”A-Team” actor dies
Eighties nostalgists will best remember George Peppard, who died of pneumonia on May 9 in Los Angeles at the age of 65, as the cigar-mulching Hannibal Smith of TV’s The A-Team. As the ex-colonel who led a band of Vietnam vet do-gooders from 1983 to 1987, Peppard seemed solid and unpretentious, yet with an angry edge.
His career serves as a study in adaptability. The blue-eyed Peppard honed his small-screen tough-guy persona on the big one. After debuting as a military cadet in 1957’s The Strange One, he moved to leading man, most memorably as the sexy, sobersided writer Paul Varjak opposite Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany‘s (1961, Paramount). But he found his niche as the tycoon in The Carpetbaggers (1964, Paramount), which started him in action roles. A veteran of more than 25 films, Peppard proved there’s plenty of tunes in an older violin if you know how to play it.