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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Fans bid Peck farewell
Gregory Peck memorial service
The service was held in Los Angeles
Some 3,000 friends, family and fans have said a final farewell to actor Gregory Peck at a public memorial service in Los Angeles.

The ceremony, at Our Lady of Angels cathedral, followed a private funeral.

"He was an actor of extraordinary depth and breadth and achievement," said Los Angeles' archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony, who led the one-hour service.

"But his life was not acted. He lived his life authentically. Gregory did not have to act at being an extraordinary human being."

Peck, who was 87, died at his Los Angeles home with his wife of 48 years, Veronique, by his side.

Among the celebrities attending the service were Lauren Bacall, Harrison Ford, Calista Flockhart, Harry Belafonte, Michael Jackson, Anjelica Huston, television producer Norman Lear and actor Jimmy Smits, who co-starred with Peck in one of his last films, 1989's Old Gringo.

Stars from the worlds of film and music attend Gregory Peck's memorial

Actor Brock Peters, who co-starred in Peck's Oscar-winning movie To Kill a Mockingbird, delivered the eulogy at the ceremony, while the actor's children, Anthony, Cecelia and Cary, all gave readings.

Peters, 75, played Tom Robinson, the character wrongly accused of rape in the movie, which led to the two actors remaining good friends for four decades.

Peck won the best actor Academy Award for his role as lawyer Atticus Finch, who defends Robinson.

Golden era

Tributes have continued to flow in for Peck, one of the last great stars of Hollywood's golden era.

He made his film debut in 1944 in Days of Glory, winning an Academy Award nomination for his second big screen role, playing a priest, in Keys of the Kingdom.

Born Eldred Gregory Peck on 5 April, 1916, in La Jolla, California, he studied English literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

Peck started acting when the director of the campus theatre spotted him because he was tall and cast him in Moby Dick.

He later went on to star as Captain Ahab in a 1956 screen version and his last role was in a 1998 TV adaptation of the Herman Melville classic.

The BBC's Faye Hawker
"Three thousand fans packed out the cathedral"

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12 Jun 03  |  Have Your Say

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