“I will not be a common man. I will stir the smooth sands of monotony. I do not crave security. I wish to hazard my soul to opportunity.”
Peter O’Toole penned those words, a promise to himself, when he was 18 years old.
He died earlier today at the age of 81. A common man he most certainly was not.
O’Toole was a wonderful actor, and a wonderful raconteur. Rather than share any clips from his films, which I did in this post back in August, I’ll share a couple of hugely entertaining appearances he made on The Late Show With David Letterman.
Here, he tells Dave and the studio audience a tale about some of his drinking exploits with the late Peter Finch. I love the way he says ‘on the lash’, and the look on his face when he does so. He was impish well into his 70’s.
And here, he makes a memorable entrance on a show taped in London, back in 1995:
Of acting, O’Toole said that “it has raised me from nothing into something, not a lot, but something. If you do something well and you enjoy it, what more can you bloody well ask?”