Monday, December 16, 2013

R.I.P. Peter O'Toole

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.


Anonymous said...

Check out "The Stuntman" if you wanna see him in a much more ambiguous role that suggests Peter O'Toole might've been a stellar Supergirl villain...


Gene said...

I liked Zaltar because he helped shape Kara into becoming a hero in the movie. Even when he was in deep despair in the Phantom Zone, it was Kara's determination and spirit that convinces him that they should try to find a way out. He shall be missed.

I also liked him as the Roman commander in the 1981 TV miniseries Masada.


elknight20 said...

As soon as I heard the news, I reblogged some great Peter O'Toole tributes, on my site.

I just, recently, compiled some Supergirl: The Movie gifs, over here, some with him in it: The Movie

elknight20 said...

More links:

Anj said...

Thanks for the links ealperin!

I haven't seen the movie in forever. I think I need to finally buy a copy!

elknight20 said...

Thank you!!!

I got the Director's cut on itunes a LONG while back.

I need to find a few more DVD's of the movie.

I had the DC on DVD, but, it may be at my parent's home, since I moved out.