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Peter O'Toole to retire from show business

Peter O'Toole arrives at TCM Classic Film Festival Opening Night Gala on April 28, 2011, in Hollywood, Calif. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) Peter O'Toole says that is is time for him to "chuck in the sponge."

The actor is retiring from show business, saying he no longer has the heart for it.

O'Toole, who turns 80 on Aug. 2, said in a statement Tuesday that his career on stage and screen fulfilled him emotionally and financially, bringing "me together with fine people, good companions with whom I've shared the inevitable lot of all actors: flops and hits."

"However, it's my belief that one should decide for oneself when it is time to end one's stay," he said. "So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell."

In retirement, O'Toole said he will focus on the third volume of his memoirs.

An eight-time Academy Award nominee who never won Hollywood's top acting honor, O'Toole shot to screen stardom 50 years ago in the title role of "Lawrence of Arabia," which earned seven Oscars, including best picture and director for David Lean.

The honors stacked up quickly as O'Toole received Oscar nominations for 1964's "Becket," 1968's "The Lion in Winter," 1969's "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," 1972's "The Ruling Class," 1980's "The Stunt Man" and 1982's "My Favorite Year."

In 2003, at age 70, O'Toole received an honorary Oscar, often given as a consolation prize for acclaimed actors and filmmakers who never managed to win Hollywood's top award.

O'Toole graciously accepted the honorary award, quipping, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, my foot," as he clutched his Oscar statuette.

O'Toole nearly turned down the award, sending a letter asking that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hold off on the honorary Oscar until he turned 80.

Hoping another Oscar-worthy role would come his way, O'Toole wrote: "I am still in the game and might win the bugger outright."

He earned his eighth best-actor nomination for 2006's "Venus," in which he played a lecherous old actor consigned to roles as feeble-minded royals or aged men on their death beds.

O'Toole lost; the best-actor prize went to Forest Whitaker for "The Last King of Scotland."

Still, O'Toole had the esteem of Hollywood from that honorary prize a few years earlier.

"I have my very own Oscar now to be with me until death us do part," O'Toole told the academy crowd that night.

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