Peter O'Toole, the reknowned Irish actor, passed away on 14 December 2013. He achieved internation stardom with Lawrence of Arabia where he played T.E. Lawrence. Michael D. Higgins was a personal friend of O'Toole's and released a statement on his death. Additionally, there is some priceless footage of O'Toole and Richard Harris at a munster rugby match singing 'Carrickfergus', a folksong that O'Toole had a role in creating.
Statement by President Michael D Higgins on the death of Peter O’Toole
President Higgins said this evening "I have heard with great sadness of the passing of Peter O’Toole this weekend. Ireland, and the world, has lost one of the giants of film and theatre.
In a long list of leading roles on stage and in film, Peter brought an extraordinary standard to bear as an actor. He had a deep interest in literature and a love of Shakespearean sonnets in particular.
While he was nominated as Best Actor for an Oscar eight times, and received a special Oscar from his peers, for his contribution to film, he was deeply committed to the stage.
Those who saw him play leading roles on the screen from Lawrence in 1962, or through the role of Henry II in Becket, and The Lion in Winter, or through the dozens of films, will recognise a lifetime especially devoted to the art form of film.
Yet others may have have seen him on stage in London, New York, or Dublin where he performed at the Abbey with the late Donal McCann in Godot or at the Gaiety in the plays of Shaw and O’Casey. His performance in Shaw’s plays was outstanding.
I was privileged to know him as a friend since 1969. I spent part of 1979 in Clifden where we met almost daily and all of us who knew him in the West will miss his warm humour and generous friendship.
To Kate, Pat, Lorcan and Sian my deepest sympathy. Sabina and I and our children will miss him, as will all those who saw him on screen or stage or had the privilege, as I had, of enjoying his friendship and humour.
He was unsurpassed for the grace he brought to every performance on and off the stage."
Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole & Munster Rugby