1-50 of 1,592 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 Director, The Maltese Falcon 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 The second of two sons, his father ran a chain of railway station cafes. As a youth he was obsessed with everything American. encouraged by his mother he enrolled as a law student at the University of Vienna but quit after 3 months to be a writer on a magazine which although poorly paid it gave him a great amount of experience interviewing such as Richard Strauss and Sigmund Freud...
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. Mary Astor Mary Astor Actress, The Maltese Falcon Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized Mary's beauty and knowing if they played their cards right...
8. Eddie Albert Eddie Albert Actor, The Longest Day A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Eddie Albert was a circus trapeze flier before becoming a stage and radio actor. He made his film debut in 1938 and has worked steadily since, often cast as the friendly, good-natured buddy of the hero but occasionally being cast as a villain; one of his most memorable roles was as the cowardly...
9. 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...
10. Louise Brooks Louise Brooks Actress, Pandora's Box Louise Brooks was one of the most fascinating personalities of Hollywood, always being compared with her most important characterization as protagonist: Lulu in Georg Wilhelm Pabst's Pandora's Box. Along with her beauty and talent she had an independent streak and refused to accept the restrictive role that women had in American society...
11. Hermione Baddeley Hermione Baddeley Actress, Mary Poppins
12. 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...
13. 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...
14. 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...
15. 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...
16. Luchino Visconti Luchino Visconti Director, Rocco and His Brothers
17. 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...
18. 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.
19. 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...
20. Joan Hickson Joan Hickson Actress, The Mirror Crack'd 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...
21. 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...
22. 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...
23. William Bendix William Bendix Actor, Lifeboat William Bendix was not a son of Brooklyn, New York, although because of his stereotypical "Brooklyn accent" it has been widely supposed that he was. Bendix was actually born in the Borough of Manhattan (New York City proper), in a midtown flat hard by the tracks of the long-since defunct Third-Avenue Elevated Railway...
24. James MacDonald James MacDonald Actor, Cinderella
25. Anthony Mann Anthony Mann Director, El Cid
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. 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...
28. Diana Wynyard Diana Wynyard Actress, Cavalcade One of the outstanding stage actresses of her time, Diana Wynyard will always be remembered for her unforgettable performance in the British version of the thriller Gaslight (re-made in Hollywood in 1944 with Ingrid Bergman). Starring opposite the great Anton Walbrook, she played the part of terrorized Bella Mallen (driven to the point of insanity by her evil husband) with an ethereal...
29. 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...
30. Janet Gaynor Janet Gaynor Actress, Sunrise Janet Gaynor was born Laura Gainor on October 6, 1906, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a child, she & her parents moved to San Francisco, California, where she graduated from high school in 1923. She then moved to Los Angeles where she enrolled in a secretarial school. She got a job at a shoe store for the princely sum of $18 per week...
31. 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...
32. Brother Theodore Brother Theodore Actor, The 'Burbs
33. 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...
34. Michael O'Shea Michael O'Shea Actor, Lady of Burlesque His five brothers all became policemen, encouraged on by their obstinate father, but Hartford-born Irish-American Michael O'Shea defied tradition and turned to acting. Born in 1906, he dropped out of school at age 12 and went the vaudeville route, touring with his boxing idol Jack Johnson's show...
35. Oscar Levant Oscar Levant Soundtrack, Eyes Wide Shut Oscar Levant's own versatility may have helped to cloud his memory as a sort of Hollywood utility man, perhaps in the worst sense; people tended to see him as one among many personalities, but he was so much more. It is unfortunately forgotten that he was first and foremost, a brilliant musician and very competent composer...
36. Estelle Evans Estelle Evans Actress, To Kill a Mockingbird
37. Thelma Todd Thelma Todd Actress, Horse Feathers A one-time teacher and beauty queen, Thelma went to Hollywood in the late 1920s and soon became one of the premier comediennes of her day, with many appearances in comedy shorts (with Zasu Pitts, Patsy Kelly, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and others) and also feature-length movies. In the 1930s...
38. 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...
39. 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...
40. Ed Gein Ed Gein Miscellaneous Crew, Ed Gein Ed Gein and his elder brother Henry were born into a farming family near Plainfield, WI. George Gein, his father, was a tanner and carpenter and was drunk most of the time. Augusta, Ed's domineering mother, was the real power of the house. She was a religious fanatic who constantly warned her sons about the sins of premarital sex and railed against "evil" women...
41. Samuel Beckett Samuel Beckett Writer, Waiting for Godot One of the twentieth century's most original and important writers, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969, Samuel Beckett was the author of 'Waiting for Godot' (1952), one of the few plays in theatrical history to redefine the possibilities of the medium. Long fascinated by the cinema (especially silent comedies...
42. 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...
43. 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...
44. 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...
45. Warren Hymer Warren Hymer Actor, Meet John Doe
46. Richard Buckley Richard Buckley Self, Episode #7.3
47. Arthur Lake Arthur Lake Actor, Topper His parents were circus acrobats and he became part of their act. When they changed to vaudeville and wound up in California, he got a job in the movies. The founder of Universal Pictures, Carl Laemmle changed his name to Lake. In silent films he played somewhat dimwitted youngsters, The long-running part of Dagwood in the "Blondie" series pretty much continued the the pattern into adult life...
48. Jon Lormer Jon Lormer Actor, Creepshow
49. Catherine Cookson Catherine Cookson Writer, The Black Velvet Gown
50. Helen Chandler Helen Chandler Actress, Dracula Helen Chandler was born in Charleston, South Carolina on February 1, 1906. By the late 1920s she had become a hugely popular actress on the New York stage. That Hollywood should beckon was inevitable, but unfortunately whatever quality made Chandler a success on the stage did not survive the transition to film...
1-50 of 1,592 names.