June 13, 2003

I had a brand spankin' new write-up all written and ready to post here yesterday afternoon, but moments before I was about to put it up, I decided I'd take a break and go check out the local newspaper on-line. I was scanning through the news updates for the day when I saw a headline that made me heart drop -- "Gregory Peck, Oscar winner for 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' has died."

Anyone who has been a fan of the site since it's inception (which essentially means: my mom) or who has gone all the way down to the bottom of the list in the archives section, knows that Gregory Peck was one of the earliest Boyfriends of the Week. I was looking at his old write-up shortly after reading about his death and man, well, it's just really not worthy of him. It was written a long time ago (I started this site in about 1999), which means it was back when I was still new at this. The write-up was really short, contained little information, wasn't very funny, was badly written, and even contained a grievous error: I said something about it being freaky that Gregory had played Hitler in "Boys from Brazil" but he actually played Josef Mengele. Not that that's any less freaky, of course.

Gregory Peck is one of my all-time favorite actors. Not only was he damn gorgeous and extremely talented but he was just a darn good man. A. Good. Man. You know, for some reason, that adjective in front of that noun carries a lot of meaning for me. As far as I'm concerned, there's no greater adjective that can be used to describe a man who is just way down to his core the very essence of goodness. Good Men are hard to find. And when they finally leave this world, the place where they used to be stands out in its emptiness. Though I never knew Gregory personally, and I actually know very little about his life off-screen, I still feel a very personal loss today. "To Kill a Mockingbird" has for many years been my all-time favorite movie and I've always felt that Gregory Peck was, in real life, an Atticus Finch all his own. And if there's one thing we need more of around here, it's Atticus Finches.

So, instead of putting up my planned Boyfriend of the Week column, I've decided to spend this week remembering Gregory Peck. I've also done an over-haul of his archived write-up, which you can read here. It's still not funny -- I'm finding it hard to laugh today -- but at least it contains a little more information about his life and his career, as well as a few movie recommendations. This weekend, I myself intend to raid the local video store for as many of his films as I can find. I'm hoping to get, at the very least, these five: "Roman Holiday," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Spellbound," "Captain Horatio Hornblower" (not as good as the Ioan Gruffud movies, but definitely worth watching), and "Guns of Navarone." If you've got nothing going on this weekend yourself, why don't you join me? And when you're done, feel free to email me with comments or thoughts about the films or the man.

The next real write-up will probably show up on the site mid-week next week. So, check back then for a more uplifting and happy message from me. The news about Gregory just made it a little too hard for me to be gleeful. I'm sure you understand. And, Gregory, if you're reading this from beyond -- from the bottom of my heart, you will be missed.

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