Born Eldred Gregory Peck in La Jolla, California, Peck was sent to a Roman Catholic military school in Los Angeles at age 10. When he graduated, he went to San Diego State University, but dropped out a year later. For a short time, he took a job driving a truck for an oil company. In 1936, he enrolled as a pre-med student at the University of California, Berkeley. He changed his major to English and rowed on the university crew. He was recruited by the school's Little Theater and appeared in five plays his senior year.
After graduation, Peck dropped the name Eldred and headed to New York City in 1939 to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse. He was often broke and sometimes slept in Central Park. He worked at the 1939 World's Fair and as a tour guide for NBC television. He made his Broadway debut as the lead in Emlyn Williams' Morning Star in 1942. Peck's acting abilities were in high demand during World War II, since he was exempt from military service due to a back injury suffered in college.
Peck's first film was Days of Glory, released in 1944. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor five times, four of which came in his first five years of film acting for Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), Twelve O'Clock High (1949).
Peck won the award for his fifth nomination, playing the role of lawyer Atticus Finch in the film adaptation of the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Released in 1962 during the height of the US civil rights movement in the South, the movie is said to have been Peck's favorite. His other popular films include Roman Holiday in which he appeared as a reporter alongside Audrey Hepburn in her Oscar-winning debut.
Peck retired from active film-making in the early 1990s, having received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1989.
He died at the age of 87 in his Los Angeles home, with his second wife, Veronique, at his side.
Gregory Peck Facts
|Birth Name||Eldred Gregory Peck|
|Birthday||April 5, 1916|
|Birthplace||La Jolla, California, USA|
|Date of death||June 12, 2003 (age 87)|
|Height||6' 3" (1m91) How tall is Gregory Peck compared to you?|
|Awards||1999 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Film (for Moby Dick)|
|1971 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Life Achievement Award|
|1969 Golden Globe Awards: Cecil B. DeMille Award|
|1964 Academy Awards: Best Actor (for To Kill a Mockingbird)|
|1963 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama (for To Kill a Mockingbird)|
|1947 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama (for The Yearling)|
|The Purple Plain|
|Above the Law|
|To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Edition|
|To Kill a Mockingbird|
|The Sea Wolves|
|Bible According to Hollywood|
|The Guns Of Navarone|
|The Snows Of Kilimanjaro|
|Captain Horatio Hornblower|