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Peter O'Toole?


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He may have been nominated eight times and never won, but at least the Academy decided to honor him with an Honorary Oscar in 2003. He at least deserved that.


Although there have been many other actors, directors, writers who never have won Oscars that most assuredly deserved to be honored.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> For which film do you think he was most deserving? Certainly not MY FAVORITE YEAR.


Not most deserving, but I'd understand if he did. I laugh out loud watching this film every time. This is one of my favorites films TCM introduced to me in 2010. When I watched it last night I immediately thought of that clip they show on TCM whenever Lawrence of Arabia is on the schedule and he is discussing the coat he brought to the cleaners and how casually he describes what was on the coat!

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The 1962 best actor choice was particularly tough. Jack Lemmon in Days Of Wine and Roses; Burt Lancaster in Birdman of Alcatraz; Peter O Toole in Lawrence of Arabia; anyone of those guys would have been very deserving of the award, but Greg Peck got it and can anyone deny him getting it?

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Well I would say 1968 for Lion in Winter but then I have only seen Ron Moody in Oliver to compare. Then again none of the other performances seem as well known today. Was Cliff Robertson really that good as Charly? I did read the book but never saw the movie. I did think Peter O'Toole was excellent in Lion in Winter. Even more so because he played the same character in Becket but was able to make the character different in Lion.


Peter O'Toole could have won for Lawrence of Arabia but then Gregory Peck was also excellent as Atticus I have no qualms with the Oscars that year as that was a tough choice. Jack Lemmon was also very good.


In 1964 it is tricky, although I love Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady, Peter & Richard were equally good if not better in Becket. But then I am not sure how to choose between O'Toole and Burton in that movie and I expect the Academy voters had the same problem.


1968 seems to be the year Peter O'Toole should have won. I am less familiar with his films in later years. I did enjoy him in My Favorite Year which I saw for the first time last night but he has certainly done better.


I have Ruling Class recorded and hope to catch that soon.

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After seeing "The Stunt Man" again last night I was reminded of how good he was in that.

He could have won for that film as well.


BTW - anyone ever notice that both "The Stunt Man" and the TV series "Mad Men" both feature music that was lifted/sampled from the 50's hit "Autumn Leaves"?

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Well he could have won for any of the years he was nominated. This is true for anyone. Here is my breakdown of why O'Toole did not win any of the competitive Oscars he was nominated for.



Gregory Peck ? To Kill a Mockingbird

Peter O'Toole, Lawrence of Arabia

Burt Lancaster, Birdman of Alcatraz

Jack Lemmon, Days of Wine and Roses

Marcello Mastroianni, Divorce, Italian Style


But I would say that in 1962, neither he nor anyone else was going to take the prize away from Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird. Peck would have been my choice that year as well. Lawrence of Arabia was O'Toole's fourth film. Peck had been acting since the mid forties. Add to the fact that Mockingbird was the fourth Best Acting nomination for Peck. He was due.


As for other potential actors that could have garnered nominations here are those names: Henry Fonda in Advise and Consent, James Mason in Loilita, Kirk Douglas in Lonely Are the Brave, James Stewart and John Wayne in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey in The Manchurian Candidate, Robert Preston in The Music Man, Anthony Quinn in Requiem for a Heavy Weight.



Rex Harrison, My Fair Lady

Peter O'Toole, Becket

Richard Burton, Becket

Anthony Quinn, Zorba the Greek

Peter Sellers, Dr. Strangelove


In 1964 Harrison won for My Fair Lady. And although Harrison had only been nominated once before, actually the year before for Cleopatra, he was probably the clear choice for this year. Add to the fact that the tour de force acting of both O'Toole and Burton in Becket probably canceled each other out, there was probably not going to be a win for O'Toole in 1964.


O'Toole would take on the role of Henry II a second time in The Lion in Winter (1968), for which he was also nominated (and lost), thus becoming one of the few actors nominated twice for the same role. And another interesting tid bit: Both O'Toole and Richard Burton acting together in Becket, became the two most nominated actors in the history of the Oscars to have never won the Best Acting Award outright.


1964 also saw it fair share of other great performances that were not nominated: James Garner in The Americanization of Emily, Henry Fonda in The Best Man, Rod Steiger in The Pawn Broker, Burt Lancaster in The Train, Kirk Douglas and Fredric March in Seven Days in May.



Cliff Robertson, Charly

Peter O'Toole, The Lion in Winter

Alan Arkin, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Alan Bates, The Fixer

Ron Moody, Oliver!


