#OTD in 2003 – Legendary Oscar-winning actor, Gregory Peck, passes away at his home in Los Angeles.

Gregory Peck was born in La Jolla, California. One of the world’s most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play major film roles until the late 1970s. Catherine Ashe, the paternal grandmother of Gregory Peck, who emigrated to the United States in the 19th century was a relative of the Kerry patriot, Thomas Ashe, who took part in the 1916 Rising and died while on hunger strike in 1917. In his study also hung a portrait of Thomas Ashe.

Gregory Peck played the part of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty reared in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry in ‘The Scarlet and the Black’, and has said, he greatly admired all the monsignor did to save the lives of thousands during the German occupation of Rome in World War Two. Peck visited his grave on a family visit in 2000 to Dingle, Co Kerry.

He once said ‘The Irish influence has been a big thing in my life. Kind of an anchor – it means a lot to me.’

Image: Thomas Ashe (L), Gregory Peck (R)

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