1-50 of 1,605 names.

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1. Joan Crawford Joan Crawford Actress, Mildred Pierce By the time Lucille Fay LeSueur was born -- on March 23, 1905, in San Antonio, Texas -- her parents had separated, and by the time she was a teenager, she'd had three stepfathers. It wasn't an easy life; Crawford worked a variety of menial jobs. She was a good dancer, though, and -- perhaps seeing dance as her ticket to a career in show business -- she entered several contests...
2. George Sanders George Sanders Actor, All About Eve George Sanders was born of English parents in St. Petersburg, Russia. He worked in a Birmingham textile mill, in the tobacco business and as a writer in advertising. He entered show business in London as a chorus boy, going from there to cabaret, radio and theatrical understudy. His film debut, in 1936...
3. John Huston John Huston Actor, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre An eccentric rebel of epic proportions, this Hollywood titan reigned supreme as director, screenwriter and character actor in a career that endured over five decades. The ten-time Oscar-nominated legend was born John Marcellus Huston in Nevada, Missouri, on August 5, 1906. His ancestry included English...
4. Joan Blondell Joan Blondell Actress, Grease With blonde hair, big blue eyes and a big smile, Joan was usually cast as the wisecracking working girl who was the lead's best friend. Born into vaudeville to a comic named Eddie, Joan was on the stage when she was three years old. For years, she toured the circuit with her parents and joined a stock company when she was 17...
5. Billy Wilder Billy Wilder Writer, Some Like It Hot Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many German films until Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933...
6. John Carradine John Carradine Actor, The Grapes of Wrath John Carradine, the son of a reporter/artist and a surgeon, grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York. He attended Christ Church School and Graphic Art School, studying sculpture, and afterward roamed the South selling sketches. He made his acting debut in "Camille" in a New Orleans theatre in 1925. Arriving in Los Angeles in 1927...
7. Eddie Albert Eddie Albert Actor, The Longest Day Eddie Albert's television career is the earliest of any other performer. It began years before electronic television was introduced to the public. In June of 1936 Eddie appeared in RCA/NBC's first private live performance for their radio licensees in New York City. This was very early experimental all electronic television system...
8. Mary Astor Mary Astor Actress, The Maltese Falcon Her German immigrant father pushed her into a beauty contest at 14 and her first movie Sentimental Tommy at 15. After a number of minor parts she starred in John Barrymore's Beau Brummel. She had a lively affair with Barrymore, over with before she starred a second time with him, in Don Juan...
9. Lon Chaney Jr. Lon Chaney Jr. Actor, High Noon American character actor whose career was influenced (and often overshadowed) by that of his father, silent film star Lon Chaney. The younger Chaney was born while his parents were on a theatrical tour, and he joined them onstage for the first time at the age of six months. However, as a young man...
10. Louise Brooks Louise Brooks Actress, Pandora's Box Mary Louise Brooks, also known by her childhood name of Brooksie, was born in the midwestern town of Cherryvale, Kansas, on November 14, 1906. She began dancing at an early age with the Denishawn Dancers (which was how she left Kansas and went to New York) and then with George White's Scandals before joining the Ziegfeld Follies...
11. Bea Benaderet Bea Benaderet Actress, Lucy Plays Cupid Bea Benaderet had a remarkable career in radio and television. In the days before television, she provided the voices for hundreds of characters on the radio, on shows like "Fibber McGee and Molly," "My Favorite Husband" (with Lucille Ball), and the "Jack Benny Show." Benederet was born in New York City but raised in San Francisco and made her radio debut when she was 12 years old...
12. Hermione Baddeley Hermione Baddeley Actress, Mary Poppins
13. Mary Brian Mary Brian Actress, The Amazing Adventure Dubbed 'the Sweetest Girl in Pictures', Mary Brian started life as Louise Byrdie Datzler. She was born in Corsicana, Texas, and went to high school in Dallas. Her widowed mother had big plans for young Louise and took her to California in 1923, with the intention of getting her into the film business...
14. Oscar Levant Oscar Levant Soundtrack, Eyes Wide Shut Pianist, composer and bizarre wit in movies, radio and TV.
15. Thelma Todd 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 entered several beauty contests (apparently her mother wanted her to be more than just a "schoolmarm")...
16. Lou Costello Lou Costello Actor, Africa Screams Born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, Lou Costello dropped out of high school and headed west to break into the movies. He got a job as a carpenter at MGM and Warners. He went from there to stuntman and then to vaudeville as a comic. In 1931, while working in Brooklyn, his straight man became ill and the theater cashier...
