Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck

Studied acting with Michael Chekhov

The financial failure of Cape Fear (1962) ended his company, Melville Productions.

Turned down Gary Cooper's Oscar-winning role as Marshal Will Kane in High Noon (1952) because he felt the story was too similar to his The Gunfighter (1950). When the film proved to be a huge success Peck admitted he had made a mistake, though he said he didn't believe he could have played the character as well as Cooper.

Turned down Yves Montand's role in Let's Make Love (1960) because he didn't want to work with Marilyn Monroe.

U.C. Berkeley graduate (BA '39), oarsman on Cal's JV crew.

Was a lifelong Democrat and generously donated time and money to many causes.

Was in the original version of Cape Fear (1962) in 1962, playing Sam Bowden. He was later brought back for a part in another version of Cape Fear (1991), playing Max Cady's attorney.

Was kept out of military service during WWII due to a back injury.

Was offered but declined the role of Det. Steve McGarrett in "Hawaii Five-O" (1968).

Was president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences from 1967-1970. He made the decision to postpone the 1968 Oscar ceremony after Martin Luther King's assassination.

Was the first native Californian to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Was the second choice to play Prof. Henry Jones Sr. in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), had first choice Sean Connery declined the role. Star Harrison Ford cited Peck as one of his favorite actors and To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) as one of his favorite films.

Was Warner Bros. original choice to play Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). He was offered the role and seriously considered it but passed away before he could give them an answer.

When he arrived in Italy to shoot Roman Holiday (1953), Gregory was privately depressed about his recent separation and imminent divorce from his first wife, Greta. However, during the shoot, he met and fell in love with a French woman named Veronique Passani. After his divorce, he married Passani and they remained together for the rest of his life. So, in a way, he lived out his own "movie romance".

When he was the President of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Science, he tried his hardest to get a full-length animated feature film (most notably the The Jungle Book (1967)) not only nominated for Best Picture Academy Award but actually win the award. He resigned as President in 1970 when other members didn't agree with him about animated films being nominated for the award. Twenty-one years after he resigned Beauty and the Beast (1991) became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture although it did not win.

While filming The Bravados (1958), he decided to become a cowboy in real life, so he purchased a vast working ranch near Santa Barbara, California - already stocked with 600 head of prize cattle.

While studying at UC Berkeley, Peck was a houseboy for the school's chapter of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority.