CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Tribute to Gregory Peck
Aired June 13, 2003 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREGORY PECK, ACTOR: Our courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, remembering Gregory Peck, the legend, the actor, the man, with Tony Curtis, his co-star in "Captain Newman, M.D."; Angie Dickinson, also in the cast of that 1963 film; Harry Belafonte a close friend of the late, great actor; Eva Marie Saint, who worked with Gregory Peck in 1968's "The Stalking Moon"; Anjelica Huston -- her father, John Huston, directed him in "Moby Dick": and June Lockhart, Gregory Park's (sic) neighbor in Beverly Hills, was in one of his first films, "The Yearling."
They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
A couple of notes. The funeral service for Gregory Peck will be held this Monday at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church. Cardinal Mahoney will be officiating. The family is asking that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Motion Picture and TV Fund or to the Los Angeles Library Gregory Peck Reading Series. Peck was passionately committed to that reading series.
The late Anthony Quinn once described Gregory Peck as "What Abraham Lincoln -- reticent majesty."
We'll start with Tony Curtis. What was it, like, Tony, to work with him?
TONY CURTIS, ACTOR: I did a film with him, Larry, called "Captain Newman, M.D." It was somewhere in the early '60s. But I knew him earlier than that. He was such a gentleman and so pleasant to be with him and extended himself for all us younger actors, if you will, who were working in the movies.
In fact, it was through him, after I had seen "To Kill a Mockingbird," I was given an opportunity and I read a script called "The Defiant Ones." And I instantly remembered Gregory and his behavior in that film and the topic of the film and I decided to do it then. So Gregory means a lot to me and meant a lot to him.
KING: Anjelica, what did your father say -- I know you knew him well, right?
ANJELICA HUSTON, ACTRESS: I did.
KING: What did your father say about directing him?
HUSTON: Well, he adored Gregory, and I think Captain Ahab is an indelible character. I remember seeing him at 4-years-old in Fishgard, Wales with a peg leg and a big top hat. And that was beginning of my love affair with Gregory Peck.
KING: And your dad liked working with him?
HUSTON: Adored him.
KING: Eva Marie Saint, what was it like to work with him?
EVA MARIE SAINT, ACTRESS: Well, I did "The Stalking Moon" with him. And my character had been captured by the Indians and he rescued me. And if someone was going to rescue you, Gregory Peck was the man.
I mean, he was dear. He was smart. He cared so much about his family. But he had -- he had that look in his eye that was irresistible.
KING: Angie, what was it like?
ANGIE DICKINSON, ACTRESS: Yes, Eva's right. I was his somewhat love interest on "Captain Newman" with Tony Curtis and Greg. And I was a nurse on his ward. He was a psychiatrist. It was a psychiatric ward.
And as he was always, so calm and quietly assertive. But you just felt he was in control of himself all the time. And he always had humor even in the serious scenes -- not humor in the serious scenes but I mean had that glint of humor so that when a scene did come up, it was -- you could feel it in him.
KING: Harry Belafonte never worked with him. You were close friends. What was he like friendshipwise?
HARRY BELAFONTE, ENTERTAINER: I tell you that Gregory Peck was a remarkable human being, not only in his capacity as a great artist and an actor, but in his humanity and in his deep, deep social concern for America, for democracy, for the rights of people, for what was happening to those who were less fortunate than he. And he was deeply, deeply committed to moving his power, to moving his influence to continue hacking away at those indiscretions that caused citizens to sit in jeopardy with their rights.
For instance, he was not a very public person. I think he -- he worked very hard at his anonymity off the screen. As a consequence, most people don't really know the enormous influence he had on people like Bill Clinton. His warm and deep and very influential relationship with men like Lyndon Baines Johnson. His great relationship and the great influence and power that he wielded with presidents like Chirac, whom he knew quite well and who were very close. And in his own silent way, Gregory Peck moved behind the scenes. He was deeply involved with the American Civil Liberties Union. He deeply cared about civil rights in this country. He was always interested in First Amendment questions. And he gave much of his time and his life in quiet ways to the enrichment of America's pursuit of democracy.
KING: The Lockharts worked with him, right June? I mean, the whole family worked with him.
JUNE LOCKHART, ACTRESS: I'm so -- keeping on with this thing about his involvement. I am so sorry that we have lost such a good Democrat. But going on, yes -- when I was 21...
