In Memoriam 2003 (Notable Celebs)

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1.
Jonathan Brandis
Born in Danbury, Connecticut, USA, to Greg and Mary, Jonathan Brandis began his career at age 5, acting in television commercials. He appeared in small parts in several films and TV shows before his first starring role in the 1990 film The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter. He starred in popular films such as Ladybugs and starred as Lucas Wolenczak in Steven Spielberg's television series SeaQuest 2032...
 
2.
David Brinkley
Brinkley hosted This Week with David Brinkley from 1982 until his retirement in 1997. In 1992, he won a Peabody Award for his report on the 50th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As a news analyst, Brinkley was known for his terse, biting comments and his dry wit.
 
3.
Charles Bronson
The archetypal screen tough guy with weatherbeaten features--one film critic described his rugged looks as "a Clark Gable who had been left out in the sun too long"--Charles Bronson was born Charles Buchinsky, one of 15 children of struggling parents in Pennsylvania. His mother, Mary (Valinsky)...
 
5.
Nell Carter
Her trademark sass complimented by a distinctively adenoidal voice that could out-snarl Eartha Kitt and Fran Drescher put together, short (4'11"), round, and robust Nell Carter was one indomitable, in-your-face firecracker...and it made her a star. She was born Nell Ruth Hardy in 1948 in Birmingham...
 
6.
Johnny Cash
Soundtrack, Django Unchained
Johnny Cash was born February 26,1932,in Kingsland,Arkansas,to Carrie Cash (Rivers) and Raymond Cash.He made his first single,"Hey Porter",for Sun Records in 1955.In 1958 he moved to Columbia Records.He had long periods of drug abuse during the 1960s,but later that decade he successfully fought his...
 
7.
Richard Crenna
Richard Donald Crenna was born in Los Angeles, California, into a modest-income family, the only child of Edith J. (Pollette) and Domenick Anthony Crenna, a pharmacist. His parents were both of Italian descent. His mother managed a small hotel in downtown Los Angeles, where Richard and his family resided...
 
8.
Buddy Ebsen
Buddy Ebsen began his career as a dancer in the late 1920s in a Broadway chorus. He later formed a vaudeville act with his sister Vilma Ebsen, which also appeared on Broadway. In 1935 he and his sister went to Hollywood, where they were signed for the first of MGM's Eleanor Powell movies, Broadway Melody of 1936...
 
9.
Buddy Hackett
Brooklyn-born Buddy Hackett was known mainly as a nightclub comic, especially in Las Vegas, where he first performed in 1952 and wound up being one of the biggest headliners in that city's history. Hackett always referred to himself as a "saloon comic" and preferred the intimacy of his stage act--where he would often bring members of the audience up on stage with him--to films and television...
 
10.
Bob Hope
Comedian Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons of Avis (Townes), light opera singer, and William Henry Hope, a stonemason from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. His maternal grandmother was Welsh. Hope moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents to the US in 1908...
 
11.
Katharine Hepburn
Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was devastated at age 14 to find him dead...
 
13.
Graham Jarvis
Jarvis attended Williams College before moving to New York to pursue a career in theater. He studied acting at the American Theater Wing and was an original member of the Lincoln Center Repertory Theater.
 
15.
Gordon Jump
The burly character actor Gordon Jump will probably be best remembered for the role of the radio station manager Arthur Carlson in the TV sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. This is ironic, since in the first part of his working life he was found either behind a microphone or camera in stints with radio and TV stations in the Midwest, including producing jobs at stations in Kansas and Ohio...
 
16.
Hope Lange
Actress, Blue Velvet
One of the most natural beauties of the 1960s with a gentle voice and personality to match, blonde Hope Lange was born in Redding Ridge, Connecticut, and performed on stage from the age of nine. She studied both drama and dance under Martha Graham, did some modeling and then worked in stock companies and on television...
 
17.
Donald O'Connor
Born into a vaudeville family, O'Connor was the youthful figure cutting a rug in several Universal musicals of the 1940s. His best-known musical work is probably Singin' in the Rain, in which he did an impressive dance that culminated in a series of backflips off the wall. O'Connor was also effective in comedic lead roles, particularly as the companion to Francis the Talking Mule in that film series.
 
18.
Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck first film, Days of Glory, was released in 1944. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor five times, four of which came in his first five years of film acting: for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), and Twelve O'Clock High (1949)...
 
19.
John Ritter
Jonathan Southworth Ritter was born in Burbank, California, on September 17, 1948. He was the son of legendary country singer/actor Tex Ritter and his wife, actress Dorothy Fay. The couple married in 1941 and had their first child, Tom Ritter, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. John was destined to follow in his parents footsteps...
 
20.
Fred Rogers
Fred Rogers was the host of the popular long-running public television children's show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. The show debuted in Pittsburgh in 1967 and was picked up by PBS the next year, becoming a staple of public TV stations around the United States. Rogers' mild manner, cardigan sweaters and soft speaking voice made him both widely beloved and widely parodied...
 
21.
Robert Stack
"Straight Shooting" - whether skeet shooting, or portraying Eliot Ness, Robert Stack always tells it like it is, and shoots straight. Robert was the 2nd child of Elizabeth Modini Wood (who named him Charles after his grandfather) and James Langford Stack (who changed his name to Robert, after no one in particular)...
 
22.
Florence Stanley
Actress, My Two Dads
The late Florence Stanley was born Florence Schwartz, July 1, 1924, Chicago, Illinois, to Hanna (née Weil) and Jack Schwartz. She already had a prolific career on theater, film and television broadcasts before she skyrocketed to fame as Abe Vigoda's wife on Barney Miller, and later, as Bernice Fish in it's short-lived spinoff Fish...
 
23.
Lynne Thigpen
Multi-talented actress Lynne Thigpen was born Cherlynne Thigpen in Joliet, Illinois, on December 22, 1948. She performed in community theater and university theater productions while attending the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Following graduation, she taught high-school English for a short time...