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Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith Information
As we are so often reminded, the A-Team leader, John "Hannibal" Smith, just loves the jazz. Cool and dangerous as a charmed cobra, Hannibal would rather play baseball with a live hand grenade than find out the secrets of life inside a coffin. Crazy enough to try and sell striped paint to a zebra, Hannibal's act is so tight that in Vietnam he was a well-respected Colonel right up to the moment - four days after the war - that he wandered out of the DMZ with 100 million yen belonging to the Bank of Hanoi. When Hannibal learnt that his only alibi was dead, he and his men chose running rather than staying to beat the rap. They're running still....
The following extract on Hannibal Smith is taken from TVLand's website:
Col. John "Hannibal" Smith
Cigar chomping Col. John Smith is the Patton-esque, soldier-for-life mastermind behind of the A-Team. His nickname is Hannibal, after the great Carthaginian general, who in 218 BC whupped the Romans after launching a surprise attack by traveling to Italy over the Alps. Like his namesake, Hannibal is a crafty tactician and a student of war. He is forever "on the jazz" (ready for action) and he delights in his weekly victorious campaigns, hence his trademark slogan, "I love it when a plan comes together."
George Peppard Information:
Born: 1st October 1928 in Detroit, Michigan, USA
Died: 8th May 1994 in Los Angeles, California, USA (aged 66) of pneumonia
Married: Helen Davies 1954 - 1964 (2 children) // Elizabeth Ashley 1966 - 1972 (1 child) // Sherry Boucher 1975 - 1979 // Alexis Adams 1984 - 1986 // Laura Taylor 1992 - His Death
Acting Awards: 1960 Won NBR (National Board Of Review) award for "Home From The Hill" as best supporting actor. // 1961 Nominated for BAFTA (British Acadamy Award) film award for "Home From The Hill". Award for most "promising newcomer to leading film roles".
Previous Occupations: George Peppard was once in the US Marine Corp.
This section includes information submitted by Ilona Sporrel who was very lucky to have interviewed George Peppard's son, Bradford in 1998:
As you already know he was born on the 1st of October 1928 in Detroit. The son of a building contracter and an opera singer. His mother's name was Vernelle Peppard, she died in 1964. His father, George Peppard senior died in 1951. The untimely death of his father was the reason for George jr. to start drinking. George was an alcoholic for almost 30 years.
He attended Dearborn Highschool, Purdue Highschool and Carnegie. He left school to serve in the US Marine corps.(Sergeant). He went on to become a disc-jockey, bank clerk, taxi driver, motorcycle mechanic and fencing instructor. In the early 50's he went to the Actor's Studio in New York to become an actor.
In 1954 he married to Helen Davies whom he met at the Ashland Oregon Shakespear Festival in the early 50's. In 1955 their son, Bradford, was born. Their second child, Julie, was born in 1960.
In 1964, on the set of "The Carpetbaggers" he met actress Elizabeth Ashley. They fell in love and George divorced Helen in 1965. George and Elizabeth married in 1966. Some people say that they were divorced and got remarried, but that's a fairy-tale. They were married once. They were divorced in 1972. They have a son, Christian, who was born in 1969.
Elizabeth wrote a book named: "Postcards From The Road". It's a biography and it describes her marriage with George and his drinking problems. She also wrote that he had physically abused her, although he denied this. (of course!)
In 1975 he married to Sherry Boucher. George had a lot of financial problems in those days. he mortgaged his Beverly Hills home in order to direct, produce and star in a film entitled: "Five Days From Home". His then wife Sherry starred in it too. Even though George didn't like that. He wanted his wife to remain home and give up her acting career. In 1979 they divorced.
In 1978 he quit drinking and in December of 1984 he married actress Alexis Adams. She quit her acting career. His son Christian lived with him in those days. In 1986 he and Alexis were divorced. In 1992 he married Laura Taylor. (banker in West Palm Beach, Florida) In that same year a tumor was removed from his left lung. On the 5th of May 1994 he went to the hospital with serious breathing problems and quickly developing pneumonia. On the 8th of May 1994 George Peppard died of cancer.