BELAFONTE: Couldn't agree more.
LOCKHART: When I was 21, I was in "The Yearling" with him and my father was in "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit." My father's name was Gene Lockhart. And my mother, Kathleen Lockhart, was in "Gentleman's Agreement" with him.
But, yes, he was -- he had this wonderful -- he was an educated man and a cultured man. And he had this tremendous thoughtful authority. But he had this droll sense of humor too. And if I may just -- his children and my children -- we both lived in Brentwood and they used to played together with Tony (ph) and Cecelia (ph).
And then one time we went up to Lake Arrowhead to have some time up there in the spring. And we checked into the hotel and the Peck family was there. Well, joy all around, of course. And then we got snowed in. And he just rose to the occasion. He took the kids out in the snow and there was much business with snow angels and throwing snowballs and taking -- it was wonderful. He had this great family spirit, too.
KING: Tony, how good an actor was he?
CURTIS: He was a wonderful person. You know, he was a lot of fun. Working with him, you felt as if you were contributing equally. He never put you in a position or made you feel as if you were secondary or you weren't as important as anybody else. He had this very delicate sense of people and his surroundings.
We shared something very sad, he and I. He lost his son. And a few years later, I lost mine. And I remember meeting him at a party. And he reached out to me and he said to me, "I know, Tony. I'm sorry." And that moved me very much, because he lost his son in a violent way, as well as my boy did. He was really a wonderful fellow.
May I add and say hello to Harry? Harry and I went to acting school when we were kids. We were friends in each other's youth. Hi, Harry.
BELAFONTE: We're still kids, Tony.
CURTIS: Thank you, Harry. KING: By the way, we're told that he died very quietly, going to sleep, his wife at his side, taking his hand. He closed his eyes and just didn't get up, which is probably the best way to go.
We'll be back with our panel. We'll include your phone calls. Lots more stories. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PECK: I feel extremely lucky to have had a picture like that in my background, because it's not forgotten. It's played in the high schools, at junior high schools on the cassettes. They write papers about it. If he walked down Fifth Avenue With me or get in an elevator in a hotel with me, it's -- you know, it's 10 to 1 in favor of that somebody will say, I loved "To Kill a Mockingbird". I've never forgotten or I've seen it six times or my son became a lawyer because of it. So it's a blessing. It's a -- I'm very frank to say that I'll always be grateful for having at least one like that along the way. It was a godsend. It was a gift.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD")
PECK: A quiet, humble, respectable Negro, who has had the unmitigated temerity to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to put his word against two white people's.
The defendant is not guilty. But somebody in this courtroom is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird," based on the Harper Lee novel. He knew Harper well. Atticus Finch -- I think the American Film Institute recently voted Atticus Finch as the greatest individual character in motion picture history.
LOCKHART: Yes, I read that.
KING: Not, not...
BELAFONTE: It was one of the greatest heroic character in American cinema.
BELAFONTE: The greatest heroic character in American cinema. It's remarkable.
LOCKHART: One of the things that tickles me about it, though, is that he was acknowledged while he was alive, and there were so many awards and so many...
(CROSSTALK) KING: I mean, it was just marvelous that so many people realized the glory of this man's talent and as a human being.
KING: He rarely played evil, right?
LOCKHART: Rarely played evil.
KING: Except he was Mengele in "Boys From Brazil." And you hated it.
HUSTON: Well, I never really believed that he was evil, actually. It didn't do it for me. Greg was just good (ph) through and through.
KING: Was he a giving actor, Eva Marie?
SAINT: Oh, yes. You know, in the last years he had a wonderful series, called the Gregory Peck reading series, and it was at the Los Angeles Central Public Library. And he would ask different performers and authors to do whatever they wanted to do. And it's a beautiful little theater there, and wonderful audiences. And they would come week after week, and you would do your thing.
But he didn't just give his name to that particular series, which of course is still going. He would be there every time. And he would be there with his dear wife. And he would be there with his daughter and her husband. So it was a family affair. And you would see it -- they would talk with you before you went on to perform, and then they would see you afterwards, and they would congratulate you, and it was a family thing with such feeling.
