R.I.P. Peter O’Toole

Becket_Poster

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…

o'toole-photo

It seemed pretty cool as something I could work with. I spent a weekend producing this b&w image:

o'tooleB+W

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…

otoole-color

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *