Well, it is sad to reflect on the passing of a great figure. O’Toole was a giant of an actor with a long line of accomplishments.
Back when I was at the Wall Street Journal, I was looking for a subject for a portrait. I believe PBS showed the film, “Becket” on television, and I was lucky enough to catch it. Before the internet, you had to track down images, and it was a bit of a chore. I used to pore over the New York City Library’s picture file, which was extensive. I found this 8 x 10″ photo from the film…
It seemed pretty cool as something I could work with. I spent a weekend producing this b&w image:
It was part of my first serious advertising effort — a single b&w page in the BlackBook, the pre-eminent directory for illustrators and photographers back then. I paid around $5,000. for the page, and it started my freelance career. I received a lot of calls, and was soon able to leave my job at the Journal, which had become rather tedious due to office politics.
I soon decided to produce a color version. It came out well, and remains one of my stronger efforts. Here it is…
By the way, the movie is pretty intense, with Richard Burton playing Thomas Becket, and O’Toole as Henry the 2nd. There is a powerful Ex-Communication sequence which is kind of frightening!
Anyway, we bid you adieu, Peter O’Toole– you will be long remembered.