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Quote and Person of the day- Gregory Peck

“Tough times don’t last, tough people do, remember?” - Gregory Peck⠀

Peck was one of the most durable Hollywood stars of all time, with a career that spanned nearly 60 years, from the 1940s to 2000. ⠀

Peck’s first screen test was a disaster, because his features were apparently “too big” and yet he went on to make one of Hollywood’s most spectacular debuts, getting four Oscar nominations in his first five years. The role that ultimately did win him an Oscar, in 1963, was that of the courageous small-time lawyer, Atticus Finch, in To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch was named the “Greatest Film Hero of the Past 100 Years” by the American Film Institute.⠀

In real life, Peck was very much the “nice guy” he typically played in the movies. He starred in Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn, her first film. Peck was already an established star but after seeing Hepburn’s performance in the film, he insisted that she get top billing, with her name actually appearing above his in the cast.⠀

As Hollywood changed over the years, Peck began to dislike what he saw. He said, “The old boys – Louis Mayer, Darryl Zanuck, the Warner brothers – were dragons, but they had passion and creativity. Today the business is run by cold fish who love to make money, not movies.”⠀

Peck was a lifelong liberal and an outspoken supporter of causes like gun control and a ban on nuclear weapons. President Lyndon Johnson honoured Peck with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 for his lifetime humanitarian efforts.⠀

Pecks legacy is perhaps best expressed through the words of his colleagues. Mary Badham, who played Pecks on screen daughter in To Kill A Mockingbird reflected ”He was so wonderful. Years later the phone would ring and he'd be on the other end of the line. "What ya doing kiddo?" He'd check on me to see how I was doing, because I lost my parents very early. My Mum died three weeks after I graduated from high school. My Dad died two years after I got married. It was kind of hard. So after they were gone Atticus would call and check on me. He was such a role model and I always wanted him to be proud of me.”

Peck died in his sleep in 2003, aged 87.

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