17. Joan Hickson Joan Hickson Actress, Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side Joan Hickson was born in 1906 at Kingsthorpe, Northampton. Her stage career began with provincial theater in 1927, going on to a long series of West End comedies, usually playing the part of a confused or eccentric middle-age woman. She performed at the Regent's Park Open Air Theater, at the time London was subject to World War II bombing...
18. Roberto Rossellini Roberto Rossellini Writer, Rome, Open City The master filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, as one of the creators of neo-realism, is one of the most influential directors of all time. His neo-realist films influenced France's nouvelle vague movement in the 1950s and '60s that changed the face of international cinema. He also influenced American directors, including Martin Scorsese...
19. Luchino Visconti Luchino Visconti Director, Rocco and His Brothers
20. Josephine Baker Josephine Baker Soundtrack, Zouzou Born to Carrie McDonald, a laundress, and Eddie Carson, a musician, Josephine Baker's early life hinted at her future career. She first danced for the public on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri for nickels and dimes. Later, she became a chorus girl on the St. Louis stage. At age 15, she married Pullman porter William Howard Baker...
21. Roy Roberts Roy Roberts Actor, Chinatown Veteran character player Roy Roberts proudly claimed over 900 performances in a 40-year career. He might not have been known necessarily by name but the face was so distinct and obviously familiar. The prototype of the steely executive, the no-nonsense mayor, the assured banker, the stentorian leader...
22. Janet Gaynor Janet Gaynor Actress, Sunrise After graduating from high school in San Francisco, Janet moved to Los Angeles and enrolled at a Hollywood secretarial college. Eager to get into movies, she started working as an extra in comedy shorts. In 1925, she was hired by Fox and was cast in The Johnstown Flood. In 1927 she appeared in 7th Heaven as Diane and Sunrise as the wife in danger...
23. William Bendix William Bendix Actor, Lifeboat Popular American character actor William Bendix's burly physique and New York accent were equally suited to playing genial lugs and vicious thugs. Bendix was born in midtown Manhattan, the son of musician Oscar Bendix (not violinist/conductor Max Bendix, as is often reported). He made his film debut in 1911...
24. Brigitte Helm Brigitte Helm Actress, Metropolis After her role in Metropolis she made a string of movies in which she almost always had the starring role, easily making the transition to sound films. Her last film was Ein idealer Gatte (An Ideal Spouse) in 1935.
25. Carol Reed Carol Reed Director, The Third Man Carol Reed was the second son of stage actor, dramatics teacher and impresario founder of the Royal School of Dramatic Arts 'Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree'. Reed was one of Tree's six illegitimate children with Beatrice Mae Pinney, who Tree established in a second household apart from his married life. There were no social scars here; Reed grew up in a well-mannered...
26. Gale Gordon Gale Gordon Actor, The 'Burbs Character actor Gale Gordon found his niche as stuffy, blustery characters on Our Miss Brooks and the various Lucille Ball sitcoms. In his early film appearances, he usually played stuffy military officers. Gordon was at his best when he had to deliver the "slow burn" take.
27. Anthony Mann Anthony Mann Director, El Cid
28. Ned Glass Ned Glass Actor, West Side Story Veteran Polish-born character actor Ned Glass grew up in New York, and, after vaudeville experience, started acting in small parts on Broadway from the early 1930's. He gained further experience in the capacity of theatrical production supervisor, before entering motion pictures in 1937 as an MGM contract player...
29. Madeleine Carroll Madeleine Carroll Actress, The 39 Steps The original ash-blonde "iceberg maiden", Madeleine Carroll was a knowing beauty with a confident air, the epitome of poise and "breeding". Not only did she have looks and allure in abundance, but she had intellectual heft to go with them, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Birmingham University at the age of 20...
30. Luis Van Rooten Luis Van Rooten Actor, Cinderella Ethnic bald-domed character actor Luis Van Rooten was born November 29, 1906, in Mexico City, but raised in the United States and would become known in post-war Hollywood as a specialist in multiple dialects. Studying at the University of Pennsylvania, he received his B.A. and set up a sturdy practice as an architect before making a dramatic transition into acting sometime during WWII...
31. Bruce Bennett Bruce Bennett Actor, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Herman Brix was a star shot-putter in the 1928 Olympics. After losing the lead in MGM's Tarzan the Ape Man due to a shoulder injury, he was contracted by Ashton Dearholt for his independent production of The New Adventures of Tarzan, a serial and the only Tarzan film between the silents and the 1960s to present the character accurately...
32. Walter Sande Walter Sande Actor, To Have and Have Not Chances are you've seen his imposing character face scores of times but couldn't place the name. Colorado-born actor Walter Sande was one of those stern, heavyset character actors in Hollywood everyone recognized but no one could identify. Born in Denver on July 9, 1906, Sande showed an early passion for music as a youth and by his college years managed to start his own band...
