While filming one of their movies, Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman reportedly had an affair even though he never divulged the extent of their relationship.
He was known to be the embodiment of the gentleman in his days. The public paid tribute to his natural self-confidence, and soon, the handsome actor with a deep voice and pleasant face found himself among the most prominent male stars.
Being a masculine and handsome man, as well as a guarantor of values and morals in his films, he declared at the end of his life that he wanted to be remembered as a good father and a good husband above all.
Born April 5, 1916, in La Jolla, California, Eldred Gregory Peck was raised by his grandmother since the age of six after his parents’ divorce. Being the only son, he did not have a happy childhood.
Every week, his grandmother took him to see silent films, sowing the seeds that would later be watered during his medical studies at UC Berkeley. Unable to escape the call of the stage, Peck missed his graduation in 1939 and left for New York.
His bet on himself paid off. After cutting his teeth at the Neighborhood Playhouse on Broadway and studying theater with Michael Chekhov, Peck quickly found himself an established actor in 1940s Hollywood.
His Broadway debut in 1942, in “The Morning Star,” was so well received that they called him back to the West Coast, where studio RKO gave him a role as a Russian partisan fighting the Nazis in “Days of Glory.”
Thanks to the many roles that made him famous, the American Film Institute ranked him as the twelfth most legendary actor in American cinema.
He starred in movies like “The Keys od the Kingdom,” “Gentleman’s Agreement,” “Cape Fear,” “Moby Dick,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Guns of Navarone,” “The Omen,” and more.
He caught Hitchcock’s attention and was Ingrid Bergman’s troubled patient in the movie “Spellbound” in 1945. By the 1950s, he had become a true star, with three Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe victory.
Thriving in the popular Westerns, military films, and adventure films of the time, Peck was known to bring a lot of authenticity to his roles, thus lending a certain quality to any films he starred in.
His most famous and outstanding role for generations of moviegoers remains attorney Atticus Finch in “Silence and Shadows,” a character who ranks first among the 100 greatest film heroes.
In 1952, Peck had the opportunity to show another side of himself in William Wyler’s classic, “Roman Holidays,” alongside Audrey Hepburn in his first feature film, for which she won an Oscar.
Indrid Bergman is a Swedish actress born August 29, 1915, in Stockholm. She lost her mother at age three and was orphaned by the time she was 14.
From her teenage years, she developed a passion for acting and, in 1933, joined the Royal Dramatic Theater School in Stockholm. However, she left it a year later to turn to the cinema.
She got her first major role in a Swedish film in 1935. But in 1936, thanks to the film “Intermezzo,” she was spotted by the producer of “Gone with the Wind,” which opened the doors of Hollywood to her.
She then steals the heart of Hollywood with the big names of her time, such as with Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca” and other roles in three Hitchcock films. During her career, she won two Oscars and a posthumous Emmy Award.
On the private side, Bergman married Petter Aron Lindström with whom she shares a daughter, Pia. But in 1949, she fell in love with director Roberto Rossellini and left her husband and daughter.
She went on to play in Rossellini’s film “Stromboli,” which became a real scandal in the United States. From their union, three children were born, including Isabella, who eventually became an actress.
The couple got married in 1950 but separated in 1957, and she married film producer Lars Schmidt a year later then divorced again in 1975. She died of breast cancer on her 67th birthday.
In 1942, just as his career kicked off, the actor married a Finnish beauty, Greta Kukkonen, and they had three sons together. Unfortunately, one of his sons committed suicide in 1975.
Thirteen years later, the couple had an amicable divorce in 1955. However, they stayed friends till his last days. It was during the first marriage that he was allegedly accused of having an affair with Bergman.
During an interview in 1953, Peck met a French journalist, Véronique Passani, who interviewed him before he went to Italy to shoot “Roman Holidays.”
Seven months later, the couple started dating and went on to date for two years. On New Year’s Eve of 1955, the day after his divorce from Kukkonen was made final, Passani and Peck got married.
For love, she gives up her job, and from their union, they had two children, Anthony and Cecilia. The couple stayed together till Peck’s death from bronchopneumonia in 2003.
Rumors and speculations about their alleged affair started when a “Spellbound” cast member told best-selling author and journalist Laurence Leamer that Bergman and Peck arrived the set late and all disheveled.
This was documented in David Smit’s 2012 book titled “Ingrid Bergman: The Life, Career and Public Image.” The book is credited as one of the most honestly written and informative books for Bergman’s fans.
In a 1987 interview with Brad Darrach for People’s Magazine, Peck freely talked about the other women in his life that he admired and had worked with, including Ava Gardner, Lauren Bacall, Sophia Loren, Greer Garson, Jane Wyman, and Audrey Hepburn.
However, when talking about Bergman, he reveals that this was an area he couldn’t answer. He confided that he had a real love for her, and that was all he was willing to say about the matter.
He mentioned that she was like a lovely Swedish rose, and they were both young stars who were involved for weeks in close and intense work.