2011 44¢ Gregory Peck
Legends of Hollywood
Issue Date: April 28, 2011
City: Beverly Hills, CA
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
A college acting coach encouraged Gregory Peck to participate in theater work because of his 6’3” frame and athletic build. After graduating from Berkeley, Peck (1916-2003) moved from California to New York City, where at times he slept in Central Park while waiting for his big break.
Peck’s first film, Days of Glory, was released in 1944. He received four Oscar nominations for Best Actor in the next five years before winning the award for his role as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. Released at the height of the civil rights movement in 1962, the film’s theme of justice and tolerance was popular with theatergoers. The movie was Peck’s favorite and Atticus was named the top film hero of the past 100 years by the American Film Institute.
Peck was a social activist. In 1947, he risked being blacklisted by criticizing the House Un-American Activities Committee for investigating communists in the film industry. Peck criticized the Vietnam War, earning him a spot on President Richard Nixon’s “enemies” list. Peck supported his son, who served in Vietnam, while objecting to the war – managing to balance complex personal and social issues with strength of character equal to Atticus Finch.