Gregory PECK

Family tree of Gregory PECK

Actor

AmericanBorn Eldred Gregory PECK

American actor

Born on April 5, 1916 in La Jolla, California, USA , United States

Died on June 12, 2003 in Los Angeles, California, USA

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Eldred Gregory Peck was born in La Jolla, California, the son of Missouri-born Bernice Mae "Bunny" (née Ayres) and Gregory Pearl Peck, who was a chemist and pharmacist. Peck's father was of Irish (maternal) heritage and English (paternal) heritage, and his mother was of Scots (paternal) and English (maternal) ancestry. Peck's father was a Catholic and his mother converted upon marrying his father. Peck's Irish-born paternal grandmother, Catherine Ashe, was related to Thomas Ashe, who took part in the Easter Rising fewer than three weeks after Peck's birth and died while on hunger strike in 1917. Peck's parents divorced by the time he was six years old and he spent the next few years being raised by his maternal grandmother.



Peck was sent to a Roman Catholic military school, St. John's Military Academy, in Los Angeles at the age of 10. His grandmother died while he was enrolled there, and his father again took over his upbringing. At 14, Peck attended San Diego High School and lived with his father. When he graduated, he enrolled briefly at San Diego State Teacher's College, (now known as San Diego State University), joined the track team, took his first theatre and public-speaking courses, and joined the Epsilon Eta fraternity. He stayed for just one academic year, thereafter obtaining admission to his first-choice college, the University of California, Berkeley. For a short time, he took a job driving a truck for an oil company. In 1936, he declared himself a pre-medical student at Berkeley, and majored in English. Standing 6'3" (1.905m) he rowed on the university crew.

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The Berkeley acting coach decided Peck would be perfect for university theater work. Peck developed an interest in acting and was recruited by Edwin Duerr, director of the university's Little Theater. He went on to appear in five plays during his senior year. Although his tuition fee was only $26 per year, Peck still struggled to pay, and had to work as a "hasher" (kitchen helper) for the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority in exchange for meals. Peck would later say about Berkeley that, "it was a very special experience for me and three of the greatest years of my life. It woke me up and made me a human being." In 1997 Peck donated $25,000 to the Berkeley crew in honor of his coach, the renowned Ky Ebright.



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Geographical origins

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