Tragic Deaths

by sparklybut | created - 31 Jan 2012 | updated - 31 Jan 2012 | Public

1. Linda Darnell

Actress | No Way Out

Linda Darnell, one of five children of a postal clerk, grew up fast. At 11, she was modeling clothes, giving her age as 16. At 13, she was appearing on the stage with little theater groups. Her mother encouraged her to audition when Hollywood talent scouts came to Dallas. She went to California and...

2. Brandon Lee

Actor | The Crow

Born on February 1, 1965 to Bruce Lee (Martial Arts idol) and Linda Lee Cadwell. Brother to Shannon Lee. In 1970-71, they moved to Hong Kong where Brandon became fluent in Cantonese by the age of 8. He attended Boston's Art-Oriented Emerson College in Massachusetts. He studied Martial Arts and ...

3. Gail Russell

Actress | The Uninvited

Gail Russell was born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 21, 1924. She remained in the Windy City, going to school until her parents moved to California when she was 14. She was an above-average student in school and upon graduation from Santa Monica High School was signed by Paramount Studios.

...

4. Sharon Tate

Actress | Valley of the Dolls

Sharon's early life was one of constant moving as her father served in the military. When she lived in Italy, she was voted "Homecoming Queen" of her high school. After being an extra in a few Italian films, Sharon headed to Hollywood where she would again start as an extra. Her first big break ...

5. Jack Cassidy

Actor | The Eiger Sanction

Actor. Jack Cassidy, by his own design, defied mere definition from the day he was born in Richmond Hills, New York in 1927 until his tragic death in 1976. An actor, singer, writer, designer - the consummate showman and irrefutable creative entity - his life never followed a simple path nor did it ...

6. Judy Garland

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals.

She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in ...

7. Marilyn Monroe

Actress | Some Like It Hot

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer, and model. She became one of the world's most enduring iconic figures and is remembered both for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal and professional struggles within the film industry. Her life and ...

8. Jayne Mansfield

Actress | The Girl Can't Help It

One of the leading sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, film actress Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, to Vera J. and Herbert W. Palmer. Her parents were well-to-do, with her father a successful attorney in Phillipburg, New Jersey, where Jayne ...

9. Christopher Reeve

Actor | Superman

Christopher D'Olier Reeve was born September 25, 1952, in New York City, to journalist Barbara Johnson (née Barbara Pitney Lamb) and writer/professor F.D. Reeve (Franklin D'Olier Reeve). He came from an upper-class family; his paternal grandfather was CEO of Prudential Financial, and one of his ...

10. Jon-Erik Hexum

Actor | Voyagers!

In the early 1980s, this ruggedly handsome young man of Norwegian parentage was seen as the "next big thing", and then suddenly he was dead from an accident via a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Hexum was born and raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, where he was a musically gifted student at school playing...

11. Sal Mineo

Actor | Rebel Without a Cause

Salvatore (Sal) Mineo Jr. was born to Josephine and Sal Sr. (a casket maker), who emigrated to the U.S. from Sicily. His siblings were Michael, Victor and Sarina. Sal was thrown out of parochial school and, by age eight, was a member of a street gang in a tough Bronx neighborhood. His mother ...

12. Natalie Wood

Actress | Rebel Without a Cause

Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938, in San Francisco, California, as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. Her parents, Maria Stepanovna (Zudilova) and Nikolai Stepanovich Zakharenko, were Russian-born émigrés, of Ukrainian and Russian descent, who spoke barely comprehensible English; they changed the...

13. James Dean

Actor | East of Eden

James Byron Dean was born February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana, to Mildred Marie (Wilson) and Winton A. Dean, a farmer turned dental technician. His mother died when Dean was nine, and he was subsequently raised on a farm by his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. After grade school, he moved to ...

14. Will Rogers

Actor | Judge Priest

World-famous, widely popular American humorist of the vaudeville stage and of silent and sound films, Will Rogers graduated from military school, but his first real job was in the livestock business in Argentina, of all places. He transported pack animals across the South Atlantic from Buenos Aires...

15. Olive Thomas

Actress | Beatrice Fairfax

Oliveretta Elaine Duffy was born on October 20, 1894, in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. Olive, as she was known to family and friends, did not have much of a childhood. Life in industrial Pittsburgh was depressing and grim with its smoky factories and hard living. She married Bernard Krug Thomas at the ...

