Gregory Peck

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    There are 38 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Kevin.

    • Gregory Peck

      Information From IMDb

      Date of Birth
      5 April 1916, La Jolla, California, USA

      Date of Death
      12 June 2003, Los Angeles, California, USA (cardiorespiratory arrest and bronchial pneumonia)

      Birth Name
      Eldred Gregory Peck

      Father Peck

      Trade Mark
      Almost always played courageous, nobly heroic good guys
      who saw injustice and fought it.

      6' 3" (1.91 m)

      Veronique Passani (31 December 1955 - 12 June 2003) (his death) 2 children
      Greta Konen (5 October 1942 - 30 December 1955) (divorced) 3 children

      His earliest movie memory is of being so scared by The Phantom of the Opera (1925) at age 9 that his grandmother allowed him to sleep in the bed with her that night.

      U.C. Berkeley graduate (BA '39) Oarsman on Cal's JV crew team.

      Of his own movies, To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) is Peck's favourite.

      Children, with Kukkonen, Jonathan (b. 1944 - d. 1975), Stephen Peck (b. 1945), Carey Paul Peck (b. 1949).

      Children with Veronique Passani: Tony Peck (b. 1956) and Cecilia Peck (b. 1958).

      Recipient, Screen Actor's Award (from the Screen Actor's Guild, for his "outstanding achievement in fostering the finest ideals in the acting profession. Recipient, American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. [1989]

      Oldest son, Jon, committed suicide by gunshot. [1975]

      Chairman, Motion Picture & Television Relief Fund. [1971]

      Recipient, Presidential Medal of Freedom, nation's highest civilian award, awarded by Lyndon Johnson. [1969]

      Charter Member, National Council on the Arts. [1968-1974]

      President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. [1967]

      Special Academy Award - Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. [1967]

      National Chairman, American Cancer Society. [1966]

      Charter Member, National Council on the Arts. [1964-1966]

      Chairman, American Film Institute. He was the first Chairman of the AFI. [1967-1969]

      Stating he was worried about the 600,000 jobs hanging on the survival of the Chrysler Corporation, he volunteered to become an unpaid TV pitchman for the company in 1980.

      He took in former co-star Ava Gardner's housekeeper and dog after her death in 1990.

      Was in the original version of Cape Fear (1962) in 1962, playing Sam Bowden. He was later brought back for a part in the 1991 version, playing Max Cady's attorney.

      Honorary chair, Los Angeles Library Foundation. [1995]

      Was President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences during the late 1960s, and he was the one who decided to postpone the 1968 Oscar ceremony after Martin Luther King's assassination.

      Chosen by producer Darryl F. Zanuck for the epic film David and Bathsheba (1951) because Zanuck thought Peck had a "biblical face".

      His paternal grandmother, Catherine Ashe, was an immigrant from County Kerry, Ireland. She was a relative of Thomas Ashe, an Irish patriot who fought the in Easter Rising in 1916 and died on hunger strike the following year.

      Seriously considered challenging then California Governor Ronald Reagan's re-election campaign in 1970 but decided against it at the last minute despite state and national pressure from the Democrat Party of California and The Democratic National Committee.

      Marched with Martin Luther King.

      His character from To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Atticus Finch, was voted the greatest screen hero of all time by the American Film Institute in May 2003, only two weeks before his death (beating out Indiana Jones, who was placed second, and James Bond who came third).

      Along with Dorothy McGuire, Mel Ferrer and David O. Selznick, he co-founded the La Jolla Playhouse, located in his hometown, and produced many of the classics there. Due to film commitments, he could not return to Broadway but whet his appetite for live theater on occasion at the Playhouse, keeping it firmly established with a strong, reputable name over the years.

      During his lean salad days, he supported himself as a Radio City Music Hall tour guide and as a catalog model for Montgomery Ward.

      Brock Peters delivered his eulogy on the day of his funeral and burial, June 16, 2003. In To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Peters played Tom Robinson, the black man accused of raping a white girl that Atticus Finch (Peck's character) defended in court.

      Was the first native Californian to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.

      A back injury incurred in college kept him out of the services in World War II.

      Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1979.

      Son, Stephen did a tour in Vietnam with the Marine Corps. Peck was proud of his son's military service even though he disagreed with the war itself.

      He had Catholic Armenian roots from his paternal grandfather, Sam "Peck", an immigrant from England. After he married his second wife, Veronique Passani, she had his ancestry traced and discovered the Armenian lineage. Urging him to learn of his partial Armenian heritage and to learn the Armenian language, he took Armenian classes in his middle age. But, by then, his public persona was fixed. "Gregory" is a common Indo-European name and Armenian surname (Gregorian or Krikorian) and was the name of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, Apostle of Armenia (332 AD).

      When he came to Italy to shoot Roman Holiday (1953), Gregory was privately depressed about his recent separation and imminent divorce from his first wife, Greta. However, during the shot, he met and fell in love with a French woman named Veronique Passani. After his divorce, he married Passani and they remained together for the rest of his life. So, in a way, he lived out his own "movie romance".

      According to at least one biography, he took his role in The Omen (1976) at a huge cut in salary (a mere $250,000) but was guaranteed 10% of the film's box office take. When it went on to gross more than $60 million in the U.S. alone, The Omen (1976) produced the highest-paid performance of Peck's career.

      While studying at UC Berkeley, Peck was a houseboy for the school's chapter of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority.

      He was voted the 58th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

      Attended San Diego High School.

      He was voted the 27th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premiere Magazine.

      Named the #12 greatest actor on The 50 Greatest Screen Legends list by the American Film Institute

      He was of British, Irish, Scottish and Armenian heritage.

