Score Yet Masterpiece
1971-2015
  • Older Casanova
  • 2006

Quotes from Peter O'Toole's Characters