LONDON (AP) -- Known on the one hand for his starring role in “Lawrence of Arabia,” leading tribesmen in daring attacks across the desert wastes, and on the other for his headlong charges into drunken debauchery, Peter O’Toole was one of the most magnetic, charismatic and fun figures in British acting.
O’Toole, who died Saturday at age 81 after a long bout of illness, was fearsomely handsome, with burning blue eyes and a penchant for hard living which long outlived his decision to give up alcohol. Broadcaster Michael Parkinson told Sky News television it was hard to be too sad about his passing.
“Peter didn’t leave much of life unlived, did he?” he said, chuckling.
O’Toole’s death was announced by agent Steve Kenis, who said the actor had been ill for some time.
His daughter Kate said the family had already been overwhelmed by the expressions of sympathy.
“In due course there will be a memorial filled with song and good cheer, as he would have wished,” she said in the statement.