"I had first seen Peter O’Toole some years ago playing Edmund in Lear at the Bristol Old Vic. I had not heard of him before — I went to Bristol to see another actor — and found myself intrigued with O’Toole. He looked like a beautiful, emaciated secretary bird. He was extremely young and his acting was unformed and half-derivative, but his voice had a crack like a whip. And most important of all, you couldn’t take your eyes off him. Here was that rare thing — the mystery of personality in the actor. It was nothing to do with O’Toole’s good looks, his blond hair or his commanding height — the same compelling quality was to be found in the late John Garfield who was small and dark. Acting is universally regarded as a craft, and I claim it to be nothing more except in the hands of the odd few men and women who, once or twice in a lifetime, elevate it into something odd and mystical and deeply disturbing. I believe Peter O’Toole to have this strange quality. It will be fascinating to watch him in the years to come because, successful as he is, he hasn’t really begun yet.” — Richard Burton, 1964

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