2000-2009 RIP

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1.
Arthur Batanides
Stocky, general purpose actor, a prolific face on the small screen during the 1960's and 1970's. Became enamored with acting after performing stand-up routines in front of fellow GIs in Europe, during World War II. Educated in dramatic art at the Actors Lab in Los Angeles, followed by extensive stage experience...
 
2.
John Newland
Director, One Step Beyond
Tall, dignified-looking Newland began in show business as a song-and-dance man with a vaudeville troupe, 'The Vikings', whose trade-mark was wearing gold capes. He acted in stock with the Stuart Walker Company, then found work on the New York stage, alongside Milton Berle, at the Roxy, Capitol and Loew's State Theatres...
 
3.
Helena Carter
Helena Carter was born into a family of Irish origin. While she was studying English Literature at the Columbia University Graduate School--to get a teacher's diploma--she began to work as a model for the Conover modeling agency. Renowned photographer Dick Isaacs shot some covers of her that garnered her some attention...
 
5.
Fran Ryan
As an American character actress, Fran Ryan was a familiar face on stage, screen and television from her theatrical stage debut in the 1950s and continuing for nearly three decades. Ryan's similarity to actress Marjorie Main was soon noticed in the late 1960s, and she frequently played tough, mean-lipped, earthy and gruff-but-lovable female characters...
 
7.
Hedy Lamarr
Hedy Lamarr, the woman many critics and fans alike regard as the most beautiful ever to appear in films, was born Hedwig Eva Kiesler in Vienna, Austria. She was the daughter of Gertrud (Lichtwitz), from Budapest, and Emil Kiesler, a banker from Lviv. Her parents were both from Jewish families. Hedwig had a calm childhood...
 
8.
Alan North
After wartime naval service, Alan North began his show business career as a stage manager in New York. He first worked on Broadway in "Plain and Fancy", doubling up as understudy for the small part of Isaac Miller. The play had a successful run between 1955 and 1956 (461 performances) and this led to further acting work in diverse productions...
 
10.
James N. Harrell
Actor, Paper Moon
James Nelson Harrell, born in Waco, Texas to Margaret Teny and Jefferson Whitfield Harrell, Chair of the Baylor University Mathematics Department, graduated from Waco High School and Baylor University. He held a Master's Degree in Drama from Trinity University. He studied acting at the original Baylor...
 
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Todd Karns
Son of character actor Roscoe Karns. They appeared together for 5 years in the live televisionshow 'Rocky King, Detective'. The last 30 years Todd Karns had his own theatre near Guadalajara, Mexico.
 
13.
Jim Varney
Actor, Toy Story
James Albert Varney, Jr. was born in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nancy Louise (Howard) and James Albert Varney, Sr. He became interested in theater as a teenager, winning state titles in drama competitions while a student at Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky. At age 15 he played Ebeneezer Scrooge in a local children's theater production of "A Christmas Carol"...
 
14.
Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Soundtrack, Just Like Heaven
Screamin' Jay Hawkins was best known for his song "I Put a Spell On You, " which he recorded on the Okeh label in 1956 and which helped win him cult status in the United States, Europe and Japan. He had originally planned the tune as a ballad, but after a night of heavy drinking he tried again--screaming...
 
16.
Charles Gray
The son of a surveyor, Charles Gray grew up in Queens Park, London, and went to school in his home town of Bournemouth. As a young actor, he received his vocal training from the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and at the Old Vic, having long abandoned his first job as clerk for a real estate agent...
 
20.
Jeremy Applegate
Actor, Heathers
Jeremy was born on August 29, 1965 as Paul Boyce. He was named by his sisters after Paul McCartney of the Beatles fame. He changed his name to Jeremy Applegate in 1983.
 
21.
Lew Lehman
Writer, Phobia
 
22.
Helen Martin
Actress, 227
 
23.
Ian Dury
Ian Dury had to face polio at the age of 7, and consequently a string of institutions over the next few years. He joined The Walthamstow College of Art at 17, and from 1966-73 he worked as an art teacher in different schools. It was in the middle of this period he started his musical career with a band called Kilburn & The High Roads...
 
26.
Claire Trevor
Actress, Stagecoach
Claire Trevor was born Claire Wemlinger in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, NY, the only child of Fifth Avenue merchant-tailor Noel Wemlinger, an immigrant Frenchman from Paris who lost his business during the Depression, and his Belfast-born wife Betty. Trevor's interest in acting began when she was 11 years old...
 