      President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. [1967-1970]

      In late November of 2005, thieves stole Peck's "Hollywood Walk of Fame" star using a cement saw to cut the bronze-and-terrazzo marker out of the sidewalk. In a simple ceremony, a new star honoring the late actor was unveiled on December 1st to replace the stolen one. Hollywood's honorary mayor Johnny Grant lifted a covering and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly welcome back to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Gregory Peck." Peck's star was the fourth to be stolen since the Walk of Fame was inaugurated. James Stewart's and Kirk Douglas' stars disappeared some years ago after being removed for construction and were later recovered by police in the nearby city of South Gate. Gene Autry's star also vanished during a construction project. A call saying it had been found in Iowa proved to be a false alarm.

      He and The Big Country (1958) co-star Charlton Heston both played the infamous Nazi war criminal Dr. Josef Mengele: Peck in The Boys from Brazil (1978), Heston in My Father, Rua Alguem 5555 (2003).

      In the spring of 1939, Peck skipped graduation at the University of California at Berkeley and, with $160 and a letter of introduction in his pocket, went by train to New York, traveling coach, to embark on his acting career.

      Studied acting with Michael Chekhov

      Father-in-law of Daniel Voll.

      He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1998 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington D.C.

      Was Warner Bros. original choice to play Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). He was offered the role and seriously considered it but passed away before he could give them an answer.

      His performance as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) is ranked #13 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.

      Cited that his favorite leading ladies were Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, and Ava Gardner.

      Once owned a thoroughbred named "Different Class," who was the favorite in the 1968 Grand National Steeplechase in the UK - but finished 3rd.

      To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) is the #2 ranked film on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time.

      In 1997, as a presenter at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) awards ceremony, he said, "It just seems silly to me that something so right and simple has to be fought for at all."

      Mourners for the public service held after his burial held huge black-and-white portraits of Peck as they approached the Cathedral, designed by Robert Grayam, husband of Anjelica Huston. Church officials estimated that almost 3,000 people attended. Seats were reserved for Peck's friends, a sizable number of whom were celebrities - they were instructed to whisper the secret password "Atticus" to the red-coated ushers who escorted them to the reserved section - Harry Belafonte, Anjelica Huston, Michael York, Louise Fletcher, Tony Danza, Piper Laurie, Harrison Ford, Calista Flockhart. Michael Jackson, wearing a red jacket, caused a stir when he arrived 20 minutes late. Decked out in a bright blue suit and clutching a program with Peck's picture on it was his first wife Greta, looking hale and hearty at 92. Roger Cardinal Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, presided over the service. The program included bible readings by Peck's children Carey, Cecilia and Tony. Mahoney said, "He lived his life authentically, as God called and willed him and placed him in his room, with gifts and talents." Brock Peters, who co-starred with Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), delivered the eulogy. The film spawned a close friendship between the two stars that lasted more than 40 years. "In art there is compassion," said Peters, "in compassion there is humanity, with humanity there is generosity and love. Gregory Peck gave us these attributes in full measure." The crowd visibly warmed to a videotape performance of Peck featuring a lecture he gave several years before. He said he hoped to be remembered first as a good husband, father and grandfather. Then, with quiet strength and unforgettable presence, he added: "I'd like to be thought of as a good storyteller.".

      He had always wanted to do a Disney movie.

      In the 1950s, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson, AZ, named one of their male javalinas "Gregory Peckory" in his honor; incidentally, their female was named "Olivia de Javalina" to honor actress Olivia de Havilland.

      His family has said in interviews that during his final days of life, film studios everywhere sent him presents as a "thank you" for the memories. Disney accidentally sent him an unfinished black and white copy of the pilot episode of "Dave the Barbarian" (2004). After watching it, he sent it back to them with a little message "Congratulations, you found the next Mickey Mouse".

      He was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War, while remaining supportive of his son who was serving there.

      In 1947, at the beginning of the anti-communist investigations in Hollywood, Peck signed a letter deploring the witch hunts despite being warned his signature could hurt his career.

      Broke his ankle in three places in a fall from a horse while filming Yellow Sky (1948).

      Turned down Gary Cooper's Oscar-winning role as Marshal Will Kane in High Noon (1952) because he felt the story was too similar to his The Gunfighter (1950). When the film proved to be a huge success Peck admitted he had made a mistake, though he said he didn't believe he could have played the character as well as Cooper.

      In 1999 he supported the decision to give Elia Kazan an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement, saying he believed that a man's work should be separate from his life.

      He was a close friend of Michael Jackson for the last 25 years of his life, and often went horse riding with the singer at his Neverland Ranch. During the Jordie Chandler scandal in 1993, Peck wrote a letter defending Jackson. He also gave a glowing video tribute to Jackson at his 30th Anniversary concert in New York in 2001.

      In 1987 he joined Burt Lancaster, Martin Sheen and Lloyd Bridges in narrating a TV advertisement for the People for the American Way, in opposing the confirmation of President Ronald Reagan's nominee to the Supreme Court, conservative judge Robert Bork. Bork, under intense criticism in part because of his past strong opposition to civil rights laws, ultimately withdrew his name from contention.

      He was a close friend of Jane Fonda, and frequently attended political rallies with her.

      He was an active supporter of AIDS fund raising.

      Advertised Chesterfield cigarettes.

      In 1946 he met and befriended Gary Cooper, with whom he was often compared in terms of looks and acting style.

      During the Vietnam War Peck was a vocal supporter of teenagers who dodged the draft, calling them "patriots" and "heroes" and saying that burning their draft cards was part of their civic duty. He produced an anti-war film, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (1972) using his own money in order to provoke more opposition to the conflict.

      Appeared on President Richard Nixon's infamous "List of Enemies" in 1972.

      After Peck stormed off the set of The Big Country (1958), director William Wyler said of him: "I wouldn't direct Peck again for a million dollars and you can quote me on that.".

      As a board member of Handgun Control Inc. (along with Martin Sheen and Susan Sarandon), Peck was sometimes criticized for his friendship with Charlton Heston, a longtime advocate of gun ownership who served as President of the National Rifle Assocation (NRA) from 1998 to 2003. When questioned by James Brady, Peck said, "We're colleagues rather than friends. We're civil to each other when we meet. I, of course, disagree vehemently with him on gun control.".

