Peter O’Toole

Peter O’Toole

I’ve been a fan since his debut in Lawrence of Arabia. So, when I answered the phone and the wardrobe person said she wanted me to make a hat for Peter O’Toole, I was eager to hear more.

She wanted me to make a hat for his character in a movie they were shooting in China. Okay. She described the look they had in mind. No worries. Can do.

Peter O’Toole
Bobby Brown bought a very finely woven, unfinished hat as a gift for her while they were staying at the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui. Yes, there were hundreds and hundreds of six-inch-long straws hanging down from the brim edge all around.

She was worried the budget might not be enough for a really good hat. Movie and TV productions usually have small budgets and no time. I asked if the character’s hat would be new, or if it should look like he’d had it for awhile.

No, not new. So, I could use older hats I had in inventory, and they could even have minor compromises, which is why I still had them in inventory.

I had read that Mr. O’Toole could sometimes be difficult for support workers. My strategy was to make two hats, so he would have an either-or choice, rather than take it or leave it. People always like choices. By using older hats that might have blemishes that would disqualify them from filling regular orders, I could make two hats and stay within the budget. (I’ve produced a lot of TV commercials, so I know about production budgets.)

The wardrobe person was in heaven. She had feared he might not like whatever hat she presented, but with two hats to present, she was hugely relieved, more confident of surviving the event.

I made two hats, both the same style. He was pleased. The wardrobe person lived to do more movies.

The photo is from the fitting.

Is this Peter O’Toole looking pleased? Yikes.

All good. How often do I get a chance to make a hat for a hero?

Think of all the movies he starred in. Know how many Oscars he won for those roles? None. Not even for Lawrence.

The Academy did honor him in 2002 with an Academy Honorary Award for his entire body of work.

Better late than never.

The Panama Hat Company of the Pacific dba Brent Black Panama Hats 1314 Center Dr., Suite B-448 Medford, OR 97501 There is no retail store at this address. (more) Toll Free: (888) 658-6500 Phone: (541) 201-3113

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