1968 should have been the year O'Toole won the Best Actor award. But, no one even gave Cliff Robertson a chance for his role as the **** man who is transformed into a genius by a radical operation, if only for a brief time in Charly (this film's only nomination). O'Toole as was mentioned earlier played Henry II in Becket, thus becoming one of the few actors in the history of the Oscars to be nominated for the same role twice and not win. According to the experts, this was supposed to be a three way horse race between Bates, O'Toole and Arkin.

There were several other actors that could have received nominations but did not: Steve McQueen in Bullitt and or The Thomas Crown Affair, Richard Widmark in Madigan, both Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau for The Odd Couple, Burt Lancaster in The Swimmer, and Boris Karloff in Targets. Any of these could have been added in place of Arkin, Bates and Moody.



John Wayne, True Grit

Peter O'Toole, Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Richard Burton, Anne of the Thousand Days

Dustin Hoffman, Midnight Cowboy

Jon Voight, Midnight Cowboy


1969 was not going to be O'Toole's year either.

No one was going to get the ward except for John Wayne for his role as Rooster J. Cogburn in Henry Hathaway's True Grit. Why O'Toole was even nominated for one of the worst movies of all time is beyond belief.

There were many other actors more deserving of a Best Actor nomination that year: Steve McQueen in The Reivers, James Caan in The Rain People, William Holden in The Wild Bunch, Robert Redford and Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Elliot Gould and Robert Culp in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Walter Matthau in Cactus Flower, Robert Redford (again) in Downhill Racer, and Lee Marvin in Hell in the Pacific.

John Wayne's lone Oscar win can be attributed to the general belief at the time that his win was really for his career and the fact that he had beaten cancer three years before. He was the sentimental favorite and he won it. Even though he was quite good in True Grit, he was even better in films like Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Quiet Man, The Searchers and later for The Shootist. And for me it is sad now looking back that he won for a Henry Hathaway film and not for a Ford or Hawks film.



Marlon Brando, The Godfather (declined)

Peter O'Toole, The Ruling Class

Michael Caine, Sleuth

Laurence Olivier, Sleuth

Paul Winfield, Sounder


1972 was an interesting year as well. I do not think O'Toole would have won even if Brando was given the award. IMHO, if Brando had not won, I think this could have been one of the actors from Sleuth taking home the award. This was another year that a number of other performances could have been nominated but weren't. Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds in Deliverance, Robert Redford in both The Candidate and Jeremiah Johnson, Woody Allen in Play It Again Sam, Michael York in Cabaret, and several of the actors from 1776 could also have been nominated: Howard Da Silva, William Daniels and John Cullom.



Robert De Niro, Raging Bull

Peter O'Toole, The Stunt Man

Robert Duvall, The Great Santini

John Hurt, The Elephant Man

Jack Lemmon, Tribute


Again, another year where O'Toole was outclassed. De Niro was not going to be denied for Raging Bull. And I really liked O'Toole's character Eli Cross in The Stunt Man a lot. This is one of my all-time favorite films. If Ragin Bull had not been available for release in 1980, then I think O'Toole could have won for The Stunt Man. Others who could have been nominated were: William Hurt in Altered States, Burt Lancaster in Atlantic City, Lee Marvin in The Big Red One, Robert Redford in Brubaker, William Holden and Ricky Schroder in The Earthling, Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday, Paul LeMat in Melvin and Howard, and Donald Sutherland in Ordinary People.



Ben Kingsley, Gandhi

Peter O'Toole, My Favorite Year

Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie

Jack Lemmon, Missing

Paul Newman, The Verdict


Okay, here is yet another year where O'Toole should not have been nominated. Although I liked his performance in MFY, he was along with everyone was outclassed by Kingsley except possibly Paul Newman in The Verdict. Also deserving of a nomination in 1982 were: Albert Finney in Shoot the Moon, Jeremy Irons for Moonlighting, and either Nick Nolte or Eddie Murphy for 48HRS. Now, I am probably going to get nailed here for saying this but another actor deserving of a nomination for this year was William Shatner in Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan. Probably his best acting performance since The Brothers Karamazov in 1958 and Judgement at Nuremberg in 1961.



Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

Peter O'Toole, Venus

Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond

Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson

Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness


2006 was a weak year for Best Acting nominees as far as I was concerned. I did not see Whitaker in Scotland nor did I see O'Toole in Venus, but I have heard it was really good roles for both of them. There were more qualified actors who were not nominated. Matt Damon and Leonardo Di Caprio in The Departed, Ken Watanabe in Letters From Iwo Jima, Toby Jones in Infamous ( who in many ways was so much better than Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote the year before), Aaron Eckhart in Thank You For Smoking, Will Farrell in Stranger Than Fiction and Brad Pitt for Babel. And I really like Daniel Craig's performance as James Bond in Casino Royale.


