Honorary Oscar can wait, says O'Toole
Thursday 30 January 2003
Peter O'Toole has asked for his honorary Oscar to be deferred for 10 years because he still wants to win a real one.
The star of films including Lawrence Of Arabia and Goodbye, Mr Chips has been nominated for seven Oscars but has never won one.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scienceswrote to him announcing its plan to award him the honour at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles on 23 March but in a hand-written response he said he would rather wait.
O'Toole said he was "enchanted" by the gesture but as he was "still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright, would the Academy please defer the honour until I am 80?"
The refusal has left the Academy "bemused and sorry," according to its president Frank Pierson. "It would be great if he decides to change his mind and join us," he said.
Mr Pierson wrote to Mr O'Toole to reassure him: "The board unanimously and enthusiastically voted you the honorary award, because you've earned and deserved it.
"As to being 'in the game', nobody ever thought you were out of it."
Should O'Toole stick to his guns and decline to attend the Oscars ceremony in March, it will leave the Academy with a homeless statuette. Previous winners have refused an Oscar, but no honorary winner has ever declined the prize.
When Marlon Brando and George C Scott refused their honours there was no name on the Oscar but as an honorary recipient, the name of Peter O'Toole will be already on the gong. Mr Pierson told the reluctant star that the statuette, "will be at the Academy for you to pick up when you're 80 or whenever you're ready".
Accepting it now would not exempt Mr O'Toole from winning a real one in years to come. Both Paul Newman and Henry Fonda walked off with competitive Oscars after receiving an honorary award.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove