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Gregory Peck
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Birthdate: April 5, 1916
Birthplace: La Jolla, California
Occupations: Actor, Writer, Producer
Gregory Peck Photo

Claim to Fame: The venerable attorney Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

Significant Other(s):
Wife: Veronique Passani; married December 31, 1955
Wife: Greta Rice; married 1942; divorced 1955

A former pre-med student, Peck decided to pursue an acting career after a visit to Broaday in the 1930s. Following studies at the Neighborhood Playhouse, he landed roles in unmemorable stage plays, but proved a capable player and attracted the attentions of West Coast talent hunters. The scarcity of leading men in Hollywood during the war years (Peck was exempt from service because of a spinal injury), the glowing reviews of his Broadway performances and savvy manipulation on the part of his agent, Leland Hayward, all contributed to Peck's being in great demand. In fact, the young actor soon found himself starting his Hollywood career under contract to four studios: RKO, 20th Century-Fox, Selznick Productions and MGM. His first film, "Days of Glory" (1944), an over-ripe tribute to Russian peasant resistance against the Nazis, featured Peck as a strong-boned resistance leader. But it was "The Keys of the Kingdom," with Peck as a dedicated Roman Catholic missionary to China, that made him a star. This was the first of his incarnations as an authority figure of quiet dignity and uncompromising singlemindedness; the next four decades saw him play variations of that character in "The Yearling" (1946)," The Macomber Affair" (1947) "Gentleman's Agreement" (1947), "The Gunfighter" (1950), "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" (1956), "The Guns of Navarone" (1961), "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962), "The Omen" (1976) and "Old Gringo" (1989). During the 1950s in particular, Peck embodied a certain everday man as hero, and he managed to be relaxed in the part whether it was his business executive in "Gray Flannel" or in his occasional comedies, "Roman Holiday" (1953) being the most successful film to tap into the unexpectedly lighthearted aspects of his screen persona. Interspersed among these films were others depicting a darker side of his persona, a man fatalistically obsessed (even possessed) by hidden demons that push him toward the brink of madness. Hitchcock's "Spellbound" (1945), with Peck as an amnesiac who may have committed a murder, was the first film to exploit Peck's image in this way. Others which followed included "Duel in the Sun" (1947)," "Yellow Sky" (1948), "Twelve O'Clock High" (1949), "Moby Dick" (1956) and "MacArthur" (1977) One of Peck's peaks as a film actor was "To Kill A Mockingbird," for which he won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Atticus Finch, a small-town Southern lawyer whose quiet intensity and moral courage became a summary of Peck's screen persona. After that film, however, Peck found himself embroiled in such post-studio era potboilers as "Mackenna's Gold" (1969), "The Chairman" (1969), "Billy Two Hats" (1973) and "The Boys From Brazil" (1978). To date his last feature role was a small role in Martin Scorsese's 1991 remake of "Cape Fear". Daughter Cecilia Peck and son Tony Peck are also actors.

The Hollywood Collection: Roger Moore - A Matter of Class
American Prophet: The Story of Joseph Smith
From Russia To Hollywood: The 100-Year Odyssey Of Chekhov And Shdanoff (1999)
Tony Bennett: Live By Request (1999)
Moby Dick (1998)
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies (1995)
Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1995)
The Portrait (1993)
The Films of Charles and Ray Eames, Vol. 4 (1993)
Cape Fear (1991)
Other People's Money (1991)
The Hollywood Collection: Gregory Peck - His Own Man (1990)
Musical Masterpiece at Massada with Zubin Mehta (1990)
The Films of Charles and Ray Eames, Vol. 2 (1989)
Maestros in Moscow (1989)
The Old Gringo (1989)
Resurrection at Masada (1989)
Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987)
Hollywood Home Movies (1987)
Directed by William Wyler (1986)
The Blue and the Gray (1985)
Ken Murray's Shooting Stars (1985)
The Scarlet and the Black (1983)
The Sea Wolves (1981)
AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards: Henry Fonda (1978)
The Boys from Brazil (1978)
MacArthur (1977)
The Omen (1976)
The Dove (1974)
Billy Two Hats (1973)
The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (1972)
Shootout (1971)
I Walk the Line (1970)
MacKenna's Gold (1969)
Marooned (1969)
The Chairman (1969)
The Stalking Moon (1968)
Arabesque (1966)
Mirage (1966)
Behold a Pale Horse (1964)
Captain Newman, M.D. (1963)
How the West Was Won (1963)
Cape Fear (1962)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
The Guns of Navarone (1961)
On the Beach (1959)
Pork Chop Hill (1959)
Beloved Infidel (1959)
The Big Country (1958)
The Bravados (1958)
Designing Woman (1957)
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)
Moby Dick (1956)
Man with a Million (1954)
Night People (1954)
The Purple Plain (1954)
Roman Holiday (1953)
The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)
The World in His Arms (1952)
Pictura (1952)
Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)
David and Bathsheba (1951)
The Gunfighter (1950)
Only the Valiant (1950)
Twelve O'Clock High (1949)
The Great Sinner (1949)
Yellow Sky (1948)
Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
The Paradine Case (1947)
The Macomber Affair (1947)
Duel in the Sun (1946)
The Yearling (1946)
Spellbound (1945)
The Valley of Decision (1945)
The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)
Days of Glory (1943)

1947: Golden Globe: Best Actor, The Yearling
1950: New York's Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, Twelve O'Clock High
1951: Golden Globe: Favorite Male Film Actor
1955: Golden Globe: Favorite Male Film Actor
1963: Oscar: Best Actor, To Kill a Mockingbird
1963: Golden Globe: Best Actor, To Kill a Mockingbird
1968: Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
1969: Golden Globe: Cecil B. DeMille Award
1971: Screen Actors Guild: Lifetime Achievment
1999: Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture, Moby Dick

University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California; left to persue theater in New York

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