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O'Toole Turns Down Oscar...
Irish actor Peter O'Toole has amazingly turned
down the Oscar organisers to defer presenting
him with an honorary Oscar until he is 80!
It was announced last week that the Academy were going
to present an honorary statuette to the 70 year old.
In a letter O'Toole told the organisers: "enchanted
by the honorary award, as I am still in the game and
might win the lovely thing outright, would the Academy
please defer the honour until I am 80?"
Oscars president Frank Pierson told O'Toole:
" The award is for achievement not retirement".
named other actors including Paul Newman and
Henry Fonda who have won competitive gongs
after an honorary one.
will have the Oscar for him and if he cares to pick
it up, that would be great."
Pierson went on, "it would be great if he decides
to change his mind and join us."
sent a letter to the actor saying, "The board unanimously
and enthusiastically voted you the honorary award
because you've earned and deserved it... As to being
'in the game,' nobody ever thought you were out of
it. The award is for achievement and contribution
to the art of the motion picture, not for retirement
Pierson contested another aspect of O'Toole's letter.
Peter wrote that "the board of the Academy had informal
talks with my agent, during which conversations the
subject of the Academy having it in mind to award
me an honorary Oscar was presented."
Academy president told Daily Variety that there
were no informal talks, "we don't negotiate and it's
not contingent upon anyone appearing."
In the past, winning actors such as Marlon Brando
have refused the Oscar, but no honorary winner has
ever declined the prize.
Academy executive director Bruce Davis said
there will be a statuette at the March 23rd ceremony,
and if O'Toole decides not to attend, it will go into
the Academy's vault.
Pierson's letter told O'Toole, the statuette "will
be at the Academy for you to pick up when you're 80
or whenever you're ready."