Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck

Brock Peters delivered his eulogy on the day of his funeral and burial, June 16, 2003. In To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Peters played Tom Robinson, the black man accused of raping a white girl that Atticus Finch (Peck's character) defended in court.

Only the Valiant (1951) was his least favorite film. He thought the western potboiler was a step backwards after starring in The Gunfighter (1950).

A back injury incurred in college kept him out of the services in World War II.

A physically powerful man, Peck was known to do a majority of his own fight scenes, rarely using body or stunt doubles. Robert Mitchum, his on-screen opponent in Cape Fear (1962), said that Peck once accidentally punched him for real during their final fight scene in the movie. He recalled feeling the impact of the punch for days afterwards and said, "I don't feel sorry for anyone dumb enough who picks a fight with him.".

According to at least one biography, he took his role in The Omen (1976) at a huge cut in salary (a mere $250,000) but was guaranteed 10% of the film's box office take. It went on to gross more than $60 million in the U.S. alone, and became the film for which he earned the most money in his career.

According to director Lewis Milestone, Pork Chop Hill was cut by nearly twenty minutes because the wife of star Gregory Peck felt that her husband made his first entrance too late into the picture. True or not, the film does show signs of post-production tampering, with flashes of several excised scenes showing up under the main title credits.

Advertised Chesterfield cigarettes.

After making Arabesque (1966), Peck withdrew from acting for three years in order to concentrate on various humanitarian causes, including the American Cancer Society.

After Peck stormed off the set of The Big Country (1958), director William Wyler said of him: "I wouldn't direct Peck again for a million dollars and you can quote me on that.".

Agreed to star in David and Bathsheba (1951) as a riposte to the Biblical epics of Cecil B. DeMille.

Along with Dorothy McGuire, Mel Ferrer and David O. Selznick, he co-founded the La Jolla Playhouse, located in his hometown, and produced many of the classics there. Due to film commitments, he could not return to Broadway but whet his appetite for live theater on occasion at the Playhouse, keeping it firmly established with a strong, reputable name over the years.

Appeared on President Richard Nixon's infamous "List of Enemies" in 1972.

As a board member of Handgun Control Inc. (along with Martin Sheen and Susan Sarandon), Peck was sometimes criticized for his friendship with Charlton Heston, a longtime advocate of gun ownership who served as President of the National Rifle Assocation (NRA) from 1998 to 2003. When questioned by James Brady, Peck said, "We're colleagues rather than friends. We're civil to each other when we meet. I, of course, disagree vehemently with him on gun control.".

Attended San Diego High School.

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 417-420. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.

Broke his ankle in three places in a fall from a horse while filming Yellow Sky (1948).

By 1974, following a series of flops, Peck's career had declined to such an extent that he admitted in an interview that he was thinking of retiring from acting. Two years later however he made an enormous comeback with The Omen (1976).

Campaigned for Harry S. Truman in the 1948 presidential election.

Chairman, American Film Institute. He was the first Chairman of the AFI. [1967-1969]

Chairman, Motion Picture & Television Relief Fund. [1971]