1-50 of 1,322 names.

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1. Alfred Hitchcock Alfred Hitchcock Director, Psycho Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and Eileen Hitchcock (born 1892)...
2. Humphrey Bogart Humphrey Bogart Actor, Casablanca Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born in New York City, New York, to Maud Humphrey, a famed magazine illustrator and suffragette, and Belmont DeForest Bogart, a moderately wealthy surgeon (who was secretly addicted to opium). Bogart was educated at Trinity School, NYC, and was sent to Phillips Academy in Andover...
3. Fred Astaire Fred Astaire Soundtrack, Top Hat Fred Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Johanna (Geilus) and Fritz Austerlitz, a brewer. Fred entered show business at age 5. He was successful both in vaudeville and on Broadway in partnership with his sister, Adele Astaire. After Adele retired to marry in 1932, Astaire headed to Hollywood. Signed to RKO...
4. James Cagney James Cagney Actor, White Heat One of Hollywood's preeminent male stars of all time (eclipsed, perhaps, only by "King" Clark Gable and arguably by Gary Cooper or Spencer Tracy), and the cinema's quintessential "tough guy", James Cagney was also an accomplished--if rather stiff--hoofer and easily played light comedy. James Francis Cagney was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City...
5. Gloria Swanson Gloria Swanson Actress, Sunset Blvd. Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her film debut was as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket. From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in 1919, a contract with Cecil B. DeMille. DeMille transformed her from a typical Mack Sennett comedienne into a lively...
6. Charles Laughton Charles Laughton Actor, Spartacus Charles Laughton was born in Scarborough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England, to Eliza (Conlon) and Robert Laughton, hotel keepers of Irish and English descent. He was educated at Stonyhurst, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (received gold medal). His first appearance on stage was in 1926. Laughton formed own film company...
7. Charles Boyer Charles Boyer Actor, Gaslight Charles Boyer studied philosophy before he went to the theater where he gave his debut in 1920. Although he had at first no intentions to pursue a career at the movies (his first movie was L'homme du large by Marcel L'Herbier) he used his chance in Hollywood after several filming stations all over Europe...
8. George Cukor George Cukor Director, My Fair Lady
9. Noel Coward Noel Coward Writer, Easy Virtue Noel Coward virtually invented the concept of Englishness for the 20th century. An astounding polymath - dramatist, actor, writer, composer, lyricist, painter, and wit -- he was defined by his Englishness as much as he defined it. He was indeed the first Brit pop star, the first ambassador of "cool Britannia." Even before his 1924 drugs-and-sex scandal of The Vortex...
10. Neil Hamilton Neil Hamilton Actor, General Hospital Neil Hamilton's show business career began when he secured a job as a shirt model in magazine ads. He became interested in acting and joined several stock companies. He got his first film role in 1918, but received his big break from D.W. Griffith in The White Rose. After performing in several more Griffith films...
11. George Macready George Macready Actor, Paths of Glory George Macready--the name probably doesn't ring any bells for most but the voice would be unmistakable. He attended and graduated from Brown University and had a short stint as a New York newspaperman, but became interested in acting on the advice of colorful Polish émigré classical stage director Richard Boleslawski...
12. Ernest Hemingway Ernest Hemingway Writer, To Have and Have Not Ernest Hemingway was an American writer who won the Pulitzer Prize (1953) and the Nobel Prize in Literature (1954) for his novel The Old Man and the Sea, which was made into a 1958 film The Old Man and the Sea. He was born into the hands of his physician father. He was the second of six children of Dr. Clarence Hemingway and Grace Hemingway (the daughter of English immigrants)...
13. Glenn Strange Glenn Strange Actor, Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein At various times in his life a rancher, deputy sheriff and rodeo performer, this huge, towering (6' 5") beast of a man was born George Glenn Strange in Weed, New Mexico, on August 16, 1899, but grew up a real-life cowboy in Cross Cut, Texas. Of Irish and Cherokee Indian descent, he taught himself (by ear) the fiddle and guitar at a young age and started performing at local functions as a teen...
14. Chief Dan George Chief Dan George Actor, The Outlaw Josey Wales Chief Dan George was born with the names Geswanouth Slahoot (which was anglicized as Dan Slaholt) to a tribal chief on Burrard Indian Reserve No. 3 in North Vancouver. His last name was changed to George when he entered a mission boarding school at the age of 5, where the use of his native language was discouraged, if not forbidden...
15. Akim Tamiroff Akim Tamiroff Actor, Touch of Evil Though born in Russia and having a Russian-sounding name, Akim Tamiroff is actually of Armenian descent. At 19 he decided to pursue acting as a career and was chosen from among 500 applicants to the Moscow Art Theater School. There he studied under the great Konstantin Stanislavski, and launched a stage career...
16. John Qualen John Qualen Actor, Casablanca One of the best and most familiar character actors of the first four decades of sound films, although few who knew his face also knew his name. John Qualen was born in Canada to Norwegian parents. His father was a minister. The family moved to the United States and Qualen (whose real name was Kvalen) grew up in Elgin...