16. William Desmond Taylor

Director | The Soul of Youth

Born in Carlow, Ireland. Came to USA c. 1890. Worked as stage actor, engineer, antique dealer, gold miner. Entered silent film industry as actor in 1912; most noted film as actor was Captain Alvarez (1914) for Vitagraph. Directed first film for Balboa Films in 1914. Subsequently directed for ...

17. Stephen Boyd

Actor | Ben-Hur

Stephen Boyd was born William Millar on July 4, 1931, at Glengormley, Northern Ireland, one of nine children of Martha Boyd and Canadian truck driver James Alexander Millar, who worked for Fleming's on Tomb Street in Belfast. He attended Glengormley & Ballyrobert primary school and then moved on to...

18. Dorothy Stratten

Actress | Galaxina

Dorothy Stratten's story was brief, glorious and tragic. She was born Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten on February 28, 1960 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She grew up in a rough neighborhood in Vancouver, but kept out of trouble and went through the motions of school. While not a beauty as a child...

19. Rebecca Schaeffer

Actress | Radio Days

Rebecca began modeling at the age of 16, going off to New York on her own to begin her career. Four months later, she found herself in Japan, modeling there. Eventually, she landed her role on My Sister Sam (1986), for which she is best known. In 1989, she became a spokesperson for Thursday's Child...

20. Jean Harlow

Actress | Bombshell

Harlean Carpenter, who later became Jean Harlow, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 3, 1911. She was the daughter of a successful dentist and his wife. In 1927, at the age of 16, she ran away from home to marry a young businessman named Charles McGrew, who was 23. The couple pulled up ...

21. George Reeves

Actor | Adventures of Superman

George Reeves was born George Keefer Brewer in Woolstock, Iowa, to Helen Roberta (Lescher) and Donald C. Brewer. He was of German, English, and Scottish descent. Reeves was raised in Pasadena, California, and educated at Pasadena Junior College. He was a skilled amateur boxer and musician. He ...

22. John Garfield

Actor | Four Daughters

John Garfield was born Jacob Julius Garfinkle on the Lower East Side of New York City, to Hannah Basia (Margolis) and David Garfinkle, who were Jewish immigrants from Zhytomyr (now in Ukraine). Jules was raised by his father, a clothes presser and part-time cantor, after his mother's death in 1920,...

23. Bruce Lee

Actor | Meng long guo jiang

Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and ...

24. Mario Lanza

Soundtrack | For the First Time

Mario Lanza's life, sadly, has all the markings of an epic Shakespearean tragedy. The story is truly incredible: a wild, incendiary Philadelphia kid who can sing better than Enrico Caruso sets out to become the greatest dramatic opera singer who ever lived, is detoured by MGM honcho Louis B. Mayer ...

25. Rudolph Valentino

Actor | The Sheik

Hollywood's original Latin Lover, a term that was invented for Rudolph Valentino by Hollywood moguls. Alla Nazimova's friend,Natacha Rambova (nee Winifred Hudnut) became romantically involved with Rudy and they lived together in her bungalow, from 1921 (during the filming of Camille) until they ...

26. William Holden

Actor | Stalag 17

William Holden was born William Franklin Beedle, Jr. in O'Fallon, Illinois, to Mary Blanche (Ball), a schoolteacher, and William Franklin Beedle, Sr., an industrial chemist. He came from a wealthy family (the Beedles) that moved to Pasadena, California, when he was three. In 1937, while studying ...

27. Veronica Lake

Actress | Sullivan's Travels

Veronica Lake was born as Constance Frances Marie Ockleman on November 14, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York. She was the daughter of Constance Charlotta (Trimble) and Harry Eugene Ockelman, who worked for an oil company as a ship employee. Her father was of half German and half Irish descent, and her ...

28. Laird Cregar

Actor | I Wake Up Screaming

Seemingly suave, cultivated actor by nature, definitely huge in both talent and girth, and capable of playing much older than he was, Hollywood of the early '40s tragically lost Laird Cregar before it could fully comprehend on how to best utilize his obvious gifts. He was born Samuel Laird Cregar ...

29. Judith Barsi

Actress | The Land Before Time

The only child of Jozsef Barsi and Maria Benko, Judith Eva Barsi beat 10,000 to 1 odds when she was discovered at a San Fernando Valley skating rink at 5 1/2 years old in 1983. She was mistaken for a three year old child. Her first commercial was for Donald Duck Orange Juice and she went on to ...

