For many beloved actors, the Hollywood dream isn't the fairytale lifestyle that many think it is. It becomes arduous to break out of a box the industry puts you in. You can be typecast, labeled as difficult to work with, or have to lean on independent work when your name is no longer in bright lights. George Peppard's Hollywood journey exemplifies, "keep moving forward when the going gets tough."
We all know Peppard as a Hollywood star—the ultimate movie actor who starred in classics like Breakfast at Tiffany's alongside Audrey Hepburn. With over 100 movie credits, the actor was once an enduring star until his name and career became "poisoned." Peppard was then a "Hollywood bad boy" and "unemployable."
"When I worked for Universal Studios, they didn't call me George Peppard; they called me blankety-blank Peppard," the actor told News America Syndicate in 1985. "My career was dead in the water. I didn't have any real film career because I had no box office appeal." According to the article, the actor's career was in shambles for the past 10 years (at that time). He had quit two weekly television shows and got fired from a third but successfully fought against his alcoholism.
"I had quit two or three television series, which caused the networks to treat me somewhat as dearly as they treat acne—and I was going deeper into debt all the time. I honestly believed that the good Lord consigned me to the dinner theatre circuit for the rest of my years," he added.
Things got worse for Peppard when ABC got rid of him. He was supposed to be the star of Dynasty and filmed a two-hour pilot that never aired.
"The president of the network sent me some acting notes. I sent him a telegram offering to resign. He sent me a telegram back, saying, "No, everything's okay.' And a week later, they fired me. That Dynasty pilot cost $3 million to make—and at the cost of an additional $2 million, they reshot all of my scenes with John Forsythe."
Fast forward to the 1980s, Peppard got a chance to revive his career with The A-Team. "The money's great, I have a wonderful part, and it amuses me—and that's the key for me. Doing The A-Team is great fun because it gives me a chance to go undercover as various strange characters, and the popularity is a bonus. I mean, I'm making a lot of money again—and I already know that I'll be making considerably more next year."
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