A tall, dark, clean-cut, all-American actor with a stirring voice and a sincere squint, Eldred Gregory Peck (April 5, 1916 – June 12, 2003) mostly made a career of playing incorruptible pillars of virtue and wisdom. Best known for his Oscar-winning turn as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (voted by the American Film Institute as the greatest hero in the history of American film, a week before Peck died), he played similarly admirable characters in films such as The Yearling, Gentleman's Agreement, Twelve O'Clock High, and The Big Country. The Gregory Peck Law goes like this:The frequency with which a character threatens Gregory Peck and his family is inversely proportional with their chances of surviving the movie.He also liked to occasionally play way against type, with roles such as bigoted rapist Lewt McCanles in Duel in the Sun, or Josef Mengele in The Boys from Brazil. In real life, he had a reputation as a gentleman and was a classical Nice Guy - which is a key reason he enjoyed playing Atticus Finch so much. In fact, Harper Lee (who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird) said he reminded her of her father (on whom she'd based Atticus Finch). So much so that she gave Peck her father's pocketwatch, and he wore it in the film.Peck was married twice and had a total of five children (three from his first marriage, two from his second). He died of cardiorespiratory arrest and bronchial pneumonia in 2003.His grandson, Ethan Peck, has a recurring role on Gossip Girl.
List of his works with pages on this wiki:
- Spellbound (1945)
- The Yearling (1946)
- Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
- Twelve O'Clock High (1949)
- Horatio Hornblower, R.N. (1951)
- Roman Holiday (1953)
- Moby-Dick (1956)
- Designing Woman (1957)
- The Big Country (1958)
- Pork Chop Hill (1959)
- On the Beach (1959)
- The Guns of Navarone (1961)
- How the West Was Won (1962)
- To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
- Cape Fear (both versions, 1962/91)
- Mirage (1965)
- Mackenna's Gold (1969)
- Marooned (1969)
- The Omen (1976)
- The Boys from Brazil (1978)
- The Scarlet and the Black (1983)
- Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987)
- Other People's Money (1991)
Tropes associated with Gregory Peck:
- Badass Baritone: He is up there with James Earl Jones and Sir Christopher Lee in terms of having a deep, distinctive voice.
- What Could Have Been: Lyndon Johnson once told Peck that had he sought re-election in 1968, it would have offered Peck the post of U.S. ambassador to Ireland. Peck, being of Irish ancestry, later said that he likely would have taken the job. Johnson gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Peck to make up for not being able to give the offer.
- Peck was also seriously considered for the role of Professor Henry Jones Sr., AKA: Indy's father, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, had Sean Connery turned down the role. Harrison Ford even cited Peck as one of his favorite actors. Incidentally, Peck actually was old enough to be Ford's father, being approximately 26 years older than Ford as opposed to Connery, who is only 12 years older than Ford.