Born to a vagabond bookie working the U.K's racetracks, Peter O'Toole became "the most notorious sailor in Her Majesty's Royal Navy" and then worked as a street vendor, a paparazzo, a newsman, and a steeplejack before drifting into the London theatre.
After his spectacular success in David Lean's four-hour epic, Lawrence of Arabia, he announced, "I've arrived!
Ignore me at your peril!" He then went on to be nominated for seven Oscars before emerging as the Crown Prince of the British Theatre.
An orgiastic hellraiser, he starred in week-long binges and sex orgies of near Biblical proportions, bedding everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Princess Margaret, who relentlessly pursued him.
Mercurial acting talent on the screen was combined with a lethal off-screen life that "would have landed most blokes in jail" (his words).