Veteran British actor Peter O’Toole is to star in a new film that tells the story of St Katherine of Alexandria, reports the Catholic Herald.
The 81-year-old actor will play Gallus, an orator in the emperor’s court, alongside Romanian actress Nicole Keniheart as the third century martyr. Also starring are Joss Ackland, Steven Berkoff and Edward Fox.
St Katherine of Alexandria, whose feast day was yesterday, was according to later biographies, born to local royalty who converted to Christianity at the age of 14. Blessed with a natural talent for scholarship and rhetoric, she is said to have bettered a series of pagan philosophers in debate who were put up by the Roman emperor of the time, and who subsequently converted to Christianity.
Although she cannot be identified with any historical character, and she was removed from the Roman Calendar in 1969, she was restored as an optional memorial in 2002.
O’Toole has been nominated for Oscar awards eight times in his career, including for his roles in Lawrence of Arabia, Beckett and The Lion in Winter, where he played Henry II.