April 5, 1916 - June 12, 2003
"Stop worrying about fear. Think of yourself as already dead."
June 12, 2003: Gregory Peckery died yesterday. The Hollywood Chamber of commerce celebrates accordingly,
and a card from Johnny Grant.
He hasn't been very ill, just getting damn old. He died in his home with his wife Veronique holding his hand, slipping peacefully away into the clutches of Mr. Reapy man.
He was 87 years old.
More details to follow. No more mail for him.
His funeral will be on Monday, at that enormous new Catholic cathedral downtown (cuz God likes it big).
Well, I went. BIG thanks to my pal Laer, who met me at the subway and we went together. VERY starry. The cathedral was half full,
and they had some pictures of Gregory on the altar.
First I saw Harry Belafonte, who was looking real good. That unpleasant Bacall woman showed up with her paid companion.
Harrison and Calista were there. VERY cool to see them.
Ed Begley Jr. too. How did they get him? Does he only drive his electric car from funeral to funeral?
Lionel Ritchie managed to scramble away from his ass beating to put in an appearance.
They handed out programs to the people that truly mattered.
Some woman that didn't, let me photograph hers.
The service was typically long winded and dull. I was raised Catholic, and a vast majority of my life was spent going to Catholic churches. Now, in retrospect, I just don't get it. I guess that's me. But it seems like they are talking to two year olds. Really dull. No message.
Steve Peck, Gregory's son, spoke for a bit, as did the daughter. Then Brock Peters spoke, who was Gregory's costar in To Kill a Mockingbird. You could tell this was the first time in ages that he played to a packed house. He took every advantage, including singing. Ugh. The only saving grace was that the sound system was screwed up, and it made me laugh. I like God, I like church. This was showbiz.
Afterwards, we watched the people leave. Anjelica Huston was there, with her husband Robert Graham, who designed the entrance to the cathedral. She wiped a tear. So sad.
Unphotographed: Tony Danza and Cheryl Tiegs (seperately).
Photographed: these people whom I have no idea:
1. Alex Rocco
2. Michael York
3. Dyan Cannon?
Thanks to the Findadeath friends that helped with identification.
After the funeral, I was gonna scram, but Laer suggested we go to the basement mausoleum. Ta da! There he was, already marked. First big occupant. He is interred in the basement mausoleum of the new cathedral. Thanks to Laer, here he is:
Thanks, Roger and Kim for the info.
My pal Leila assures me that he was a class act. Very involved with the Democratic party, and active in the NAACP.
He was born Episcopalian, and converted to Catholicism when he married his second wife Veronique. He drank Heineken, played poker, and greeted tour buses when he saw them. That I like. Thanks, Leila. See you soon, and I'll bring that book you asked for. XX
UPDATE December 2004, from Findadeath friend Dianne: Oh Scott - I hope you'll find this interesting. When they were filming MacArthur with Gregory Peck, here in Bremerton, Washington (State) (where the USS Missouri was docked at the Puget Sound Navy Yard for a looooong time), they filmed the signing of the surrender on the deck of the Missouri itself. My grandfather, a retired career Navy officer, along with a lot of retired local Navy guys, were asked to populate the decks of the Missouri in Navy uniforms (etc.) for a touch of authenticity/public relations. The first day of this, my grandfather, enthusing over how interesting it was, he'd met Mr. Gregory Peck himself, and was warmly greeted and told "CALL ME GREG!" and forever after he loved telling about it, and what a nice gentleman Mr. Peck was. Dianne C. Pfister
What a nice story. Thanks, Dianne!