30. Heather O'Rourke

Actress | Poltergeist

Heather Michele O'Rourke was born on December 27, 1975 in Santee, San Diego, California, to Kathleen, a seamstress, and Michael O'Rourke, a construction worker. She had German, Danish, English, and Irish ancestry.

Heather entered American cinematic pop-culture before first grade. She was sitting ...

31. Dominique Dunne

Actress | Poltergeist

Dominique Dunne was born to a life of privilege in Santa Monica, California, the daughter of Ellen Beatriz (Griffin) Dunne and Dominick Dunne, a producer, actor, and writer. Actor Griffin Dunne is her brother. After her parents' divorce, she moved first to New York, and then to a posh home in ...

32. Phil Hartman

Actor | NewsRadio

Phil Hartman was born Philip Edward Hartmann on September 24, 1948, in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. His surname was originally "Hartmann", but he later dropped the second "n". He was one of eight children of Doris Marguerite (Wardell) and Rupert Loebig Hartmann, a salesman. He was of German, Irish, ...

33. Jean Seberg

Actress | À bout de souffle

Jean Dorothy Seberg was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, to Dorothy Arline (Benson), a substitute teacher, and Edward Waldemar Seberg, a pharmacist. Her father was of Swedish descent and her mother was of English and German ancestry.

One month before her eighteenth birthday, Jean landed the title role in ...

34. Alan Ladd

Actor | Shane

Alan Walbridge Ladd was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the only child of Ina Raleigh (aka Selina Rowley) and Alan Ladd, a freelance accountant. His mother was English, from County Durham, and his paternal grandparents were Canadian. His father died when he was four. At age five, he burned his ...

35. Nat 'King' Cole

Soundtrack | The Nat King Cole Show

Nat King Cole was born Nathaniel Adams Coles at Montgomery, Alabama. He received music lessons from his mother and his family moved to Chicago when he was only five, where his father Edward James Coles was a minister at the True Light Baptist Church and later Pastor of the First Baptist Church. At ...

36. Patrick Swayze

Actor | Dirty Dancing

Patrick Wayne Swayze was born on August 18, 1952 in Houston, Texas, to Patsy Swayze (née Yvonne Helen Karnes), a choreographer, and Jesse Wayne Swayze, a chemical plant engineer draftsman. His mother owned a dance school in Houston, where Patrick was also a student. His father passed away in 1982. ...

37. Gia Carangi

Gia Carangi was born on January 29, 1960 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Gia Marie Carangi. She died on November 18, 1986 in Philadelphia.

38. Rock Hudson

Actor | Giant

Rock Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. in Winnetka, Illinois, to Katherine (Wood), a telephone operator, and Roy Harold Scherer, an auto mechanic. He was of German, Swiss-German, English, and Irish descent. His parents divorced when he was eight years old. He failed to obtain parts in school ...

39. Leslie Howard

Actor | Pygmalion

Leslie Howard Stainer was born in London, to Lilian (Blumberg) and Ferdinand "Frank" Steiner. His father was a Hungarian Jewish immigrant, and his English mother was of German Jewish, and mostly English, descent. Leslie went to Dulwich College. After school, he worked as a bank clerk until the ...

40. Carole Lombard

Actress | My Man Godfrey

Carole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908. Her parents divorced in 1916 and her mother took the family on a trip out West. While there they decided to settle down in the Los Angeles area. After being spotted playing baseball in the street with the ...

41. Ramon Novarro

Actor | Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Ramon Novarro was born José Ramón Gil Samaniego on February 6, 1899 in Durango, Mexico, to Leonor (Gavilan) and Dr. Mariano N. Samaniego Siqueiros, a prosperous dentist. Ramon and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1913, as refugees from the Mexican Revolution. After stints as a ballet dancer, ...

42. John Belushi

Actor | Saturday Night Live

John Belushi was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on January 24, 1949, to Agnes Demetri (Samaras) and Adam Anastos Belushi, a restaurant owner. His father was an Albanian immigrant, from Qytezë, and his mother was also of Albanian descent. He grew up in Wheaton, where the family moved when he was ...

43. River Phoenix

Actor | My Own Private Idaho

River Phoenix was born River Jude Bottom in Madras, Oregon. His mother, Arlyn (Dunetz), a Bronx-born secretary, and his father, John Bottom, a carpenter, met in California in 1968. They worked as itinerant fruit pickers, and later joined the Children of God religious group (John was originally ...

