Legendary LAWRENCE OF ARABIA star PETER O’TOOLE has crossed the Nefud desert one last time into infinity at age 81.

The hard-drinking hard-living O’Toole, who was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, passed after a brief illness, his agent confirmed.

Seamus Peter O'Toole was born Aug. 2, 1932, the son of Irish bookie Patrick "Spats" O'Toole and his wife Constance. After studying journalism at the Yorkshire Evening Post and national military service with the Royal Navy,  O'Toole auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and won a scholarship.  Next stop for all master thespians – The Bristol Old Vic.

Peter was launched into super- stardom in director David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" as mythic poet/warrior solider T.E. Lawrence  who led an Arab rebellion against the Turks during World War One.

O’Toole’s sensitive portrayal of Lawrence's complex character garnered O'Toole his first Oscar nomination – the first of eight.  Like so many other luminaries, he never took home a gold statuette.

In "Becket," (1964) O'Toole played King Henry II to Richard Burton's Thomas Becket. Both  Burton and O’toole were fond booze and their off-screen revelry made headlines.  O’Toole garnered an Oscar nom.

O'Toole played King Henry II again in 1968 in "The Lion in Winter" opposite heavy weight Katharine Hepburn, for his third Oscar nomination.

Four more nominations followed — in 1968 for the musical "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," in 1971 for “The Ruling Class” –the acclaimed social satire about a mad English Lord who fancied himself Jesus and in 1982  as thinly-disguised Errol Flynn for "My Favorite Year."  O’Toole received his eighth and final nom, for "Venus" in 2006.

As The ENQUIRER reported last year O’Toole announced his retirement from acting weeks shy of his 80th  birthday. He said his long outstanding career had brought "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.

"So I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell."

We’re not so dry-eyed as we bid adieu to the one and only Peter O’Toole. 

“Truly, for some men nothing is written unless THEY write it…