      In his 80s his frail and thin appearance frequently sparked press rumors of his impending death, particularly when in 2001 he attended Jack Lemmon's funeral with his head bandaged from a recent fall.

      He was given the role of Ambassador Robert Thorn in The Omen (1976) after Charlton Heston turned it down in order to make Midway (1976).

      In 1948, at the height of the McCarthyite anti-Communist hysteria sweeping the country, he was called before a "fact finding committee" set up by the California Legislature to ferret out alleged Communists and their sympathizers in the entertainment industry. He was summoned because of his association with a host of "liberal" organizations and causes, along with several other stars. He gave the committee a list of every organization to which he had contributed money, along with their letterheads, and said that he contributed to them because they were legitimate organizations. He told the committee, "I am not now and never have been associated with any communist organization or supporters of communism. I am not a communist, never was a communist and I have no sympathy with communist activities".

      He was a heavy drinker as a young actor in Hollywood. In 1949 he was hospitalized with heart spasms, and while filming David and Bathsheba (1951) he was hospitalized with a suspected heart attack. Though it turned out to be a palpitation brought on by his lifestyle and overwork, he began to drink less thereafter. However, he did not stop smoking for many more years.

      His few attempts to play a villain were considered unsuccessful, perhaps because the public could not accept Peck as anything other than good. He was considered too young at 38 to play Captain Ahab in Moby Dick (1956), especially since the character was described in Herman Melville's novel as an old man. Peck admitted he only agreed to play Nazi Dr Josef Mengele in The Boys from Brazil (1978) because he wanted to work with Sir Laurence Olivier. Although the film and his performance were savaged by the critics, Peck remained loyal to it.

      He was originally cast in the role played by Robert Taylor in Quo Vadis (1951).

      Campaigned for Harry S. Truman in the 1948 presidential election.

      He did not get along with director Elia Kazan while filming Gentleman's Agreement (1947). Kazan told the press he was very disappointed with Peck's performance and the two men never worked together again.

      Made the controversial decision to delay The 40th Annual Academy Awards (1968) (TV) following the assassination of Martin Luther King.

      After making Arabesque (1966), Peck withdrew from acting for three years in order to concentrate on various humanitarian causes, including the American Cancer Society.

      He is listed in the Cal Berkeley Alumni roster as a graduate of the Class of 1942 who studied as an English major and where he acted in plays at the Associated Students sponsored 'Little Theatre' on campus. Incidentally while under the watch of the University's Committee on Music and Drama led by Professor William Popper as chairman, the University's Department of Dramatic Arts was just being established towards the end of his student tenure in 1941.

      In 1996, veteran character actor Richard Jaeckel, who had co-starred with Peck in the 1950 film "The Gunfighter" was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a deadly skin cancer. Sadly, Jaeckel's wife had been diagnosed with Alzheimers' disease and he had lost his Brentwood, California home, as well as facing over a million dollars in medical bills and debt. Jaeckel had basically became homeless and his family tried unsuccessfully to enter him into the Woodland Hills' Motion Picture and Television Hospital. Peck took it upon himself to lobby Jaeckel's admittance into the hospital and he was treated within three days. Jaeckel stayed in the hospital until June of 1997, when he lost his battle with the deadly skin cancer.

      The financial failure of Cape Fear (1962) ended his company, Melville Productions.

      Only the Valiant (1951) was his least favorite film. He thought the western potboiler was a step backwards after starring in The Gunfighter (1950).

      When he was the President of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Science, he tried his hardest to get a full-length animated feature film (most notably the The Jungle Book (1967/I)) not only nominated for Best Picture Academy Award but actually win the award. He resigned as President in 1970 when other members didn't agree with him about animated films being nominated for the award.

      Turned down Yves Montand's role in Let's Make Love (1960) because he didn't want to work with Marilyn Monroe.

      Son of Gregory Pearl Peck and wife Bernice Mae Ayres.

      He had always wanted to act in a Shakespearean play, but by the time the opportunity presented itself in 1951 he decided it was too late to start.

      Formed a firm friendship with Mary Badham (Scout) during the making of To Kill a Mockingbird. They remained in contact until his death. And according to Badham, she always called him Atticus and he always called her Scout.

      His favorite singers were Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson.

      His favorite drink was Guinness, which he drank every day. Eventually he had a tap installed in the bar at his house.

      In 1999, the American Film Institute named Peck among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time, ranking at No. 12.

      A physically powerful man, Peck was known to do a majority of his own fight scenes, rarely using body or stunt doubles. Robert Mitchum, his on-screen opponent in Cape Fear (1962), said that Peck once accidentally punched him for real during their final fight scene in the movie. He recalled feeling the impact of the punch for days afterwards and said, "I don't feel sorry for anyone dumb enough who picks a fight with him.".

      In December 2002 Peck visited his wife in hospital in Los Angeles after she underwent surgery to relieve pressure on two vertebrae. The sight of the veteran actor in hospital sparked more press rumors that he was seriously ill.

      His mother died in May 1992 at the age of 97.

      Agreed to star in David and Bathsheba (1951) as a riposte to the Biblical epics of Cecil B. DeMille.

      By 1974, following a series of flops, Peck's career had declined to such an extent that he admitted in an interview that he was thinking of retiring from acting. Two years later however he made an enormous comeback with The Omen (1976).

      He was considered for Rock Hudson's role in Ice Station Zebra (1968).

      One of his greatest heroes from childhood was President Abraham Lincoln. Peck was initially concerned about playing him in "The Blue and the Gray" (1982), since at 66 he was a decade older than Lincoln was when he was assassinated.

      In the early 1990s Peck considered writing his autobiography, however he decided against it when he realized he wasn't as good at writing as his friend David Niven.

