The Reckless Peter O’Toole

Shakespearean actor on stage and in the silver screen, Peter O’Toole, whose performance in “Lawrence of Arabia” is always mesmerizing, in his personal life was particularly eccentric.

These 6 facts about his personal life will make you shake..

Light traveler

Like all aristocrats, Peter left home without money, no keys, hoping someone would be home to open the door.

Long way from home

Peter O’Toole grew up in Leeds and specifically on the “dark” side of the city among outcasts and the so-called “goons”. When they asked him about his childhood he said he was not from the working class but from the criminal one.


Until the seventies, Peter O’Toole was keen on drinking and a smoker. One night he was drinking and sleeping in his bed, holding a cigarette. He woke up in flames and saved by firefighters.


While shooting one of his films, a journalist made a joke on him, leaving him a message that the IRA had notified of a bomb in the building where he was. O’Toole panicked and stopped the shooting. When he later realized that this was jus a bad joke,  he found the reporter and beat him up pretty bad.

Drive me NOT

His wife, Sian Phillips, once said in an interview that one day O’Toole came and took her from home on a car to go to Rome. Peter got lost on the way and eventually reached … Yugoslavia.

In an accident Peter O’Toole cut his finger. He thought it would be a good idea to dip it into brandy and then re-wrap it on. When he finally went to the hospital, doctors discovered he had wrapped the wrong way.

Climbing walls

At dawn, when O’Toole returned from his partying, he crossed Covent Garden. He made a habit out of climbing the Lloyds bank wall without equipment, of course. Luckily he never fell into the hands of the guard.

photos: Getty Images/Ideal Image

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