Further information from Ilona Sporrel:
Vernelle Rohrer George's mother, was born in February 1889 in Dayton Ohio. The youngest of seven children, of Christian Franklin Rohrer and Irene D. Newcom .(Irene's grandfather, Edward Newcom Sr. was the brother of Col. George Newcom, of the famous Newcom's Tavern, here in Dayton Ohio). Vernelle went to High School in Dayton. She then became interested in music and began as a protégé of Madame Schumann-Heink. She went on to study at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with Madame Doti. After that she graduated from the University of Michigan School of Music, and while there studied under Dr. William A. Howland.
From there she attended the Chicago Conservatory of Music in Illinois, under Dr. Charles Grandville. Vernelle went on from there to light opera and had tours throughout the United States. She had lead role's in Light and Grand Opera throughout the west, American Light Opera Co.; San Carlo Opera Co. Before her death on 04 February 1964, Vernelle had accumulated forty years experience and continuous advance coaching with renowned artists and teachers: Madame Andres Parker -- N.Y.C.; Maria Kurenko of international fame, Frank LaForge, and Edwin McArthur, New York. Vernelle was Supervisor of Music in suburban schools, Dayton Ohio, and Head of voice department, Woman's College in Montgomery Alabama. She was also Head of voice department for nineteen years at the Detroit Conservatory of Music. She was Chairman of Grass Roots Opera for the Michigan Federation of Music Clubs, a life member of the Detroit Tuesday Musicale and former Province President of Sigma Alpha Iota National Women's Fraternity; Program Chairman for the Pontchartrain Chapter D.A.R, and of course a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
.............. That's what I call impressive !!! ...........
Vernelle met her husband George W. Peppard in the mid 1920's while studying in or around Dearborn Michigan, and they got married around 1927. George W. was a building contractor, who went briefly broke in 1930, (I'm sure the depression had something to do with it). George W. became a salesman in order to support his family. George (the Actor) says that because of his father being a salesman, that the family moved around a lot, and he was always the new kid on the block, the new kid in school, etc; etc. His father George W., regained his status among the building trade and became fairly successful as a building contractor, until his untimely death from cancer in December 1951. Moving around a lot when he was a boy didn't seem to bother George Peppard (the Actor). He became the co-captain of his Dearborn High track team and also played on the football team. This made it easier for his classmates to accept the fact that George also enjoyed acting in school plays. After high school George spent 18 months in the Marine Corps, during which he nearly lost the middle finger of his right hand, catching it in the breechblock of a 105-mm Howitzer at Camp Lejeune. A Navy surgeon sewed it back on. This is the same hand that George ripped open when he fell on a broken milk bottle when he was 11 years old. George went on to mess up the same hand when he put his fist through a window, during a slight fit of anger.
George went from the military to entering Purdue University to study civil engineering so that he could join his father's construction business. As time went on George realized he had no flair or desire to build houses. He quit Purdue and enrolled at Carnegie Tech, as a drama major. His education was interrupted in December of 1951, when his father died. George's father had 15 houses under construction when he died. George took leave from school and finished all 15 houses and had them all sold within one year. George's professional acting career began with the Pittsburg Playhouse. There he met a young actress, Helen Davies, they were married in 1954, and in 1955 they had their first child Bradford Peppard ,named after his cousin Warren Bradford , (whom George has been close to over the years). After Bradford's birth the three went to New York so George could look for acting jobs during the day and mopped office buildings by night. His first year in New York landed George an acting job in a play called "The Girls of Summer" and George played an 18 year old in the Broadway comedy. He was 28 years old at the time and George said he didn't like playing a juvenile. He swore that he wouldn't play a juvenile again and would go hungry before he took another part like that. George's career went up and down after that and as a result it put a big strain on his marriage. He and Helen separated, then got back together long enough to have another child, whom they named Julie Helen Peppard ,who was born in 1959. The marriage was doomed and only lasted 10 years. George picked up and moved to Hollywood and landed a 5 year contract with Columbia, but only did one picture ("The Subterraneans") in 1960 that George says was a turkey. After the movie in 1960, George didn't work (do any acting) for over 18 months, even though MGM wanted George to do something called "Operation Crossbow". George said that he wanted instead to do a film with Paramount called "Judith" in which he would have played a Jew, a kibbutz leader in Israel. MGM finally told George he could do the "Judith" thing, but by that time Paramount had re-written "Judith" and George said it was now a big disaster so George went back to MGM, who couldn't seem to forgive him.