So it doesn't -- it wasn't just his name. He participated, and he was there. And I remember he was getting elderly, and I heard he was fragile, but we would talk on the phone to make the arrangements. And he sounded 47, maybe 48. But, you know, he -- I mean, I'm thinking, oh, boy, Gregory Peck, right? I mean, he was just so youthful and funny and sexy on the phone. And he was getting older, but that was his soul and that was his spirit.
KING: He was a card-playing friend of yours, right, Angie?
DICKINSON: Yes, he was. We played poker almost weekly, for quite a few years, five or six years now. And that's when you really get to know somebody, of course, when you see them weekly, and especially if you win now and then.
LOCKHART: Oh, yes!
DICKINSON: And he was great because, again, quiet and -- but typical of his humor, one day after about three or four years of playing, he turned to Mrs. Gelbart (ph) on his left, and her name was Pat. And he said, so, Peaches, are you in? And that was just his cute, adorable way. And she is to this day Peaches. Nobody dares call her Pat. And she takes great pride that Gregory named her. And it fits her. And it was just -- that was that delicate way. And I also might want to add, he stayed friends with Brock Peters all these 40 years. He has befriended him. He's -- he just has -- is so wonderful to people. Just so great.
KING: I (ph) thought I didn't know who Brock Peters was.
DICKINSON: No, and I should have explained. He defended Brock in "To Kill a Mockingbird," for the young, young, young people, not like you and me.
KING: That's right. I'm sorry. Go ahead.
SAINT: Larry, what I loved about him as an actor, as a fine actor, that I think everything that he did in his life -- his marriage, his children, his grandchildren -- his experiences all went into the creation of those characters. And he lived a full life. And those characters were full people. And when he -- as someone said, he wasn't -- Harry, he was to all of these causes to help people. His -- he was incredible.
KING: Wasn't it hard for him, Harry, to -- when you are that imposing and that imposing a figure, that incredible a voice, to become another character? For the audience to willingly accept the fact that it is not Gregory Peck, but a gunfighter in "The Gunfighter," or in "Guns of Navarone," to accept him as someone else?
BELAFONTE: I'll tell you, I've listened to my colleagues speak about Gregory Peck and the good fortune that each had in having been able to work with him in film. But, you know, he always bemoaned the fact that he never thought he quite lived up to all he expected of himself in the films that he did, with the exception of "To Kill a Mockingbird." He always felt that there was someplace else he could have gone and more he could have done.
And it was always a curious thing to me that he was so successful in so many varied parts that he felt this way. And then I discovered something. What really dominated everything that Gregory did was this genetic inner power that he had, his humanity just exuded constantly. And I think that Anjelica is absolutely right. It's hard to have accepted him as a villain in the absolute sense of the word, because his humanity just refused to be suffocated. And in every part that he played, whether he played "Gentleman's Agreement" where he stepped out to talk about anti-Semitism in America, was one of the first truly powerful films at the end of the Second World War that dealt with the issue of anti-Semitism, "To Kill a Mockingbird" and other films that he did, he was a man who constantly reached into the social and historical nuances of America, to define who we were as a people and as a nation. And his humanity constantly invaded everything that he did. And I think we were all the better for it.
KING: Let me get a break, we'll come back and, we're going to be including your phone calls in a little while. Tribute to the late Gregory Peck. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PECK: I'll nurse you back to health. You're strong, you're going to live a long life in a cage. That's where you belong. And that's where you're going. And this time for life! Bang your head against the walls, count the years, the months, the hours until that day...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PECK: Could not have adjudicated more wisely, your honor. I am so offended at the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tactics. I petition the ABA for his disbarment on the grounds of moral turpitude. Now, if you'll excuse us, my client -- come on, son -- is due back at the hospital for the results of his numerous X-rays.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The clip going out was from the original "Cape Fear." Gregory Peck was the hero in that, Robert Mitchum, and the clip coming back in was Gregory Peck playing the lawyer for the character that Robert De Niro Played originally played by Robert Mitchum.
We want to touch other bases. We are going to go to your phone calls.
You worked with him in the library program?
HUSTON: I did indeed. And Gregory would meet you for rehearsal. And...
KING: Would you read books?
HUSTON: Yes, we'd read books. And he would meet you on the steps and walk you up, even when he was in his mid 80's. The thing about Gregory for me was really we became good friends after my father's death. I sought him out. I can't remember...
HUSTON: Just as a human being. I always thought he was one of the most beautiful men I had ever seen, and I wanted to be his friend. I think I approached him one evening and said, "I think you're fabulous and I want to be your friend." And from that moment on, we struck up a kind of wonderful friendship. He had -- there were no barriers in terms of our age differences. He was completely available. He joined me for an evening that we did on a dark Monday night at the Mark Tapper forum to benefit the women of Northern Ireland. He was up for all things good. He was a moral compass for me. He was a guide in a way that my father had been a guide to me. and dearly beloved.
KING: Sound almost fatherly.
HUSTON: Yes. Yes.
KING: Tony, he told me once that he had turned down "High Noon."
He turned it down because he had done another western and he didn't want to do two westerns. The part went to Gary Cooper, of course. And Cooper won an award.
He would have been good in it, don't you think?
CURTIS: He would be excellent. Stanley Kramer did that movie. Gregory had a way of becoming whatever you wanted him to be. You never lost Gregory. Gregory was always on the screen, whatever he was doing, whatever he was saying. He was a consummate actor, you know. And it wasn't acting. He was being. For me, films is an actual experience. It's not something that was done in the past. As you do it, it is live. And the actor has to bring that to what -- Gregory did.
You know, this is such a sad period of time for us to be together, but I'm so thrilled to hear from my friends on this contribution this evening. Harry, Eva Marie Saint, Angie, we've all been friends. And isn't it extraordinary that a man like Gregory should bring us together tonight in remembering him.
And you, Larry, It's very moving to me.
I'm so happy.
KING: A lot of things we forget about Gregory Peck. Another magical thing about him was his voice.
LOCKHART: Yes, of course. Beautiful voice. And yet there was no self consciousness about him and his performing and his voice. Some people with deep voices, you feel they're sort of putting it on. But this was intrinsic to his person.
KING: He was a great MacArthur, too.
LOCKHART: Yes. He was excellent, indeed.
KING: Angie, you have a joke of his.
Hold on one second.
DICKINSON: Well, thank you, Tony. It's wonderful to be with Harry and Tony and Eva Marie, and everybody here too. But I just wish Greg was here with us. He loved telling a story -- well, I loved having him tell it. He said, do you know there was a chicken that was crazy about movies.
He said, do you know why the movie-crazy chicken crossed the road, and of course we said, no. He said, to see Gregory peck. Isn't that wonderful?
CURTIS: That's the clean version.
DICKINSON: And I love -- I would say, please, tell it, Gregory, and he would say, come on.
KING: And you told it great, too.
Angelica has to leave us so I'll give her a parting word before we go to break. We will go to your calls in the next half-hour and I will reintroduce the panel. Angelica, I thank you for sharing your time.
HUSTON: Thank you, Larry.
CURTIS: Bye-bye, Angelica.
HUSTON: I would like to say all my love is to the family tonight, to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and the children, who were so beloved to Gregory.
KING: Will you go to the funeral?
HUSTON: Of course.
KING: The funeral will be Monday Night. Cardinal Mahoney (ph) will be officiating. He had a little clout, a big man.
By the way, if you want more on his life, go to cnn.com and click on the entertainment business.
And we also want to salute Tony Curtis, the first recipient of the Legend of Hollywood Achievement Award from the Las Vegas Screenwriters Conference that will take place this weekend.
We thank Angelica.
We will be back, continue with our panel and your phone calls about Gregory Peck.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PECK: It's birds. The birds! He rises.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Gregory Peck in "Roman Holiday." And when we went to break, of course, in "Moby Dick."
Let's reintroduce our panel. In Las Vegas is Tony Curtis, one of our favorite people, who co-starred with Gregory Peck in "Captain Newman M.D." Here in Los Angeles, Angie Dickinson, co-starred with Greg and Tony in that film. In New York is Harry Belafonte, the entertainer and activist and good friend of Gregory Peck's. In San Francisco, Eva Marie Saint, Academy-Award-winning actress who co- starred with Peck in "The Stalking Moon." Anjelica has left us. June Lockhart -- June Lockhart co-starred with Gregory Peck him in "The Yearling." Her mother, Kathleen Lockhart, was in "Gentleman's Agreement," which starred Peck. And her father, Gene Lockhart, was in "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit," which starred Gregory Peck. She was also a neighbor of the Pecks. They were kind of involved.
KING: Joining us on the phone is one of my other favorite people, Danny DeVito, the actor, producer, director who co-starred with Gregory Peck in a terrific movie, 1991's "Other People's Money." Danny played Larry the liquidator, Peck played Andrew Jorgenson (ph), whose company is targeted for a hostile takeover.
Danny, what was he like to work with?
DANNY DEVITO, ACTOR: Hi, Larry.
DEVITO: Hi, everybody. Well, it was just the greatest thrill of my life to work with Gregory Peck, a man who I admired so much and loved him in all the pictures I ever saw him in. And when Norman Jewison said he was going to play this part opposite me in "Other People's Money," I was just, like, you know, overwhelmed, blown away, flabbergasted, going to work with a legend. I was very, very nervous, and we -- we had several really wonderful scenes together and -- and when I got to meet him, he was just the warmest, kindest, gentlest, just -- just the most wonderful guy. You felt like, you know, he'd just embraced -- embraced you and made me feel comfortable and -- just the sweetest man.
KING: Was it difficult -- I mean, in the scenes, you were his antagonist.
DEVITO: Yes, I was his antagonist, so I -- I had to turn from this gentle man who's just so wonderful and try to rip the life out of his company, try to liquidate his life's dream. And in the end, we had to speak to a couple of hundred people and plead our case, and God, there was no way I was going to win that argument!
KING: It must be hard to work with someone that you -- you've admired since childhood, right?
DEVITO: Well, it's a joy. It's really -- it's not a hard thing to do. You work with people, you -- well, you have an image of them, and his image was always so gentle and kind and loving in "To Kill a Mockingbird" and things like, you know, where he was a man who you could trust and -- and so I -- but still, he is a legend. It was, like, I worked with Kirk Douglas, who was also one of my, you know, favorites. And he was -- you know, you always have these things built up in your mind, and you get nervous. But Peck was, like -- Gregory was just the greatest and sweetest man. KING: Yes. Danny, thanks so much for contributing tonight.
DEVITO: OK. And I want to just give my heartfelt feelings and prayers to the family, and I know that he's looking down on us and we're going to make him proud of us.
KING: Yes. Well said.
BELAFONTE: I'd like to -- I'd like to say something, Larry, just very quickly.
KING: Sure, Harry. Go ahead.
BELAFONTE: I think while we all feel a great sense of personal loss, and the nation has lost one of its great, great treasures as an artist, I have to say that Gregory Peck was one of the most fortunate human beings in the world. If you've met his wife, Veronique (ph), if you look at his daughter, Cecelia (ph), and his sons and the grandchildren that he brought into the world -- and whenever I was with him, in his presence, at his home for dinner as we -- he was always surrounded with nothing but love and a positive environment. And I just think that if anybody's life should be emulated, if anybody should ever wish to have a life that is -- that represents the best, I think if you picked Gregory Peck, you couldn't lose.
KING: Let's take a call from Toronto. Hello.
CALLER: First of all, Larry, thank you very much for having a show and honoring such a wonderful person.
KING: You're welcome.
CALLER: I just have a question regarding his lovely wife, Veronique. It's so rare in Hollywood these days that you have a lovely relationship between two people. Does anyone know the type of relationship they have, and is there anything they could share, because it was beautiful to see that?
DICKINSON: Well, you're very observant. Yes, I would love to comment because everyone, as Harry so beautifully said, should wish for Greg's life. Everyone should wish for a marriage like that. They were married 47, 48 years. And they were as warm and gentle and kind and loving to each other last week as they were at the beginning. And she is just -- she's beyond belief. I don't have time to go into how wonderful she is. But support of him, and he supported her. It was just the most beloved thing to see. So they were -- you were right. And they were both so private, so you didn't know this. But you sensed it when you could see them together. They leaned on each other. They helped each other. They worshipped each other.
KING: Boston. Hello.
BELAFONTE: I've never seen a couple that was so persistently in a honeymoon. Every day of their life was just a -- it was a big -- I thought it was fake for a while.
LOCKHART: Harry's right.
KING: Boston. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. Yes. I was wondering if Mr. Peck had ever mentioned, since all of you have been friends of his, if he had a favorite leading lady?
KING: Do we know?
CALLER: ... but I wondered if there was one...
LOCKHART: I don't know. But in "The New York Times" obituary today, they mentioned some of the ladies that he had worked with, which he had referred to as though perhaps there was a little more than just an ordinary type of friendship.