44. Chris Farley

Actor | Tommy Boy

Christopher Crosby Farley was born on February 15, 1964, in Madison, Wisconsin, to Mary Anne (Crosby) and Thomas Farley, who owned an oil company. Among his siblings are actors Kevin P. Farley and John Farley. He was of Irish heritage. Farley studied theatre and communications on Marquette ...

45. Curly Howard

Actor | An Ache in Every Stake

Jerome "Curly" Howard, the rotund, bald Stooge with the high voice was the most popular member of The Three Stooges. His first stage experience was as a comedic conductor for the Orville Knapp Band in 1928. Curly joined The Three Stooges in 1932, replacing his brother Shemp Howard. He made more ...

46. Mabel Normand

Actress | Mickey

Mabel Normand was one of the comedy greats of early film. In an era when women are deemed 'not funny enough' it seems film history has forgotten her contributions. Her films debuted the Keystone Cops, Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the pie in the face gag. She co-starred with both Chaplin and Roscoe "...

47. Barbara La Marr

Actress | The Three Musketeers

Reatha Watson (Barbara La Marr) is most famous as one of the first drug-related deaths in Hollywood, but she is notable for many other reasons. Born in Yakima, Washington, her parents moved to the Imperial Valley in California, where Reatha began her explorations of Los Angeles as a teenager. After...

48. Alma Rubens

Actress | The Americano

Alma Rubens was born Alma Genevieve Reubens in San Francisco, California. She was interested in entertaining at an early age. Like most young girls, she enjoyed fantasy play acting and by the time she was 19 had become a full-fledged star. She didn't have to wait long like some of the starlets who ...

49. John Gilbert

Actor | The Big Parade

John Gilbert was born into a show-business family - his father was a comic with the Pringle Stock Company. By 1915 John was an extra with Thomas H. Ince's company and a lead player by 1917. In those days he was assistant director, actor or screenwriter. He also tried his hand at directing. By 1919 ...

50. Dorothy Dandridge

Actress | Carmen Jones

Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Ruby Dandridge (née Ruby Jean Butler), an entertainer, and Cyril H. Dandridge, a cabinet maker and minister. Under the prodding of her mother, Dorothy and her sister Vivian Dandridge began performing publicly, usually in ...

51. Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer

Actor | Beginner's Luck

Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer was born on August 7, 1927 in Paris, Illinois, USA as Carl Dean Switzer. He was an actor, known for Beginner's Luck (1935), Pat and Mike (1952) and Night 'n' Gales (1937). He was married to Dian Collingwood. He died on January 21, 1959 in Mission Hills, California, USA.

52. Darla Hood

Actress | The Bat

Darla Hood was born in a small rural Oklahoma town on Sunday, November 8th, 1931, she grew up as dark-banged cute girl, Darla Hood began her association with the motley "Our Gang" group at the tender age of 2 1/2, as she stated on the The Jack Benny Program (1950). Her father, James Claude Hood, Jr...

53. Virginia Rappe

Actress | His Musical Sneeze

An actress best known for her death, her controversial demise occurred the day after being discovered in a hotel bedroom during a party that involved a large amount of alcohol consumption. Actor Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was the last person seen with Rappe before she was found seriously injured. ...

54. Susan Hayward

Actress | I Want to Live!

Susan Hayward was born Edythe Marrener in Brooklyn, New York, on June 30, 1917. Her father was a transportation worker, and Susan lived a fairly comfortable life as a child, but the precocious little redhead had no idea of the life that awaited her. She attended public school in Brooklyn, where she...

55. Renée Adorée

Actress | The Big Parade

Renee Adoree was born Jeanne de la Fontein in Lille in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, on September 30, 1898. She had what one could call a normal childhood. Her background is, perhaps, one of the most difficult to find information on any actress in existence. What we do know that her interest in ...

56. Agnes Ayres

Actress | The Sheik

Extremely popular silent star of the 1920s. Her popularity was enhanced when she co-starred with Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik (1921) and The Son of the Sheik (1926). She made her screen debut at Essanay Studios in 1915. While she was popular in the 1920s (thanks to the patronage of her lover, Jess...

57. Lex Barker

Actor | Winnetou - 3. Teil

Barker was a direct descendant of the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, and of Sir 'William Henry Crichlow', historical governor general of Barbados. He excelled in football and track at Fessenden School and Phillips-Exeter Academy. He went to Princeton but left to become an actor. A year ...

