Counting down all the celebrities that passed on 1995. Let me know if I'm missing somebody. Thanks.
Legendary Broadway writer/producer/director George Abbott was born in 1887 in Forestville, New York. His father was mayor of Salamanca, New York, for two terms. In 1898 his family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Abbott attended Kearney Military Academy. The family returned to New York, where Abbott attended Hamburg High School...
This 1930's model and magazine cover-girl was employed, as often as not, as a beautiful "living statue" in early 40's Hollywood Technicolor items, strictly to prettify a movie set's ambience while herself saying hardly a word. On the other hand, she was also heroine (talking heroine, it should be pointed out), such as "Nyoka the Jungle Girl," in 40's black-and-white "B" serials.
Ms. Andrews and her sisters, Patty and Laverne, were one of the most successful women's singing groups, with 19 gold records and sales of nearly 100 million copies. The sisters began performing in the early 1930's when the Depression wiped out their father's business. In 1937, the trio of sisters scored their first big hit with 'Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen'...
Ms. Blaine is most noted for having portrayed Miss Adelaide, the long-suffering, perpetually engaged chorus girl, in the Broadway and film versions of Guys and Dolls
. She originated the role in 1950 on Broadway and stopped the show each night with her rendition of "Adelaide's Lament," in which she complains about having a bad cold because of her long engagement to gambler Nathan Detroit...
Gary James Bond was an English actor and singer, born in Liss, Hampshire. Although his family were in industrial and military occupations, from an early age he wanted to be an actor. His father's death in December 1955 freed him to make his own decisions and, following schooling at Churcher's College, Petersfield, he won a scholarship to the Central School of Speech and Drama...
The refined and debonair English actor Jeremy Brett will forever be best remembered for his long-running and critically acclaimed portrayal of Sherlock Holmes for Britain's Granada Television. From a privileged background, Brett was educated at England's most prestigious independent school, Eton College...
Model, stage actress and also leading lady in Hollywood "B" pictures from the mid-30's to mid-40's. She married a future US Congressman and would later become a socialite midst political circles.
Spunky and intelligent African-American actress who played strong female characters in a career that was arguably under appreciated by Hollywood, possibly for her refusal to play stereotypical Negro characters on screen. Cash's first film appearance was a minor role in the thriller Klute
Elisha Cook Jr.
Although this pint-sized actor started out in films often in innocuous college-student roles in mid-30s rah-rahs, playing alongside the likes of a pretty Gloria Stuart
or a young, pre-"Oz" Judy Garland
, casting directors would soon enough discover his flair for portraying intense neurotics or spineless double-dealers...
The stocky-framed, lookalike son of singing legend Bing Crosby
who had that same bemused, forlorn look, fair hair and jug ears, Gary was the eldest of four sons born to the crooner and his first wife singer/actress Dixie Lee
. The boys' childhood was an intensely troubled one with all four trying to follow in their father's incredibly large footsteps as singers and actors...
Eric Lynn Wright, better known by his stage name Eazy-E, was an American rapper who performed solo and as a member of the group NWA
Wright is affectionately called "The Godfather Of Gangsta Rap." He was born in Compton, California. After dropping out of high school in the tenth grade, he...
Paul Eddington always shunned personal publicity. He began acting in 1941 as part of ENSA (the British Forces USO). However the Quaker principles to which he always adhered led to him being asked to leave when they realised he was a pacifist and a conscientious objector. He started in the repertory stage in Sheffield and broke into television in the 1950s...
The son of a struggling businessman, Cy Endfield--born Cyril Raker Endfield--worked hard to be admitted to Yale University in 1933. While completing his education he became enamored with progressive theatre and appeared in a New Haven production of a minor Russian play in 1934. He was also profoundly influenced by such friends as writer Paul Jarrico
One of Britain's great variety comedians Arthur English was known as 'The Prince of the Wide Boys', a cockney 'spiv' character outrageously dressed on stage and wearing a huge kipper tie. Born in Aldershot, Hants English started his career at an early age appearing in amateur shows but did not become a professional performer until he was 30...
London-born David Farrar dropped out of school at 14 and became a writer for the Morning Advertiser newspaper; but it wasn't long before he decided to change careers and become an actor. He started out on the stage in 1932, and five years later made his film debut. Appearing at first in low-budget thrillers...
Friz Freleng was born Isadore Freleng on August 21, 1906 in Kansas City, Missouri. With no formal training in drawing, his first job as an animator was with United Film Advancement Services in 1924 at the age of 17. The first work Friz is credited with was for Disney Studios where he worked as an animator on the "Alice" series in 1927...
