A true class act announced today that he’s retiring from acting, just a few weeks short of his 80th birthday. Peter O’Toole never won an Oscar — despite eight nominations (most recently for “Venus” in 2006) and an honorary award in 2003 — but he’s received pretty much every other honor, and will be greatly missed. The Irish actor announced his decision in charmingly low-key fashion, with the following statement:
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.
An elegant way to go, no? But I’m hoping maybe he’ll change his mind.