58. Olive Borden

Actress | Half Marriage

Considered one of the most beautiful actresses of the silent era, Borden was a 'Mack Sennet' bathing beauty at 15 and reached the peak of her career in 1926 when she made 11 films for Fox Studios and was earning $1,500 a week. Refusing to take a salary cut, Borden abruptly left Fox in 1928 and made...

59. Suzan Ball

Actress | Chief Crazy Horse

Suzan Ball, a second cousin of Lucille Ball, was born on March 3, 1934, in Jamestown, New York. She came to Hollywood with her family in 1941. She sang with the Mel Baker Orchestra from 1948-1953. Her first part in Hollywood was as a harem girl in Aladdin and His Lamp (1952) at Monogram. She got an ...

60. John Candy

Actor | Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Candy was one of Canada's greatest and funniest character actors. His well-known role as the big hearted buffoon earned him classics in Uncle Buck (1989) and Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987). His career has handed him some dry spells but Candy always rebounded.

Born in Newmarket, Ontario, in ...

61. Nell Carter

Actress | Gimme a Break!

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...

62. Katrin Cartlidge

Actress | Breaking the Waves

Katrin Cartlidge began her career as a doing backstage & front of house work at London's Royal Court Theatre, having appeared with their Young People's Theatre group. She progressed to appearing in play readings and workshops before winning a regular role in Brookside (1982).

She went on to forge an...

63. Ted Cassidy

Actor | Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Ted Cassidy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in Philippi, West Virginia. He was a well respected actor who portrayed many different characters during his film and television career. His most notable role was Lurch, the faithful butler on the television series The Addams Family (1964)....

64. Michael Landon

Actor | Little House on the Prairie

Michael Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz, on Saturday, October 31st, 1936, in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. In 1941, he and his family moved to Collingswood, New Jersey.

When Eugene was in high school, he participated -- and did very well -- in track and field, especially javelin throwing, ...

65. Peggie Castle

Actress | I, the Jury

Tall, sultry, green-eyed blonde Peggie Castle was actually spotted by a talent scout while she was lunching in a Beverly Hills restaurant. In her films she was usually somebody's "woman" rather than a girlfriend, and her career was confined to mostly "B"-grade action pictures, dramas or westerns: ...

66. Jeff Chandler

Actor | Broken Arrow

Jeff was born in Brooklyn and attended Erasmus High School. After high school, he took a drama course and worked in stock companies for two years. His next role would be that of an officer in World War II. After he was discharged from the service, he became busy acting in radio drama's and comedies...

67. Lon Chaney

Actor | He Who Gets Slapped

Although his parents were deaf-mutes, Leonidas Chaney became an actor and also owner of a theatre company (together with his brother John). He made his debut at the movies in 1912, and his filmography is vast. Lon Chaney was especially famous for his horror parts in movies like e.g. Quasimodo in ...

68. Montgomery Clift

Actor | From Here to Eternity

Edward Montgomery Clift (nicknamed 'Monty' his entire life) was born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska, just after his twin sister Roberta and eighteen months after his brother Brooks Clift. He was the son of Ethel "Sunny" Anderson (Fogg) and William Brooks Clift. His father made a lot of ...

69. Bobby Darin

Soundtrack | Come September

Walden Robert Cassotto, nicknamed "Bobby", was born in The Bronx, New York, in 1936. Severe rheumatic fever as a child scarred his heart and led to an overprotected and pampered childhood. He was the focal point of a family that fostered and encouraged his love of music. His music career started ...

70. Robert Donat

Actor | Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Robert Donat's pleasant voice and somewhat neutral English accent were carefully honed as a boy because he had a stammer and took elocution lessons starting at age 11 to overcome the impediment. It was not too surprising that freedom from such a vocal embarrassment was encouragement to act. His ...

71. Diana Dors

Actress | The Long Haul

Diana Dors was born Diana Mary Fluck on October 23, 1931 in Swindon, Wiltshire, England. She and her mother both nearly died from the traumatic birth. Because of the trauma, her mother lavished on Diana anything and everything she wanted--clothes, toys and dance lessons were the order of the day. ...

72. Errol Flynn

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Errol Flynn was born to parents Theodore Flynn, a respected biologist, and Marrelle Young, an adventurous young woman. Young Flynn was a rambunctious child who could be counted on to find trouble. Errol managed to have himself thrown out of every school he was enrolled in. In his late teens he set ...