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29.
Steve Reeves
Though he did not possess a Herculean acting talent by any stretch, handsome bodybuilder Steve Reeves certainly had an enviable Herculean physique, and made plenty good use of it in Europe during the late 1950s and early 1960s portraying some of filmdom's most famous bronzed gods. Reeves was originally a Montana boy born on a cattle ranch in 1926...
 
30.
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Although he appeared in approximately 100 movies or TV shows, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. never really intended to take up acting as a career. However, the environment he was born into and the circumstances naturally led him to be a thespian. Noblesse oblige. He was born Douglas Elton Fairbanks, Jr. in New York City...
 
31.
Paul Bartel
Paul Bartel was born in Brooklyn in 1938. He decided he wanted to direct animated movies when he was 11 and by 13 had spent a summer working at New York's UPA animation studio. He majored in theater arts at UCLA, and received a Fulbright scholarship to study film direction in Rome, producing a short that was presented at the 1962 Venice Fiom Festival...
 
33.
Edward Bernds
Edward Bernds was born in 1905 in Chicago, Illinois. While in his junior year in Lake View High School, he and several friends formed a small radio club and obtained amateur licenses. In the early '20s there was considerable prestige for an amateur operator (a "ham") to have commercial radio licenses...
 
34.
John Gielgud
Actor, Gandhi
Sir John Gielgud, arguably the greatest Shakespearean actor of the 20th Century, had a theatrical career that spanned 64 years, from a role in a 1924 London production of "The Constant Nymph" to the 1988 production of " Sir Sydney Cockerell: The Best of Friends," and an even-longer film career that lasted 77 years...
 
37.
Tito Puente
Soundtrack, Blow
Ernest "Tito" Anthony Puente was the eldest son of Puerto Rican parents. His mother called him "Ernestito" which means "Little Ernest", which was later shortened to "Tito". His mother saw his musical potential and enrolled him in piano classes. Eventually he attended the Juilliard School of Music from 1945-47 on the GI bill...
 
38.
Nancy Marchand
Actress, Lou Grant
Nancy Marchand's mother, a pianist, sent her shy daughter to acting classes in hopes of breaking her out of her shell. As a student at Carnegie Tech (Carnegie Mellon University), she studied the works of William Shakespeare and the other great playwrights and, upon graduation, set off to New York City....
 
39.
David Tomlinson
David Tomlinson is best known for his role as George Banks in Walt Disney's Mary Poppins. As a youth he spent a short spell in the guards where he survived the trauma of a plane crash. He began his film career in the pre-war British film Quiet Wedding and followed that with Leslie Howard's 'Pimpernel' Smith...
 
41.
Michael Ripper
Actor, The Mummy
The British character actor Michael Ripper was born in 1913 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. His father was a speech therapist and encouraged him to participate in diction and public speaking competitions. From this, the young Michael gained an interest in acting and got his first taste of the stage through his father's amateur dramatics company...
 
44.
Eric Christmas
Actor, Mousehunt
Christmas trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, gained experience in English repertory theatre in 1936, and had a principal role in the London production of Noël Coward's "Bitter Sweet" in the 1930s. During the Second World War, he was a member of Royal Air Force production units and performed in the RAF's Gang Show...
 
45.
Harold Nicholas
Harold Nicholas, the younger half of the world famous Nicholas Brothers dance team, is known as one of the world's greatest dancers. He and his brother Fayard Nicholas were established superstars at Twentieth Century Fox with their astounding dance numbers in the studios musicals features. Harold was known for "attributing spice to Fayard's grace," with his quick moves...
 
47.
Max Showalter
Born in Kansas, Max Showalter picked up the "acting bug" as a toddler when mother used to take him to the local theater where she played the piano for silent movies. He acted in 92 shows at the Pasadena Playhouse between 1935 and '38, made his Broadway debut under the aegis of Oscar Hammerstein II in "Knights...
 
48.
Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness was an English actor. After an early career on the stage, he was featured in several of the Ealing Comedies, including The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets in which he played eight different characters. He is also known for his six collaborations with David Lean: Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946)...
 
50.
Loretta Young
Sweet, sweeter, sweetest. No combination of terms better describes the screen persona of lovely Loretta Young. A&E's Biography has stated that Young "remains a symbol of beauty, serenity, and grace. But behind the glamor and stardom is a woman of substance whose true beauty lies in her dedication to her family...
 