      Often stated how disappointed he was that many American viewers did not realize how anti-war The Guns of Navarone (1961) was.

      MGM wanted Peck to play Roger Thornhill in North by Northwest (1959), but the director Alfred Hitchcock thought Peck was too serious and cast Cary Grant instead.

      He was a lifelong opponent of nuclear weapons, and made On the Beach (1959) for this reason.

      Personally chose Lewis Milestone to direct the anti-war movie Pork Chop Hill (1959), because Milestone's All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) had made a deep impression on him.

      In 1999 he publicly berated Congress for failing to pass legislation preventing teenagers from buying guns, following the Columbine high school massacre.

      His election as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1967 was widely seen as heralding in a new, younger, progressive and decidedly liberal era of filmmaking in Hollywood.

      While filming The Bravados (1958), he decided to become a cowboy in real life, so he purchased a vast working ranch near Santa Barbara, California - already stocked with 600 head of prize cattle.

      He was a close friend and ardent supporter of President Lyndon Johnson, spending much time at the White House and the Johnson Ranch.

      Personal Quotes
      "You made the right choice, kiddo!" - Peck's tongue-in-cheek response when he discovered that his second wife, the French journalist Veronique Passani, had passed up an opportunity to interview Albert Schweitzer at a lunch hosted by 'Jean Paul Sartre' in order to go out on a date with Peck.

      On his 1962 Oscar-winning role in To Kill A Mockingbird (1955)_: "I put everything I had into it - all my feelings and everything I'd learned in 46 years of living, about family life and fathers and children. And my feelings about racial justice and inequality and opportunity."

      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.

      I just do things I really enjoy. I enjoy acting. When I'm driving to the studio, I sing in the car. I love my work and my wife and my kids and my friends. And I think, 'You're a lucky man, Gregory Peck, a damn lucky man.'

      Gregory Peck is the hottest thing in town. Some say he is a second Gary Cooper. Actually, he is the first Gregory Peck.

      [on gay rights] "It just seems silly to me that something so right and simple has to be fought for at all."

      I'm not a do-gooder. It embarrassed me to be classified as a humanitarian. I simply take part in activities that I believe in.

      I don't lecture and I don't grind any axes. I just want to entertain.

      You have to dream, you have to have a vision, and you have to set a goal for yourself that might even scare you a little because sometimes that seems far beyond your reach. Then I think you have to develop a kind of resistance to rejection, and to the disappointments that are sure to come your way.

      I am a Roman Catholic. Not a fanatic, but I practice enough to keep the franchise. I don't always agree with the Pope . . . there are issues that concern me, like abortion, contraception, the ordination of women . . . and others. I think the Church should open up.

      [When asked what he thought about the John Holmes porn trial] "You know, someone once asked me that and I said the day that Laurence Olivier drops his pants on the screen is the day that I will support adult actors, and then I saw the movie The Betsy (1978)."

      [1987] "Robert Bork wants to be a Supreme Court justice. But the record shows he has a strange idea of what justice is. He defended poll taxes and literacy tests, which kept many Americans from voting. He opposed the civil rights law that ended 'whites only' signs at lunch counters. He doesn't believe the Constitution protects your privacy. Please urge your senators to vote against the Bork nomination. Because, if Robert Bork wins a seat on the Supreme Court, it will be for life. His life . . . and yours."

      Faith is a force, a powerful force. To me, it's been like an anchor to windward - something that's seen me through troubled times and some personal tragedies and also through the good times and success and the happy times.

      [On meeting Pope John Paul II at the White House in 1978] "He impressed me more than any other man I've ever met, and I've met a lot. My wife and I happened to be seated on one of the aisles, and the Pope came right down and he saw me and smiled. The smile was genuine, not a politician smile, the practiced smile. He shook hands with me and went on. And then [US President Jimmy Carter] said, 'Hello, Gregory, what are you doing here?' and I said, 'Well, Mr. President, you invited me.' He said, 'Just a minute' - and damned if he didn't run after the Pope, grabbing him by the arm and pulled him back. He said, 'Your Excellency, this is one of our best-known, most-beloved American film actors.' And he looked at me, ah! There was a glimmer as if somehow he must have seen me in a movie. His eyes widened and he took me in his arms. And he sort of grabbed me by the elbow and said, 'God bless you, Gregory. God bless you in your mission.' And he went on."

      [on Gentleman's Agreement (1947)] "We felt we were brave pioneers exploring anti-Semitism in the United States - today, it seems a little dated."

      [On The Boys from Brazil (1978)] "I felt, Laurence Olivier felt, friends of mine like Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon felt, that I was good in this part. Some critics seem unwilling to accept actors when they break what they think is the mold or the image."

      I've had my ups and downs. There have been times when I wanted to quit. Times when I hit the bottle. Marital problems. I've touched most of the bases.

      "Of the movies I've done, there isn't much I really like. The Gunfighter (1950), Roman Holiday (1953), Twelve O'Clock High (1949) I feel were my best." (1956)

      That's why those fellas were so magnificent playing the same part, because they'd played it forty times. That's why John Wayne finally became a good actor in True Grit (1969) - he's got 150 of them behind him. Now he's developed a saltiness and an earthiness and a humor and a subtlety that comes from mining that same vein over and over again.

      [1987] "I would give up everything I do and everything I have if I could make a significant difference in getting the nuclear arms race reversed. It is the number one priority in my life. My work was the main thing in my life for a long time; now I'm beginning to think a little more about what the future will hold and what kind of world my kids will live in."

      I realize now how very short life is, because I've got to be considered to be in the home stretch. But I won't waste time on recriminations and regrets. And the same goes for my shortcomings and my own failures.

      "You made the right choice, kiddo!" - Peck's tongue-in-cheek response when he discovered that his second wife, the French journalist Veronique Passani, had passed up an opportunity to interview Albert Schweitzer at a lunch hosted by Jean-Paul Sartre in order to go out on a date with Peck.