73. Joan Hackett

Actress | The Last of Sheila

Joan Hackett was never one of your conventional leading ladies. Directors sometimes found her difficult to work with. Yet this strong-minded perfectionist had an unquenchable individuality that came through in her performances, and she never hesitated to appear unglamorous whenever the role ...

74. Jean Hagen

Actress | Singin' in the Rain

Jean Shirley Verhagen (later shortened to Hagen) was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 3, 1923. Her father was a Dutch immigrant. Hagen and her family moved to Elkhart, Indiana when she was twelve; she subsequently graduated from Elkhart High School. Afterwards, she graduated from Northwestern ...

75. Judy Holliday

Actress | Born Yesterday

Judy Holliday was born Judith Tuvim in New York City on June 21, 1921. Her mother, a piano teacher, was attending a play when she went into labor and made it to the hospital just in time. Judy was an only child. By the age of four, her mother had her enrolled in ballet school which fostered a ...

76. Margaux Hemingway

Actress | Inner Sanctum

Born in Portland, Oregon, she grew up in on a farm in Ketchum, Idaho. But dad was Jack Hemingway, son of the Nobel prize winning author Ernest Hemingway and, with that heritage, fame was almost foreordained. By the time she was 21, after the lead in the rape melodrama Lipstick (1976), she had a ...

77. Carolyn Jones

Actress | Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Carolyn Jones was born April 28, 1930, in Amarillo, Texas. Her mother was Jeannette and her sister was Bette (Moriarty). She was an imaginative child, much like her mother. In 1934, her father abandoned the family and her mother moved them in with her parents, also in Amarillo. As a child Carolyn ...

78. Kay Kendall

Actress | Les Girls

Kay Kendall was born on May 21, 1926 in Withernsea, Yorkshire, England as Justine Kay Kendall-McCarthy. She was an actress, known for Les Girls (1957), The Reluctant Debutante (1958) and Simon and Laura (1955). She was married to Rex Harrison. She died on September 6, 1959 in London, England.

79. Vivien Leigh

Actress | A Streetcar Named Desire

If a film were made of the life of Vivien Leigh, it would open in India just before World War I, where a successful British businessman could live like a prince. In the mountains above Calcutta, a little princess is born. Because of the outbreak of World War I, she is six years old the first time ...

80. Sunny Jim McKeen

Actor | No Boy Wanted

Young "Sunny Jim" McKeen was featured in 39 "Newlyweds and Their Baby" shorts in the late 1920s, then went on to make a series of six sound shorts on his own. A very blond little boy, he was a contemporary of the child actors such as Allen 'Farina' Hoskins and Jackie Cooper, Davey Lee and Shirley ...

81. Steve McQueen

Actor | The Great Escape

He was the ultra-cool male film star of the 1960s, and rose from a troubled youth spent in reform schools to being the world's most popular actor. Over 25 years after his untimely death from mesothelioma in 1980, Steve McQueen is still considered hip and cool, and he endures as an icon of popular ...

82. Carmen Miranda

Actress | The Gang's All Here

Carmen Miranda was born Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha on February 9, 1909, near Porto, Portugal, in the town of Marco de Canavezes. Not long after her birth her family moved to Brazil, where her father was involved in the produce business. The family settled in the then-capital city of Rio de ...

83. Lupe Velez

Actress | The Girl from Mexico

Lupe Velez was born on July 18, 1908, in San Luis de Potosi, Mexico, as Maria Guadalupe Villalobos Velez. She was sent to Texas at the age of 13 to live in a convent. She later admitted that she wasn't much of a student because she was so rambunctious. She had planned to become a champion ...

84. Karl Dane

Actor | The Big Parade

Born Rasmus Karl Therkelsen Gottlieb in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 12, 1886 the future Karl Dane had a rough childhood. His father was an alcoholic and spendthrift. At a young age his parents divorced. To escape his unhappy home he took a great interest in the arts, particularly puppeteering (...

85. Maria Montez

Actress | Cobra Woman

In a world weary of war and dispirited by the ravages of the Great Depression, Hollywood at the turn of the 1940's concocted a wildly popular, effective lot of escapist fare (though often cheaply made) to regale the sick at heart worldwide. Universal Pictures, more often than not, led in producing ...

