1-50 of 1,309 names.

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1. Bruce Lee Bruce Lee Actor, Enter the Dragon Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and European cinema and audiences the way it has over the past four decades...
2. Bobby Darin Bobby Darin Soundtrack, American Beauty Bobby Darin was born Walden Robert Cassotto on May 14, 1936. Growing up in a rough section of the Bronx, New York, Bobby barely survived several serious bouts of rheumatic fever that left him with a damaged heart (which undoubtedly contributed to his early death). Bobby's ambition was to become a legend by the time he was 25...
3. Veronica Lake Veronica Lake Actress, Sullivan's Travels Veronica Lake was born as Constance Frances Marie Ockleman on November 14, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York. She was the daughter of Constance Charlotta (Trimble) and Harry Eugene Ockelman, who worked for an oil company as a ship employee. Her father was of half German and half Irish descent, and her mother was of Irish ancestry...
4. Irene Ryan Irene Ryan Actress, The Beverly Hillbillies Before becoming known to millions as Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies, Irene Ryan was already an established vaudeville, radio and movie actress, though not as famous prior to her television stint. She accompanied Bob Hope on his famous military tours and she was known as "the gal who makes Bob Hope laugh." After being cast as Granny...
5. John Ford John Ford Director, The Searchers John Ford came to Hollywood following one of his brothers, an actor. Asked what brought him to Hollywood, he replied "The train". He became one of the most respected directors in the business, in spite of being known for his westerns, which were not considered "serious" film. He won six Oscars, counting (he always did) the two that he won for his WWII documentary work...
6. Edward G. Robinson Edward G. Robinson Actor, Double Indemnity Edward G. Robinson arrived in the United States at age ten, and his family moved into New York's Lower East Side. He took up acting while attending City College, abandoning plans to become a rabbi or lawyer. The American Academy of Dramatic Arts awarded him a scholarship, and he began work in stock...
7. Lon Chaney Jr. Lon Chaney Jr. Actor, The Wolf Man 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...
8. Robert Ryan Robert Ryan Actor, The Wild Bunch Distinguished U.S. actor and longtime civil rights campaigner Robert Bushnell Ryan was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Mable Arbutus (Bushnell), a secretary, and Timothy Aloysius Ryan, whose wealthy family owned a real estate firm. His father was of Irish ancestry, and his mother was of English and Irish descent...
9. John Banner John Banner Actor, Hogan's Heroes John Banner, who achieved television immortality for his portrayal of the Luftwaffe POW camp guard Sergeant Schultz in the TV series Hogan's Heroes. He was born on Tuesday, January 28th, 1910 in Vienna. Vienna was the capital of what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The 28-year-old Banner...
10. Laurence Harvey Laurence Harvey Actor, The Manchurian Candidate Laurence Harvey was a British movie star who helped usher in the 1960s with his indelible portrait of a ruthless social climber, and became one of the decade's cultural icons for his appearances in socially themed motion pictures. Harvey was born Zvi Mosheh Skikne on October 1, 1928 in Joniskis, Lithuania...
11. Betty Grable Betty Grable Actress, How to Marry a Millionaire Elizabeth Ruth Grable was born on December 18, 1916 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Lillian Rose (Hofmann) and John Charles Grable, a stockbroker. She had German, English, Irish, and Dutch ancestry. Her mother was a stubborn and materialistic woman who was determined to make her daughter a star. Elizabeth...
12. Glenn Strange Glenn Strange Actor, Gunsmoke 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...
13. Peggie Castle Peggie Castle Actress, Lawman Tall, sultry, green-eyed blonde Peggie Castle was actually spotted by a talent scout while she was lunching in a Beverly Hills restaurant. In her films she was usually somebody's "woman" rather than a girlfriend, and her career was confined to mostly "B"-grade action pictures, dramas or westerns: Harem Girl...
14. Veda Ann Borg Veda Ann Borg Actress, Mildred Pierce Born in Boston, Veda Ann Borg was a New York model in 1936 when a screen test brought her a short-lived contract at Paramount, where she made her debut film, Three Cheers for Love. She fit better at Warner Brothers, where she played at least 15 roles (some of them bits) in 1937-38; but in 1939 a severe auto crash...
15. Tim Holt Tim Holt Actor, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Born Charles John Holt III, he was given the nickname of Tim as a child. As a toddler Tim had an imaginary friend named "Casey," which was also the name of his favorite childhood dog. His father, Jack Holt, was "King of the Rodeo" at the 1924 Fresno Rodeo and was accompanied by five-year-old Tim riding in the parade as the "Crown Prince." In an article for Western Stars magazine in 1950...
16. Jack MacGowran Jack MacGowran Actor, The Exorcist Jack MacGowran, the great Irish character actor known for his roles in the plays of Samuel Beckett, was born on October 13, 1918, in Ireland. He established his professional reputation as a member of the Abbey Players in Dublin, but he won his greatest fame for essaying Beckett's characters onstage...
