O’Toole to get honorary Oscar

Jan 24, 2003 by Ian Evans

Seven-time Academy Award nominee Peter O’Toole has been chosen to receive an Honorary Award by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Award, an Oscar® statuette, will be presented at the 75th Anniversary Academy Awards on March 23. The citation will read: “Peter O’Toole – whose remarkable talents have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters.”

“O’Toole’s performances have ignited the screen for more than four decades,” said Academy President Frank Pierson. “He has appeared in some of the most unforgettable roles in the history of the medium. He’s seven times been nominated as Best Actor, which puts him in extremely rarified air for a performer. The Board of Governors felt it was time for him to hold his own Oscar in his hands.”

O’Toole was nominated in the lead actor category for Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man (1980) and My Favorite Year (1982).

Born in Ireland, O’Toole made his stage debut at 17 before attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. His first film role was a bit part in the 1959 film The Savage Innocents; he played First Trooper.

Within three years, though, he was tapped for the role of T. E. Lawrence in David Lean’s desert epic, the role that made him an international star.

O’Toole has appeared in some 50 films, including Lord Jim, The Night of the Generals, and Man of La Mancha.

Honorary Awards are given by the Academy for exceptional distinction in the making of motion pictures or for outstanding service to the Academy. Previous recipients over the Academy’s 75-year history include Charles Chaplin (twice), D. W. Griffith, Bob Hope (twice), Gene Kelly, Jean Renoir, Alex North, Federico Fellini, Chuck Jones and Sidney Poitier.

O’Toole’s Honorary Award will be presented, along with other Academy Awards® for outstanding film achievements of 2002, on Sunday, March 23, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland®. Stick with Digital Hit for all your Oscar® coverage.