The sad news of Peck's death today reminds me of his elegance and grace. I admired him for many reasons and am glad that so much of his work will live on on film, video and digital media for generations that follow. In addition to his work as an actor, he modestly worked to improve the social and economic injustice where he saw it.
According to the Associated Press:
Offscreen as well as on, Peck conveyed a quiet dignity. . . . He served as president of the Motion Picture Academy and was active in the Motion Picture and Television Fund, American Cancer Society, National Endowment for the Arts and other causes.
''I'm not a do-gooder,'' he insisted after learning of the Academy's Jean Hersholt humanitarian award in 1968. ''It embarrassed me to be classified as a humanitarian. I simply take part in activities that I believe in.''
He topped my list as a candidate for human cloning. An exemplary human being. Indeed, a mensch!