Updated: Feb 7
Eldred Gregory Peck (April 5, 1916 - June 12, 2003) was an American actor and one of the most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s. In 1999, the American Film Institute named him among 25 Greatest Male Stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema, ranking him at No. 12. Gregory was also active in politics, challenging the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 and was regarded as a political opponent by President Richard Nixon. President Lyndon B. Johnson honored Peck with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 for his lifetime humanitarian efforts.
The Razor's Edge (1947)
Gentleman's Agreement (1948)
Twelve O'Clock High (1950)
Roman Holiday (1954)
The Guns of Navarone (1962)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1963)
How the West Was Won (1963)
10 FUN FACTS!
Gregory received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley and rowed on the university's JV crew.
Of his own movies, To Kill a Mockingbird (1963) is was his favorite.
Worried about the 600,000 jobs hanging on the survival of the Chrysler Corporation, Gregory volunteered to become an unpaid TV pitchman for the company in 1980.
He took in former co-star Ava Gardner's housekeeper and dog after her death on January 25, 1990.
Gregory was president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences from 1967 to 1970. He made the decision to postpone the 1968 Oscar ceremony after Martin Luther King's assassination.
When he arrived in Italy to shoot Roman Holiday (1954), Gregory was 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, they married and remained together for the rest of his life.
He 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.
He has cited that his favorite leading ladies were Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman and Ava Gardner.
In 1997, as a presenter at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) awards ceremony, he said, "It just seems silly to me that something so right and simple has to be fought for at all.".
Though he never got the chance, Gregory always wanted to do a Walt Disney movie.