I’m Late — Peter O’Toole

Peter O’Toole was one of my first crushes.  And in fact, I am pretty sure he must have established “my type” in men.  My husband is also tall, blond, has brilliant blue eyes and is also quite quite handsome.

But that wasn’t really the reason I had such a crush on the man.  Nope.  I loved him because he was a bit nuts.

Just last week, I recounted this story to Darla of She’s a Maniac, but we had nothing to do with  Peter’s death.  Really.  We both loved him.  Anyway, I think I got it wrong in the telling when I mentioned it to Darla.  So for Darla and the one person who read my story in Darla’s comments, sorry.  I think I’m now telling the correct version.  But for anybody who loved Peter O’Toole, whether for his incredible acting ability, his incredible beauty, or his nuttiness, I thought I’d pass along the story as told to me by Omar Sharif.  Sadly, it was an interview on TV that I saw many years ago, and not in person.

“I was sitting there on the set of Lawrence,” said Omar of his first meeting with co-star and newbie, Peter O’Toole.  And this tall blond man I’d never seen before walked up to me and introduced himself.”

“‘I’m Peter, Peter O’Toole,’ he told me.

“I’m Omar Sharif,” I responded reaching out to shake his hand.

And then Peter responded, with an impish, Irish grin on his face:

“‘Nobody is named ‘Omar.’  I shall call you ‘Fred.'”

And with a toss of his head and a resounding laugh, Fred Sharif concluded:  “and he did!”

Photo Credit:  The Irish Times

Photo Credit: The Irish Times

*     *     *

As the daughter, sister and granddaughter of Freds, I gotta love the man.

And by the way, apropos of nothing, my father grew up in a house where lived a strange trio:  Fred, Fred and Ed.  I’m pretty sure that’s why my Dad had such a nutty sense of humor, too.


Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Dad, Huh?, Humor

50 responses to “I’m Late — Peter O’Toole

  1. What a fabulous story, funny. I suspect ‘my type’ was established by my first crush as well. Can you guess? No, it wasn’t the wonderful Mr. O’Toole; yes, it was his fabulous co-star Fred.


  2. Off topic … but so The Queen knows … one of your plebes is Freshly Pressed.


  3. I loved that story. As for Peter O’Toole, he was so full of life and everything, its hard to realise he has gone


  4. I also read that “Fred” story in Darla’s comments, memorized it and have retold it 1000 times in the last week. Now to find out it was wrong…if I can’t trust Elyse’s Peter O’Toole anecdotes in the comments section on She’s a Maineiac, what CAN I trust????

    I’m adrift, unsure of anything in life.


  5. I was obsessed with Laurence of Arabia. Obsessed. I used to walk along the beach humming the theme song and imagining Peter O’Toole coming up over the dunes.
    “Or-ence! Or-ence!”


    • I got an email from my old boss recently. The man I worked for in Geneva. He was in Saudi Arabia and said he felt like the pages of the book were walking before his eyes.

      I need to watch that movie again, I think. Oh how handsome and vibrant he was. And Fred too, of course!


  6. Deborah the Closet Monster

    I don’t remember much of him, save watching Supergirl when I was little and my mom remarking on him with a dreamy sigh. I can’t remember her actual words, but it was that dreamy response I recalled when I heard he’d passed away. It’s neat to learn a little more about him here.


    • Glad I brought your mother back to you for a moment, Deb. I love when those surprise visits happen.

      But Supergirl was not PO’s finest hour. Watch Lion in Winter or Beckett or Lawrence of Arabi. He was magical. And those eyes. To. Die. For. (Or, like in your mother’s case and mine, to sigh for!)


  7. I heard that Peter O’Toole never won an Oscar. What a shame. As for your claim: “My husband is also tall, blond, has brilliant blue eyes and is also quite quite handsome.”—Hey, are you stepping out with my man? Sounds like my hubby. Only his blond hair seems to have thinned a bit over the years. 😉


  8. Moe

    Mischief and those eyes . . . yikes. RIP you dashing rascal!


  9. Nice tribute with a personal touch. Loved the Fred story. Although I never knew of this, it rekindled this from my memory bank.


  10. Such a huge loss. I have to say I’m still a bit freaked out we were JUST discussing him and my crush on Omar and “hot dead guys” crushes. Are you sure we had nothing to do with his death?


  11. This is a great story to remember him by. I love quirky humour and greatly admired Peter O’Toole.


  12. You had me at Omar Sharif who was my first crush. So dark and mysterious looking. Then some blonde hunk turned me onto blondes. Didn’t go so well and current husband is a nice steady (unrowdy) brunette.


  13. RIP to one of the last great ones.


  14. Great story, Elyse. “Fred” is everywhere, I swear. My nephew worked at a retail store and I noticed his name tag said Fred. “Who’s Fred?”, I asked him. “I am, when I’m working.”
    i have written about my small town in deep East TX when I was growing up. My mother made me aware that some things weren’t quite right in the provincialism, yes, racism and small minded cliques that surrounded us. We went to church in my small town, and one thing I vividly remember was the assistant pastor telling us Peter O’Toole had been his roommate. hmmm…church…Lawrence of Arabia…church…the big screen…church…tall blonde roommate. I remember thinking at that moment “I guess ministers can be cool, after all.”
    What a wonderful actor. He will be missed.


  15. Great story. The man is legend. I hope he rests in peace – and gives God a funky name.


  16. JSD

    I loved him, too, for the same three reasons, his acting, his beauty, and his nuttiness. What a loss!


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