Gregory Peck made his first appearance on the talk show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and it was nothing short of amazing. Known as a superstar in the motion picture industry, Peck has delivered unforgettable performances in films like To Kill a Mockingbird, Gentleman’s Agreement, Roman Holiday, and The Guns of Navarone. He was on the show to discuss his latest film, The Omen, which was already creating a buzz at the box office.

As Peck made his entrance, the audience erupted in applause, welcoming him to the stage. Carson wasted no time diving into the conversation, asking him about his experience working with the talented cast and crew of The Omen. Peck praised the film and acknowledged its tremendous success at the box office, surpassing hits like Towering Inferno, The Exorcist, and The Godfather in its first few days.

Carson then brought up an amusing incident that he and Peck had shared back in the day. Peck had rented Carson’s house in Las Vegas while filming a movie in the area. Little did Peck know that the slot machines in the house were purely for amusement, not for winning money. Peck had lost a significant amount of money playing those machines, only to find out later that he could have easily retrieved his money from the machines’ cash trays. It was a lighthearted moment shared between the two, displaying their camaraderie and sense of humor.

The conversation then shifted to Peck’s career as an actor. Carson asked him how he chose roles like the ones in Gentleman’s Agreement and To Kill a Mockingbird, which tackled serious and important social issues. Peck explained that he is drawn to scripts that are not only entertaining but also have something extra to say, something that leaves the audience with something to think about. He emphasized the importance of films like Gentleman’s Agreement and To Kill a Mockingbird, which shed light on subjects like anti-Semitism and racial inequality.

Carson also delved into Peck’s early days as an actor, revealing that Peck’s first speaking role was as a guide at the World’s Fair in a Thrill Ride called the Meteor Speedway. Peck shared stories from his dramatic school days, where he trained alongside future acting legends like Tony Randall, Efrem Zimbalist, and Eli Wallach. He recalled the anticipation and nerves of waiting by the telephone, hoping for that one phone call that would kickstart his acting career.

Towards the end of the interview, the topic shifted to Peck’s personal life. Carson mentioned Peck’s lovely wife, Veronica, who was a journalist when they first met. Peck reminisced about their initial encounter and the clever interview she had conducted. He shared how he had anxiously called her for a lunch date, which led to a wonderful afternoon, eventually culminating in their 20-year-long marriage.

As the interview came to a close, Carson expressed his gratitude to Peck for taking the time to appear on the show. He commended Peck’s talent and wished him continued success, as well as sending his best wishes to Veronica. The audience erupted in applause once again, showing their appreciation for the esteemed actor.

This lively and entertaining interview showcased the charm and charisma of Gregory Peck. It was a delightful glimpse into the life and career of a Hollywood icon. With The Omen’s success and Peck’s enduring popularity, it’s safe to say that his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson was just the beginning of many more memorable moments to come.

Originally aired on July 8, 1976