Veronique was Gregory Peck’s wife. He met her when she, a French reporter, interviewed him in Paris. When he spoke about her it was clear that she was the shining center of his life and, for those who knew her, it was easy to understand why. Friday, her daughter Cecile, sent out an email to friends telling us that Veronique had just died. Both Richard and I were stunned. We had no idea she was sick. I don’t know what she died of. All I know is that it is hard to believe that such a vibrant life force is gone. Strange, I had been thinking about her a lot lately and wanting to ask her to dinner. (Lesson: act on those feelings. You never know when it might be too late)

I got to know Veronique while in Mexico filming “Gringo Viejo” with Greg in 1988. I watched her closely. She was the kind of woman a part of me wishes I was. She was on the set almost every day, by Greg’s side, making sure he was comfortable, that all his needs were met, that he would have at least one good laugh before the day was over. She was good at laughter. She was brilliant at creating unforgettable parties, putting together just the right mix of people. She loved to have a good time, to create happiness in her home. Someone told me (I can’t remember who—maybe Cecile–) that Veronique and Greg had a sort of ritual in the evenings when they would be going out: He would wait downstairs at the bar, mixing them drinks, waiting for her. When she would finally descend the stairs, he would be there, gasping and applauding her beauty. She knew how to get decked out.

To me, she was the quintessential French beauty…not perfect, but beyond perfect, with that certain allure—the French call it “Je ne sais quoi”–the glistening, sexy eyes, the full mouth, the smooth, matte skin. She was always interested in people, asking questions, noticing things about them, making them feel special.

I used to joke with her about her being a witch because she would always know if I was with the wrong man…it was as if she could smell it. She knew I would be with Ted Turner before I did. I will miss her very much.

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  1. So sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Sounds like you had some great times! Thanks for sharing your memories of Veronique, the French version of a Steel Magnolia, no doubt.

  2. I have checked on Google and she was born Veronique Passani, so she must have had some Italian origin. That’s good. 🙂

  3. Dear Jane,

    Thank you for this great blog. I enjoy reading your posts that cover various topics You are truly gifted as a writer and I think that your writing is as excellent as your acting. I shall be looking for your books – My Life So Far and Prime Time – and I can’t wait for your novel.

    I’ve found this old post so moving and with such a deep message regarding the friendship between women, that I couldn’t help writing a few lines.

    What a touching and vibrant portrait of a remarkable woman ! I’ve learnt a few things about Gregory Peck’s devoted and loving wife when reading an article about their long-lasting and happy marriage. Thank you Jane for sharing these memories, which enable us to know more about Veronique’s personality and her “joie de vivre”. I have many French women-friends (I also lived and worked in France for a while) and I do appreciate them, because they are very determined and courageous, vivacious and sparkling (pétillantes) like the French champagne… Elles ont du character. Moreover, they have an inborn know-how of highlighting their qualities. Yes, they ARE special ! No wonder men like them ! (lol). Regarding their beauty,
    you defined very well the quintessential French beauty: “not perfect, but beyond perfect”. C’est “leur chic”, n’est-ce pas ?. Well, Veronique Peck had also Italian blood and that certainly was a plus. A man like Gregory Pack deserved such a woman. Apparently it was a love at first sight, a match made in heaven. (Does it really exist?)

    Speaking about the lesson this sad event taught you – “you never know when it might be too late” – I learnt from Paulo Coelho’s novel “The Alchemist” to pay attention to the signs and messages coming from the invisible world and to act consequently. It is not easy, but I try not to ignore anymore those which I am able to perceive.

    Sorry for the loss you suffered last year. I lost one of my best friends 16 years ago. She was like a sister to me. I still miss her very much and it still hurts, even after so many years… So, I guess I know how you are feeling about Veronique.

    Wishing you the very best.


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