When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences offered Peter O'Toole an honorary Oscar last month, he responded with an unprecedented snub and said, essentially, thanks but no thanks. The Academy, in turn, said that the award was his whether he showed up at the ceremony to claim it or stopped by the Academy's headquarters sometime in the future to pick it up.
But now comes word that O'Toole may show up on March 23 after all. According to E! Online, Oscarcast producer Gil Cates reports that O'Toole has reconsidered and will come to Hollywood next month to be feted. However, O'Toole's manager declined to comment on the matter to EW.com, and an Oscar rep told EW.com that the Academy could not confirm that O'Toole would now accept the honor, but that a statement would be forthcoming.
The70-year-old ''Lawrence of Arabia'' star, who was nominated seven times between 1962 and 1982 but has never won, wrote a letter to the Academy last month that suggested he saw the award as a consolation prize given to artists who've reached the end of their careers without winning one. He wrote that he was ''enchanted" by the honor, but asked that since he is "still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright, would the Academy please defer the honor until I am 80?'' Academy president Frank Pierson wrote back that the organization still considered O'Toole to be ''in the game,'' and that ''the award is for achievement and contribution to the art of the motion picture, not for retirement.''
Did Pierson manage to change O'Toole's mind? Cates didn't say, but if O'Toole is coming to the Oscars, expect the famed raconteur to deliver a memorable acceptance speech for the ''lovely bugger.''