CURL up on any rainy Sunday afternoon and flick on the box to find a movie from the 1940s through to 1960s and there on the screen will appear the handsome, Irish-eyes Gregory Peck.
He was one of the most famous actors of his time, acting in a whole range of dramatic, thoroughly engaging movies such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Gentleman's Agreement, Twelve O'Clock High, Spellbound, Roman Holiday, Moby Dick, The Guns of Navarone, Cape Fear and How the West Was Won.
It was his powerful Atticus Finch role in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird that earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Eldred Gregory Peck was born on April 5, 1916 in San Diego, USA, to a family with an English, Scottish and Irish heritage.
He had ambitions to be a doctor, but was diverted along the way by a University of California professor who saw the lanky rower as perfect acting material.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (English) degree, Peck went on the long road of unemployment, disappointment and almost starvation until the early 40s when he secured his place in the tough world of movie and stage acting.
By the 1980s he had moved to the small screen.
His last big movie was the 1991 Other People's Money.
Peck did briefly re-enter the movie world in 1998 playing Father Mapple in Moby Dick.
It won him the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a series, miniseries or television film.
In 1969 Peck was honoured by President Lyndon Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Then in 1983 he was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame and in 1999, the American Film Institute named Peck among Greatest Male Stars of Classic Hollywood cinema.
The twice-married actor had three boys by his first wife Greta Kukkonen, and a son and daughter by second wife Veronique Passani.
Peck died on June 12, 2003.
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