Peter O'Toole
Tributes pour in for acting legend Peter O' Toole. Reuters

Stars of stage and screen have been paying their personal tributes to Peter O'Toole who had died aged 81.

The actor, who first came to prominence fifty years ago following his performance in the title role of the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. passed away at the Wellington Hospital in London on Saturday (December 14) following a long illness, his agent Steve Kenis confirmed.

Admired for his acting talent and his lifelong dedication and passion for the arts, news of O'Toole's passing has prompted an outpouring of grief from his peers.

Expressing his shock at the news, writing on Twitter, actor Stephen Fry recalled his personal experience of working with the acting giant saying: "Oh what terrible news. Farewell Peter O'Toole. I had the honour of directing him in a scene. Monster, scholar, lover of life, genius ..."

Star of stage Sheriden Smith described O'Toole as a "true gent.""So sad about the death of the incredible Peter O'Toole :( He saw a play I did last year & sent me & all the cast presents after.A true gent!

TV host and Journalist Piers Morgan recalled fond memories of time spent with the actor. "RIP Peter O'Toole. Spent one of the funniest days of my life with him at Lord's a few years ago. A brilliant actor & crazy, hilarious man."

Apprentice star and businessman Lord Alan Sugar praised him for his performance in a favourite film wrote: "R.I.P Peter O'Toole one of our best actors, great performance in the Night of the Generals."

Comedian David Walliams fondly recalled a meeting with the actor saying: "Matt [Lucas] & I had drinks with Peter O'Toole in LA a few years ago. He was hugely entertaining. The greatest company. A legend on screen and off."

And fellow comedian Eddie Izzard wrote: "Farewell Peter O'Toole. Your work will be remembered."

British Prime minister David Cameron paid his own tribute saying: "My thoughts are with Peter O'Toole's family and friends. His performance in my favourite film, Lawrence of Arabia, was stunning.

O' Toole is survived by his three children, Pat, Kate and Lorcan O'Toole. He was married to actress Siân Phillips for 20 years until 1979.