The acting great Peter O'Toole has tragically passed away after lossing a long battle with illness. The actor passed away in hospital on Saturday, 14 December, having retired from acting a little over a year prior to his unfortunate passing. He was 81-years-old.

Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole: 1932 - 2013

"Oh what terrible news. Farewell Peter O'Toole. I had the honour of directing him in a scene. Monster, scholar, lover of life, genius …" tweeted Stephen Fry in response to the sad passing. Comic David Walliam also had fond memories of the late acting great, tweeting, "Matt (Lucas) & I had drinks with Peter O'Toole in LA a few years ago. He was hugely entertaining. The greatest company. A legend on screen and off."

His passing hasn't just affected British entertainers, as the influence of O'Toole's acting prowess spread across the globe with each of his lauded performances. Michael Chiklis tweeted that Peter was one of the "original, hard drinking, classic, actor's actor", adding, "The piercing blue eyes of Lawrence of Arabia will never fade," whilst Neil Patrick Harris added, "Lucky to have worked with him for a month in Prague. Wonderful man, remarkable talent."

Peter O'Toole Lawrence of Arabia
His role as TE Lawrence is still his best remembered

Outside of the entertainment industry, O'Toole was known a "giant of film and theatre" by Irish President Michael D. Higgins, via BBC. After pretending not to have supported pro-apartheid policies in the past, following the death of Nelson Mandela earlier this month, British Prime Minister claimed that Lawrence of Arabia was his favourite film in his tweeted response to the death of O'Toole, adding that his acting talent was "stunning."

His role as T.E. Lawrence in the 1962 David Lean classic is probably O'Toole's most well-remembered and warmly held performance to date, but the thespian was by no means limited to this one performance. Throughout his career O'Toole won eight Oscar nominations, including one for Lawrence of Arabia, and he won numerous awards and plaudits for his performances on stage too. His career spanned more than fifty years and included some of the best known performances of his generation and his influence and legacy won't son be forgotten.

Peter O'Toole Pygmalion
O'Toole in a scene from the 1983 film Pygmalion