      [On his 1962 Oscar-winning role in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)] "I put everything I had into it - all my feelings and everything I'd learned in 46 years of living, about family life and fathers and children. And my feelings about racial justice and inequality and opportunity."

      Every script I'm offered has Cary Grant's paw prints on it.

      "There are times when I could cheerfully walk out on the whole God damn setup. I don't have to make pictures any more.When I first came out here to work from the New York stage,l I was carved up in all directions, a dumb actor tied to a slew of contractual clauses. Today I'm my own man - free, off the hook. This is a collective business, I know. But now it's up to me to decide the stories we use and the kind of picture in which I'm prepared to get involved. I'm no longer the dumb and trusting ham being shuttled from picture to picture at someone else's whim. I'm a company boss who has to make big decisions right or wrong, responsible only to myself in the long run. For years, we actors have been fighting for our so-called artistic freedom. We wanted to get rid of the moguls and their accountants. We damned the studio Shylocks for their materialism and lack of taste. Now, most of us are on our own. So what happens? This morning I had to call my office and scrap a production on which people had been working for months ... I decided it would be best to chuck it in rather than risk making a bad picture. All night I've been pacing up and down the house trying to make the right decision. I tell you there are times when I wish Hollywood actors had retained the status of bums and gypsies and left the planning to others. Right now, I'm tempted to say, 'The hell with all of it.' The picture has changed, my friend. The old omnipotent caliphs are dying fast. Television plus the weight of years has weakened the survivors. It will need energy and a fresh executive approach to redirect the creative drive, re-channel the talent. The monopolies of the studios have been broken. The anti-trust laws have severed their distribution outlets. The shackling of actors to loaded long-term contracts is virtually a thing of the past. In effect, I have complete control over what I do. A year of two back this was considered some kind of victory of art over tyranny. Now I'm not so sure. I'm a free soul, you remember. Before I became an actor, I wanted to be a writer. Freedom of mind and action is important to me. Right now I'd like to take off for Mexico and fish for a while and swim and read books without wondering whether they would make a good picture. Now I'll have to follow another production through from the drawing board to the cutting room. And then go out on the road and sell it with personal appearances. It can be stimulating. A challenge, as they say at Chasens. But there are times when actors like myself find themselves wishing we could resurrect Thalberg and pass the ball to him or people like him. The town's wide open for any operator with the ability to finance, package and sell motion pictures." (1965)

      "I had given him the role and had paid him a terrific amount of money. It was obvious he had the better role. I thought he would understand that, but he apparently thought he acted me off the screen. I didn't think highly of him for that." - On Robert Mitchum

      Monroe may have been a bit of an extreme example, but she was given the best stories to suit her talents, she was stroked and cared for and treasured and treated like a little princess, treated as a valuable, talented person. What it was that led her to drink and take pills, I don't know. I don't think anyone can put it all together, but it's too easy to say that Hollywood wrung her out and exhausted her, strained her nerves and destroyed her. I think she'd have gone to pieces even sooner without the adulation and the care she received at the hands of her directors and producers and the big studios.

      Asked what he thought about stars being paid $30 million per movie: I was born too soon!

      Do I think there's a glamorous male actor today? No way. (2000)

      [on James Cagney] Now, you take a great cinema actor, in my opinion, James Cagney. He went very far. He was very theatrical, very intense, and yet always believable. He riveted the audience's attention. His acting advice was, "Believe what you say -- say what you believe." And that says it really.

      [on Frank Sinatra] Undeniably the title holder in the soft-touch department.

      [on John Wayne] That's why John Wayne finally became a good actor in "True Grit": he's got 150 films behind him. Now he's developed a saltiness and an earthiness and a humor and a subtlety that comes from mining that same vein over and over and over again.

      One good thing about the bad movies is that people don't remember them. Nobody ever comes up to me and says, 'I hated you in I Walk the Line (1970)!'.

      I enjoy practicing my craft as well as I possibly can. I enjoy the work for its own sake.

      Mini Biography
      Peck was born in La Jolla, California. His father was a druggist in San Diego. His parents divorced when he was five years old. An only child, he was sent to live with his grandmother. He never felt he had a stable childhood. His fond memories are of his grandmother taking him to the movies every week and of his dog, which followed him everywhere. He studied pre-med at Berkeley and, while there, Peck got the acting bug and decided to change the focus of his studies. He enrolled in the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and debuted on Broadway after graduation. His debut was in Emlyn Williams' stage play "The Morning Star" (1942). By 1943, he was in Hollywood where he debuted in the RKO film Days of Glory (1944).

      Stardom came with his next film, The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. Peck's screen presence displayed the qualities for which he became well known. He was tall, rugged, and heroic, with a basic decency that transcended his roles. He appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945) as the amnesia victim accused of murder. In The Yearling (1946), Peck was again nominated for the Academy Award and won the Golden Globe. Peck appeared in Westerns such as Duel in the Sun (1946), _Yellow Sky (1949)_ and The Gunfighter (1950). He was nominated again for the Academy Award with his roles in Gentleman's Agreement (1947), a story of discrimination, and Twelve O'Clock High (1949), a story of high level stress at bomber command.

      With a string of hits behind him, Peck soon took the decision to only work in films that interested him. He continued to appear as the heroic figures in larger-than-life films such as Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951) and Moby Dick (1956). He worked with Audrey Hepburn in her debut film, Roman Holiday (1953). After four nominations, Peck finally won the Oscar for his performance as Lawyer Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). In the early 60s, he appeared in two dark films, Cape Fear (1962) and Captain Newman, M.D. (1963), which dealt with the way people live. He also gave a powerful performance as Captain Keith Mallory in The Guns of Navarone (1961), one of the biggest cinematic hits of that year.

