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June 12, 2003


America's favorite film hero, and

America's favorite film hero, and once the object of a searing crush held by this blogger, Gregory Peck has died. Here's the obituary in the Times. -amy

    We don't usually offer much in the way of sentimental send-offs here at the 'Bot, but I have to say the Peck's performance in To Kill a Mockingbird stands as one of the most dignified and powerful things I've ever seen. And think of the impact that film -- and his character -- must have had when it came out in 1962. I think the reason that he stands as such a hero is that his role transcends the movie: other film heroes -- just look at the list Amy links to above -- are trapped in a fake world while they fight unreal caricatures of evil, but Peck's character almost forces viewers to look inward and consider their own very real lives and prejudices. It's because of this, in part, that his character is truly heroic. He can change things in our world, and although it is difficult, it is not impossible to model pieces of ourselves after him, in a way that would be nonsensical and meaningless with other "heroes".

    I also want to mention that it's interesting that David Brinkley died today, too. Both Peck and Brinkley exuded a kind of principled calm that made you feel they were doing the right thing, and that you could trust them. As almost all obituaries will note, Brinkley's long career unfortunately tapered out with a few mildly embarrassing incidents, but his overall contribution to journalism, I hope, will be long remembered. Sunday mornings just haven't been the same since he left. (And don't forget it was my namesake that funded the show so faithfully for so many years.) -adm

posted by amy at 2:17 PM | #


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