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Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck

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The RKO Brown & Carney Comedy... The laughter never stops in this riotous collection starring the comedy team of... more info $28.95was $35.99 Buy Now

The Yearling ... Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarmin Jr.. This Oscar-winning film about a... more info $14.36was $17.99 Buy Now

Pork Chop Hill ... As the Korean War rages, efforts being led to recapture Pork Chop Hill are... more info $18.71was $24.95 Buy Now

Only the Valiant ... Gregory Peck (The Gunfighter) is the hard-nosed leader of a rough group of... more info $14.96was $19.95 Buy Now

John F Kennedy: Years of... Made by the United States Information Agency in 1964 as a memorial tribute to... more info $10.95was $11.98 Buy Now

Scooby-Doo! and the Snow... Chill out as Scooby-Doo and the Mystery, Inc. Crew solve 3 cold and frosty... more info $7.95was $9.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Eldred Gregory Peck Died: June 11, 2003
Born: April 5, 1916 Cause of Death: natural causes
Birth Place: La Jolla, California, USA Profession: actor, producer, barker, tour guide

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

emy Award for Best Actor, but was considered by many as the one he was born to play. In fact, his own persona off screen was not unlike the character he played on screen, and Peck considered himself lucky to have managed to play such a beloved role. Also that year, he was an attorney whose family is stalked by a criminal (Robert Mitchum) he sent to jail in the original "Cape Fear" (1962), and joined an all-star cast that included Henry Fonda, Karl Malden, Debbie Reynolds, John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart for the epic Western "How the West Was Won" (1962). He next battled stodgy bureaucracy and macho military mentality as an army psychiatrist in "Captain Newman, M.D." (1963), playing an aging Catalan guerilla in "Behold a Pale Horse" (1964) and an unconscious amnesiac trying to piece together his forgotten life in the Hitchcockian thriller "Mirage" (1965).After narrating the memorial tribute documentary "John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums" (1966), Peck starred opposite Sophia Loren in the political thriller "Arabesque" (1966), before reteaming with "Mockingbird" director Robert Mulligan for the Western "The Stalking Moon" (1969). He next reunited with Thompson for "Mackenna¿s Gold" (1969)...

emy Award for Best Actor, but was considered by many as the one he was born to play. In fact, his own persona off screen was not unlike the character he played on screen, and Peck considered himself lucky to have managed to play such a beloved role. Also that year, he was an attorney whose family is stalked by a criminal (Robert Mitchum) he sent to jail in the original "Cape Fear" (1962), and joined an all-star cast that included Henry Fonda, Karl Malden, Debbie Reynolds, John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart for the epic Western "How the West Was Won" (1962). He next battled stodgy bureaucracy and macho military mentality as an army psychiatrist in "Captain Newman, M.D." (1963), playing an aging Catalan guerilla in "Behold a Pale Horse" (1964) and an unconscious amnesiac trying to piece together his forgotten life in the Hitchcockian thriller "Mirage" (1965).

After narrating the memorial tribute documentary "John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums" (1966), Peck starred opposite Sophia Loren in the political thriller "Arabesque" (1966), before reteaming with "Mockingbird" director Robert Mulligan for the Western "The Stalking Moon" (1969). He next reunited with Thompson for "Mackenna¿s Gold" (1969) and "The Chairman" (1969), and was a small town sheriff who develops a relationship with a local girl (Tuesday Weld) in John Frankenheimer¿s "I Walk the Line" (1970). In 1971, Peck received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild, and that year played a prisoner falsely imprisoned for a bank robbery seeking revenge on the man who set him up in Henry Hathaway¿s Western "Shoot Out" (1971). Following two features he produced but in which he did not act, "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine" (1972) and The Dove" (1974), Peck returned to the screen for "The Omen" (1976), playing a U.S. ambassador who inadvertently replaces his dead newborn son with the spawn of the devil. He followed up by playing two diametrically opposed historical characters, portraying World War II hero "MacArthur" (1977) and the despicable Dr. Joseph Mengele in "The Boys of Brazil" (1978), a role that alienate some of his fans.

