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Does the Academy Hate Peter O’Toole?

April 5, 2011

It’s not easy being Peter O’Toole.

He may be one of the world’s greatest actors, the star of such classic films as Lawrence of Arabia, Beckett, The Stunt Man, and (my personal favorite) The Lion in Winter, but when it comes to the Oscars, O’Toole just can’t seem to get any love.

O’Toole has the dubious distinction of being the most nominated actor never to win an Academy Award (8 nominations, 0 wins). Yes, he received an honorary Oscar in 2003 for his remarkable body of work (over 80 films, including a great supporting turn in The Last Emperor, as well as a regrettable appearance in Supergirl). But alas, as of this date, the 78 year-old actor has yet (to use his own words) “to win the bugger outright.”

What’s more—in a gesture that I’m sure the Academy thought was classy, though perhaps just added insult to injury—O’Toole received his honorary Oscar from none other than Meryl Streep, who has more Oscar nominations than any other actress in history (16 and counting). However, Streep also has two Oscars on her shelf. Oscars that she won. So if the Academy was hoping to make amends to O’Toole for their repeated snubs over years, they sure had a funny slightly sadistic way of showing it. (They would’ve done better to get Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, or Leo DiCaprio to present it to him, since all three of them know what it’s like to always be an Oscar bridesmaid, never the bride.)

If the Academy really wanted to honor O’Toole, they would’ve retroactively taken away Cliff Robertson’s 1968 Best Actor Oscar for Charly and given it to O’Toole for his incredible performance in The Lion in Winter (opposite Katharine Hepburn and a young Anthony Hopkins). If you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2011 8:12 am

    Phenomenal movie. Phenomenal blog.

  2. John Halbert permalink
    April 5, 2011 9:19 am

    He’s also had some spectacularly bad luck. He was nominated for Lawrence of Arabia, one of the all-time great performances by an actor. But he lost to Gregory Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird, one of the OTHER all-time great performances. He also lost to Marlon Brando in The Godfather.

  3. Angie Girl permalink
    April 5, 2011 9:08 pm

    Interesting info and great trivia. Looking forward to more Oscar history. I love this stuff too! Hopefully O’Toole has made his peace with the Academy.

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