52.
John Hayes
John Hayes was a writer, director, editor, producer and occasional actor who made a wide variety of offbeat and interesting low-budget independent pictures throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He was born in New York. He began his film career making short movies in the 1950s--his 1958 short "The Kiss" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film...
 
54.
Professor Toru Tanaka
Built like the proverbial Patton tank, Professor Toru Tanaka was arguably the successor to Harold Sakata as the archetypal Asian henchman who possessed incredible strength, and clobbered those foolish enough to tangle with him. Born Charles Kalani, he was a successful wrestler and served for over ten years in the US Armed Forces attaining the rank of sergeant...
 
56.
Patricia Owens
Actress, The Fly
Patricia Owens was born in Golden, British Columbia, in 1925. When she was eight she moved to England. Here she embarked on a number of stage plays. Later she was spotted by a Twentieth-Century Fox executive who offered her a contract and in 1956 she went to Hollywood. There she met Sy Bartlett whom she married and later divorced in 1958...
 
58.
Curt Siodmak
Writer, The Wolfman
Born in Dresden, Germany, in 1902, Curt Siodmak worked as an engineer and a newspaper reporter before entering the literary and movie fields. It was as a reporter that he got his first break (of sorts) in films: in 1926 he and his reporter-wife hired on as extras on Fritz Lang's Metropolis in order to get a story on the director and his film...
 
59.
Beah Richards
Beah Richards left her native Vicksburg, Mississippi, for New York City in 1950. She would not acquire a significant role on stage until 1955, when she appeared in the off-Broadway show "Take A Giant Step" convincingly portraying an 84-year-old grandmother without using theatrical makeup. In 1962 she...
 
60.
Ann Doran
Ann Doran appeared in over 500 motion pictures and 1000 television shows, by one count. Starting at the age of four, she appeared in hundreds of silent films under assumed names so her father's family wouldn't find out. Rarely a featured player (although Charles Starrett's Rio Grande is a notable exception), she provided many a wonderful performance in support of the leads.
 
61.
Gloria Talbott
Gloria Talbott was born in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, a city co-founded by her grandfather. Growing up in the shadows of the Hollywood studios, her interests inevitably turned to acting, with the result that she participated in school plays and landed small parts in films such as "Maytime" (1937)...
 
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Richard Mulligan
Actor, Empty Nest
Originally a student of playwriting at Columbia University, Richard Mulligan began his acting career in regional theater and soon after made his Broadway debut in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "All the Way Home". In addition to his continuing Broadway career, Mulligan has successfully transferred his unique comedic talents to television and film...
 
66.
Ben Orr
Self, Live Aid
Bassist and singer Ben Orr was born Benjamin Orzechowski on September 8, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio. His Russian and Czechoslovakian parents actively encouraged his musical endeavors. Ben grew up in Lakewood and Parma Heights, Ohio. He played bass, keyboards, and percussion instruments in his teen years...
 
67.
Richard Farnsworth
Actor, Misery
An American stuntman who, after more than 30 years in the business, moved into acting and became an acclaimed and respected character actor, Richard Farnsworth was a native of Los Angeles. He grew up around horses and as a teenager was offered an opportunity to ride in films. He appeared in horse-racing scenes and cavalry charges unbilled...
 
69.
Rick Jason
Actor, Combat!
The only child of a stockbroker and well-to-do mother, Richard Jason described himself as "second-generation nouveau riche" and a born romantic. Friends say he was affable, charming, driven and a real Renaissance man. A good student, popular with classmates and teachers, Jason's hellish behavior got him expelled from eight prep schools before he managed to graduate from Rhodes School...
 
70.
Julie London
Actress, Emergency!
Julie London was born Julie Peck on September 26, 1926 in Santa Rosa, California. She was an actress and sultry singer who starred in a number of movies in the 1940s and 1950s before beginning a popular singing career, but is probably best remembered for her role as Nurse Dixie McCall on Emergency! in the 1970s...
 
71.
Gwen Verdon
Gwen Verdon was born to the theater. Her mother, Gertrude, was a vaudevillian and dancer. Her father, Joseph, was an MGM studio electrician. She had to wear corrective boots as a child to straighten out her legs, which were misshapen by childhood illness. Nonetheless, she first appeared as a tapper on stage at age 6...
 
