Peter O'Toole Retires From Acting at 79

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The eight-time Oscar nominee said in a statement, "The heart for it has gone out of me: it won’t come back."

Peter O'Toole is taking his final bow from the screen and stage.

The 79-year old Ireland-born, England-raised actor released a statement on Tuesday announcing his retirement after over sixty years of performing.

"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," O'Toole wrote. "My professional acting life, stage and screen, 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, it’s my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one’s stay. So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell."

Having started out on stage and television in Britain, O'Toole shot to fame on the back of a camel in Lawrence of Arabia, and later led in such iconic films as Caligula, Man of La Mancha and Goodbye Mr. Chips. More recently, he played the Pope in The Tudors, and will feature in period pieces Katherine of Alexandria and Mary Mother of Christ.

O'Toole was nominated for a total of eight Academy Awards, the most recent coming in 2006 for Venus. While never winning a competitive Oscar, he was bestowed with an honorary statuette in 2003. He won a BAFTA, four Golden Globes, an Emmy and an Olivier Award, making for a well-stocked, glimmering mantle.