George Peppard

George Peppard


George Peppard
Film: North side of the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Oct. 1, 1928 in Detroit, Mich.
Died May 8, 1994 of pneumonia in UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, CA

George Peppard first achieved prominence opposite Audrey Hepburn in the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" but was better known to modern audiences as the tough, cigar-chomping mercenary Hannibal Smith, leader of television's "The A-Team."

Known as difficult in his professional and personal life, the versatile actor suffered long periods of unemployment and four divorces, two from actress Elizabeth Ashley, whom he met while filming "The Carpetbaggers."

Although Peppard originally disparaged the small screen in favor of films, he achieved his widest success and perhaps greatest pleasure starring in three NBC television series — as the Polish American detective "Banacek" from 1972 to 1974, as a neurosurgeon on "Doctors' Hospital" from 1975 to 1976, and as the Vietnam veteran colonel on "The A-Team" from 1983 to 1987.

Peppard appeared in more than 25 films after making his debut in "The Strange One" in 1957. But his early ones were the best —"Pork Chop Hill" in 1959, "Home From the Hill" in 1960, his role as the writer supporting Hepburn's Holly Golightly in "Tiffany's" in 1961, "How the West Was Won" in 1962 and "The Carpetbaggers" in 1964. Although he appeared with the superstars — Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, James Stewart, John Wayne — he never became one himself.

Appearing on television opened up opportunities for other roles, including World War II British secret service agent in the 1990 television miniseries "Night of the Fox." He also returned to the stage, appearing in "Love Letters" in London and "The Lion in Winter" in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he met his fifth wife, Laura.

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