72.
Rodney Anoai
The man who would eventually become known as Yokozuna was born in San Francisco on October 22, 1966. He came from a wrestling family, as his uncles were Afa Anoai and Sika Anoai. He was trained by his uncles and Sam Fatu as a teenager and wrestled in Alabama and the USWA under the name Kokina Anoai. He already weighed 400 pounds...
 
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80.
Werner Klemperer
Werner Klemperer, everyone's favorite TV German Air Force colonel, was best known for his role as the bumbling Col. Wilhelm Klink on the comedy series Hogan's Heroes. Although he'll forever be known as the blustering but inept German commandant of Stalag 13, Klemperer was in fact a talented dramatic actor...
 
81.
Marie Windsor
A product of Marysvale, Utah, Marie Windsor attended Brigham Young University and trained for the stage under Maria Ouspenskaya before she began playing leading roles in B pictures in the late 1940s. Her best work was in the "film noir" category, most notably her role as the manipulative, double-crossing...
 
82.
George Montgomery
George Montgomery was boxing champion at the University of Montana, where he majored in architecture and interior design. Dropping out a year later, he decided to take up boxing more seriously, and moved to California, where he was coached by ex-heavyweight world champion James J. Jeffries. While in Hollywood...
 
84.
Billy Barty
Actor, Willow
Billy Barty was born William John Bertanzetti on October 25, 1924 in Millsboro, Pennsylvania. He began performing at age three and began making pictures in 1927. He played Mickey Rooney's little brother in the "Mickey McGuire" comedy shorts series. He was equally adept in both comedy and drama, and generally gives an added zest to any production he is associated with...
 
85.
Victor Borge
Pianist, composer, songwriter, entertainer and actor, educated at Borgerdydskolen and the Conservatory of Copenhagen. He studied with Egon Petri and Frederic Lammond. His concert career began in 1922, and he performed in a musical revue in 1934, and in films by 1937. Arriving in the US in 1940, he made his American radio debut on the Bing Crosby show...
 
86.
Leo Gordon
Big, burly, character actor, one of the toughest of screen heavies, Leo Gordon's powerful physique, combined with his deep, menacing voice, was guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of even the bravest screen hero. Director Don Siegel, who used Gordon in his prison film Riot in Cell Block 11, once said that "Leo Gordon was the scariest man I have ever met"...
 
87.
Jason Robards
Powerful and highly respected American actor Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Hope Maxine (Glanville) and stage and film star Jason Robards Sr. He had Swedish, English, Welsh, German, and Irish ancestry. Robards was raised mostly in Los Angeles. A star athlete at Hollywood High School...
 
88.
Ray Walston
Ray Walston started his acting career as a spear carrier with a local stock company. When the family moved to Houston, Texas, Walston's father wanted to teach him the oil business, but Walston instead joined a traveling repertory company (selling tickets as well as acting). He went on to associate with Margo Jones at the Houston Civic Theater for six years...
 
89.
Nancy Parsons
Actress, Porky's
Nancy Parsons, was born in Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota, to Mary and Charles Parson. She had two siblings -- Mary Parsons and Theresa Macrae. When she was 17, her father remarried Genevieve Stack and moved with the three girls to South Pasadena, California. It was here that the acting bug first bit, when...
 
91.
Amando de Ossorio
He was born in 1918, although there isn't a consensus as some books date his birth in 1925. He was one of the main directors of the Spanish horror boom in the 70s, specially for his quartet of films about the living dead templars which started with Tombs of the Blind Dead.
 
94.
Sandy Baron
Sandy Baron was born Sanford Beresofsky in Brooklyn, New York on May 5, 1937. Raised in Brooklyn's Brownsville neighborhood, the young Sandy attended public schools and participated in accelerated classes. A graduate of Brooklyn College, he spent his early years working summers in the Catskill Mountain resorts that were the breeding grounds of many Jewish comedians...
 
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Dale Evans
American leading lady of musical westerns of the 1940s. Born Frances Octavia Smith in Uvalde, Texas. She was raised in Texas and Arkansas. Married at 14 and a mother at 15, she was divorced at 17 (some sources say widowed). Intent on a singing career, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and worked in an insurance company while taking occasional radio singing jobs...
 
100.
Burt Kennedy
American screenwriter and director--particularly of westerns--Burt Kennedy was the son of performers. He was part of their act, "The Dancing Kennedys", from infancy. He served in World War II as a cavalry officer and was highly decorated. After the war he joined the Pasadena Community Playhouse, but was ousted after one play as an actor for missing rehearsal...