Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Gregory Peck




Born: April 5, 1916

Died: June 12, 2003

Aged: 87 Years from natural causes

Real Name: Eldred Gregory Peck

Marriages: 2 times

A true blue, deep-voiced actor who was a strong liberal who fought for humanitarian causes and stood up for what he believed in. He was also quite good looking(enter mooning sigh here). He hated his first name (who can blame him) so he always went by his middle name. In university he was a rower where he injured his spine preventing him from entering World War 2. He stated he took dance lessons from Martha Graham to improve movement and injured his spine, when with her group, but the studio thought that did not sound as good as a sports injury. He enjoyed acting and eased into the movies since so many male actors were overseas. His first wife took him to the cleaners (he paid for her his whole life) and when he was in Rome he met a lady journalist with the first name of Veronique. A few weeks later he called her and she gave up her interview with Albert Schweitzer to go out with Peck. They married and remained happily married until he passed away. While making the film, "Roman Holiday" in Rome with newcomer Audrey Hepburn, he insisted she be above the credits beside his name because he knew she would become a great star. When he was filming "Moby Dick", they had strapped him to an 80ft white whale(obviously not real) 10 miles off the coast of Wales in the Irish Sea. The weather was horrible and it was very choppy when a wave came and snapped the lines off the boats holding the whale with Peck strapped on it. Fog had rolled in and they could not locate him. Finally the fog lifted enough that they spotted him and he was safe and sound but he stated he had never been so scared in his life. He was a champion of causes-he was chairman of the Cancer fund, Chairman of the Motion Picture and Television relief fund, He gave speeches to GLADD and walked alongside Martin Luther King Jnr. He was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Johnson. "To Kill A Mockingbird" is his favourite film and he became lifelong friend with Mary Badham (Scout) and Brock Peters, who played  the African American wrongly accused of rape. Brock Peters gave the eulogy at Peck's funeral. Being a life long outspoken liberal, one of his proudest achievements was being near the top of  Nixon's enemies list!

Oscar Nominations: "Keys To The Kingdom", "The Yearling", "Gentlemen's Agreement" "12 O'clock High"

Oscar Win: "To Kill A Mockingbird"

Films: "Spellbound", "Duel In The Sun", "David and Bathsheba", "The Gunfighter", "Roman Holiday", "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", "The Big Country", "The Guns of Navarone", "Arabesque", "Captain Newman M.D.", "The Omen".

Quote: " They say the bad guys are more interesting to play but there is more to it than that-playing the good guys is more challenging because it's harder to make them interesting."

The films in bold are what I would try first but so many are great

82 comments:

  1. He was one of my favorites of all time. Thanks for a great post.

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    1. Yup-I have a major crush on him to this day! And nothing tragic! (that I put in this post)

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    1. I think he was and one of noble character

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  3. My heart sighs for Gregory Peck...

    By all accounts, a thoroughly decent man. Atticus Finch is the greatest father character in all of fiction and no more suitable actor could possibly have been chosen for the role. Eddie Albert - who was Oscar-nominated for his role in Roman Holiday - thought it was a joke that he got all the credit when it was Peck's expert performance as the straight man that made their scenes work.

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    1. My heart sighs too:) That character also won the all time greatest hero by the AFI ahead of Batman, Superman and Indiana Jones

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  4. He is an actor, period. The meaning forgot today, more to idolize than some today.

    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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    1. You are so right-A great actor not one of these idiots who is just in front of a camera.

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  5. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite films. Moby Dick isn't too shabby, either.

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    1. To Kill A Mockingbird is my favourite of his films along with Roman Holiday. Oh if he were young and I was around him...he wouldn't stand a chance!:)

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  6. Gregory Peck was handsome. And he was a great actor.

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    1. he was .....dreamy!!! Oh and yes excellent actor

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  7. To Kill a Mockingbird is a great movie. He sure made some good ones. Getting hate from Nixon was probably enjoyed a bunch haha

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    1. He was near the top of the Nixon's list:) Gotta love that!

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  8. To Kill a Mockingbird and Moby Dick are Gregory Peck's shining moments in movie history - and our favorites. He was soooo handsome and charismatic.

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    1. Handsome, great actor, intelligent, noble....I am drooling

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  9. Another fascinating post about an iconic actor!!!

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  10. I remember him best in "To Kill a Mockingbird", of course.

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    1. That character, and his portrayal of him, is the reason this character is voted best hero by the AFI (American Film Institute)

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  11. I certainly saw many of his films. I bet he was scared when he was cut adrift tied to the whale. He does sound like a nice guy. I always enjoyed his movies.

