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Gregory Peck’s leather-bound copy of the To Kill a Mockingbird screenplay will soon hit the auction block.
That wildly significant Hollywood artifact is one of 250 items from Peck’s personal collection — along with items belonging to his late philanthropist wife, Veronique — that will go to the highest bidders on Feb. 23 as part of the Property from The Estate of Veronique and Gregory Peck event, hosted by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions.
Peck’s performance in Mockingbird, a landmark 1962 civil rights drama based on the best-selling 1960 novel by Harper Lee, earned Peck the Academy Award for best actor in a leading role — his only competitive Oscar win out of five nominations throughout his career.
Other items up for sale include a copy of the Mockingbird source material inscribed by Lee; copies of Peck’s scripts for classic films like the 1945 Alfred Hitchcock thriller Spellbound, 1953’s romantic comedy Roman Holiday and the 1976 supernatural horror film The Omen; and two Golden Globe Awards, one for “World Film Favorite of 1954,” the other for Peck’s performance in a 1998 TV adaptation of Moby Dick.
Also available is a silver box gifted to the Pecks on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary and inscribed with the names of some of their closest friends — Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Billy Wilder, Cary Grant and Walter Matthau, among them.
The To Kill a Mockingbird script is estimated at $8,000-$10,000. The Golden Globe for “World Film Favorite of 1954” is estimated at $10,000-$20,000. And a poker table gifted to the Pecks by Sinatra is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
But for Hollywood memorabilia collectors, this table, which hosted many a celebrity game, is anticipated to be one of the auction’s top sellers.
The Pecks met in 1952 when Veronique interviewed the star for France Soir newspaper. They reconnected during a break in filming Roman Holiday, married New Year’s Eve 1955 and were rarely apart until Peck’s death at 87 in 2003. Veronique died at 80 in 2012.
Peck had three sons with his first wife, Finnish realtor Greta Kukkonen (they were married from 1942 to 1955). He then had a son, Anthony Peck, an actor, and a daughter, filmmaker Cecilia Peck, with Veronique. (His eldest son, Jonathan, died by suicide at 30 in 1975.)
Anthony and Cecilia brought the material and consigned it to Heritage.
“Everything in this auction was chosen in the interest of supporting our father’s legacy and showing the kind of man he was,” says Anthony in a statement.
“He was so true to himself,” he continues. “He didn’t take a single job for the money. He did what he wanted to do and what interested him. Honestly, that was helping others.”
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