      In the early 70s, he produced two movies, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (1972) and The Dove (1974), while his film career waned. He made a comeback playing the wooden Robert Thorn in the horror film The Omen (1976). After that, he returned to the bigger than life roles as MacArthur (1977) and the evil Doctor Mengele in The Boys from Brazil (1978). In the 80s, Peck moved into television with the mini series "The Blue and the Gray" (1982) and the movie The Scarlet and the Black (1983) (TV). In 1991, he appeared in the remake of his 1962 film, playing a different part, in Cape Fear (1991). He was also cast as the liberal owner of a wire and cable business in Other People's Money (1991).

      In 1967, Peck received the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. He was also been awarded the Medal of Freedom. Always politically liberal, Peck was active in causes dealing with charities, politics or the film industry. He died in June 2003, aged 87.
      IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana

      1. Moby Dick (1998) (TV) .... Father Mapple
      2. The Portrait (1993) (TV) .... Gardner Church
      3. Cape Fear (1991) .... Lee Heller
      4. Other People's Money (1991) .... Andrew Jorgenson
      ... aka Riqueza ajena (USA: Spanish title: video title)

      5. Old Gringo (1989) .... Ambrose Bierce
      6. Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987) .... President
      ... aka Silent Voice
      7. The Scarlet and the Black (1983) (TV) .... Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty
      ... aka Scarlatto e nero (Italy)
      ... aka The Vatican Pimpernel
      8. "The Blue and the Gray" (1982) TV mini-series .... Abraham Lincoln
      9. The Sea Wolves (1980) .... Col. Lewis Pugh
      ... aka The Sea Wolves: The Last Charge of the Calcutta Light Horse (UK: complete title)
      10. The Boys from Brazil (1978) .... Dr. Josef Mengele
      ... aka Boys from the Brussel (Philippines: English title)
      11. MacArthur (1977) .... Gen. Douglas MacArthur
      ... aka MacArthur, the Rebel General (UK)
      12. The Omen (1976) .... Robert Thorn
      ... aka Omen I (reissue title)
      ... aka Omen I: The Antichrist (reissue title)
      ... aka Omen I: The Birthmark (reissue title)
      13. Billy Two Hats (1974) .... Arch Deans
      ... aka The Lady and the Outlaw
      14. Shoot Out (1971) .... Clay Lomax
      15. I Walk the Line (1970) .... Sheriff Tawes
      16. Marooned (1969) .... Charles Keith
      ... aka Space Travelers (USA: reissue title)
      17. The Chairman (1969) .... John Hathaway
      ... aka The Most Dangerous Man in the World (UK)
      18. Mackenna's Gold (1969) .... MacKenna
      19. The Stalking Moon (1968) .... Sam Varner
      20. Arabesque (1966) .... Prof. David Pollock
      ... aka Stanley Donen's Arabesque (USA: complete title)
      21. Mirage (1965) .... David Stillwell
      22. Behold a Pale Horse (1964) .... Manuel Artiguez
      23. Captain Newman, M.D. (1963) .... Capt. Josiah J. Newman, MD
      24. "The Dick Powell Show" .... Guest Host (1 episode, 1963)
      ... aka The Dick Powell Theatre (USA: new title)
      - Project X (1963) TV episode .... Guest Host
      25. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) .... Atticus Finch
      26. How the West Was Won (1962) .... Cleve Van Valen
      27. Cape Fear (1962) .... Sam Bowden
      28. The Guns of Navarone (1961) .... Capt. Keith Mallory
      29. On the Beach (1959) .... Cmdr. Dwight Lionel Towers, USS Sawfish
      30. Beloved Infidel (1959) .... F. Scott Fitzgerald
      31. Pork Chop Hill (1959) .... Lt. Joe Clemons
      32. The Big Country (1958) .... James McKay
      33. The Bravados (1958) .... Jim Douglass
      34. Designing Woman (1957) .... Mike Hagen
      35. Moby Dick (1956) .... Captain Ahab
      ... aka Herman Melville's Moby Dick (USA: complete title)
      36. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956) .... Tom Rath
      37. The Purple Plain (1954) .... Squadron Leader Bill Forrester
      38. Night People (1954) .... Col. Steve Van Dyke
      39. Roman Holiday (1953) .... Joe Bradley
      40. The Million Pound Note (1953) .... Henry Adams
      ... aka Man with a Million (USA)
      41. The World in His Arms (1952) .... Capt. Jonathan Clark
      42. The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952) .... Harry Street
      ... aka Ernest Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro (USA: complete title)
      43. David and Bathsheba (1951) .... King David
      44. Only the Valiant (1951) .... Capt. Richard Lance
      45. Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951) .... Capt. Horatio Hornblower, R.N
      ... aka Captain Horatio Hornblower (USA)
      46. The Gunfighter (1950) .... Jimmy Ringo
      47. Twelve O'Clock High (1949) .... General Savage
      48. The Great Sinner (1949) .... Fedja
      49. Yellow Sky (1948) .... James 'Stretch' Dawson
      50. The Paradine Case (1947) .... Anthony Keane, Counsel for the Defence
      51. Gentleman's Agreement (1947) .... Philip Schuyler Green aka Greenberg
      ... aka Laura Z. Hobson's Gentleman's Agreement (USA: complete title)
      52. The Macomber Affair (1947) .... Robert Wilson
      ... aka The Great White Hunter (USA: reissue title)
      53. Duel in the Sun (1946) .... Lewton 'Lewt' McCanles
      54. The Yearling (1946) .... Ezra 'Penny' Baxter
      55. Spellbound (1945) .... John Ballantine aka Dr. Anthony Edwardes
      ... aka Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (USA: promotional title)
      56. The Valley of Decision (1945) .... Paul Scott
      57. The Keys of the Kingdom (1944) .... Father Francis Chisholm
      58. Days of Glory (1944) .... Vladimir

      1. The Portrait (1993) (TV) (executive producer)
      2. The 57th Annual Academy Awards (1985) (TV) (producer)
      3. The Dove (1974) (producer)
      4. The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (1972) (producer)
      5. The Big Country (1958) (producer)

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 7 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Gregory Peck

      Gregory Peck, like Duke was the son of a druggist,
      and ironically for sons of druggists,
      they both advertised cigarettes!!
      He made some classic westerns, particularly
      The Big Country, Mackenna's Gold , The Bravados, and Duel In The Sun
      Others, included Yellow Sky and The Gunfighter
      Peck also starred in
      How The West Was Won, but in different scenes to Duke
      He was highly regarded in the western genre, and was
      inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers
      of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1979.
      Named the 12th greatest actor on The 50 Greatest Screen Legends list by the American Film Institute.

