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American Actor Gregory Peck

Welcome to Epitaph for D’s Art Takes. Here we present the creative legacies of some of the most influential people, who are no longer amongst us. Today we invite you to take a look at the life of the American Actor Gregory Peck.

Gregory Peck : The Young Pre-med turned Actor

Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor who was most popular during the mid twentieth century. Peck was born in 1916 in California, where he studied pre-med at the University of California, Berkley. It was during this time that another profession caught his eye – that of acting. So, Peck abandoned his plans to become a doctor, moved to New York. In New York city, Peck studied at the Neighbourhood Playhouse School of Theatre on scholarship.

Peck undertook odd jobs to get himself through college and sustain himself in New York until 1942; the time of his first Broadway performance in The Morning Star. The play, while a commercial failure, was to be a success among critics.

In 1944, Gregory Peck landed his first role in a Hollywood film, titled Days of Glory. Later that year, he was nominated for several Academy Awards in different categories, for his film The Keys of the Kingdom. Peck was also nominated for Oscars in 1946 for The Yearling, and then again in 1948 for Gentleman’s Agreement.

Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his iconic and unforgettable role as Atticus Finch, in the film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). This victory came after he had been an Oscar nominee 4 times.

The Legacy beyond Cinema

Gregory Peck gained recognition for his cinematic work across genres. He took upon highly demanding roles in film categories including horror, action, and drama to name a few. However, apart from his cinematic accolades, Peck was also famous in America for his social activism. In 1969 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and he received the Kennedy Center honors in 1991.

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