KING: Well, in the Netherlands, I spent time, when we did a special with Audrey Hepburn, and he was there then and we talked. And I think Hepburn -- I think...
LOCKHART: And he mentioned how beautiful Ava Gardner...
KING: Eva Marie, don't you think it was Audrey Hepburn?
SAINT: No. It was me.
SAINT: We're all sitting there saying, No. But you know what Harry said? No, I know it was me. That's all right. Whatever. But when Harry was talking about the family -- his beautiful daughter made the most incredible film, a documentary, about her father, Gregory Peck.
KING: "Conversation With Gregory Peck."
SAINT: And it was on PBS, and it was on last year, I think. It was just the most incredible film because he was going back and talking with people. I mean, people could ask him questions in a little theater and he would answer. And he sort of went on the road with that. He was giving back. And whatever they wanted to ask, he would answer. And then they had the shots backstage, and Veronique was always there. And I have to say, when we did "The Stalking Moon" and we were on location outside of Vegas, and it was difficult for me to get up out of the Tropicana Hotel and go through the casino, where they're gambling. And we did this 5:00 o'clock in the morning. And because the sun went down, we had to get up very early. So there I am, 5:00 o'clock, having had 12 hours sleep. And I would go into the casino, and here all the women were, the mascara. They'd been up all night, right?
And I said to Greg, It's very difficult for me to play this woman who's been captured by the Indians and she's part Indian now and has a half-breed son and all of that. I said, I don't know how to handle this. And he said, Why don't you have them change your room, so I didn't have to go through the casino.
SAINT: And the point is, he was smarter than I was. I never thought of that.
KING: We'll be right back. Can't look at Eva Marie Saint and not see Marlon Brando and "On the Waterfront."
SAINT: That's right.
KING: As we go to break, a scene from a great motion picture, a motion picture that changed things in Hollywood, "Gentleman's Agreement." Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You really think I'm an anti-Semite.
PECK: No, I don't, Cathy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You do. You've thought it secretly for a long time.
PECK: No. It's just that I've come to see that lots of nice people who aren't, people who despise it and detest it and deplore it and protest their own innocence help it along and then wonder why it grows. People who'd never beat up a Jew or yell "kike" at a child, people who think that anti-Semitism is something away off in some dark crackpot place with low-class morons. That's the biggest discovery I've made about this whole business, Cathy, the good people, the nice people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "SPELLBOUND")
PECK: I know why you came in.
INGRID BERGMAN: Why? PECK: Because something's happened to us.
BERGMAN: But it doesn't happen like that in a day.
PECK: It happens in a moment sometimes. I felt it this afternoon. It was like lightning striking. It strikes rarely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: A young Gregory Peck, a beautiful Ingrid Bergman in Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound."
Take another call. Portland, Oregon. Hello.
CALLER: Good evening. Good evening to the panel.
CALLER: Coincidence you just had on "Spellbound." I was wondering, does anybody on the panel have any first knowledge of Mr. Peck's work with Ingrid Bergman or Alfred Hitchcock? Thank you.
KING: Does anyone know -- Tony, do you know about him working with Hitchcock, what he thought of Hitchcock?
CURTIS: I knew they had worked together, and I'd seen them occasionally at parties, and they were very friendly. That relationship was an excellent one. But you know, Gregory captured the very period of time that he lived in, those '50s. He will always represent that to us.
KING: Yes. Good point.
CURTIS: You can't escape that, you know? If you want to know what the '50s were like, watch Gregory.
KING: You know, Harry, in speaking of his activism, he -- I remember he was one of the Hollywood people who led the fight against the appointment of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.
BELAFONTE: Yes, he was.
KING: That showed a lot of guts then. But he didn't get the retaliation that -- like the others get today.
BELAFONTE: No, because I believe that people really trusted Gregory Peck's integrity. He was a man who never aspired to be -- to -- he never aspired to power. He never aspired for a platform. And I think that people just really trusted -- even if you disagreed with him, you trusted his honesty. You trusted his moral center. And I think that most people would never find anything about Gregory Peck abrasive or abusive. KING: It would be impossible, June, to be angry at him, right?
LOCKHART: I think so. Also, you had the feeling that he had thought about what he was saying and it wasn't just a hot moment of...
KING: Knee jerk?