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    1. He was terrified!! The whole crew were scared to death because he really could have died

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  12. Loved Gregory Peck and all old films.
    Visiting on the A-Z
    As I See It Daily

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    1. His films are great and I love him:)

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  13. To kill a Mocking bird is a fascinating movie with a really tragic twist at the end. Hardly surprising considering the times but so well dramatized with characters of depth and substance. Peck probably could have been a lawyer.

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    1. He could have been and my favourite scene in this film is when all the people in the upper balcony stand in his honour. It was a strong moment and a strong film(never mind the great book)

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  14. Had it been me, I'd have also put the Hitchcock classic 'SPELLBOUND' in bold too. That's one of my 3 favorites along with 'Roman Holiday' and '...Mockingbird'.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Oh you are right! I will bold it because I actually forgot:)

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  15. OMG he's lucky he didn't get killed strapped to that faux-whale! The scene in Moby Dick where he's entangled in ropes attached to the whale comes to mind. Yikes! Thanks for sharing, Birgit!

    Untethered Realms

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    1. That is exactly the one-He was tethered with the ropes and could not break free so it was a scary few moments

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  16. Seems he was the perfect man, and he looked perfect too. It's good to know he lived a long life and had a lasting marriage (after the first marital explosion). Roman Holiday's a fun movie.

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    1. He is heavenly and I sigh when I look at his picture:) He just died in his sleep-Can't get any better than that

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  17. Hi, Birgit! I just found your comment on my blog, the thoughtful birthday message you left for 103 year old Margaret Schneider, and I wanted to drop by to thank you for this random act of greatness. Daughter Kathleen will be writing a personalized reply for you later on after the b-day festivities have concluded, so please keep checking back for it.

    Gregory Peck was one of the most respected actors of the 20th century and I saw many of his films. My favorites include Mockingbird, Hitchcock's Spellbound, Moby Dick, Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Roman Holiday, Snows of Kilimanjaro, Pork Chop Hill, Cape Fear and The Omen. Gregory Peck symbolized strength, character and decency. Most of the characters he played were a far cry from the modern day antiheroes who break all the rules and flaunt their flaws and weaknesses.

    Thank you again, dear Birgit, for making time for Margaret today. Margaret, Kathleen and I will always remember your kindness.

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    1. Oh you are very welcome and it was a pleasure:) She sounds like a beautiful soul and still with it. Peck is such a great actor and you are so right about his characters compared to nowadays

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    2. Oh, SHEESH!
      They shoot horses, don't they?

      How could I have forgotten to mention 'CAPE FEAR', one of my very favorite examples of Film Noir. The original with Peck and Mitchum is an absolute, solid CLASSIC!

      The remake with Robert De Niro looks like a damned, bad cartoon by comparison! One of the worst remakes of all time, right up there with the remake of 'THE WICKER MAN' (one of the very greatest Horror movies ever made, that should have just been left... the hell... alone!)

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. hahahaa-I know what you mean-Hated the remake so much. I wanted to slap Juliette Lewis. I didn't put Cape Fear in because I did see it but so long ago that I thought I shall leave it out this time but it is a great film. Remakes usually suck

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  18. He was always such a gentle man on the screen. I loved watching him. HIs role in To Kill a Mockingbird is so memorable.

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    1. Isn't it! I can oogle him...I mean, watch him all day

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  19. I love To Kill A Mockingbird (book). I must check this out. :)

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    1. I read the book first and love it-one of my favs. The movie does it justice!

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  20. A gentle, thoughtful, and spirited hunk of man! Sigh.

    Birgit, I keep meaning to tell you how much I like your alphabet images. They're very cute.

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    1. I think many women just sigh and when he speaks...we sigh even more:) I found them on Google:)

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  21. I'll always remember him in To Kill a Mockingbird; loved the book and the film. He does sound like a classy guy!

    betty

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  22. Yay! I read through this whole thing waiting for the unhappiness or bad things he did and they didn't come! A happy story. To kill a mockingbird is wonderful. I recently re watched Roman Holoday too.
    Anabel's Travel Blog
    Adventures of a retired librarian

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    1. I knew you would love that! There are very few but they are around...just like regular people actually. Those 2 you mention are my 2 favourites

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  23. Someone who died of natural causes - finally!

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    1. Hahahaaa-I know and they say he seemed fine he just was winding down and then fell asleep and that was it-nice way to go

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  24. As a writer, I agree with that statement about good guys vs. bad guys. It can be challenging to make good guys as rounded out as you need them to be to jump off the page (or, in this case, screen!).