      Broke his ankle in three places in a fall from a horse while filming Yellow Sky (1948).

      Turned down Gary Cooper's Oscar-winning role as Marshal Will Kane in High Noon (1952) because he felt the story was too similar to his The Gunfighter (1950). When the film proved to be a huge success Peck admitted he had made a mistake, though he said he didn't believe he could have played the character as well as Cooper.

      Gary Cooper was one of Peck's closest friends.

      Gregory said this about Duke:
      That's why those fellas were so magnificent playing the same part, because they'd played it forty times. That's why John Wayne finally became a good actor in True Grit (1969) - he's got 150 of them behind him. Now he's developed a saltiness and an earthiness and a humor and a subtlety that comes from mining that same vein over and over again.
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Gregory Peck

      Not so much for entertainment value as for the moral lesson it offers I rate To Kill a Mocking Bird as one of the greatest films I have ever seen. Mr Peck was comfortable associating with Sinatra, Jane Fonda and Michael Jackson 3 I have never warmed to but that does not change my appreciation of his talent.
      Greetings from North of the 49th
    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Gregory Peck

      Gregory Peck was an excellent actor whom I very much admired. "The Big Country" has always been among my favorite Westerns.

      "The Stalking Moon", another excellent Peck Western, will be released on disc in August. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes Westerns. I almost guarantee you'll like it.
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Gregory Peck

      Gregory Peck is another of the greats that I grew up watching-even though it was usually just the same few movies:

      1) Pork Chop Hill.
      2) MacArthur.
      3) MacKennas Gold.
      4) The Guns of Navarone.

      The only movie I ever saw him in that I didn't like was: The Boys From Brazil. I hated seeing him play such a nasty character as a former nazi.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Gregory Peck

      Watching Gregory Peck in The Gunfighter developed him as a great actor. This movie is a true classic, even though I never heard of it until I purchased it and saw it for the first time last night. This movie was first given to Duke, and he wanted it, but Fox Studios wanted Peck. I think Duke could have played this part well. It was his type of movie.

      My favorite all time movie is To Kill A Mockingbird. Peck was absolutely great in that part.

      Cheers :cool: Hondo

      "When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it"
      - John Wayne quote
    • Screen Legends- Gregory Peck




      Information From IMDb

      Plot Summary
      When her father is hanged for shooting his wife and her lover, half-breed Pearl Chavez
      goes to live with distant relatives in Texas. Welcomed by Laura Belle
      and her elder lawyer son Jesse, she meets with hostility from the ranch-owner himself,
      wheelchair-bound Senator Jackson McCanles, and with lustful interest
      from womanising, unruly younger son Lewt. Almost at once, already existing
      family tensions are exacerbated by her presence and the way
      she is physically drawn to Lewt.
      Written by Jeremy Perkins

      Full Cast
      Jennifer Jones ... Pearl Chavez
      Joseph Cotten ... Jesse McCanles
      Gregory Peck ... Lewton 'Lewt' McCanles
      Lionel Barrymore ... Sen. Jackson McCanles
      Herbert Marshall ... Scott Chavez
      Lillian Gish ... Laura Belle McCanles
      Walter Huston ... The Sinkiller
      Charles Bickford ... Sam Pierce
      Harry Carey ... Lem Smoot
      Joan Tetzel ... Helen Langford
      Tilly Losch ... Mrs. Chavez
      Butterfly McQueen ... Vashti
      Scott McKay ... Sid
      Otto Kruger ... Mr. Langford
      Sidney Blackmer ... The Lover
      Charles Dingle ... Sheriff Hardy
      Griff Barnett ... The Bordertown Jailer (uncredited)
      Hank Bell ... McCanles Ranch Hand (uncredited)
      Johnny Bond ... Cowhand at Barbecue (uncredited)
      Lane Chandler ... Fence-Line Cavalry Captain (uncredited)
      Tex Cooper ... Square Dancer (uncredited)
      Frank Cordell ... Sid (uncredited)
      Tom Dillon ... Train Engineer (uncredited)
      Steve Dunhill ... Jake (uncredited)
      Si Jenks ... Dance-Floor Cowboy (uncredited)
      Victor Kilian ... Gambler (uncredited)
      Kermit Maynard ... Barfly (uncredited)
      Francis McDonald ... Gambler (uncredited)
      Robert McKenzie ... Bartender Zeke (uncredited)
      Lee Phelps ... Train Fireman (uncredited)
      Rose Plumer ... Dancer (uncredited)
      Bert Roach ... Barbecue Guest (uncredited)
      Lloyd Shaw ... Barbecue Dance Caller (uncredited)
      Al Taylor ... Cowboy at Barbecue (uncredited)
      Orson Welles ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
      Dan White ... Ed, the Wrangler (uncredited)
      Guy Wilkerson ... Dance-Floor Cowboy (uncredited)
      Hank Worden ... Dance- Floor Cowboy (uncredited)

      King Vidor
      Otto Brower (uncredited)
      William Dieterle (uncredited)
      Sidney Franklin (uncredited)
      William Cameron Menzies (uncredited)
      David O. Selznick (uncredited)
      Josef von Sternberg (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      David O. Selznick (screenplay by the producer)
      Niven Busch (suggested by a novel by)
      Oliver H.P. Garrett (adaptation)
      Ben Hecht uncredited

      Lee Garmes (director of photography)
      Ray Rennahan (director of photography)
      Harold Rosson (director of photography) (as Hal Rosson)

      Jennifer Jones scraped and cut herself quite badly during the scene where she crawls over the rocks and dirt.

