My earliest memories are of Mr. Peck in THE YEARLING and MOBY DICK.
When I was 11 years old, my mother, who looked like Jane Wyman, took me to see TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. We lived in Carmel, CA and it was playing at the small neighborhood theater in Pacific Grove (small southern-like town, 4 miles from Carmel). I was so emotionally moved by this film, but my most indelible impression is of Mr. Peck, so overwhelmingly commanding in his quiet strength as Atticus Finch. I wished I had been his son, I knew he could resolve any problem – be it a lynch mob, shooting a rabid dog, facing down a crazed hateful redneck, to embracing his children with such love and understanding.
I was proud to know he attended my alma mater CAL BERKELEY and one of my professors there, Travis Bogard was his classmate. The closest I came to meeting him, was through my brother, Mike, who worked for him in Los Angeles, doing some landscaping for the Peck family, having sold Mr. Peck some Italian pottery and statuary. Mike said he was so real and kind and proudly introduced him to his wife and family. He WAS ATTICUS, Mike said. I am saddened that he is not with us here, on earth, still.. what a bright and luminary STAR he was in all ways and facets that the word connotes. He is my all time favorite actor. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. PECK and many blessings to you his family! You are deeply missed in this sometimes dreary world!