LOCKHART: Yes, exactly. That he had really considered what he was thinking about, what he had said. And then when he came out and made the remarks, you knew that they were intelligent remarks.
KING: Las Vegas. Hello.
CURTIS: Hello. Oh!
CALLER: Thank you, Larry, for doing this show.
CALLER: Congratulations, Mr. Curtis, on your award.
CURTIS: Thank you.
CALLER: And thanks to all of you who are really legends in your own right. But I'd like to know perhaps what you thought his most valuable or strongest quality was as an actor? Like, for me, it was his believability. Even as Mengele, he was able to carry off this charm that Mengele had. And was that his own charm that was coming out or -- you know, what do you think?
DICKINSON: I think Harry said it best, that humanity...
KING: Came into his role.
DICKINSON: His strong humanity was just so powerful. And I don't know another like him. And by the way, Mr. Belafonte, you can take a few bows yourself for all of the work you do for other people. You both cared so much. And I was with you both, of course, in Philadelphia, for the Marion Anderson award a few years ago. And people love you, too, and you don't have to take a back seat to Mr. Peck, Harry.
KING: But about his acting?
DICKINSON: Yes, his acting. I think the humanity. Of course, gorgeous! And proud and courageous and -- you know, again, he'd be the one you'd run to to say, I need help.
KING: Eva Marie, was he sensual? Would you describe him as...
DICKINSON: Oh, yes!
SAINT: Oh, Angie, what are you laughing...
SAINT: Oh, yes, he was very sensual. See, I find that kind of sexiness which he -- that Gregory Peck had -- which was not obvious, but I truly feel that women -- and my husband certainly found him so very attractive. Yes, he was. And it was in his eyes. When we started "The Stalking Moon," I was living in a hut with a sod floor and wooden bowls, and my dad was Quaker. So I just love -- I have wooden furniture, Shaker furniture.
I said to Greg -- this was the first day. And I said, You know, Greg, I could really live like this. I mean, for a moment.
SAINT: I mean -- is that Angie laughing? Who's laughing?
SAINT: Tony? No. You know, for a while, and I'm getting paid, but I could live like this. And I'm talking about the wooden bowls. And Gregory said, You know, Eva Marie, I could, too. And I'm thinking, you know, his beautiful French wife, you know, the beautiful home in Brentwood. But we were all lying a little bit. We were getting into the part. And from that moment, I knew we'd have a good time.
LOCKHART: He was -- as I said, he was literate, too. And so he had this great intellect, which made it possible for him to really...
KING: Oh, he was very bright.
LOCKHART: Yes! He was bright and cultured, as I said earlier. And so this was -- this all went into the forming of his characters that he played.
KING: As we go to break -- we'll get in some more calls. Here's Gregory Peck talking about the old Hollywood studio system and his not buying into it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - LARRY KING LIVE)
PECK: I had that stubborn streak -- the Irish in me, I guess -- that I never wanted to be owned by anybody and I wanted to make up my own mind, for better or for worse. So I have to take the blame for the clunkers I've made and a little bit of the credit for the good ones I've made.
(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "DESIGNING WOMAN")
PECK: What's on your mind?
LAUREN BACALL: Guess.
PECK: You're going to bite me on the ear again.
BACALL: Don't you like it?
PECK: It's a very strange but pleasurable sensation.
BACALL: Oh, Mike!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's with Lauren Bacall in "Designing Woman." And by the way, most of the movies you've seen tonight clips of are available on -- for home video and DVD.
Arlington, Virginia. Hello.
CALLER: I would think about Gregory Peck in one role and one role only, the strongest I've ever seen, when he played the southern attorney, Atticus.
KING: Right. Atticus Finch.
CALLER: Yes. I want to know, what did the black community feel about it? Because I'm 50, but I was a child when it was out. And I saw it first when I was about 10. And I thought it was the most dramatic think I ever saw in my life. Did he have any backlash from making that movie?
BELAFONTE: I'll tell you this, that I think that most African- Americans and people of color really look constantly for the humanity in the white world, in the white community. And I think that when all of us saw "To Kill a Mockingbird" and saw the humanity in what Gregory Peck did in that film, it affirmed for us that there was America, no matter how elusive from time to time that America may be in terms of its goodness and its strength. But Gregory was the embodiment of that.
