1. Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor who was one of the most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s.
2. Peck continued to play major film roles until the late 1970s.
3. His performance as Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor.
4. He had also been nominated for an Oscar for the same category for The Keys of the Kingdom .
5. President Lyndon Johnson honored Peck with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 for his lifetime humanitarian efforts.
6. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Peck among Greatest Male Stars of Classic Hollywood cinema, ranking at No. 12.
7. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1983.
8. His grandmother died while he was enrolled there, and his father again took over his upbringing.
9. In 1936, he declared himself a pre-medical student at Berkeley, and majored in English.
10. The Berkeley acting coach saw Peck as perfect material for university theater.
11. Although his tuition fee was only $26 per year, Peck still struggled to pay, and had to work as a “hasher” for the Gamma Phi Beta sorority in exchange for meals.
12. It woke me up and made me a human being.” In 1997, Peck donated $25,000 to the Berkeley rowing crew in honor of his coach, the renowned Ky Ebright.
13. After graduating from Berkeley with a BA degree in English, Peck dropped the name “Eldred” and headed to New York City to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse with the legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner.
14. In 1940, Peck learned more of the acting craft, working in exchange for food, at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, appearing in five plays including Family Portrait and On Earth As It Is.
15. His second Broadway performance that year was in The Willow and I with Edward Pawley.