A lifelong Democrat, Peck acquired the reputation as Hollywood's house liberal, a fact which earned him a spot on fellow Californian Richard Nixon's infamous enemies list and later made him Ronald Reagan's "former friend." As his film career wound down, his philanthropic efforts in support of arts organizations flowered, with Peck working tirelessly as a founder of the American Film Institute, three-term president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and member of the National Council of Arts, making him seem less an actor than a politician. As such, it seemed fitting that the two Pecks finally melded when he was cast in his first dramatic television role, playing Abraham Lincoln in the four-part miniseries "The Blue and the Grey" (CBS, 1982). He next was a priest saving Jews in World War II in "The Scarlet and the Black" (CBS, 1983) and made a cameo as the U.S. President in the anti-nuclear film, "Amazing Grace and Chuck" (1987). Back on the big screen, he starred opposite Jane Fonda and Jimmy Smits in "Old Gringo" (1989) and played the lawyer for Max Cady (Robert De Niro) in Martin Scorsese¿s remake of "Cape Fear" (1991).

Still active well into his eighties, Peck executive produced "The Portrait" (TNT, 1993), an adaptation of Tina Howe's play "Painting Churches" directed by Arthur Penn. It was his last starring vehicle, in which Peck played an aging poet opposite Lauren Bacall as his wife and real-life daughter Cecilia Peck as his painter daughter. Having played Starbuck in a college production of Melville's epic and bedeviled the great white whale as Ahab in the 1956 feature, he couldn't pass up the opportunity to act a third time in "Moby Dick," earning an Emmy nomination for his turn as the fire-and-brimstone preacher ¿ played by Orson Welles in John Ford¿s movie ¿ in the 1998 version broadcast on USA Network. The role would prove to be Peck's last fictional turn before the cameras before his death from bronchopneumonia on June 12, 2003 in Los Angeles. He was 87 years old and left behind a glorious career rivaled only by a select few.

By Shawn Dwyerund" (1945), in which he played a psychiatrist and troubled amnesiac who may have committed murder. He next played a warm and loving father in "The Yearling" (1946), earning another Oscar nod for Best Actor, while he was the complete opposite as a no-good, womanizing villain who seduces Jennifer Jones in King Vidor¿s "Duel in the Sun" (1946). After the unsuccessful adaptation of Ernest Hemingway¿s popular short story, "The Macomber Affair" (1947), Peck was a British barrister taking on the case of a woman (Alida Valli) accused of murdering her wealthy husband in Alfred Hitchcock¿s minor work, "The Paradine Case" (1947). Meanwhile, he garnered his third Oscar nomination for Best Actor as a writer who pretends to be Jewish to expose anti-Semitism in Elia Kazan's powerful drama "Gentleman's Agreement" (1947). Turning back to the Western with "Yellow Sky" (1948), he was the head of an outlaw gang who takes refuge in a frontier ghost town and butts heads with one of the lone inhabitants (Anne Baxter).

Peck earned a fourth Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his sterling performance in the World War II drama, "Twelve O¿Clock High" (1949), in which he played a hard-driving brigadier general who sees the futility of boosting his men¿s morale as they prepare to be sent to their deaths on a dangerous bombing mission. In "The Gunfighter" (1950), Peck was an aging gunslinger who is sick of killing, but is forced into confrontation by a young outlaw ¿ a role originally intended for John Wayne. Following leading turns in the biblical drama "David and Bathsheba" (1951) and the adaptation of Hemingway¿s "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (1952), Peck showed his more lighthearted side with the romantic comedy "Roman Holiday" (1953), starring opposite Audrey Hepburn as an expatriate reporter from America who falls for her Princess Anne. Though Peck¿s contract stipulated that he receive solo top billing opposite the then-relatively unknown Hepburn, he suggested midway through shooting to director William Wyler that she should indeed receive equal billing ¿ an unheard of gesture that demonstrated the actor¿s genuine nature. He next played a Canadian pilot trapped in Burma surrounded by the Japanese World War II drama "The Purple Plain" (1954) and was an ex-arm officer trying to be a television writer after the war in "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" (1956).

Peck next delivered one of his most indelible performances, channeling his maniacal obsession as Captain Ahab, who relentlessly pursues the great white whale in John Ford¿s adaptation of Herman Melville¿s "Moby Dick" (1956). Peck enjoyed a successful producing career beginning with William Wyler's "The Big Country" (1958), a Western in which he starred as an ex-sea captain forced to take sides in battle against Burl Ives and sons over water rights. He followed with "Pork Chop Hill" (1959), an uncompromising war film that was almost documentary-like in its story of men dying for a worthless hill in the Korean War. He also appeared in Stanley Kramer's "On the Beach" (1959), which contained a strong message that mankind could destroy the Earth through nuclear war. Meanwhile, he made the first of four collaborations with director J. Lee Thompson on the classic war film, "The Guns of Navarone" (1961), in which he was part of an Allied force tasked with taking out a set of huge Nazi cannons that are well-placed and hard-to-reach on an Aegean island. The film was a major box office success and the top grossing film of that year.