17. Jay C. Flippen Jay C. Flippen Actor, The Killing Jay C. Flippen could probably be characterized these days as one of those distinctive faces you know but whose name escapes you while viewing old 50s and 60s movies and TV. His distinctive bulldog mug, beetle brows, bulky features, and silver-white hair were ideally suited for roles as criminals and rugged adventurers...
18. Aline MacMahon Aline MacMahon Actress, The Search Aline MacMahon was born of Irish/Russian ancestry on May 3 1899, the daughter of William Marcus MacMahon and Jennie Simon MacMahon. Her father went on to become editor-in-chief of Munsey's Magazine, while her mother pursued a theatrical acting career from middle-age and lived to the ripe old age of 107...
19. Harold Bennett Harold Bennett Actor, Are You Being Served?
20. Pat O'Brien Pat O'Brien Actor, Some Like It Hot Although he came to be called "Hollywood's Irishman in Residence"--and, along with good friends James Cagney, Allen Jenkins, Frank McHugh and a few others were called "The Irish Mafia"--and he often played Irish immigrants, Pat O'Brien was US-born and -bred. As a young boy the devoutly Roman Catholic O'Brien considered entering the seminary to study for the priesthood...
21. P.L. Travers P.L. Travers Writer, Mary Poppins
22. Hoagy Carmichael Hoagy Carmichael Soundtrack, Goodfellas Award-winning songwriter ("Stardust", "Ole Buttermilk Sky", "Georgia on My Mind"), composer, pianist, actor and singer, educated at Indiana University (LL.B). He played piano in the college bands, and later gave up a law practise for a career in songwriting. He joined ASCAP in 1931, and his chief musical collaborators included Mitchell Parish...
23. Martita Hunt Martita Hunt Actress, Becket Popular British character actress known for her rich cluster of queens, dowagers, shrews and evildoers, Martita Hunt was born on a ranch in Argentina to British parents, but moved with her family to England at age 10 for her formal education. On stage at age 21 with the Liverpool Repertory Theatre,...
24. Al Capone Al Capone Uncategorised Infamous Chicago gangster Al Capone was born in the tough Williamsburgh section of Brooklyn, NY, the fourth of nine children of Italian immigrants from Naples. Capone was a born sociopath. In the sixth grade he beat up a teacher and promptly quit school. He picked up his education from the streets, "making his bones" when he joined the notorious James Street gang...
25. Colleen Moore Colleen Moore Actress, Ella Cinders Her father was an irrigation engineer. She was convent-educated and studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory. D.W. Griffith brought her to Hollywood in 1917, returning a favor to her uncle, 'Walter C. Howey , the Chicago Examiner editor who helped him clear The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages through the censors...
26. Alma Reville Alma Reville Writer, Shadow of a Doubt
27. Gale Sondergaard Gale Sondergaard Actress, The Life of Emile Zola Sly, manipulative, dangerously cunning and sinister were the key words that best described the roles that Gale Sondergaard played in motion pictures, making her one of the most talented character actresses ever seen on the screen. She was educated at the University of Minnesota and later married director Herbert J. Biberman...
28. Madge Blake Madge Blake Actress, Batman: The Movie
29. Richard Arlen Richard Arlen Actor, Wings During World War I, Richard Arlen served in the Royal Canadian Flying Corps as a pilot, but he never saw combat. After the war he drifted round and eventually wound up in Los Angeles, where he got a job as a motorcycle messenger at a film laboratory. When he crashed into the gates of Paramount Pictures and suffered a broken leg...
30. George O'Brien George O'Brien Actor, Sunrise Handsome American leading man of classic silent films who became a different kind of star in B-Western talkies. The son of a policeman who later became police chief of San Francisco and then California Director of Penology, O'Brien was raised around police stables and quickly became adept at horsemanship...
31. Ramon Novarro Ramon Novarro Actor, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ The son of a prosperous Mexican dentist, Ramon Novarro moved to Los Angeles with his family as refugees from the Mexican revolution of 1916. After stints as a ballet dancer, piano teacher and singing waiter, he became a film extra in 1917. For five years he remained an extra until director Rex Ingram cast him as Rupert in The Prisoner of Zenda...
32. Dwight Frye Dwight Frye Actor, Dracula An extremely versatile character actor and originator of several memorable characterizations in the horror film genre, Dwight Frye had a notable theatrical career in the 1920s, moving from juvenile parts to leads before entering film. A favorite actor of Broadway theatrical producer-director Brock Pemberton...
33. Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams Actor, A Star Is Born The son of a rancher-turned-politician, Guinn Williams was given the nickname "Big Boy" (and he was, too - 6' 2" of mostly solid muscle from years of working on ranches and playing semi-pro and pro baseball) by Will Rogers, with whom he made one of his first films, in 1919. Although his father wanted him to attend West Point (he had been an officer in the Army during World War I)...