17. J. Carrol Naish J. Carrol Naish Actor, The New Adventures of Charlie Chan J. Carroll was born in New York City to Catherine Moran and Patrick Sarsfield Naish (not in the business). He was educated at St. Cecilia's Academy, New York City. He had seven years stage experience in Paris and New York. Later in stock company. First screen appearance in 1930. Fox brought him to Hollywood.
18. Betty Field Betty Field Actress, Picnic Thespian Betty Field was born in Boston on February 8, 1916, the daughter of a salesman and his wife. Ancestors on her father's side were Mayflower colonists Priscilla and John Alden. Her parents divorced while she was still young and Betty eventually learned to speak Spanish while traveling with her mother to various Spanish-speaking countries during her childhood...
19. Jack Hawkins Jack Hawkins Actor, Ben-Hur In Britain, special Christmas plays called pantomimes are produced for children. Jack Hawkins made his London theatrical debut at age 12, playing the elf king in "Where The Rainbow Ends". At 17, he got the lead role of St. George in the same play. At 18, he made his debut on Broadway in "Journey's End"...
20. Jean-Pierre Melville Jean-Pierre Melville Writer, Le Samouraï The name "Melville" is not immediately associated with film. It conjures up images of white whales and crackbrained captains, of naysaying notaries and soup-spilling sailors. It is the countersign to a realm of men and their deeds, both heroic and villainous. It is the American novel, with its Ishmaels and its Claggarts a challenge to the European canon...
21. 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...
22. Lex Barker Lex Barker Actor, Winnetou Barker was a direct descendant of the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, and of Sir 'William Henry Crichlow', historical governor general of Barbados. He excelled in football and track at Fessenden School and Phillips-Exeter Academy. He went to Princeton but left to become an actor. A year later he was spotted in summer stock and received a contract offer from 20th Century Fox...
23. Wally Cox Wally Cox Self, The Hollywood Squares Wally Cox was a beloved character actor who made his mark in television and ranks as one of the medium's most memorable performers. His ability to show his range likely was limited by his short stature, slight frame, and high-pitched voice, which along with his talent for being very funny, made him ideal for comedy parts such as his memorable turn as Professor P...
24. William Haines William Haines Actor, Show People Born in Staunton, Virginia, William Haines ran off to live life on his own terms while still in his teens, moving to New York City and becoming friends with such later Hollywood luminaries as designer Orry-Kelly and Cary Grant. His film career started slowly, but by the end of the silent era he was regularly named as the #1 male box-office draw...
25. Ken Maynard Ken Maynard Actor, Mystery Mountain Studio publicity incorrectly puts his birthplace at Mission, Texas. Ken was a trick rider with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and later with Ringling Brothers and was also a champion rodeo rider. His movie debut, The Man Who Won, was the first of many for this early cowboy movie superstar. He was famous for the stunts he could enact with his horse Tarzan...
26. Noël Coward Noël 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...
27. Anna Magnani Anna Magnani Actress, Roma città aperta Anna Magnani was born in Rome, Italy (not in Egypt, as some biographies claim), on March 7, 1908. She was the illegitimate child of Marina Magnani and an unknown father, often said to be from Alexandria, Egypt, but whom Anna herself claimed was from the Calabria region of Italy although she never knew his name...
28. Douglas Kennedy Douglas Kennedy Actor, Steve Donovan, Western Marshal A tall, powerfully built man, Douglas Kennedy entered films after graduating from Amherst. Making his debut in 1940, he appeared in many westerns and detective thrillers, often as a villain. World War II interrupted his career, and he spent the war years as a Signal Corps officer and an operative in the OSS and US Army Intelligence...
29. Michael Dunn Michael Dunn Actor, Ship of Fools Michael Dunn was born Gary Neil Miller in Oklahoma. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Fred Miller. They moved to Detroit, Michigan, in 1938. Dunn was 5 years old when he knew he'd be a dwarf but was determined not to let it stop him or make him dependent. He graduated from Detroit's Redford High School in 1951...
30. Joe E. Brown Joe E. Brown Actor, Some Like It Hot Joe E. Brown happily claimed that he was the only youngster in show business who ran way from home to join the circus with the blessings of his parents. In 1902, the ten-year-old Brown joined a circus tumbling act called the Five Marvellous Ashtons, which toured various circuses and vaudeville theaters...
31. Norma Crane Norma Crane Actress, Fiddler on the Roof
32. J.R.R. Tolkien J.R.R. Tolkien Writer, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King J.R.R. Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and professor who is best known as the author of the classic high-fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Tolkien never expected his stories to become popular, but by sheer accident a book called The Hobbit, which he had written some years before for his own children...
