Posted by: cousindampier | 17 December 2013

The Obituary of Peter O’Toole

HAVING Never seen ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ is, I am told, a shocking travesty against basic human nature (or something like this).  Given how many times I watched the ending to Casablanca the day I first saw it (around 18), I suspect I’d like the movie; like so many others, I’ve just never made time to watch it.

When news broke that Peter O’Toole died, I was reminded of all this, and then the New Yorker wrote an obituary:

“within his nature, the gentleman cohabited with the fearsome rake, just as, within his Lawrence, something fey and dreamy, bordering dangerously on the camp, consorted with the unappeased ferocity of the warrior. Both facets shone in his sapphire stare. And that voice! By what miracle of instinct did Lean manage to cast a man who sounded, even before he reached the desert, as though his words had been naturally sanded?”

I have nothing to add except

a) fearsome rake is a fantastic term

b) That’s an obituary to aim for


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