Eva Gabor was born on February 11, 1919 in Budapest, Hungary, to Jolie Gabor
(née Janka Tilleman) and Vilmos Gabor (born Farkas Miklós Grün), a soldier. Her older siblings were Magda Gabor
, an actress, and Zsa Zsa Gabor
, an actress and socialite. Her parents were both from Jewish families...
Blues guitarist Rory Gallagher was born in Ballyshannon, Ireland, in 1959 (his brother Donal Gallagher
is also a blues musician). He began his career in the 1960s in Ireland, playing in a variety of show bands. In 1965 he formed his own band, Taste
, a blues-based rock trio. They had some success and released a few albums...
One of the most prolific and iconic guitarists of the second half of the 20th Century, Jerome John Garcia was born in San Francisco, California, USA on August 1st 1942. Garcia, whose mother was a registered nurse and whose father, Jose, was a small time jazz musician, had a troubled childhood. At the age of 4...
He was born on Sakhalin Island at the far eastern end of the former Soviet Union and began studying dance at age 9 in the Riga State Ballet School. He later said his mother put him there to prevent his becoming "a hooligan". One of his classmates and friends at the school was Mikhail Baryshnikov
. After graduating he toured with the Moscow Classical Ballet...
Born William White in 1923 to unmarried parents, Grayson was adopted into a coal mining family in Nuneaton. By the age of 14, he was working under the name of Billy Breen as a supporting drag act on the comedy club circuit, and over the next thirty years he toured the UK not only in male revues and drag shows, but also in variety shows...
Virile Brooklyn-born actor Harry Guardino, with dark, wavy hair and a perpetual worried look on his craggy-looking mug, started out in the acting school of hard knocks, slumming for nearly a decade in small, obscure 'tough guy' film parts in the early to mid 50s. A definite man's man, he finally attracted...
Although British actress Kathleen Harrison was born in 1892 in the Lancashire town of Blackburn, she was fondly known for her cockney characters throughout her career. Trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art she first married and lived overseas in Argentina for nearly eight years...
Helmore served as an apprentice in his father's accounting firm while working as an extra in movies. He subsequently pursued acting as a career, working predominantly on the stage. The 1945 Broadway musical "The Day Before Spring" led to Helmore's Hollywood career. In British and American films, Helmore was employed as a dapper, comedic actor.
A bandleader of the 1940s and a radio, film, and TV actor who always seemed to imply allegiance to the former Confederate States of America. Was a principal of long standing among the comedian Jack Benny
's radio retinue, parlaying his popularity into his own radio series, in which his wife, Alice Faye
Some of Hordern's finest work was not in films or television but on radio: His performance as Gandalf in the BBC's radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings was arguably the definitive portrayal of that character (contrast Hordern's Gandalf with that of Ian McKellen in the 3-part film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings directed by Peter Jackson).
A native Ohioan, John Howard (born John R. Cox, Jr.) had no interest in working in theater until schoolmates at Cleveland's Western Reserve University turned him on to acting. After some work on his college stage, he made his movie debut in a bit part in Paramount's One Hour Late
before moving up the Hollywood ladder to featured parts and ultimately landing his own series...
Mary Beth Hughes
Mary Beth Hughes' parents separated while she was still a baby. She was brought up by a grandmother whose dearest wish was to make her an actress. As a result, she started her career at an early age while still a high school student. She starred in the stage version of "Alice in Wonderland" then had parts in "Daddy Long Legs" and "A Midsummer's Night Dream" with the Clifford Brooks company...
Deep-voiced and statuesque, Phyllis Hyman sang with a life-affirming energy and emotional intensity found in few other female vocalists. Born in Philadelphia in 1949 (and raised in Pittsburgh), her professional career began in New York City where, during an engagement, she was spotted by producer Norman Connors
and contemporaries Jean Carne
and Roberta Flack
Burl Ives was one of six children born to a Scottish-Irish farming family. He first sang in public for a soldiers' reunion when he was age 4. In high school, he learned the banjo and played fullback, intending to become a football coach when he enrolled at Eastern Illinois State Teacher's College in 1927. He dropped out in 1930 and wandered, hitching rides, doing odd jobs, street singing...
Coached by her show-business mother, a former actress, brunette Nancy Kelly started her career as a one-year-old model for James Montgomery Flagg
. While receiving her education at the Bentley School for Girls she also trained as an actress. From 1926, the precociously talented Nancy became one of the most...
Fourteen-year-old Reginald Lawrence Knowles was being readied to take his place with other relatives in the family bookbinding business (in Leeds) when he ran off to become an actor. He was inevitably brought back home, but he made good his second escape a few years later - his willful Knowles Irish origin would not be denied...
A Presbyterian minister's son, softly-spoken, intellectual-looking Alexander Knox received his education from the University of Western Ontario, where he studied English literature. An excellent elocutionist, member of the university's Hesperian Club, he had his first fling with dramatic acting playing the lead in "Hamlet"...
