Peter O'Toole: It’s goodbye to the last of the Sixties hellraisers
Barry Egan recalls meeting the late actor Peter O'Toole (1932 - 2013), who made a virtue of 'conduct unbecoming'
He scribbled a promise in his boyhood journals: "I will not be a common man. I will stir the smooth sands of monotony." It was an oath Peter O'Toole kept until his death at 81 last weekend.
Some, like his old friend Richard Burton, called him "the most original actor to come out of Britain since the war". (O'Toole played the brutish Henry II in the film Becket with Burton in 1964.) Others simply called him the next Laurence Olivier.
Time magazine famously referred to his character in David Lean's masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia -- where a mad-eyed O'Toole charged on a camel across the Sahara with the Arab armies to capture the port of Aqaba from the Turks -- as possessing a "look of messianic determination".