86. Cathy O'Donnell

Actress | The Best Years of Our Lives

She was in Alabama until age 12, Ann Steely attended high school and college in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, then worked as a stenographer to finance a trip to Hollywood, where fortune favored her with a contract at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer under Samuel Goldwyn. Recognizing her talent and appeal through a ...

87. Susan Peters

Actress | Random Harvest

War-era MGM had a lovely, luminous star in the making with Susan Peters. She possessed a creative talent and innate sensitivity that would surely have reigned as a leading Hollywood player for years to come had not a tragic and cruel twist of fate taken everything away from her.

She was born Suzanne...

88. Robert Reed

Actor | The Brady Bunch

Robert Reed was born on October 19, 1932 in Highland Park, Illinois, USA as John Robert Rietz Jr. He was an actor, known for The Brady Bunch (1969), Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) and The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (1976). He was married to Marilyn Rosenberger. He died on May 12, 1992 in Pasadena, ...

89. Anthony Perkins

Actor | Psycho

Anthony Perkins was born April 4, 1932 in New York City to Janet Esselstyn (Rane) and Osgood Perkins, an actor of both stage and film. His paternal great-grandfather was noted engraver Andrew Varick Stout Anthony.

Perkins attended the Brooks School, the Browne & Nichols School, Columbia University ...

90. John Ritter

Actor | Sling Blade

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 ...

91. Sabu

Actor | Arabian Nights

Sabu Dastagir (or Selar Shaik Sabu, depending on your resource) was born on January 27, 1924, in the little town of Mysore, India, which is nestled in the jungles of Karapur. The son of an elephant driver (mahout) in service for the Maharajah of his town, the young stable boy learned responsibility...

92. Ann Sheridan

Actress | Kings Row

Ann Sheridan won the "Search for Beauty" contest which carried with it a Paramount screen test. Signed to a contract at 18, she was put into a number of small roles under her real name of Clara Lou Sheridan. As she got better, her name was changed to Ann. In 1936, after two dozen films, she went to...

93. Lilyan Tashman

Actress | Frankie and Johnnie

Lilyan Tashman was born on October 23, 1896, in Brooklyn, New York, to Rose (Cook) and Morris Tashman. Her parents were Jewish immigrants, her father from Bialystok, Poland, and her mother from Germany. After toying with some stage work, she made her film debut with Experience (1921). That was her ...

94. Robert Urich

Actor | Lonesome Dove

Robert grew up in Toronto, Ohio, where his athletic ability led to a four year football scholarship at Florida State University (FSU). There he earned a B.A. in Communications. He later received an M.A. at Michigan State University and then joined WGN radio in Chicago as a sales account ...

95. Conrad Veidt

Actor | Casablanca

Conrad Veidt attended the Sophiengymnasium (secondary school) in the Schoeneberg district of Berlin, and graduated without a diploma in 1912, last in his class of 13. Conrad liked animals, theater, cinema, fast cars, pastries, thunderstorms, gardening, swimming and golfing. He disliked heights, ...

96. Pearl White

Actress | The Perils of Pauline

Born on her father's farm in Green Ridge, Missouri, the youngest of five children. Moved with her family to Springfield, Missouri, where she grew up. Joined the Diemer Theatre Company during her second year of high school, and went on the road with a touring stock company at age 18, in 1907. Signed...

97. Albert Dekker

Actor | The Wild Bunch

A stage actor from 1927, Albert Dekker was an established Broadway star when he made his film debut ten years later. Tall and with rugged good looks, he often played aggressive character roles, a prime example being his double-crossing gang leader in the classic The Killers (1946). From 1944-46 he ...

98. Thelma Todd

Actress | Horse Feathers

Thelma Todd was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, an industrial city near the New Hampshire state line. She was a lovely child with good academic tendencies, so much so that she decided early on to become a schoolteacher. After high school she went on to college but at her mother's insistence ...

99. Grace Kelly

Actress | Rear Window

On November 12, 1929, Grace Patricia Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to wealthy parents. Her girlhood was uneventful for the most part, but one of the things she desired was to become an actress which she had decided on at an early age. After her high school graduation in 1947, Grace ...

100. Susan Cabot

Actress | The Wasp Woman

Susan Cabot was born in Boston and raised in a series of eight foster homes. She attended high school in Manhattan, where she took an interest in dramatics and joined the school dramatic club. Later, while trying to decide between a career in music or art, she illustrated children's books during ...