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Hardcover Gregory Peck: A Biography Book

ISBN: 068485290X

ISBN13: 9780684852904

Gregory Peck: A Biography

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Gregory Peck's acting career has spanned six decades, during which the ruggedly handsome actor has played everything from a jaunty reporter to an angry Western gunfighter, an honorable lawyer to an... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Gregory Peck... a great biography of a great man

Author Gary Fishgall's well-researched, well-written biography of Gregory Peck is, in a word, great! It presents a comprehensive analysis of his many years as a fine actor, as well as many passages about his private life, his efforts on behalf of the arts, and his charitable contributions--in time, as well as monetary. Most of all, this book confirms what his fans have long believed: His personal life mirrored his screen persona--a man of dignity and sincerity. Who in today's cinema even comes close to matching the greatness of Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, John Wayne, et al? If asked as a contestant on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," my response would be, unequivocally, "no one... my final answer." I highly recommend this extraordinary biography of an extraordinary man!

An Easy Read

A nice overview of a popular public figure who is a little more complex than you might expect and not quite the lofty figure of his managed public image, but nevertheless a decent human being, like most of us. The narrative moves nicely including interesting details about the films Peck made and his relations with directors, writers, and fellow actors and the women in his life. An easy read.

St. Gregory of Hollywood?

Gary Fishgall's GREGORY PECK is an admiring and uncritical look at the actor. Perhaps the only balance is provided by Peck's own words: "I've had my ups and downs. There have been times when I wanted to quit. Times when I hit the bottle. Girls. Marital problems. I've touched most of the bases." About those bases, Fishgall is protectively reticent. However, as a Gregory Peck fan all of my adult life, this bio, while not leading me to more than a superficial understanding of the man, is a comprehensive examination of his life as an actor, first in live theater and then in front of the motion picture cameras. The author's progression through the decades of Gregory's career is methodical almost to a fault. A useful section at the end is a filmography of fifty-three feature films and four television appearances, with the availability of each in either videotape and/or DVD format noted. (The list is perhaps somewhat out of date. For example, MACARTHUR's availability is listed as video only, but a DVD edition now exists.) Perhaps the highlights of the book were, for me, the trivia revealed. Did you know that Robert Mitchum (co-starring in CAPE FEAR) has a photographic memory and can learn his lines by reading the script just before a scene is shot? Or that while shooting GUNS OF NAVARONE on Rhodes, where, as one journalist put it, "The food is awful, everything shuts up early, and unlike most Greeks, the islanders tether their daughters and let the goats wander free", co-star Anthony Quinn kept the stars from dying of boredom with several portable chess sets brought from home? And best of all, the child star (Harvey Stephens) that played Damien in OMEN literally got the part after demonstrating to director Richard Donner a certain demonic streak - he punched Donner in the gonads. Fishgall obviously did a lot of research. On page 260, however, he flatly states that California's incumbent Democratic governor, Edmund Brown, won re-election in 1966. Since actor Ronald Reagan was, in fact, the winner - a victory which catapulted him into national political prominence, and eventually led to his election as President - I found the author's factual failure on this small point to be appalling, and perhaps called into question the accuracy of other material in the book. I mean, I wouldn't expect a recent Golden State high school graduate to even know who either Brown or Reagan was, the quality of general education these days being what it is. But should the author of a major, fact-based text make such a gaffe? Despite its shortcomings, GREGORY PECK satisfied my curiosity about the legendary actor, and then some; I don't think I need to read further. On that basis, 4 stars is appropriate.

A great star

I have to admit upfront that I'm a Gregory Peck fan. So my bias is clearly towards any author who does a good a job as Fishgall did. The book covers Peck from ancestral antecedents, through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood and a long career. As the previous reviewers mentioned, the book is a detailed and meticulous review of Peck's career, step by step, play by play, and film by film (and all the other things he accomplished). The book contains all sorts of information about the whys, wherefores, and reasons thereof that drove Peck to make the career moves that he did. And there is much information regarding how Peck prepared for roles, what movitated his performances, and how his relationships with co-stars/colleagues affected him and them. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I learned a great deal about Gregory Peck and, unbelievably since I was already a fan, appreciate the actor even more. The one thing the book lacks is, perhaps, more about the personal life of the actor. I'm sure this has little to do with the efforts of the author. Gregory Peck was well-known to be an extremely private person during his lifetime, and I have no problem respecting his wishes now that he is gone. Overall, I highly recommend the book.

A Towering Star

There is a scene in "The Old Gringo" where Gregory Peck as the title character tries to seduce spinsterish Jane Fonda with words words words. (Actually, it turned out he was only softening her up for the young Mexican general Jimmy Smits.)The Old Gringo talks about all the beautiful women he's loved over his long life and how he made them sigh into his mustache. Oh yes, we can believe it! Think of Gregory as the cynical reporter who falls in love with Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday"; or the lewd cowboy Lewt McCandles, who drives Jennifer Jones' Pearl to a "Duel in the Sun"; or the bewildered amnesia patient who makes Ingrid Bergman's cool psychologist fall madly in love in Hitchcock's "Spellbound." I thoroughly enjoyed reading Gary Fishgall's well-researched biography of this towering actor, who is just as decent and intelligent as we always imagined.
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