Los Angeles-based entertainment and socio-political commentator Tom Gregory has a passion for classic Hollywood movies that reaches back as far as he can remember. With it comes his core belief that the great golden era films have timeless values and plentiful examples of keep-your-chin-up grit that would well serve 21st century viewers. By way of his debonair presence as a media personality, and his thoughtful pieces on current events, social justice and great entertainment, Gregory is a persuasive voice in connecting the dots between these ideas.
Gregory’s ongoing media forums include his website, his regular Huffington Post column, and weekly radio dispatches for Leeza Gibbons’ internationally syndicated program Hollywood Confidential. He has also been featured on CNN, E!, and Fox News, among other outlets, and is the face of OVGuide.com, the Internet’s premiere source for indexing online video content. Recently, Gregory expanded his reach to the Great White Way with his debut as a Broadway producer on the 2009 revival of Guys and Dolls. Looking ahead, he’s planning to develop a show for television.
Throughout his media pursuits, Gregory’s personal style is a disarming cocktail of urbane wit, exuberance for his subject matter, and a gentle, abiding charm. Content-wise, his perspective blends a Renaissance man-range of arts and pop culture savvy with clearly communicated social activism. Out of this comes Gregory’s trademark mix of old world savoir faire and a down-to earth delivery ideal for contemporary audiences.
It’s a persona that’s been a lifetime in the making. Gregory’s love for film started at age three when his mother started educating him about the stars they’d seen in old movies on TV. Another early childhood revelation came when his imagination was captured by a box of photos of Hollywood icons that had been left behind by the previous occupant of a house his grandmother had bought. Gregory became an avid film and television junkie, and when he moved to Los Angeles in the early ’80s, he brought the photos with him. He started to reach out to stars that were still alive to have them sign their images, and began expanding his collection with new acquisitions.
Today, Gregory is one of the world’s foremost collectors of archival Hollywood photographs of the highest quality, all of them signed by their legendary subjects, many of them by significant photographers. Included among the rarest photos are: a shot of Marilyn Monroe circa 1955 that is personalized to James Dean; an image of Boris Karloff in full Frankenstein monster regalia; and an exquisite portrait of Greta Garbo that is one of only a few known copies in the world.
Gregory has recently begun adding important Hollywood memorabilia to his collection, a pursuit that also affords him the opportunity to support non-profit organizations and causes in which he believes. At a 2006 charity auction benefiting Variety: The Children’s Charity of Southern California, he was the winning bidder of the cowboy shirts worn by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain. In early 2009, another sartorial treasure entered his possession when he won a suit, shirt, tie and campaign pin worn by Sean Penn during his Oscar-winning performance in Milk. That auction also benefited Children’s Charity as well as New York’s Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of Harvey Milk High School.
Gregory’s philanthropic involvement also extends to community-related activities on both coasts. In Los Angeles, where one of his two homes is an A. Quincy Jones-designed architectural wonder originally owned by film icon Gary Cooper, he helps teach afterschool acting classes for pre-teens. The endeavor takes Gregory back to his own acting years, both as a student (his first-ever role was as a tooth in a school play on dental hygiene) and in his early 20s, when he performed with repertory companies in East Hampton, NY and Delray Beach, FL. In Southampton, NY, where he also has a home, Gregory helped found the Lake Agawam Conservation Association to clean-up the lake’s fragile eco-system.
Being a modern day ambassador of classic Hollywood appeal and an all-around gentleman is something that Tom Gregory wears extremely well. "A great film," he says, "is like a warm fire, it’s comfortable and cozy. You light a fire in the hearth, put a Bette Davis DVD in the player, and sit back and enjoy."
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