PETER O’Toole, one of the last century’s greatest actors whose roles in films such as “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Lion in Winter” earned him eight Oscar nominations but no wins (a record), died this week at the age of 81.
O’Toole recalled one time in his childhood when his father, Patrick, “stood his young son up on the mantelpiece and said: ‘Jump, boy. I’ll catch you. Trust me.’” O’Toole jumped and fell onto the floor with a thud. ”The lesson, said his father, was ‘never trust any bastard.’”
In a 2007 interview with The New York Times, O’Toole described himself as a “retired Christian.”
O’Toole left his Catholic faith behind in his childhood, but often had high praise for the figure behind Christianity. Speaking of his admiration of the Sermon on the Mount, O’Toole said, “No one can take Jesus away from me…there’s no doubt there was a historical figure of tremendous importance, with enormous notions. Such as peace.” He didn’t have much use for the institution of the Catholic church, but he held Jesus in reverence.