09:45 PM EDT 10/16/2013
Originally posted 07/10/2012 01:40PM
Lawrence of Arabia is folding his tent.
Peter O'Toole, the eight-time Oscar nominee and honorary Oscar winner who first blazed across the screen in David Lean's desert epic 50 years ago, announced Tuesday that he is retiring from acting. He is 79.
"Dear All," began his message, released by his reps. "It is time for me to chuck in the sponge. To retire from films and stage. The heart for it has gone out of me: it won't come back."
"My professional acting life, stage and screen, has brought me public support, emotional fulfillment and material comfort. It has brought me together with fine people, good companions with whom I've shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits."
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!