34. Byron Foulger Byron Foulger Actor, Sullivan's Travels One of those wonderfully busy character actors whose face is familiar if not his name, mild-mannered actor Byron Foulger began performing with community theater, and stock and repertory companies after graduating from the University of Utah. He met his future wife, character actress Dorothy Adams, in one of these companies. The marriage lasted nearly five decades and ended only with his death...
35. Paul Kelly Paul Kelly Actor, Crossfire Child and juvenile actor from silent films who would become a Broadway star and major supporting player in Hollywood films of the 30s, 40s and 50s.
36. James Wong Howe James Wong Howe Cinematographer, The Thin Man Master cinematographer James Wong Howe, whose career stretched from silent pictures through the mid-'70s, was born Wong Tung Jim in Canton (now Guangzhou), China, on August 28, 1899, the son of Wong How. His father emigrated to America the year James was born, settling in Pasco, Washington, where he worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad...
37. Irving Thalberg Irving Thalberg Producer, Laugh, Clown, Laugh Thalberg was born in New York City of German immigrant parents. He had a bad heart, having contracted rheumatic fever as a teenager and was plagued with other ailments all of his life. He was quite intelligent with a thirst for knowledge but, convinced that he would never see thirty, he skipped college and became...
38. Herbie Faye Herbie Faye Actor, Thoroughly Modern Millie
39. Lillian Disney Lillian Disney Self, Episode #5.36
40. Vladimir Nabokov Vladimir Nabokov Writer, Lolita Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 22, 1899, the eldest of five children in a wealthy aristocratic family in St. Petersburg, Russia. His grandfather was a Justice Minister to the Czar Alexander II. His father, named Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov, was a liberal political leader, the editor of a liberal newspaper...
41. May McAvoy May McAvoy Actress, The Jazz Singer Silent-screen star May McAvoy was born in an upscale area of New York City. Her well-to-do family owned and operated a large livery stable situated where the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel now stands. She initially wanted to be a teacher but became intrigued with show business after watching a friend rehearse a show at a nearby vaudeville theater...
42. Frances Cagney Frances Cagney Self, AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to James Cagney
43. Norman Taurog Norman Taurog Director, Boys Town A successful child actor (on stage from 1907) and rather less successful romantic lead, baby-faced Norman Taurog found being behind the camera a more rewarding experience. Before becoming a director, he paid his dues as a prop man and editor. By 1919, he was put in charge of two-reel comedies, starring the comic Larry Semon...
44. Duke Ellington Duke Ellington Soundtrack, The Matrix Composer ("It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing", "Sophisticated Lady", "Mood Indigo", "Solitude", "In a Mellotone", "Satin Doll"), pianist and conductor, holder of an honorary music degree from Wilberforce University and an LHD from Milton College, Duke Ellington led his own orchestra by 1918...
45. Jobyna Ralston Jobyna Ralston Actress, Wings Curly-locked, cherubic knockabout comedienne of the silent cinema. Her mother, portrait photographer Mrs. Kemp Raulston, named her after her favorite actress, Jobyna Howland. She harbored ambitions for her daughter to achieve similar fame and trained her to that end. After a failed teenage marriage to a local farmer...
46. Hal B. Wallis Hal B. Wallis Producer, Casablanca Legendary producer Hal B. Wallis was born in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles when he was in his early 20s. He got a job managing a theater owned by Warner Bros., and his success at the job caught the eye of studio head Jack L. Warner, who gave him a job in the studio's publicity department. Within a few months Wallis had worked his way up to head of the department...
47. Byron Haskin Byron Haskin Director, The War of the Worlds After graduation from the University of California at Berkeley, Byron Haskin worked for a time as a newspaper cartoonist. He began his career in the film industry, in 1920, as a commercial-industrial movie photographer, and then as a cameraman for Pathe and International Newsreel. Later he became an assistant director at Selznick Productions...
48. Lane Chandler Lane Chandler Actor, Sagebrush Trail American actor who had a brief flirtation with stardom before settling into character roles and bit parts. Born in rural South Dakota (according to government records, though some sources say Walsh County, North Dakota) as Robert C. Oakes, the son of a horse rancher, he moved with his family to Culbertson...
49. Francis Lederer Francis Lederer Actor, Pandora's Box Frantisek Lederer was born on November 6th, 1899, in Czechoslovakia. His father was a leather merchant, and young Frantisek began his working life as a department store delivery boy in Prague. He fell in love with acting from a young age, and was soon on stage touring Moravia and then all over Central Europe with people like Peter Lorre...
50. Victor Young Victor Young Soundtrack, Casino Violinist and conductor Victor Young was a prolific composer and arranger, who worked on more than 300 film scores over a period of twenty years. He came from an impoverished, but musical background and was trained on the violin at the Warsaw Imperial Conservatory, later studying piano in Paris under the French master Isidor Philipp...
1-50 of 1,322 names.