33. Estelle Evans Estelle Evans Actress, To Kill a Mockingbird
34. Frank Ferguson Frank Ferguson Actor, Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein American character actor Frank Ferguson appeared in scores of films and television shows, often as self-important types. Prior to his film debut, he was a prominent performer and director with the acclaimed Pasadena Community Playhouse, where he coached numerous up-and-coming young actors such as Dana Andrews...
35. Ozzie Nelson Ozzie Nelson Actor, Tutti-Frutti Ice Cream This preeminent sitcom dad of the 50s had already started things off studying law when he decided to put together a dance band in the 20s on the sly. The band was so successful that he never looked back -- his love for entertaining completely took over. The New Jersey-born performer made a living for a time playing hotels and casinos on the East coast...
36. Brother Theodore Brother Theodore Actor, The 'Burbs
37. Ursula Jeans Ursula Jeans Actress, The Dam Busters Fair-haired, blue-eyed British actress with a long career on the London stage. She was born Ursula Jean McMinn in India, schooled in London and trained for acting at RADA. Ursula made her theatrical debut at the Criterion Theatre in 1922. From the 1930's, she specialised in classical plays by Shakespeare and Shaw...
38. James MacDonald James MacDonald Actor, Cinderella
39. Roger Livesey Roger Livesey Actor, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp The son of Joseph Livesey and Mary Catherine (nee Edwards), Roger was educated at Westminster City School, London. His first stage appearance was the office boy in Loyalties at St. James' theatre in 1917. Subsequently, he played in everything from Shakespeare to modern comedies. He played various roles in the West End from 1920 to 1926...
40. Joe Sawyer Joe Sawyer Actor, The Killing Joe Sawyer's familiar mug appeared everywhere during the 1930s and 1940s, particularly as a stock player for Warner Bros. in its more standard college musicals, comedies and crime yarns. He could play both sides of the fence, street cops and mob gunmen, with equal ease. He was born Joseph Sauers in Guelph...
41. John Carroll John Carroll Actor, Flying Tigers
42. Donald Woods Donald Woods Actor, True Grit Donald Woods, a prolific cinema and television character actor whose career spanned 75 films and 150 TV programs over 40 years, was born Ralph L. Zink on December 2, 1906, in Brandon, Manitoba. (He legally changed his name to Donald Woods in 1945.) His family eventually departed Canada for California...
43. Marcel Carné Marcel Carné Director, Children of Paradise Marcel Carné, the son of a cabinet maker, entered the movies as the assistant of Jacques Feyder. At the age of 25 he directed his first movie Jenny. Colaborating with the writer Jacques Prévert, the decorator Alexandre Trauner, the musician and composer Maurice Jaubert and the actor Jean Gabin...
44. Henny Youngman Henny Youngman Self, Goodfellas A career of seven decades of snappy, irreverent one-liners put Henry "Henny" Youngman at the top of most comedians' list of favorite showmen. Born in London, England, and moving to the United States when he was a baby, Youngman started his professional career as a printer in a small store. Naturally funny...
45. Olive Borden Olive Borden Actress, 3 Bad Men Olive Borden was beautiful and talented but she became one of Hollywood's most tragic tales. She came to Hollywood in 1922 with her widowed mother. Olive started her career as a Mack Sennett bathing beauty and was named a Wampas baby star in 1925. She made eleven films at Fox studios where she earned $1,500 a week...
46. Jacques Becker Jacques Becker Director, Le Trou His interest in films was stimulated by a meeting with King Vidor, who offered him employment in the US as actor and assistant director. However, he remained in France and became assistant to Jean Renoir, a friend of the family, during that director's peak period (1932-39). In 1934 he ventured briefly into independent production...
47. Friz Freleng Friz Freleng Producer, Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie 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...
48. Dmitri Shostakovich Dmitri Shostakovich Soundtrack, Children of Men Dmitri Shostakovich, one of Russian culture's most acclaimed intellectuals who was censored under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, was an internationally recognized composer whose music was in over 100 films. He was born Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich on September 25, 1906, in St. Petersburg, Russia...
49. Toni Lanier Toni Lanier Actress, The Great Ziegfeld Toni Lanier was a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl whose lasting notoriety came not as a performer but as the wife of a high-level studio executive and the mistress of a famous television star. Lanier appeared in the film version of Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.'s life, The Great Ziegfeld, met MGM studio manager E.J. Mannix...
50. Max M. Gilford Max M. Gilford Actor, Mustang!
1-50 of 1,605 names.