Peter O’Toole has agreed to accept an honorary Academy Award after politely balking because he thought the honor meant his career was over, an Oscar official said.
The 70-year-old Irish actor, who has never won an Oscar despite being nominated seven times, apparently reassessed the situation and will now appear at the March 23 ceremony, Frank Pierson, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said Friday.
“It looks like that may indeed happen, and we couldn’t be happier,” Pierson said.
O’Toole’s manager, Johnnie Planco, declined to confirm the academy’s announcement, saying the matter was being kept a surprise.
O’Toole initially mistook the offer as a sign that his peers thought he could no longer win a competitive award. He sent a handwritten letter last month saying he was “enchanted” at the thought of an honorary Oscar but that he was “still in the game, and might yet win (the award) outright.”
He asked if it were possible for the academy to “please defer the honor until I am 80?”
Academy officials said O’Toole was chosen for the honorary trophy because his career has included best-actor nominations for “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Becket,” “The Lion in Winter,” “Goodbye, Mr. Chips,” “The Ruling Class,” “The Stunt Man” and “My Favorite Year.”