Becoming an actor is probably easier if the talent is already in the family. Ethan Peck, Gregory Peck’s grandson, seems to have inherited his grandfather’s talented genes, as well as his dashing looks.
Yes, you read that right: the young actor is the spitting image of his iconic grandfather.
Born in San Diego in 1916, Gregory Peck went on to become one of the greatest actors in the Golden Age of Hollywood – the American Film Institute ranks him as number 12 on the Greatest Male Stars of Classic Hollywood cinema. His acting was excellent, his good looks and deep, resonant voice were beyond reproach, and his choice of films to star in was impeccable.
Gregory Peck had a soul, unlike a lot of stars today. The man had class, something you don’t see that often in Hollywood nowadays.
The California native, with his inviting eyes, started his career in theater. After starring in about 50 plays, Peck got the chance on the silver screen in Days of Glory, a war-romance movie from 1944.
But his big breakthrough came with his second movie, The Keys of the Kingdom, where he played an 80-year-old Roman Catholic priest looking back at the 50 years of his life as a missionary in China. That movie is a beautifully moving story of faith and love – it also landed Peck a nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards.
The iconic actor then worked with the great director Alfred Hitchcock in Spellbound, co-starring with the legendary Ingrid Bergman. Peck and Bergman had instant chemistry, and even though both were married at the time, they engaged in a love affair off-screen. In 1987, the actor indirectly confirmed the rumors while being interviewed by People magazine, though he wouldn’t share any details.
”Now we get into an area where I can’t answer. All I can say is I had a real love for her, and I think that’s where I ought to stop. Except to say she was like a lovely Swedish rose. I was young. She was young. We were involved for weeks in close and intense work,” Peck said at the time, five years after Bergman’s death.
Peck and Hitchcock’s relationship wasn’t the best, but they did another movie together, The Paradine Case. Even if Peck was somewhat inexperienced and needed a lot of direction, Hitchcock didn’t really give him much advice. Reportedly, the legendary director was prone to saying things like: ”I couldn’t care less what your character is thinking. Just let your face drain of all expression”.
According to Hitchcock, Peck wasn’t the best actor, but the San Diego native received five nominations for Academy Award for Best Actor. His role as Atticus Finch in the drama To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) finally earned him the coveted Oscar.
To Kill a Mockingbird was probably the movie he is best known for, but Peck appeared in several great movies like Moby Dick (1956), The Big Country (158), or How the West Was Won (1962).
Peck did also important humanitarian work. In 1969 he was honored by President Lyndon B. Johnson, receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his lifetime humanitarian efforts.
Marriage and children
Gregory Peck married Finnish-born Greta Kukkonen in 1942. The couple had three sons together: Jonathan, Stephen, and Carey Paul. Stephen and Carey Paul are still alive – Jonathan sadly died in 1975.
Peck and Greta divorced in 1955, and after that, the actor fell in love with news reporter Véronique Passani. Véronique had interviewed him before going to Italy to shoot Roman Holiday. The couple raised a son, Antony, and a daughter, Cecilia, together. Gregory and Véronique stayed together until Peck’s death in 2003.
His grandson, his spitting image
It appears that Gregory Peck’s acting genes jumped a generation, landing in Gregory Peck’s grandchild, Ethan Gregory Peck. Ethan’s father is Stephen Peck, one of the three sons Gregory Peck had with his first wife. Stephen is a veteran and served in Vietnam – he’s worked as President and CEO of U.S. VETS.
His son Ethan was born in 1986, and he was only nine when he first appeared on TV. as a co-star in the film Marshall Law as Jimmy Smits’ son.
On That ’70s Show, Ethan starred as the younger version of Michale Kelso (played by Ashton Kutcher). In 1999, the actor also appeared in the movie Passport to Paris, with Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen. After that, he was cast in Tennessee, where Peck appeared alongside stars like Adam Rothenberg and Mariah Carey.
The young actor obviously inherited more than just his grandfather’s acting talent. According to a lot of people, the two look very much alike. Ethan inherited George’s strong dark eyebrows and eyes, giving him an irresistible look.
Ethan had a normal relationship with his grandfather, but he didn’t feel that close to him.
”He taught me how to float in a swimming pool,” the actor recalled. ”He passed when I was 17, and I don’t recall ever having a conversation with him about acting. I have so many questions for him now”.
In 2009, Ethan’s talent was recognized when he was awarded ”Best Actor” at the Sonoma International Film Festival for his portrayal of ”Sailor” in Adopt a Sailor.
One of Peck’s most important roles was in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. It was announced that the actor would reprise that role in a spin-off, Star Trek: Strange New World (2022).
Of course, having such a famous grandfather can mean some disadvantages. The name comes with a lot of pressure and high expectation – but Ethan claims he doesn’t feel the ”weight” of his grandfather’s legacy.
“I don’t feel like that at all, because there’s also a distance,” Ethan told Maxim in 2016.
”I don’t do this because of him, as hard as that might be to believe.”
“However, I do feel deeply connected to my father, and I think from him I’ve inherited the qualities that Gregory Peck is famous for. My father is a great man,” he added.
The talented, good-looking actor is definitely a big star, just like his grandfather, and we’ll be delighted to see more of him in the future!