Peter O’Toole died on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the age of 81, and the world lost one of its greatest legendary actors. While O’Toole will remain best remembered for his leading role in the magnificent Lawrence of Arabia, he leaves behind an entire career of great work that dwarfs many actors working in Hollywood today.

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Peter O’Toole got his start working in theater and became a mainstay in Shakespearean theater productions until he finally made his film debut in 1959. The fact that he had only been acting for three years makes his portrayal of T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia even more impressive.

O’Toole received an Oscar nomination for that performance, and went on to receive seven more over his career (Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982) and Venus (2006)). However, he never won an Oscar, although the Academy did honor him in 2003.

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Too many kids today know little about Peter O’Toole, but anyone who loves film and sublime acting performances would be remiss not to seek out one of those Oscar nominated films – particularly Lawrence of Arabia, which remains one of the greatest movies of all time.

Peter O’Toole died yesterday, but his work will live on and his status as one of cinema’s greatest treasures remains unquestioned.