Is a supporter of Sunderland football club of the English Premiership.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#47). (1995)
The 1976 film adaptation of the book "The Man Who Fell To Earth", directed by Nicolas Roeg, was originally meant to be a vehicle for O'Toole.
Father was Irish, mother was Scottish.
Father of actor Lorcan O'Toole.
His performance as "Alan Swann" in My Favorite Year (1982) is ranked #56 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
His daughter Kate O'Toole is a well-respected actress in her own right.
A close friend of April Ashley.
Cites Rose Byrne and Jodie Whittaker as the best young actresses he has ever worked with.
While at RADA in the early 1950s he was active in protesting British involvement in the Korean War. Later in the 1960s he was an active opponent of the Vietnam War.
Was originally approached by director 'Billy Wilder' to play Sherlock Holmes in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), opposite 'Peter Sellers' as Dr. Watson. Wilder later decided to go with lesser known stars instead.
Was a close friend of late actress Katharine Hepburn. His daughter, Kate O'Toole is named after her.
Nominated 8 times for best actor but has never won an Academy Award. He has more nominations without winning than any other actor.
His performance as "T.E. Lawrence" in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) is the #1 ranked performance of all time in Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
When he was named the recipient of a Special Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2003, he originally intended to turn it down feeling that the lifetime award signaled the end of his career. He wrote the Academy a letter stating that he was "still in the game" and would like more time to "win the lovely bugger outright." It was only after the Academy informed him that they were bestowing the award on him whether he came to collect it or not that he relented.
In 1976 he underwent surgery to remove parts of his stomach and intestine due to his heavy drinking. In the following year he almost died from a blood disorder. These two serious illnesses greatly affected his ability to work at that time.
Has the played two kings (King Henry II in Becket (1964) and Sir/King Cedric Willingham in King Ralph (1991)), two emperors (Emperor Tiberius Caesar in Caligola (1979) and the Emperor of Lilliput in Gulliver's Travels (1996) (TV), a prince (Prince Meleagre in The Rainbow Thief (1990)), a president (President Paul von Hindenburg in Hitler: The Rise of Evil (2003) (TV)) and several lords.
Both he and his fellow Irish actor (and close friend), the late Richard Harris appeared in versions of 'Gulliver's Travels': Harris played the 1977 film version Gulliver's Travels (1977) and O'Toole played the Emperor of Lilliput in the 1996 TV-film version Gulliver's Travels (1996) (TV), where Ted Danson played Gulliver.
Became an Associate Member of RADA.
He is only one of four actors to be nominated for an Oscar twice for playing the same role in two separate films. He was nominated as Best Actor for Henry II in Becket (1964) and for Henry II in The Lion in Winter (1968). The others are Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler (1961) and The Color of Money (1986), Bing Crosby as Father O'Malley in Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974)and Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I in Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007). Furthermore, O'Toole is the only one of these four who was nominated for playing the same character (at two different stages in his life) in two totally different films, neither of which was a sequel or prequel to the other.
Was friends with fellow Irish actor Richard Harris. After Harris died, his family hoped that O'Toole would replace him as Professor Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).
He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2000 (1999 season) for Outstanding Achievement Award for his theatrical career.