16 December 2013

Good Night, Sweet Prince

Brash, charismatic, a little crazy, intelligent, talented, entertaining, he was one of the finest actors of his generation. And now Peter O’Toole has taken his final bow.

I’ve always adored O’Toole. He was a brilliant actor, sliding effortlessly between drama and comedy, equally comfortable quoting the words of the bard or Bertolt Brecht. A delightful storyteller, as demonstrated on numerous chat show appearances, he proved also to be a fine writer with his two-volume memoir Loitering With Intent. He was incredibly handsome in his youth, so much so that Noel Coward told him after seeing Lawrence of Arabia, “If you'd been any prettier, it would have been Florence of Arabia.” Unabashed about his drinking and hell raising, the stories of his drinking (he said that once he went out for a beer "at ones local in Paris and woke up in Corsica") and carousing with the likes of Richard Harris, Richard Burton, and Robert Shaw are the stuff of legend and make today’s bad boys seem just that, boys. Above all, he had presence; when he walked into a scene or onto a stage the air seemed to come alive, and you couldn't help but keep your eyes on him. He lived a long life for one who had done so much hard living but it still filled me with sadness when I read the news yesterday of his passing.

As a teen he wrote in his notebook “I will not be a common man. I will stir the smooth sands of monotony. I do not crave security. I wish to hazard my soul to opportunity.” I think that he fulfilled that wish. Good night, sweet prince.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...