Gregory Peck, the film actor who has died aged 87, appeared on the screen as the epitome of male virtue.
Tall, dark, handsome and romantic, he stood for goodness, decency, sobriety and sound sense — to an extent that risked appearing dull. It was true that Peck could seem wooden, while the cynical complained of his complacency, blandness and political correctness. “When I’m wrongly cast,” he himself admitted, “I sink with the ship.”
But a film had to be very bad indeed to undermine his appeal at the box office. From the 1940s to the 1980s he was the star of nearly every film he played in.