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Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck

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The Sea Wolves DVD Want Excitement? You've Got It!They were the unlikeliest heroes of World War II... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Captain Newman, M.D. DVD The incomparable Gregory Peck stars in this moving dramedy about life in the... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Gregory Peck Film Collection... An Oscar, four Golden Globes, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom are among the... more info $59.98was $59.98 Buy Now

Mirage DVD This intriguing thriller stars Gregory Peck as a man suffering from amnesia... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Best Picture Collection... Each year a handful of cinematic treasures are nominated for the coveted Best... more info $39.98was $39.98 Buy Now

Gentleman's Agreement DVD Director Elia Kazan and producer Darryl F. Zanuck caused a sensation with "the... more info $14.98was $14.98 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

As an actor who conveyed moral certitude and unwavering strength, Gregory Peck became the unofficial conscience of postwar Hollywood, turning in several iconic performances in some of cinema's most important films. Peck began appearing in movies during the war with "Days of Glory" (1944) and became an almost instant star thanks to his Oscar-nominated performance in "The Keys of the Kingdom" (1945). He went on to portray an amnesiac psychoanalyst in Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound" (1945), turned in another Academy Award-worthy performance in 'The Yearling" (1946) and played against type in "Duel in the Sun" (1946). Following seminal work in "Twelve O'Clock High" (1949), "Roman Holiday" (1953) and "Moby Dick" (1956), Peck took on the role that became inextricably tied to his career, that of Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962), which earned him his only Oscar for Best Actor while inspiring audiences for generations. He had a major box office hit with "The Guns of Navarone" (1961), starred in the original "Cape Fear" (1962) and reunited with "Mockingbird" director Robert Mulligan for "The Stalking Moon" (1969). His career began to slow in the 1970s, though he was notable in "The Omen" (1976)...

As an actor who conveyed moral certitude and unwavering strength, Gregory Peck became the unofficial conscience of postwar Hollywood, turning in several iconic performances in some of cinema's most important films. Peck began appearing in movies during the war with "Days of Glory" (1944) and became an almost instant star thanks to his Oscar-nominated performance in "The Keys of the Kingdom" (1945). He went on to portray an amnesiac psychoanalyst in Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound" (1945), turned in another Academy Award-worthy performance in 'The Yearling" (1946) and played against type in "Duel in the Sun" (1946). Following seminal work in "Twelve O'Clock High" (1949), "Roman Holiday" (1953) and "Moby Dick" (1956), Peck took on the role that became inextricably tied to his career, that of Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962), which earned him his only Oscar for Best Actor while inspiring audiences for generations. He had a major box office hit with "The Guns of Navarone" (1961), starred in the original "Cape Fear" (1962) and reunited with "Mockingbird" director Robert Mulligan for "The Stalking Moon" (1969). His career began to slow in the 1970s, though he was notable in "The Omen" (1976) and "The Boys of Brazil" (1978). Following a turn as Abraham Lincoln in "The Blue and the Grey" (CBS, 1982) and his Emmy-nominated performance in a contemporary remake of "Moby Dick" (USA, 1998), Peck left behind a legacy as an iconic performer who exerted creative independence while becoming a beloved actor to generations fans.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Jack Lemmon: America's Everyman (1996) Interviewee
4.
 Charlton Heston: For All Seasons (1995) Interviewee
5.
6.
 Roger Moore: A Matter of Class (1995) Interviewee
8.
 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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