LOS ANGELES – Veronique Passani Peck, the widow of actor Gregory Peck and a longtime arts patron, has died. She was 80.

Family publicist Monroe Friedman says Veronique Peck died Friday of heart failure at her Los Angeles home.

Born in Paris, Veronique Peck met the actor when she interviewed him for the newspaper France Soir.

At age 23, she moved to the United States and married the movie star.

Their marriage lasted 48 years until his death in 2003.

Veronique Peck helped create the Inner City Cultural Center in South Los Angeles, was a founder of the Los Angeles Music Center and a longtime fundraiser for the Los Angeles Public Library.

She is survived by two children, writer/producer Anthony Peck and documentary filmmaker Cecilia Peck Voll, a brother and three grandchildren.