Peter O'Toole in "Lawrence of Arabia," 1962


How it’s New York:  Peter O’Toole starred as Alan Swann in the hilarious “My Favorite Year,” a fictionalized version of “Your Show of Shows,” set in
Peter O'Toole in "Lawrence of Arabia," 1962

Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia,” 1962

New York City in 1954.
How it’s Irish: Peter O’Toole was born in Connemara, son of an Irish bookmaker. His full name was “Peter Seamus Lorcan O’Toole.” Wikipedia says he had a birth certificate for both England and Ireland, and after being raised in England, was rejected by the Abbey Theatre School because he could not speak Irish.

Peter O’Toole will be missed.

An eccentric, unforgettable actor, he starred in “Lawrence of Arabia” in 1962, and was the inspiration for the handsome, inscrutable anti-hero Francis Crawford of Lymond in Dorothy Dunnett’s book, “The Game of Kings,” and the Lymond Chronicles that followed.The late Scottish fiddler Johnny Cunningham, who would have been 55 this year, and died exactly 10 years ago, told me at 1th Street Bar that he would love to write music for “The Game of Kings.” I have always wanted to adapt it for television. It won’t have Johnny, or Peter, though.

O’Toole wrote two volumes of autobiography, “Loitering with Intent,” one and two, which are stream-of-conscious in style (hello, James Joyce), strange, fascinating and as far from “and then I played…” as you can imagine. O’Toole was 81.

Peter O’Toole, hellraising star of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (via AFP)

Famed for his blazing blue eyes and drunken escapades, Peter O’Toole was a giant of the screen and stage whose performance in “Lawrence of Arabia” is often hailed as one of the greatest of all time. In a career spanning half a century, the Irish-born…

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.