The following year, Peck delivered his most iconic performances, portraying morally courageous small-town lawyer, Atticus Finch, in "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962), a role that not only earned him his only Acad

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Jack Lemmon: America's Everyman (1996) Interviewee
4.
 Charlton Heston: For All Seasons (1995) Interviewee
5.
 Roger Moore: A Matter of Class (1995) Interviewee
6.
7.
 The Portrait (1993) Gardner Church
9.
 Cape Fear (1991) Lee Heller
10.
 Other People's Money (1991) Andrew "Jorgy" Jorgenson
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Southern California
:
While a 19-year-old undergraduate at UC-Berkely, acted in his first play, an adaptation of "Moby Dick", in which he played the first mate Starbuck
1928:
Travelled to New York with Berkeley crew team for competition; stopped off in NYC and saw first Broadway show, "I Married an Angel"; inspired to become an actor
:
Suffered spinal injury; could no longer compete in sports
:
After graduating, moved to NYC
1939:
Worked as a barker at a concession in the amusement zone of the New York World's Fair and later as a tour guide at Radio City Music Hall
1941:
Professional stage debut, had small role in the touring company of "The Doctor's Dilemma" starring Katharine Cornell
1942:
Broadway debut in "The Morning Star"
:
Spotted by talent scouts and signed to contracts by four film studios
1944:
Film acting debut, "Days of Glory"
1945:
Earned first Best Actor Oscar nomination for his second feature, "The Keys of the Kingdom"
1945:
Acted in Alfred Hitchcok's "Spellbound"
1946:
Received second Best Actor Academy Award nod as the father in "The Yearling"
1947:
Played a reporter uncovering anti-semitism in Elia Kazan's "Gentleman's Agreement", earned third Academy Award nomination as Best Actor
1947:
Reteamed with Hitchcock on "The Paradine Case"
1947:
First film based on an Ernest Hemingway story "The Macomber Affair"
1949:
Snagged fourth Best Actor Oscar nomination for his riveting portrayal of a commander cracking under the strain of war in "Twelve O'Clock High"; first of six films with director Henry King
1950:
Starred as King's "The Gunfighter", attempting to overcome his bloody past; voted "Cowboy of the Year" (over John Wayne!) on the strength of his performance; also turned down the following year's "High Noon" (which earned Gary Cooper an Oscar) because he didn't want to do back-to-back Westerns
1951:
Took to the high seas as Raoul Walsh's "Captain Horatio Hornblower"
1952:
Reteamed with Walsh as the skipper in "The World in His Arms"
1952:
Fourth film with King, "The Snows of Kiliminjaro"; his second film based on a Hemingway story; second of three films with Ava Gardner
1953:
First collaboration with director William Wyler, "Roman Holiday", the film which introduced Audrey Hepburn to the public
1956:
Portrayed Captain Ahab in John Huston's "Moby Dick"
1957:
Stoically endured a plate of spaghetti tipped in his lap by Lauren Bacall in "Designing Women"
1958:
Film producing debut, Wyler's "The Big Country" (co-produced by Wyler); also starred
1959:
Sixth and last picture with King, "Beloved Infidel", miscast him as writer F Scott Fitzgerald, but he believed (rightly or wrongly) his scenes of despair and drunkenness were among the best he ever did
1959:
Played the conscience-laden platoon commander in Korean War drama "Pork Chop Hill"; also produced (with Sy Bartlett)
1961:
First of four collaborations with director J Lee Thompson, "The Guns of Navarone"
1962:
Produced (with Bartlett) and starred in Thompson's "Cape Fear"
1962:
Finally took home the Best Actor Oscar as liberal country lawyer Atticus Finch (what he calls his signature role) in Robert Mulligan's "To Kill a Mockingbird", based on the Harper Lee novel
1964:
Produced and starred in "Behold a Pale Horse"
1966:
Starred opposite Sophia Loren in Stanley Donen's secret agent thriller "Arabesque"
1968:
Reteamed with Mulligan for "The Stalking Moon"
1969:
Essayed the title role in Thompson's "Mackenna's Gold"; also acted that year in Thompson's "The Chairman"
1972:
Produced "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine"; did not act in picture
1974:
Last feature producing credit to date, "The Dove"; did not act in picture
1976:
Starred in Richard Donner's "The Omen" as the father of a child who could be the Anti-Christ
1977:
Offered a striking performance as "MacArthur"
1978:
Portrayed Joseph Mengele in "The Boys from Brazil"
1980:
First association with director Andrew V McLaglen, "The Sea Wolves"
1982:
TV acting debut as Abraham Lincoln in the CBS miniseries "The Blue and the Gray", directed by McLaglen
1989:
Played Ambrose Bierce in "Old Gringo", adapted from the novel by Carlos Fuentes
1991:
Last feature film roles to date, a co-starring role in "Other People's Money" and a cameo in Martin Scorsese's remake of "Cape Fear"
1991:
Provided the recorded voice of Florenz Ziegfeld in the Broadway musical "The Will Rogers Follies"
1993:
Executive produced and starred opposite Bacall and his daughter Cecilia in Arthur Penn's "The Portrait" (TNT)
1995:
Began performing a one-man show of anecdotes and film clips from his career, "An Evening with Gregory Peck" (originally entitled "A Conversation with Gregory Peck"); TNT has completed an untitled documentary about these shows, written by daughter Cecilia Peck; Mary Badham, who played Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird", came to a 1995 show in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the two reenacted a "Mockingbird" scene together; retired the production in February 2000
1996:
Rushed to hospital and underwent surgery for appendicitis in the Czech Republic
1998:
Portrayed fire and brimstone preacher in USA Network miniseries version of "Moby Dick", receiving an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe Award for his efforts
1999:
Narrated the documentary "From Russia to Hollywood: The 100-Year Odyssey of Chekhov and Shdanoff"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

