1-50 of 2,597 names.

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1. Maureen O'Hara Maureen O'Hara Actress, Miracle on 34th Street In America, the early performing arts accomplishments of young Maureen FitzSimons (who we know as Maureen O'Hara) would definitely have put her in the child prodigy category. However, for a child of Irish heritage surrounded by gifted parents and family, these were very natural traits. Maureen made her entrance into this caring haven on August 17...
2. Shelley Winters Shelley Winters Actress, Lolita Shelley Winters was born Shirley Schrift of very humble beginnings on August 18, 1920 (some sources list 1922) in East St. Louis, Illinois. Her mother, Rose (Winter), was born in Missouri, to Austrian Jewish parents, and her father, Jonas Schrift, was an Austrian Jewish immigrant. Her father moved the family to Brooklyn when she was still young so that he...
3. Yul Brynner Yul Brynner Actor, The Magnificent Seven Exotic leading man of American films, famed as much for his completely bald head as for his performances, Yul Brynner masked much of his life in mystery and outright lies designed to tease people he considered gullible. It was not until the publication of the books "Yul: The Man Who Would Be King" and...
4. Mickey Rooney Mickey Rooney Actor, Night at the Museum Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. He first took the stage as a toddler in his parents vaudeville act at 17 months old. He made his first film appearance in 1926. The following year, he played the lead character in the first Mickey McGuire short film. It was in this popular film series that he took the stage name Mickey Rooney...
5. Walter Matthau Walter Matthau Actor, The Odd Couple Matthau was born Walter Matthow on October 1, 1920 in New York City, to a Lithuanian Jewish mother, Rose (Berolsky), who worked in a garment sweatshop, and a Russian Jewish father, Milton Matthow, a peddler and electrician from Kiev. Matthau grew up in poverty on the Lower East Side. He started out selling soft drinks and playing bit parts at a Yiddish theater troupe at age 11...
6. Montgomery Clift Montgomery Clift Actor, From Here to Eternity Edward Montgomery Clift (nicknamed 'Monty' his entire life) was born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska, just after his twin sister Roberta and eighteen months after his brother Brooks Clift. He was the son of Ethel "Sunny" Anderson (Fogg) and William Brooks Clift. His father made a lot of money in banking but was quite poor during the depression...
7. Jack Warden Jack Warden Actor, 12 Angry Men Jack Warden was born John H. Lebzelter on September 18, 1920 in Newark, New Jersey to Laura M. (Costello) and Jack Warden Lebzelter. His father was of German and Irish descent, and his mother was of Irish ancestry. Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, at the age of 17, young Jack Lebzelter was expelled from Louisville's DuPont Manual High School for repeatedly fighting...
8. Ricardo Montalban Ricardo Montalban Actor, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Handsome Ricardo Montalban was the epitome of continental elegance, charm and grace on film and television and in the late 1940s and early 1950s reinvigorated the Rudolph Valentino / Ramon Novarro "Latin Lover" style in Hollywood without achieving top screen stardom. Moreover, unlike most minority actors of his time...
9. Gene Tierney Gene Tierney Actress, Laura Gene Tierney was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 19, 1920, to well-to-do parents. Her father was a very successful insurance broker and her mother was a former teacher. Her childhood was lavish indeed. She also lived, at times, with her equally successful grandparents in Connecticut and New York...
10. Jack Elam Jack Elam Actor, Once Upon a Time in the West Colorful American character actor equally adept at vicious killers or grizzled sidekicks. As a child he worked in the cotton fields. He attended Santa Monica Junior College in California and subsequently became an accountant and, at one time, manager of the Bel Air Hotel. Elam got his first movie job by trading his accounting services for a role...
11. Federico Fellini Federico Fellini Writer, The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the devil herself said the priests who ran his school)...
12. Toshirô Mifune Toshirô Mifune Actor, Seven Samurai Toshiro Mifune achieved more worldwide fame than any other Japanese actor of his century. He was born in Tsingtao, China, to Japanese parents and grew up in Dalian. He did not set foot in Japan until he was 21. His father was an importer and a commercial photographer, and young Toshiro worked in his father's studio for a time after graduating from Dalian Middle School...
13. DeForest Kelley DeForest Kelley Actor, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Jackson DeForest Kelley was born on January 20, 1920 in Toccoa, Georgia, to Clora (Casey) and Ernest David Kelley. He graduated from high school at age 16 and went on to sing at the Baptist church where his father was a minister. At age 17, he made his first trip outside the state to visit an uncle in Long Beach...
14. James Doohan James Doohan Actor, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
15. Jack Lord Jack Lord Actor, Dr. No Jack Lord was the son of William Lawrence Ryan, steamship company executive. He learned his equestrian skills at his mother's fruit farm in the Hudson River Valley. At age 15 he started spending summers at sea in the Merchant Marine, and from the deck of ships, painted and sketched the landscapes he encountered; Africa...
