Peter O’Toole, the consummate English actor, whose charm and effortless grace endeared him to generations of film audiences, has died in a hospital in London after a long battle with stomach cancer, reports ABC News. He was 81
The actor may best be remembered for his role in Lawrence of Arabia, playing the titular character with a tongue in cheek confidence which netted O’Toole superstardom. He followed that up with with other key characters in The Lion in Winter; the swashbuckling alcoholic charismatic actor who becomes a deer in the headlights as he’s forced to accept performing on 1950’s live television in My Favorite Year; and especially The Stunt Man, in which if Robert De Niro hadn’t turned in an equally dazzling performance that same year in Raging Bull (which won him the Oscar), O’Toole would have netted Academy Gold. In fact, O’Toole never won a Best Actor Oscar Award proper, after being nominated for the Tinseltown prize eight times. In 2003, however, the honorary Oscar was bestowed upon the charismatic actor.
Hellraisers takes the basic framework story of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and twists it on its ear, presenting the story in an non-seasonal manner. This absolutely absorbing and unapologetic graphic novel tells the classic tale in a more gritter milieu by way of intertwining the biographies of four of the most rabble rousing drunken playboy European actors of all time – Richard Burton, Oliver Reed, Richard Harris, and Peter O’Toole – and depicts them as sort of ghosts of decadent past (and in O’Toole’s case, right up to the present day) to help mentor and tutor a young everyman who is headed on the same paths that pretty much destroyed the aforementioned men.
The book, written by Robert Sellers and illustrated vividly and wildly in stark black and white by JAKe, is a tense, turgid, infectious, and hard to put down ride through the four men’s lives, a ride that has the top down, without seatbelts, and going an out-of-control 120 miles per hour.