Gregory Peck Quotes

Eldred Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck quotes: on meeting powerful people, answerin’ to no one, what really matters in the end, and more.

“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.”

“If you’re not committed to anything, you’re just taking up space.”

“Tough times don’t last, tough people do, remember?”

“Overacting is a self-indulgence, while underacting comes either through a lack of talent or a lack of courage.”

“I’d rather sit on the side of the road and watch the parade go by, than sit on the hill and look backwards.”

“Entertainment is all right, but entertainment with an idea behind it is much more important.”

“I don’t lecture and I don’t grind any axes.  I just want to entertain.”

“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.”

“Inside of all the makeup and the character, it’s you, and I think that’s what the audience is really interested in – you, how you’re going to cope with the situation, the obstacles, the troubles that the writer put in front of you.”

“I’m a storyteller on film, is what I am.  I think my main interest was usually – I think always – directed toward the story as a whole.  Beginning, middle, end.  And how I would fit into it, and further it.  And hold the audience’s attention.  That was my craft, and I did it for a long time.”

“If you have to tell them who you are, you aren’t anybody.”

“In art there is compassion, in compassion there is humanity, with humanity there is generosity and love.”

Making millions is not the whole ball game, fellows.  Pride of workmanship is worth more.  Artistry is worth more.”

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

“I really like literature, reading and writing.  I got my library card at the age of six.  I hauled out several books at a time.”

“Faith gives you an inner strength and a sense of balance and perspective in life.”

“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.”

“My feeling about him is that the America that we have today, the freedoms we enjoy and the privileges we have, are really the reflection of Abe Lincoln’s convictions, his vision, and his toughness.”

“[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.  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 U.S. 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.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

“[On his thoughts about stars being paid $30 million per movie] I was born too soon!”

“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.”

“My memories of stress and hardship go way back.  I did a lot of bouncing around and had a feeling of being different or alone, but most people never imagine that I went through anything like that because they see me as an ‘establishment’ person.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Before I became an actor, I wanted to be a writer.  Freedom of mind and action is important to me.”

“What did I do in high school?  I grew from five feet four inches to six feet two inches.”

“I have tales to tell, but I don’t tell them.  Discretion, discretion.”

“Well, I’m not as wise as I’d hoped to be.  There’s obviously more to remember than to look forward to.  But I suppose in the end, I am a family man.  I like thinking about all my grandchildren.  In the long-term, family is all that counts.  The fame and the awards and the nonsense that goes with them fades away.  You’re left with a good family and maybe some good works.”

“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.'”

Also see: John Wayne quotes.

About the author: Your mom’s hairdresser’s stepson’s third favorite writer. Net worth: $11 million. Told me to tell you to watch this video.