US Stamps

Born April 5: Gregory Peck

Apr 4, 2016, 11 PM
Academy Award-winning actor Gregory Peck was honored on a forever stamp issued in 2011.

By Michael Baadke

American film star Gregory Peck, who won the Academy Award for best actor for his portrayal of Atticus Finch in the 1962 drama To Kill a Mockingbird, was born 100 years ago on April 5, 1916, in San Diego, Calif.

When Peck was just five years old, his parents divorced and he was sent to live with his grandmother. He would later attend college at the University of California at Berkeley as a pre-med student, but his interests turned to acting, and he moved to New York City and began his career on stage.

He returned to California to act in films, and earned an Academy Award nomination, the first of five, for his starring role as the struggling young priest Father Francis Chisholm in The Keys of the Kingdom (1944).

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Over the course of his career he appeared in more than 50 feature films, including Roman Holiday (1953), The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956), Moby Dick (1956), and The Boys from Brazil (1978).

Peck was also known for his humanitarian efforts, and that contributed to his receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Lyndon Johnson in 1968.

Peck died at age 87 in 2003. He was honored on a forever stamp issued April 28, 2011, in the Legends of Hollywood series (Scott 4526).