George Peppard

Active - 1957 - 1993  |   Born - Oct 1, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan, United States  |   Died - May 8, 1994   |   Genres - Drama, Action, Mystery, Thriller, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Though actor George Peppard could have succeeded on his looks alone, he underwent extensive training before making his first TV and Broadway appearances. The son of a building contractor and a singer, Peppard studied acting at Carnegie Tech and the Actor's Studio. His early TV credits include the original 1956 production of Bang the Drum Slowly, in which he sang the title song. He made his film debut in 1957, repeating his Broadway role in Calder Willingham's End As a Man, retitled The Strange One for the screen. His star continued to ascend in such films as Home From the Hill (1960) with George Hamilton, and Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) as the boyfriend/chronicler of carefree Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn). He was also effective as James Stewart's son in How the West Was Won (1962), a characterization that required him to age 30 years, and as the Howard Hughes counterpart in The Carpetbaggers (1963), in which he co-starred with the second of his five wives, Elizabeth Ashley. In 1978 he made a respectable directorial debut with Five Days From Home, but never followed up on this. A familiar television presence, he starred on the TV series Banacek (1972-1973), Doctors Hospital (1975), and The A-Team (1983-1987), and delivered a powerhouse performance as the title character in the 1974 TV-movie Guilty or Innocent: The Sam Sheppard Case. Forced to retire because of illness, George Peppard died of cancer in the spring of 1994.

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  • Joined the Marines after graduating from high school, and served until the end of his enlistment in January 1948.
  • After college, moved to New York, where he studied Method acting with Lee Strasberg. 
  • Made Broadway debut in 1956 at the Longacre Theatre in N. Richard Nash's Girls of Summer.
  • Was the original choice to play Blake Carrington in the prime-time TV soap Dynasty (1981-89), but was replaced by John Forsythe during the shooting of the pilot due to creative differences with the producers.
  • Best known for playing a wannabe writer opposite Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), and Col. John "Hannibal" Smith on NBC's The A-Team (1983-87).