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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Leah Rozen

Aired June 12, 2003 - 20:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: But the films do live on. Joining me to talk more about Gregory Peck and his place in Hollywood history, Leah Rozen. She's the movie critic for "People" magazine. Leah, how do you think he'll be remembered? I mean, I always instantly I think of him as Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird."
LEAH ROZEN, MOVIE CRITIC, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: I think everyone will always think of him as that role. I mean, he's -- he's one of the giants of the screen industry. He was one of the sort of the first great post-World War II movie star.

COOPER: What do you mean by that.

ROZEN: Well, all the leading men who were making movies in the '40s were really guys who'd been working in the '30s, gone off to war or whatever. And he was the first one. His movie is 1944, and he'd becomes sort of a star in '45, '46, "Gentleman's Agreement" in '47.

COOPER: And he actually wasn't in the war because I think he had a spinal injury or something, and that allowed him to continue to work during the war.

ROZEN: He was of age. He'd been doing Broadway stuff, and then makes his first movie in '44.

COOPER: He also had an extraordinary range.

ROZEN: You know, he did -- you look back on his sum career, and you're going, He did comedies, "Roman Holiday," which is Audrey Hepburn's first movie, this lovely romantic comedy. He does films like "To Kill a Mockingbird", these great social moves. He actually co-produced that movie.

COOPER: Oh, really? And then he comes out as Dr. Mengele in "Boys From Brazil."

ROZEN: Oh!

COOPER: An amazing role.

ROZEN: So scary!

COOPER: Yes.

ROZEN: You know, he also did "The Omen" in the '70s. I think those were... COOPER: Which was terrifying. It scared me for years.

ROZEN: But indeed, Gregory Peck -- there's this real range in the kind of roles, and I think he was looking for that. I think he wasn't someone who wanted to get typecast. It would be easy to be typecast as sort of this guy of great moral rectitude, the sort of solid American, serious, sober. He was very interested in social justice. He was always politically involved, and that was absolutely reflected in some of the kinds of roles he took.

COOPER: He was a truly remarkable actor and will be remembered, I think, for a long time.

ROZEN: Absolutely.

COOPER: Leah Rozen, thanks very much.

ROZEN: You're welcome.

COOPER: All right.

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