peter o'tooleSome sad news out of the entertainment world today. Peter O'Toole, who became famous after achieving superstardom in Lawrence of Arabia and was nominated eight times for an Academy Award, has died, according to his agent. He was 81.

His first Oscar nomination was for Lawrence of Arabia in 1962, and he was able to become a prolific, masterful actor even up until he received his last nomination for Venus in 2006. It seems he set the record for most nominations without ever winning the award, but he also accepted an honorary Oscar back in 2003. O'Toole was also very well known for his role as Pope Paul III in The Tudos and even lended his voice as the scary-looking Anton Ego in Ratatouille.

His agent said that he died after battling a "long illness." No doubt he will be very much missed by his family, friends, and co-stars alike.

Irish-born O'Toole was raised in Leeds, England, and made his stage debut when he was just 17 years old. He was plagued by medical problems in the 1970s -- at first it was thought they were caused by his drinking, but it turns out he had stomach cancer -- and he was able to turn his life around and give up alcohol.

Known for his beautiful blue eyes and deep, amazing voice, he leaves behind two children with his ex-wife Siân Phillips as well as a son after a brief relationship with American model Karen Somerville.

His family was touched "by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time. ... In due course there will be a memorial filled with song and good cheer, as he would have wished," O'Toole's daughter Kate said in a statement.

When O'Toole accepted his honorary Oscar, he quipped, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, my foot." Gotta love him. In terms of actually winning an Oscar, he once wrote, "I am still in the game and might win the bugger outright." He may have never won the big prize outright, but he sure left behind an illustrious career and should have been proud to have received all of those nominations.

In honor of the veteran actor's passing, here's my favorite part of Ratatouille, when Anton Ego gives his review:

And here he is receiving his honorary Oscar:

Did you ever see Lawrence of Arabia? Did you have a favorite Peter O'Toole movie or play?

 

Image via Gavatron/Wikimedia Commons