And I think what he did as an actor and the selections that he made and the films he did, like "Gentleman's Agreement," constantly was a reaffirmation of America, of the values of America, and what we are as a -- as a people, what we aspire to be. And I think that I would say that most black Americans were not only deeply proud of Brock Peterson's (ph) performance, but that Gregory Peck was able to use his power to bring that film to the screen.
You know, the book was, I think, in 1960, the only book that she had written, Miss Lee (ph). And Gregory Peck had a big influence on the fact that that film was made. And two years later, in 1962, at the height of the Civil Rights movement, when America was in a very conflicted place, out came this film, and Gregory Peck. And he gave everybody a chance to pause and to look at what we were aspiring to.
KING: Yes. Boy! Jackson, Tennessee. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. My pleasure to speak with you and your guests.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: I do have a comment and a question. I would like to say Will Rogers once said, Live so that you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. And I think that Gregory Peck lived his life that way, truly.
KING: Yes. Yes, was there any -- anything gossipy about -- was he ever in the tabloids?
DICKINSON: I doubt it. I doubt it very much.
KING: Was he ever, Tony, to your knowledge?
CURTIS: He was.
CURTIS: Larry, he was.
KING: Really? You're not going to elaborate? You're just hanging there?
CURTIS: Those early days, you know...
CURTIS: ... Gregory, when he divorced his first wife. His second wife was a hairdresser on a film that he was on. And a man like Gregory was almost a mark for that kind of stuff, you know?
KING: Really? I thought he was way above that.
CURTIS: Well, he personally was, but still, those were the facts. But he was a gentleman...
KING: His second wife was a reporter.
CURTIS: I'm sorry?
KING: His second wife was a reporter.
CURTIS: Veronique. Yes. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) hairdresser.
KING: Well, you said hairdresser. OK, I'm lost.
KING: Del Mar, California. Hello. Del Mar, hello.
CALLER: Del Mar?
CALLER: Good evening, Larry. I'm a great fan of Gregory Peck and of yours.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: And my question is, knowing that Gregory and Veronique Passani (ph) met in Paris while she was a reporter, journalist for the "Paris Match," my question is, did he die in Paris, in France? And will Mrs. Peck continue her life here or in France?
KING: He died here in Beverly Hills, right? At Beverly Hills or Brentwood...
LOCKHART: At the Brentwood house, I think.
DICKINSON: In Bel Air.
KING: In Bel Air. And he died peacefully, going to sleep. And she was present, as was other members of the family.
DICKINSON: This was their home.
BELAFONTE: She was holding...
DICKINSON: An incredible home.
BELAFONTE: She was holding his hand when he passed away at 4:00 in the morning.
CURTIS: That -- that family...
BELAFONTE: But she will continue to live in America. Her grandchildren are here, and much of her life is centered in the American cultural environment. But she has a great love for France, and I'm quite sure she'll be going there with great regularity.
KING: All right, quickly, we're almost out of time. How's he going to be remembered?
DICKINSON: Elegant, elegant, beautiful. And again, the humanity and caring beyond himself. KING: Eva?
SAINT: A fine, fine actor. And we all have egos, but his didn't show at all.
SAINT: One of a kind. We have never been without Gregory Peck in this whole era of films, and now we will not ever be again without him because the films go on.
KING: We're out of time. Thank you so much. Thank you all of you for your eloquence and for your contributions on this kind of sad night. But he was 87 years old. What a life.
LOCKHART: Thank you for the compliment of asking me to be with you.
KING: Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson, Harry Belafonte, Eva Marie Saint, Anjelica Huston, June Lockhart, and on the phone, Danny DeVito. We'll come back in a couple of minutes, tell you about what's coming up this weekend. Don't go away.
KING: Hope you enjoyed this past show tonight. I sure enjoyed hosting it. Tomorrow night, we're going to repeat our last interview with former president Bill Clinton. And on Sunday night, we'll repeat the interview we had earlier this week with Hillary Clinton. It's the Clinton weekend on LARRY KING LIVE. And Monday night, Hedda Nussbaum (ph). What a tragic story. Hedda Nussbaum on Monday night.
It's now time to turn it over to the scene in New York, normally hosted by Aaron Brown, tonight hosted by the lovely Kate Snow. The picture is much more attractive. Oh, she's in Washington! Kate Snow will host -- Kate Snow hosts "NEWSNIGHT." Kate, it's your ballgame.
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