      The film was nicknamed "Lust in the Dust", which would later serve as the inspiration for the film Lust in the Dust (1985).

      The role of Pearl was originally written for Teresa Wright, as a departure from her girl-next-door image. However, pregnancy forced her to drop out.

      David O. Selznick reportedly spent $2,000,000.00, an unheard of sum in 1946, on the promotion of this film.

      David O. Selznick had originally intended this property as his artistic follow-up to Gone with the Wind (1939). He envisioned a lavish production with no expense spared, and ultimately he got his wish. Constant production delays, many caused by Selznick's meddling and the hiring and firing of as many as seven directors (including Selznick himself), as well as an extended editing period to cut the film from its original 26-hour running time, caused the budget to balloon to a then-horrifying sum of $6 million, plus an additional $2 million in marketing costs. Though the film eventually did turn a profit, it effectively marked the end of Sleznick's career. However, he went on to produce prestige films such as The Paradine Case (1947), Portrait of Jennie (1948), The Third Man (1949) and A Farewell to Arms (1957).

      This film's musical score was the subject of a famous soundstage exchange between producer David O. Selznick and composer Dimitri Tiomkin. When Selznick first heard Tiomkin's "love theme", he was visibly disappointed and admonished the composer, "You don't understand. I want real f**king music!" To which Tiomkin angrily replied, "You f**k your way, I f**k my way. F**k you - I quit!" Their differences were eventually patched up, and Tiomkin's music was used in the final film.

      This film is listed among The 100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE® MOVIE GUIDE.

      Film debut of Joan Tetzel.

      The British writing-directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger were shown a pre-release screening of the film by producer David O. Selznick. Both were thoroughly unimpressed with the mo0vie, but didn't want to offend Selznick by saying so. At the end of the film, when Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones are crawling towards each other on a mountain and when they get near each other they both open fire, Pressburger turned to Powell and whispered, "What a pity they didn't shoot the screenwriter".

      Factual errors: When the Cavalry rides off after intimidating McCanles from attacking the railroad because as the Senator says "I fought to defend that flag (the Stars and Stripes)", the music played is "Bonnie Blue Flag", which was an anthem of the Confederacy.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Cochise County, Arizona, USA
      Corriganville, Corriganville, Ray Corrigan Ranch, Simi Valley, California, USA
      Dragoon Mountains, Arizona, USA
      Dragoon, Arizona, USA (near)
      Lasky Mesa, West Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Route 99 of the Fresno-Bakersfield Highway, California, USA
      Selznick International Studios - 9336 Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA
      Sierra Railroad, Jamestown, California, USA
      Simi Valley, California, USA
      Texas Canyon, Arizona, USA
      Triangle T Guest Ranch - 4190 Dragoon Road, Dragoon, Arizona, USA
      Tucson, Arizona, USA
      Tumacácori National Historical Park, Tumacacori, Arizona, USA
      West Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Yuma, Arizona, USA
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Re: (New Profile) Classic Movie Westerns- Duel in the Sun (1946)

      David O. Selznick spent $2million dollars promoting this movie,
      (an unprecedented amount in those days,) as a follow up
      to his Gone With The Wind.
      The film was heavily panned by critics,
      because of it's risque content.
      It however went on to be a huge box office hit,
      but didn't turn in a profit.

      The wonderful score by Dimitri Tiomkin ( even though criticized
      by Selznick) became the very first recorded album of a film score

      User Review
      by allanm051
      This movie is like a painting by an old master that hangs in a museum--we may not be moved by it, but we can still appreciate the artistry. Its most notable feature is the director, King Vidor, master of silent film making. As you might expect, many of the important scenes have little or no dialog. In one scene between Lionel Barrymore and Lillian Gish, he rambles on about their life together, while she strains to get out of her sickbed and crosses slowly to him, the entire distance transfigured by the depth of her love for him. Gish was a great star of silent film, with a wonderful, expressive face, full of compassion and grace. In another scene that happens under quite different circumstances, Jennifer Jones crawls to Gregory Peck, the man she loves, also without words, evincing great sorrow and quiet dignity. In both cases, the women prove they are far more noble than the men who love them so badly. Jones also has a mobile face, together with a beautiful, resonant voice. No film that has these two ladies at its center should be missed. In addition, the film has two marvelous scenes that, at the time of its making, would have been just as impressive as some of today's special effects wonders: In the first, about 20 armed horsemen face a crowd of railway workers, including some chinese, clothed in authentic period dress, with a steam engine in the background. As the tensions mount, a troop of mounted cavalry, about 100 strong, ride onto the set, filmed on location (judging by the saguarros and ocatillos) in Arizona. This was a tour de force of filmmaking at a time when shooting on location was rare. In the second scene, a train under a full head of steam jumps the tracks and plows down an embankment. Filmed in early technicolor, this movie has lush exteriors and panoramas of rich desert color. Two more character actors should be mentioned, both of whom steal every scene they enter: Butterfly McQueen, the maid whose comments are both simple and profound, and Walter Huston, as the crusty sheriff who doubles as a preacher during a funeral
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- Duel in the Sun (1946)

      i also saw duel in the sun once when i was 15.i didnt like it and have'nt seen it since.i do have it in my dvd collection i just can't get my self so watch it.
    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- Duel in the Sun (1946)

      It's more of an overwrought melodrama than a traditional western. If you liked Gone With the Wind, you'll like it (same producer, and even some of the same actors).

      "I am not intoxicated - yet." McLintock!

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