Priscilla Lane attended the Eagin School of Dramatic Arts in New York before she began touring with her sisters in the Fred Waring
and the Pennsylvanians Dance Band. She was a popular singer with her sisters and, after 5 years, she was signed to a Hollywood contract with Warner Brothers in 1937...
Ms. Lindfors was a Swedish born actress whose stage and screen career in the U.S. and Sweden spanned more than a half century. She was brought to Hollywood in 1946 by Warner Brothers in the hope that she would be a new Greta Garbo
or Ingrid Bergman
. She appeared with Ronald Reagan
in her first Hollywood film...
A graduate of Carnegie Tech, Arthur Lubin entered films as an actor in the 1920s, and after appearing in many films turned to directing in 1934, mainly for Universal. His forte was light comedy, but he helmed many different types of pictures for the studio. Lubin was the director Universal entrusted with its new comedy team of Bud Abbott
and Lou Costello
; he didn't let the studio down...
Ida was born in London to a show business family. In 1933, her mother brought Ida with her to an audition and Ida got the part her mother wanted. The picture was Her First Affaire
. Ida, a bleached blonde, came to Hollywood in 1934 and played small and insignificant parts. Peter Ibbetson
was one of her...
Louis Malle, the descendant of a French nobleman who made a fortune in beet sugar during the Napoleonic Wars, created films that explored life and its meaning. Malle's family discouraged his early interest in film but, in 1950, allowed him to enter the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies in Paris...
Mickey Charles Mantle was born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, on October 20, 1931, the son of a minor-league player who never made it to the big leagues and named him after Major Leaguer Mickey Cochrane
. Mickey's father and grandfather -- who also never made it to the majors -- taught him how to play baseball, but more importantly also taught him how to be a switch-hitter...
If there had to be an image for cool, the man to fit it would be Dean Martin. Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio, to Angela (Barra) and Gaetano Alfonso Crocetti, a barber. His father was an Italian immigrant, and his mother was of Italian descent. He spoke only Italian until age five...
Douglas Osborne McClure was born on May 11, 1935 in Glendale, California. Educated at UCLA, this blond leading man long made a career of apparent agelessness. He played one young sidekick after another through numerous movies and one television series after another, playing 20ish roles into his late 40s...
Thelma McQueen attended public school in Augusta, Georgia and graduated from high school in Long Island, New York. She studied dance with Katherine Dunham
, Geoffrey Holder
, and Janet Collins
. She danced with the Venezuela Jones Negro Youth Group. The "Butterfly" stage name, which does describe her constantly moving arms...
Elizabeth Montgomery was born into show business. Her parents were screen actor Robert Montgomery
and Broadway actress Elizabeth Allen
. Elizabeth graduated from the Spence School in New York City and attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. After three years intensive training, she made her...
Hugh was born in Rome, Italy, and adopted by actor Carroll O'Connor
and his wife, Nancy. At the age of 16, Hugh was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, but conquered it with the help of chemotherapy. It was around this time that Hugh started taking drugs. He worked as a courier on the set of his father's show...
Entering films in the 1930s, Oliver played lead and supporting roles in a number of Warner Bros., and Columbia films before turning to character roles in films for RKO.
Balding, quietly-spoken, of slight build and possessed of piercing blue eyes -- often peering out from behind round, steel-rimmed glasses -- Donald Pleasence had the necessary physical attributes which make a great screen villain. In the course of his lengthy career, he relished playing the obsessed...
A highly respected Shakespearean for five decades until his death of colon cancer in 1995, classical actor Eric Porter's claim to international fame would, ironically, be outside of that realm, with one superb portrayal in one superb miniseries, The Forsyte Saga
, in which he won the BAFTA award. The son of Richard John Porter and Phoebe Elizabeth Spall...
Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri on July 16, 1911. Her mother, known as Lelee, went to Independence to have Ginger away from her husband. She had a baby earlier in their marriage and he allowed the doctor to use forceps and the baby died. She was kidnapped by her father several times until her mother took him to court...
Roy Rowland studied law at the University of Southern California, then joined MGM as a script clerk. As if getting that job wasn't enough good luck in the middle of the Depression, he also married the niece of MGM chief Louis B. Mayer
. He sharpened his directing chops at MGM with a series of shorts starting in the 1930s...
Selena was born in Lake Jackson, Texas, a city 50 miles southeast of Houston, to Abraham Quintanilla Jr.
and Marcella Quintanilla
. Abraham opened a Mexican restaurant, Papagayo, in Lake Jackson. Selena was 9-years-old when her father discovered her talent for singing. He formed a band consisting of Selena on vocals...