16. Richard Farnsworth 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...
17. Denver Pyle Denver Pyle Actor, Bonnie and Clyde A rather wanderlust fellow before he latched onto acting, Denver Pyle--who made a career of playing drawling, somewhat slow Southern types--was actually born in Colorado in 1920, to a farming family. He attended a university for a time but dropped out to become a drummer. When that didn't pan out he drifted from job to job...
18. Ella Raines Ella Raines Actress, Hail the Conquering Hero Ella Raines was born in Snoqualmie Falls, Washington, in 1920. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the University of Washington as a drama student and participated in many plays. Following graduation, she traveled to New York and the lights of Broadway. She was eventually signed by Howard Hawks and played in Corvette K-225 as the love interest of Randolph Scott...
19. Noel Neill Noel Neill Actress, Superman Returns Minnesota-born Noel Neill's ambition was to be a journalist like her father, the editor of a Minneapolis newspaper. However, she was hired by Bing Crosby to sing at the Turf Club at the race track in Del Mar, California (Crosby was one of the owners). Shortly thereafter, in 1941, she was signed to a contract by Paramount Pictures...
20. William Conrad William Conrad Actor, The Killers William Conrad became a television star relatively late in his career. In fact, the former Army Air Corps World War II fighter pilot began his screen career playing heavies. He was Max, one of The Killers hired to finish off Burt Lancaster in his dingy lodgings. He was the corrupt state inspector Turck working for the syndicate in The Racket...
21. Harold Sakata Harold Sakata Actor, Goldfinger The most famous henchman of the entire James Bond series of spy thrillers, Harold Sakata will forever be remembered as the villainous "Odd Job" in the ultimate Bond film, Goldfinger, with his lethal martial arts and steel-brimmed bowler hat. He was born Toshiyuki Sakata in Hawaii, of Japanese descent...
22. Tony Randall Tony Randall Actor, Pillow Talk
23. Esther Rolle Esther Rolle Actress, Driving Miss Daisy Affectionately known for the role of outspoken maid Florida Evans on the hit 70s sitcoms "Maude" and "Good Times," African-American actress Esther Rolle proved to be as spirited and iron-willed off-camera as well. The gap-toothed, rather plumpish and plain-looking actress with the gravelly voice was born in Pompano Beach...
24. Neville Brand Neville Brand Actor, Stalag 17 Neville Brand joined the US Army in 1939, bent on a career in the military. It was while he was in the army that he made his acting debut, in Army training films, and this experience apparently changed the direction of his life. Once a civilian again, he used his GI Bill education assistance to study drama with the American Theater Wing and then appeared in several Broadway plays...
25. LaWanda Page LaWanda Page Actress, Friday Best known for her role as Aunt Esther Anderson on "Sanford And Son", she appeared in many films including "Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood" (1996), "Friday" (1995), "The Legend of Dolemite" (1994), "West From North Goes South" (1993), "The Meteor Man" (1993)...
26. Tige Andrews Tige Andrews Actor, Mister Roberts
27. Jack Webb Jack Webb Writer, The Big Frank John (Jack) Randolph Webb's father left home before he was born; Webb would never know him. He was raised by his mother and maternal grandmother in dire poverty that preceded the Depression. Making things worse, Webb suffered from acute asthma from age six until adulthood, somewhat surprising for a man whose cigarette intake reached three packs a day at its peak...
28. Vincent Gardenia Vincent Gardenia Actor, Moonstruck
29. Patrick Troughton Patrick Troughton Actor, The Omen Patrick Troughton was born on 25 March 1920 and grew up in North London, where he was educated at Mill Hill Public School. In his teens he attended the Embassy School of Acting at Swiss Cottage, under Eileen Thorndike. From there he won a scholarship to the Leighton Rallius Studios at the John Drew Memorial Theatre on Long Island in New York...
30. Werner Klemperer Werner Klemperer Actor, Judgment at Nuremberg 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...
31. Ross Martin Ross Martin Actor, The Great Race Born in Grodek, Poland, Ross Martin grew up on New York City's Lower East Side. He spoke Yiddish, Polish, and Russian before even learning English and later added French, Spanish, and Italian to his amazing repertoire. Despite academic training (and receiving honors in) business, instruction, and law...
32. Virginia Mayo Virginia Mayo Actress, White Heat Virginia Clara Jones was born on November 30, 1920 in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of a newspaper reporter and his wife. The family had a rich heritage in the St. Louis area: her great-great-great-grandfather served in the American Revolution and later founded the city of East Saint Louis, Illinois...
