Monster, scholar, lover for life - friends farewell O'Toole

Peter O'Toole, 2 August 1932 - 14 December 2013.
Peter O'Toole, 2 August 1932 - 14 December 2013.

Peter O'Toole, who has died aged 81, possessed a prodigious acting talent, heart-stopping good looks, and an enormous capacity for booze. Here, he is remembered by those who knew him.

Michael Caine, actor
Caine, his understudy for the 1959 play The Long and the Short and the Tall at the Royal Court Theatre went out to dinner with O'Toole and woke up in a strange flat days later. "There was a wild weekend that I don't remember ... 'What time is it?' I asked. 'Never mind what time it is,' said O'Toole, 'what f***ing day is it?"'

Toa Fraser, director
Fraser, a New Zealand film-maker, directed O'Toole in his 2008 film Dean Spanley. "We will be saying a karakia on the beach at Piha this morning to the incredible Peter O'Toole. What a life. RIP my friend."

Sam Neill, actor, Dean Spanley
"Very sad to hear the great Peter O'Toole has exited stage right. But honoured to have worked with the great man: brilliant, funny, dangerous."

Sir Michael Gambon, actor
Gambon appeared with O'Toole, playing Hamlet, in the National Theatre's first production in 1963. "He was a great actor. He was great fun to be with. He will be missed badly."

Sian Phillips, actress and former wife
"We've lost a legendary actor and a heroic man. My thoughts and prayers are with the children."

Stephen Fry, actor and writer
"Oh what terrible news. Farewell Peter O'Toole. I had the honour of directing him in a scene. Monster, scholar, lover of life, genius ..."Sean Bean, starred with O'Toole in Troy"The first time I met him on the set, he was in a robe with a cigarette holder and he said: 'Sean, how are you, dear boy?' He was just how I imagined him to be."

Noel Coward, playwright
Speaking after the release of Lawrence of Arabia: "If he'd been any more beautiful they'd have had to rename it Florence of Arabia."

David Tennant who appeared with O'Toole in Casanova
"I only had one day filming with him and he was exactly what you want Peter O'Toole to be, the most extraordinary presence and full of ridiculous tales - he was glorious."

Michael Parkinson, entertainer
"He didn't leave much of life unlived, did he?"

Barry Norman, film critic
"A true movie star who had tremendous charisma."

David Cameron, British Prime Minister
"My thoughts are with Peter O'Toole's family and friends. His performance in my favourite film, Lawrence of Arabia, was stunning."

- Independent

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