Acclaimed British stage and screen actor Peter O’Toole has announced his retirement, saying it is time to chuck in the sponge after a career spanning five decades.
The 79-year-old actor issued a statement Tuesday expressing gratitude for a career that has brought him public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort. But he says “the heart has gone out of me,” and it was time to bid acting “a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.”
O’Toole starred in the recently released “For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada.” The Web site Internet Movie Database says O’Toole has two films slated to be released later his year and in 2013.
He says he will spend his time working on the third volume of his memoirs.
The Irish-born O’Toole began his career as a Shakespearean actor on the London stage in the early 1960s, before earning international acclaim playing the title character in the classic epic “Lawrence of Arabia.” He also starred in such notable films as “The Lion in Winter,” “Goodbye, Mr. Chips,” and “My Favorite Year.”
He has received eight Academy Award nominations for best actor, the last for the 2006 drama “Venus,” but has never won. O’Toole received an honorary Oscar in 2003.