Madge Sinclair was born Madge Dorita Walters on April 28 1938 in Kingston, Jamaica, married young and had two sons. Madge worked as a teacher in Jamaica until she was 30. She left her two boys with their father and went to New York City to be an actress. She began modeling and later acted with the New York Shakespearean Festival and at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre...
Lead singer of underground art school comedy/jazz band (with Neil Innes
), The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Viv soon became known as one of Britain's foremost eccentrics. A Cockney by birth, Viv was characterised by his almost aristocratic English accent which he would punctuate with very out-of-place belches and obscenities...
Sir Robert's career fell into two distinct parts. In the 60's, he was widely regarded as the heir of Laurence Olivier
. But, after his departure from Britain's National Theatre in 1970 and the breakup of his marriage with Maggie Smith
three years later, he suffered a slump made worse by heavy drinking...
Ted Tetzlaff was born in 1903 in Los Angeles, the son of racecar driver and movie stuntman Teddy Tetzlaff, Sr. The elder Tetzlaff appeared in a number of silent star Wallace Reid's famous racing movies like The Roaring Road (1919), Double Speed (1920), Excuse My Dust (1920), Too Much Speed (1921) and Across the Continent (1922)...
The daughter of a stage entertainer, New York-born actress Genevieve Tobin started treading the boards as a child and appeared in the role of Little Eva in the silent short Uncle Tom's Cabin
. Her older brother George Tobin
and younger sister Vivian Tobin
also became stage and film actors. By her teens Genevieve was appearing as a sparkling blonde ingénue on 20s Broadway...
Lana Turner had an acting ability that belied the "Sweater Girl" image MGM thrust upon her, and even many of her directors admitted that they knew she was capable of greatness (check out The Postman Always Rings Twice
). Unfortunately, her private life sometimes overshadowed her professional accomplishments. Lana Turner was born Julia Jean Mildred Francis Turner in Wallace...
Character actor in US radio, films, and TV. Memorable as the star of radio's "The Great Gildersleeve" from 1950 to 1955 (replacing the actor Harold Peary
, who had originated the radio role of Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve in 1941). As well, Waterman starred in the 1955 TV version.
His father was an insurance executive; his mother died when he was four. He attended Western Michigan University then worked as a statistician in Cleveland where he joined a Shakespeare repertory company. Two years later he had a minor role in "The American Way" in New York. He was rejected by the army in World War II but volunteered as an ambulance driver in North Africa...
From the grand old school of wisecracking, loud and lanky Mary Wickes had few peers while forging a career as a salty scene-stealer. Her abrupt, tell-it-like-it-is demeanor made her a consistent audience favorite on every medium for over six decades. She was particularly adroit in film parts that chided the super rich or exceptionally pious...
Born in Los Angeles, Jeff was the eldest child and had a brother named John. While still a baby he and his family moved to San Jose. Jeff graduated from grammar school and high school there as well as San Jose State Teachers College. In college Jeff studied to be a writer. He was also an amateur boxer and was runner up in the Pacific Coast Golden Gloves competition...
Alfred Ryder, the veteran actor who appeared on radio and Broadway and in the movies and TV and who also was a renowned stage director, was born Alfred Jacob Corn on January 5, 1916, in New York City. He made his professional debut as an actor at the age of eight and attended New York City's Professional Children's School...
Alice Day began her film career as a Mack Sennett
Bathing Beauty in her mid-teens, and by age 18 was starring in features. Her younger sister, Marceline Day
, was also an actress, but Alice never managed to eclipse her sister's career. She was soon working mainly in B pictures and shorts, and managed...
Though born in England in May of 1952, Antony Hamilton was adopted by an Australian military man and his wife and grew up in Adelaide, Australia. A classically trained dancer, he danced with the Australian ballet before his outstanding good looks led him into a modeling career. He modeled in Europe and...
Arthur M. Loew Jr.
Mr. Loew's maternal grandfather, Adolph Zukor
founded Paramount Pictures. His paternal grandfather, Marcus Loew, founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios and Loew's Theaters. His father, Arthur Loew, Sr., later became president of MGM.
An enigmatic and much loved comedy actor Arthur Mullard carved a unique niche for himself in a host of British comedy films and tv shows. The sterotype Cockney he was born in Islington, North London where he was known by locals as 'The Dook of Islington'. He left school at 14 to work as a butcher's boy...
Barbara Kwiatkowska was a girl from the Polish countryside. One day, she took part in a competition called "Piekne dziewczyny na ekrany" ("Pretty Girls on to the Screens"). She won and landed the title role of "Ewa Bonecka" in the comedy Eva Wants to Sleep
as the main prize. During filming, she met Roman Polanski