33. Peggy Lee Peggy Lee Soundtrack, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Peggy Lee was Born Norma Dolores Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, on May 26, 1920. At age four her mother died. Peggy's father, a railroad station agent, remarried but later left home, leaving Peggy's care entrusted to a stepmother who physically abused her. Peggy later memorialized this in the calypso number "One Beating a Day"...
34. Ralph Meeker Ralph Meeker Actor, Paths of Glory Burly American character actor Ralph Meeker first acted on stage at his Alma mater, Northwestern University, alongside other budding performers Charlton Heston and Patricia Neal. He graduated as a music major, because his dean had discouraged him from pursuing a theatrical career. Ignoring that advice...
35. G.D. Spradlin G.D. Spradlin Actor, The Godfather: Part II G.D. Spradlin started his career as a lawyer, then became an Independent Oil producer. He was active in local politics before turning to acting. He joined the Oklahoma Repertory Theatre in 1964.
36. Ray Harryhausen Ray Harryhausen Producer, Clash of the Titans When it comes to motion picture special effects, there is only one name that personifies movie magic - Ray Harryhausen. From his debut films with George Pal to his final film, Harryhausen imbued magic and visual strength to motion picture special effects as no other technician has, before or since...
37. Viveca Lindfors Viveca Lindfors Actress, Stargate 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...
38. Rita Corday Rita Corday Actress, The Body Snatcher
39. Laraine Day Laraine Day Actress, Foreign Correspondent Born into a prominent Mormon family in Utah, Laraine Day's acting career began after her parents moved to Long Beach, California, where she joined the Long Beach Players. She appeared in her first film in 1937 in a bit part, then did leads in several George O'Brien westerns. Signing a contract with MGM...
40. Eric Rohmer Eric Rohmer Director, My Night at Maud's Admirers have always had difficulty explaining Eric Rohmer's "Je ne sais quoi." Part of the challenge stems from the fact that, despite his place in French Nouvelle Vague (i.e., New Wave), his work is unlike that of his colleagues. While this may be due to the auteur's unwillingness to conform, some have argued convincingly that...
41. Michael Pate Michael Pate Actor, Hondo The future movie bad man was born in Drummoyne, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, and got his career start as an interviewer on the government's radio station. Pate also worked on the Australian stage and in Down Under movies before relocating to th e U.S. in the early 1950s to appear in Universal's "Thunder on the Hill...
42. Leo McKern Leo McKern Actor, A Man for All Seasons Although he sounded very British, Leo McKern was an Australian. By the time he was 15 years old, he had endured an accident that left him without his left eye. A glass eye replaced it - one might conjecture for the better, as far as making McKern a one-day actor of singular focus (no pun intended; his face had that extremely focused look)...
43. Andrew V. McLaglen Andrew V. McLaglen Director, McLintock!
44. Mario Puzo Mario Puzo Writer, The Godfather Mario Puzo was born October 15, 1920, in "Hell's Kitchen" on Manhattan's (NY) West Side and, following military service in World War II, attended New York's New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His best-known novel, "The Godfather," was preceded by two critically acclaimed novels...
45. Nanette Fabray Nanette Fabray Actress, The Band Wagon A sparkling, entertaining, highly energetic presence ever since her early days (from age 4) as a singing and tap dancing child vaudevillian, Nanette Fabray (born Ruby Fabares in San Diego) was once billed as "Baby Nanette" and working with the top headliners of the era, notably Ben Turpin, in the Los Angeles area...
46. Melina Mercouri Melina Mercouri Actress, Never on Sunday Melina Mercouri was born in Athens, Greece on October 18, 1920. An early woman activist, she was elected to the Greek Parliament in 1977. Later Miss Mercouri was to become the first woman to hold a Senior cabinet post "Minister of Culture" in the Greek government. In 1971 she wrote her autobiography...
47. Buster Merryfield Buster Merryfield Actor, The Jolly Boys' Outing
48. Franklin J. Schaffner Franklin J. Schaffner Director, Planet of the Apes Franklin J. Schaffner was one of the most innovative creative minds in the early days of American network television, utilizing a moving camera in the days when most television directors kept the camera static. His eye for visuals was developed in the dozens of live television programs he directed on prestigious shows such as Studio One in Hollywood and Playhouse 90...
49. Janet Waldo Janet Waldo Actress, Waterloo Bridge Janet Waldo provided the quintessential voice of the swooning, overly dramatic teenager for a number of generations -- from the 1940s swinging babysitters to the 1960s groovy chick. A bouncy, perennially-youthful brunette, she was born in Yakima, Washington, and began entertaining in church plays as a youth...
50. Virginia Christine Virginia Christine Actress, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Virginia was a concert pianist and a trained lyric soprano. She studied dancing with Maria Bekefi and acting with the renowned professional studio coach, Helena Sorell and Michael Mark. Virginia spoke four languages, English, French, Swedish and German.
1-50 of 2,597 names.