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    1. Yes you would know! Good guys often sound boring but they really aren't-I thought the writers would like that quote of his

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  25. Great quote at the end and very true! I enjoyed learning more about Gregory Peck- he sure was good looking! His spine injury sounds painful.
    ~Jess

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    1. He was very good looking and his voice-hubba hubba:) He never complained about this injury but it did prevent him from going to war but it also let him become a great star since there was a male shortage in the industry

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  26. He was absolutely magnificent. I'm not familiar with many of those you've posted but I always ended up stopping what I was doing if while flipping through the channels (back in the pre-cable days) came across him in the late night movie...

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    1. He is one you need to see in the films I mentioned especially To Kill A Mockingbird

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  27. Very good looking guy and lots of info I didn't know about him.

    Sunni

    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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  28. Wow, what an experience he had with the filming of Moby Dick movie. He sure is a handsome guy.
    the picture of Pis so cool!

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    1. Yes he almost died since he was strapped to the whale and couldn't leave it at all.

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  29. I love this post. What a fantastic guy! Good to know my love for him is well placed.

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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    1. He is fantastic and great looking-the whole package

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  30. Gregory Peck was a wonderful actor. It also says a lot about his character that he had such a long marriage. To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite books and movies. I also thought Gentleman's Agreement was an excellent movie.

    Julie

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    1. Oh yes he does his best when he acts the noble character but when he is out of his element ...it shows and he even admits to it. I love him in To Kill A Mockingbird and Gentlemen's Agreement was a big movie to make. It was made by a gentile and the other studio heads, who were all Jewish, wanted him to not make this film at all.

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  31. Sigh. What wonderful movies! The first Gregory Peck film I saw was Roman Holiday. I have read "To kill a mockingbird" - a favorite - but haven't seen the film.

    Here's an interesting bit of news - about how one of our top Indian stars, Suraiya was a big fan of his - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/bombay-times/When-Gregory-Peck-bowled-Dev-Anands-girlfriend-over/articleshow/22674.cms

    Love your series, Birgit!

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    1. Hi Vidya! You must see To Kill A Mockingbird-it is his best work, in my opinion and it was his favourite. I shall look this up:)

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  32. I remember reading about how much Harper Lee liked him when he was filming To Kill a Mockingbird. That's one of my favourite books and I really must see the film sometime.

    Cait @ Click's Clan

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    1. Oh yes-you must! That is quite a complement coming from the author. It was his favourite role and it was voted by the American Film Institute as the greatest hero-above Indiana Jones, Superman and Batman

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  33. Wow, he was awesome. Sounds like he was an amazing human being. Loved that he was proud of being on Nixon's list:) My faves: Gregory Peck and Cary Grant.

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    1. I would be proud too:) I wrote about Grant last year on the A to Z:)

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  34. WOW, I always liked him, but never knew about all the good things he did. Fascinating. He looks so young in the picture.To Kill a Mockingbird still an awesome movie.

    Sandy at Bridge and Beyond

    Never have gotten anything new the 70 comments you have...I'm sooooooo impressed!

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    1. Oh I used to get like...3-hahahaaa-it will pick up and I am replying so they are part of those 70:) He is great looking and was a great man I think

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  35. He. I do get that he didn't like his first name, but I'm surprised he didn't use it. Could be a great artist name!

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    1. It could be but I like Greg better:)

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  36. Yeah, Eldred isn't the best name in the world. I was surprised to see he died in 2003, I figured it was earlier. To Kill A Mockingbird was a great film.

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    1. He, Katherine Hepburn and Bob Hope all died around the same time-3 greats in 1 month!

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  37. What a hunk, and I'm so happy he was such a good man. Amazing the story with him strapped to the fake whale. He could have been killed! BTW he was fabulous in that movie, but any movie with his name in the credits always got my vote. Thanks Birgit. Another terrific bio.
    Inventions by Women A-Z
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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  38. Love him! I loved him in Spellbound with Ingrid Bergman - one of the best Hitchcock movies I saw.

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  39. I had no idea about Gregory Peck's Civil Rights work and passion for the movement. Very interesting post and cudos for the great research uncovering all this. Thanks!

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  40. It is no surprise that Gregory Peck championed such causes. He was loyal.

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  41. I have such a long running "crush" on GP. Not only because I thought him handsome, but because he seemed a man of integrity in a field full of those lacking it. Thank you for this post. I learned a lot today... Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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  42. He was always so cool and unassuming.

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