It was with great sadness that I heard of Peter O'Toole's passing yesterday.
O'Toole was one of those brilliant actors that was great in everything that he did. That included his role of Zaltar in the Supergirl movie. Zaltar was a quirky dreamer of a scientist in the movie who befriends Kara and teaches her about the Omegahedron. There was something whimsical about the performance. Even if it wasn't going to be an Academy Award nominated role, even if he was doing it for a pay check, he was Zaltar. And his interactions with Helen Slater are great.
Of course, I love O'Toole in other movies too. Everyone mentions Lawrence of Arabia and they should. That movie is classic David Lean, the cinematography so beautiful you could weep. But O'Toole's intensity as Lawrence exploded off the screen. Lawrence is my favorite Lean movie (yes ... more than Dr. Zhivago or Bridge over the River Kwai) and I think O'Toole's performance is a big part of that.
But if you asked me which is my favorite O'Toole movie it would be My Favorite Year, a comedy in which he played Alan Swann, an alcoholic actor of swashbuckling movies trying to sober up for a live TV sketch show. I know ... it isn't Lawrence ... but there is something nuanced about this performance too. Even if it is a comedy, there is a sad backstory to Swann. He loves his crazy celebrity life but he craves something more.
Still, for Supergirl fans, he was Zaltar and he'll be missed.