The Award has been has been presented to;
The Peck Family (2016)
4-time Golden Globe winner, Laura Dern (2014)
Jean-Jacques Beineix (2011)
2-time Oscar nominated, Stephen Frears (2010)
6-time Oscar nominated, Jim Sheridan (2009)
Golden Globe Winner, Gabriel Byrne (2008)
This award has the full support and backing of the Peck family in LA.
Gregory Peck Biography
Academy Award winner Gregory Peck worked in films for more than fifty years and reached a singular stature in the motion picture industry. It was his classic portrayal of the Lincolnesque Southern lawyer in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ that won him the Academy Award for Best Performance by an actor in 1962. Previously, he had received four Best Actor Oscar nominations for ‘The Keys of the Kingdom’, ‘the Yearling’, ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ and ‘Twelve O’clock High’.
The recipient of the American Film Institute’s prestigious Life Achievement Award in 1989, Gregory Peck also received the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, DC (December 1991), and the New York Film Society of Lincoln Center Lifetime Achievement Award (April 1992). He received the Legion d’Honneur from the French Republic (1993), and later was elevated to the rank of Commandeur by President Jacques Chirac (1995). He was honoured for Life Achievement with the US National Medal of the Arts (November 1998) in Presidential ceremonies at the White House. Through the years he was the recipient of the New York Film Critics Award for Best Actor, and has also received similar Best Actor accolades from film critics in England, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, India and Japan. His talent has been both unique and universal.
His numerous screen credits provide a cross-section of Hollywood’s finest cinematic contributions. These include ‘Duel in the Sun’, ‘The Gunfighter’, ‘Roman Holiday’, ‘Spellbound’, ‘Moby Dick’ and ‘The Guns of Navarone’.
As a motion picture producer and executive, Gregory Peck produced or co-produced: ‘Pork Chop Hill’, ‘Cape Fear’, ‘The Big Country’, ‘The Guns of Navarone’, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, ‘Captain Newman, MD’, ‘Behold a Pale Horse’, ‘The Trail of the Catonsville Nine’ and ‘The Dove’.
Born in La Jolla, California, April 5, 1916, the son of Gregory and Bernice Peck, he attended schools in La Jolla and San Diego, as well as St. John’s Military Academy in Los Angeles. Originally intending to become a physician, he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley. At athletic six-foot-two-and-a-half inches, he was a university oarsman. Also, active in college theatricals (an early campus role was as Starbuck, First Mate of the Pequod, in a staged presentation of ‘Moby Dick’. Later, he would more famously portray Captain Ahab in ‘Moby Dick’, for director John Huston, and ultimately the firebrand whaling preacher Father Mapple in a television mini-series of the same Melville classic). He was given such enthusiastic encouragement that he soon decided to shift his focus from medicine to drama, and, later, armed with a letter of introduction to a business friend of his father’s, he set out for Broadway after graduation in 1939. The letter got him a job – as a barker at an attraction in the amusement zone at the New York World’s Fair. He subsequently worked as a tour guide at Manhattan’s famed Radio City. Meanwhile, he had won an audition for a scholarship at the renowned Neighbourhood Playhouse, and after that he garnered an invitation from the notable Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia where he performed in a variety of roles as he honed his stagecraft. Guthrie McClintic then engaged him for a US National Tour with Katherine Cornell in ‘The Doctor’s Dilemma’. Word of this talented young actor spread rapidly; his first big break came when he signed for the Broadway production of ‘Morning Star’, which later led to the lead role opposite Geraldine Fitzgerald in Irwin Shaw’s play, ‘Sons and Soldiers’.
His early theatrical successes brought Hollywood attention, his first motion picture assignment between stage commitments being the lead in ‘Days of Glory’. At barely 27 years, he quickly rocketed to the top rank among stars in his second appearance on the screen in ‘The Keys of the Kingdom’. The rest, as they say, is motion picture history.
Gregory Peck had three sons from his first marriage – Jonathan, Stephen and Carey. In December 1955, he married the French journalist, Veronique Passani. They have a son, Anthony, and a daughter, Cecilia.
Among Gregory Peck’s diverse activities and commendations are the following:
Member of the US National Council on the Arts (twice appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson: 1964-1966 and 1968-1974)
Recipient of the US Medal of Freedom (1969), the Nation’s highest civilian decoration
President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (1967-1970)
Recipient, Jean Hersholt Memorial Award (Oscar) from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (1968)
National Chairman, American Cancer Society (1966)
Producer, 50th Anniversary Gala of the Motion Picture and Television – Relief Fund at the Los Angeles Music Center (1971)
Co-Founder, La Jolla Playhouse
Founding Chairman, American Film Institute
Founding Patron, Film Studies Program, University College Dublin (1992)
Named ‘Greatest Hero of Film’ (2003) for his portrayal of Atticus in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ in a poll of film historians and critics conducted by the American Film Institute
Founded and Hosted Gregory Peck Reading Series at the Los Angeles Central Library (1995 to present ) – a virtual Who’s-who of the greatest performing artists of stage, screen and television in ‘live’ theatrical presentations benefiting the Library Foundation (Gabriel Byrne appeared in 1995)
“Gregory Peck wrote himself into our lives with his talent, his magnetism, his subtlety, his force, his intelligence, and thanks to his movies, he will continue to write himself into the lives of people all over the world for years to come.”
“ There is something about him that walks this thin line between safe and familiar and warm and welcoming, and that which is dangerous and sexual and mysterious.”
“ You have to have a dream, you have to have a vision, and you have to set a goal for yourself that might even scare you a little because sometimes it seems far beyond your reach. Then I think you have to develop a kind of resistance to rejection, and to the disappointments that are sure to come your way.”
Brian de Staic
Originally from Cork Brian did his apprenticeship under the tutelage of the well-known jewellery manufacturer Stephen O ‘Shaughnessy.
Brian’s father came from Kerry and after a visit to Dingle in the 70’s he simply feel in love with the place and meet his wife Mairead and they reside today in Dingle with their 3 children.
Brian has build up De Staic Jewellery over the years and has business in Dingle, Killarney, Tralee and California. One of his favourite land mark meetings was with Pope John Paul 11 in 2000 when he presented the Pope with a limited edition Millennium Bell in Rome.
Mary McAleese, Johnny Cash, Pope John Paul 11, Paul Newman, Garth Brooks, John Hume and Ellen Barkin all own a piece of jewellery by Brian de Staic.
Brian’s designs are very much based on Celtic Medologhy. His design of The Gregory Peck Award: For Excellence in the Art of Film is based on The Aglish Pillar. The Aglish Pillar comes from Minard in Dingle, also famous for its stone. It was also the home of Gregory Peck’s Great-Grandmother Catherine Ashe. The Aglish Pillar in housed in The National Museam today. The text on the stone is Ogham script, which recorded the earliest Irish texts dating between the 3rd and 6th Centery.