San Diego High School: San Diego , California -
San Diego State College: San Diego , California -
St John's Military Academy: Los Angeles , California -
Little Red Schoolhouse: La Jolla , California -
University of California at Berkeley: Berkeley , California - 1939
University of California at Berkeley: Berkeley , California - 1939
Playhouse School of Dramatics: New York , New York - 1939 - 1941

Notes

"If now and then through luck and circumstance, we get into a film that someone might call a work of film art, so much the better; that's an extra bonus. If now and then we get into one that has something to say on a social issue or that gives people food for thought on something of importance in their lives or in terms of social problems that, too, is a bonus. But really, the name of the game is to entertain--never to bore--and to do it well, with expertise and precision and professionalism." --Gregory Peck, quoted in Orbit Video, April 1989.

"Before you stands a talent that is seamless, effortless. One could fear that, with the career he's had, he would take a lot for granted, but he's hungry, driven, as passionate as any young actor with the smoothness of seasoned talent. He's absolutely incredible." --Jane Fonda, from PR for "Old Gringo"

Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 by Lyndon Johnson.

Honored with the 1992 gala tribute of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Peck was one of a group of friends who founded the La Jolla Playhouse in the 40s and still devotes time raising money for it. He is also a fundraiser on behalf of the film department of University College in Dublin, Ireland.

Asked how he would play Captain Ahab now, given the benefit of time: "Better. I think I should have been more ferocious in pursuit of the whale, more cruel to the crew, and I think I have a better grasp now of what Melville was talking about. He was trying to find an answer to the eternal mysteries. Ahab focused all his energies on avenging himself against the whale, but he was trying to penetrate the mystery of why we were here at all, why there is anything. I wasn't mad enough, not crazy enough, not obsessive enough. I should have done more."

(After a long pause) "At the time I didn't have more in me." --Peck, to Claudia Dreifus in The New York Times, May 4, 1998.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Greta Rice. Hairdresser. Met during the 1941 tour of "The Doctor's Dilemma" when she worked as Katharine Cornell's hairdresser; married in October 1942; divorced in 1954; mother of Peck's three older children.
wife:
Veronique Passani. Writer. Married on December 31, 1955; mother of Peck's two younger children.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Gregory Peck. Druggist. Divorced from Peck's mother c. 1922.
mother:
Bernice Peck. Divorced from Peck's father c. 1922.
son:
Jonathan Peck. Journalist. Born on July 20, 1944; mother, Greta Rice; committed suicide in 1975.
son:
Stephen Peck. Born on August 16, 1946; mother, Greta Rice; created Far From Home, organization which assists homeless veterans.
son:
Carey Paul Peck. Born on June 17, 1949; mother, Greta Rice.
son:
Tony Peck. Actor. Born in October 1956; mother, Veronique Passani; married to Cheryl Tiegs on November 23, 1990.
daughter:
Cecilia Peck. Actor. Born in May 1958; mother, Veronique Passani; married to Daniel Voll on September 8, 2001.
grandson:
Zachery Anthony Peck. Born on October 1, 1991; father, Anthony Peck.
grandson:
Harper Vol. Born in February 1999; mother, Cecelia Peck.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"An Actor's Life"
"The Films of Gregory Peck" Citadel Press
"Gregory Peck: A Biography" Scribner

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