George went on to do 21 films in 15 years, however George says that he never got the big blockbuster, nor achieved the shimmering stardom he always wanted. George said that he didn't get the roles he wanted, nor was he able to work for the directors he would have liked to have worked for, so he was unable to develop his talent as a result. George's second wife was actress Elizabeth Ashley, they married in 1966, and that union produced one child, whom they named Christian Peppard. This marriage lasted for six years. George stuck it out as a bachelor for 3 years, then married Sherry Boucher in 1975, but this union only lasted four years. Then George decided he had been single long enough and married Alexis J.J. Adams on December 08, 1984. Alex was an actress and a painter. Alex was 30 years old and George was 56 when they were married. This union unfortunately ended in divorce also, in 1986. However George married for a fifth time in September 1992 to Laura Taylor, age 33, who is from West Palm Beach Florida. They were together till his death in 1994.
Biography from TVLand:
Veteran character actor George Peppard is best known for his work in action films. After serving in the Marine Corps, Peppard tried a number of jobs including mechanic, taxi driver and disc jockey before enrolling in Purdue University. After receiving a degree in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon, Peppard attended the prestigious Actor's Studio in NYC and began hoofing it in theater. Several lean years later, Peppard began to get substantial roles, including episodic television dramas like "Kraft Theater" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." Although generally associated with tough-guy parts (like his role in "Pork Chop Hill") Peppard became a Hollywood favorite after the international hit "Breakfast At Tiffany's." Several other classic films followed, like "The Carpetbaggers," "The Blue Max" and "How The West Was Won." After a succession of action movies, Peppard returned to television in the series "Banacek" though he left after a year when his friend, the producer, opted out. More action films followed, as well as an offer to play Blake Carrington in the prime-time soap "Dynasty." When that didn't work out, Peppard found himself on "The A-Team," which was much more suited to his gruff persona. Post "Team" work found Peppard in a series of action roles through 1992. A lifetime smoker, Peppard died of pneumonia as a result of weakness from chemotherapy in May of 1994.
Quotes By George Peppard And Others Who Knew Him - Provided By Ilona Sporrel:
"Some people do better on their own. I don't. It sounds stupid to say, but it's true. I *like* women. I like them when they're little tiny babbies, and I like them when they're old ladies, and I like them all in between. They *please* me."
It's taken Peppard a long time-and four or five therapists-to learn certain things, he points out. One of those things is that he's difficult. About 20 years ago he told a group of friends about something or other that had happened to him. "Well, you know me," he said. "I'm easy going." He got no further. Everyone began to laugh. One friend laughed so hard that he slid from his chair onto the carpet. It hurt Peppard's feelings then. Now it amuses him. "There's nothing easy going about me at all," he says.
In 1972, he told TV Guide that he had "a troubled spirit." What troubled him he didn't say and doesn't now. Although he does say that he was never much of a George Peppard fan. And he may not simply be talking about his acting. "He said to me once, 'I'm not a nice man'," says a friend of his. "The fact is he *is* a nice man."
"I thought it was self-destructive," says Monique James, who watched him walk from "Banacek." She was Peppard's agent before she became co-head of new talent at Universal. "It was very difficult to get through to him in those days. You were talking to the bottle.
"They think they're paying you a great deal of money and you should do as you're told."That wasn't his style. Lurking beneath the image of the WASP gentleman was a rebel nurtured in the '30s on kelp and the idea of karma by Christian Spiritualist parents in Detroit. His style now is to speak of personal matters, if at all, with an ironic detachment. It's a mask, but so what? For a life that's been lived publicly and to a chorus of criticism, perhaps a mask is necessary.
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