So in conclusion, I think 1968 should have been O'Toole's year to win. He should have won, but didn't. At least he can eventually go to his grave with an Oscar firmly planted in his hands. An honorary Oscar, but an Oscar nonetheless.


Message edited by fxreyman

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While I agree with a lot of your comments, I cant agree that Goodbye, Mr. Chips was an awful movie (the remake). It did have a pretty awful score (except for a couple songs) by Leslie Bricusse. O'Toole fully deserved his nomination (though his singing is pretty bad). He lifted that movie onto another level. His acting in several scenes still brings tears to my eyes, though I havent seen it in quite awhile.


Edited by: Hibi on Feb 17, 2011 4:09 PM

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Fxreyman, thanks for the nice listing and insightful comments. Peter O'Toole getting all these nominations and not winning once is like Creedence Clearwater Revival having 5 songs go to #2 on the Billboard charts, but never having a #1. Sometimes, timing is everything.

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I thought P'Toole particularly good in "Becket" and "The Lion In Winter." Epics and period pieces seem, for me, to fit him best. I have not enjoyed his work as much in more modern settings.


I saw "Charly" a long time ago and was struck by Robertson's performance. I do think all these years later it was a win in the mold of playing the alcoholic or the insane character. They are out of the usual characters. That is not meant to diminish Robertson's work - it was very good but better than O'Toole? I'm not sure.

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Guess Mr. O'Toole is just a fortunate son - or not, depending on how you look at things. It must have been a bad moon rising on all those nights he never received an Oscar, but perhaps he's happy with his honourary one - or maybe still hoping to get a "best actor" award, up around the bend.

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I find it interesting the reaction that MY FAVORITE YEAR has gotten on these boards lately. I love this movie and I think it is definitely one of Peter O'Toole's best performances. To each his own, for sure , I guess.


Maybe because I've never seen LAWRENCE OF ARABIA for many, many years, and then, not on a big screen, my feelings for it are less enthusiastic than many.

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Thank you!


Well actually the same thing has happened to several other well-known actors over the years:


Richard Burton, who had seven nominations and no wins:

1952 Best Supporting Actor for My Cousin Rachel

1953 Best Actor for The Robe

1964 Best Actor for Becket

1965 Best Actor for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

1966 Best Actor for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

1969 Best Actor for Anne of the Thousand Days

1977 Best Actor for Equus


and Deborah Kerr, who had six nominations and no wins:

1949 Best Actress for Edward, My Son

1953 Best Actress for From Here to Eternity

1956 Best Actress for The King and I

1957 Best Actress for Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

1958 Best Actress for Separate Tables

1960 Best Actress for The Sundowners


and Thelma Ritter, who had six nominations and no wins:

1950 Best Supporting Actress for All About Eve

1951 Best Supporting Actress for The Mating Season

1952 Best Supporting Actress for With A Song In My Heart

1953 Best Supporting Actress for Pickup on South Street

1959 Best Supporting Actress for Pillow Talk

1962 Best Supporting Actress for Birdman of Alcatraz


and Irene Dunne, who had five nominations and no wins:

1930/1931 Best Actress for Cimarron

1936 Best Actress for Theodora Goes Wild

1937 Best Actress for The Awful Truth

1939 Best Actress for Love Affair

1948 Best Actress for I Remember Mama

She has been described as the Best Actress never to have won an Academy Award. Dunne was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award by the Kennedy Center Honors in 1985.


and Glenn Close, who had five nominations and no wins:

1982 Best Supporting Actress for The World According to Garp

1983 Best Supporting Actress for The Big Chill

1984 Best Supporting Actress for The Natural

1987 Best Actress for Fatal Attraction

1988 Best Actress for Dangerous Liaisons


and Albert Finney, who had five nominations and no wins:

1963 Best Actor for Tom Jones

1974 Best Actor for Murder on the Orient Express

1983 Best Actor for The Dresser

1984 Best Actor for Under the Volcano

2000 Best Supporting Actor for Erin Brockovich


and Arthur Kennedy, who had five nominations and no wins:

1949 Best Supporting Actor for Champion

1951 Best Actor for Bright Victory

1955 Best Supporting Actor for Trial

1957 Best Supporting Actor for Peyton Place

1958 Best Supporting Actor for Some Came Running

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