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Acting legend Peter O’Toole announces retirement

Veteran Irish actor Peter O’Toole, praised for esteemed roles in classic films such as Lawrence of Arabia, announced his retirement from acting in films and stage this week.

“It is time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from films and stage. The heart for it has gone out of me: it won’t come back,” said O’Toole in a statement released by his publicist.

The 79-year-old actor said that his career, which has included eight Academy Award nominations without a win, “has brought me public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort. It has brought me together with fine people, good companions with whom I’ve shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits.”

“However,” he added. “It’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay.”

O’Toole’s last Oscar nomination was for best actor in the 2006 film Venus. He won an honorary Oscar in 2003 for his numerous memorable roles.

The actor said he is now spending his time working on the third volume of his memoirs. O’Toole finished the statement by saying, “I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.”