33. Mantan Moreland Mantan Moreland Actor, King of the Zombies Although his brand of humor has been reviled for decades, black character actor Mantan Moreland parlayed his cocky but jittery character into a recognizable presence in the late 1930s and early 1940s, appearing in a long string of comedy thrillers . . . and was considered quite funny at the time! Born just after the turn of the century in Louisiana...
34. Robert Armstrong Robert Armstrong Actor, King Kong Robert Armstrong is familiar to old-movie buffs for his case-hardened, rapid-fire delivery in such roles as fast-talking promoters, managers, FBI agents, street cops, detectives and other such characters in scores of films--over 160--many of them at Warner Brothers, where he was part of the so-called "Warner Brothers Stock Company" that consisted of such players as James Cagney...
35. Dennis Price Dennis Price Actor, Kind Hearts and Coronets This urbane, sourly handsome British actor was born to privilege and most of his roles would follow suit. Born Dennistoun John Franklyn Rose-Price in Berkshire in 1915, Dennis Price, the son of a brigadier-general, was expected to abide by his family wishes and make a career for himself in the army or the church...
36. Myrna Fahey Myrna Fahey Actress, House of Usher
37. Ernest Truex Ernest Truex Actor, His Girl Friday The ultimate milquetoast and ineffectual boss in comedy outings, meek character actor Ernest Truex was a small (5'3"), adenoidal, very well-dressed fellow, a popular avuncular type in later years who enjoyed a seven-decade-long career. He was born September 19, 1889, in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of a physician...
38. Allan Lane Allan Lane Actor, Stagecoach to Denver Most western action film heroes begin and end their career in the saddle. Not so for cowboy idol Allan "Rocky" Lane, who started as a leading man in major studio dramas, only to segue into "B" serials and sagebrush sagas in later life. The Indiana native was born in 1909 (some sources claim 1904). His attentions...
39. Lane Bradford Lane Bradford Actor, Zombies of the Stratosphere
40. Sidney Blackmer Sidney Blackmer Actor, Rosemary's Baby Sidney Blackmer, the Tony-award winning actor who played Teddy Roosevelt in seven movies, is best remembered by today's movie audiences for his turn as the warlock/coven-leader Roman Castevet in Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. Born and raised in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he made his debut on July 13...
41. Cecil Kellaway Cecil Kellaway Actor, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Cecil Kellaway was nominated for two Oscars for Best Supporting Actor for The Luck of the Irish and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Cecil was originally offered the role of Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street, but he turned it down, telling his son, "Americans don't go for whimsy." His works also include some television. He played Santa Claus on an episode of Bewitched and also appeared in The Twilight Zone.
42. Sessue Hayakawa Sessue Hayakawa Actor, The Bridge on the River Kwai Sessue Hayakawa was born in Chiba, Japan. His father was the provincial governor and his mother a member of an aristocratic family of the "samurai" class. The young Hayakawa wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a career officer in the Japanese navy, but he was turned down due to problems with his hearing...
43. Ted de Corsia Ted de Corsia Actor, The Killing A big, brawny villain of many 1940s and 1950s films, Ted de Corsia was an actor in touring companies and on radio before making a memorable film debut as the killer in The Lady from Shanghai. Although he occasionally played such sympathetic roles as a judge or prison warden, de Corsia's imposing size, tough New York street demeanor...
44. Paul Hartman Paul Hartman Actor, Mayberry R.F.D. Rubber-limbed American dancer, vaudevillian and character actor, whose roots were steeped in show business. Paul's impresario father, Ferris Hartman, was known by the sobriquet "the Ziegfeld of the Pacific Coast". Between 1917 and 1921, he also worked as a silent film director for Triangle out of Culver City...
45. Minna Gombell Minna Gombell Actress, The Thin Man A doctor's daughter, the versatile actress Minna Gombell had a successful career on the stage from 1912 to the end of the 1920's, appearing often in comedic roles, almost always in leads. She had a reputation as a fast learner, capable of reading and comprehending a script in a matter of hours. This ability served her well as an understudy early in her career...
46. Edgar Stehli Edgar Stehli Actor, Seconds
47. Stacy Harris Stacy Harris Actor, N.O.P.D. Stacy Harris, the Cando-American television, movie and radio actor, is probably best known for the many roles he played opposite Jack Webb in Dragnet and on other Webb-produced shows. Harris and Webb were close friends and Jack named one of his daughters "Stacey" in his friend's honor...
48. Ludwig Stössel Ludwig Stössel Actor, The Pride of the Yankees Born in Austria in 1883, Ludwig Stossel was an established theater presence (from age 17) in both his homeland and in Germany for decades, performing at one time or another for both Max Reinhardt and Otto Preminger. He made a handful of German silents beginning in 1926 and had moved with ease into sound pictures...
49. Carl Benton Reid Carl Benton Reid Actor, In a Lonely Place Carl Benton Reid was a drama graduate from Carnegie Tech who had several years of stage experience performing at the Cleveland PLayhouse in the 1920's, where he met his future wife, stage actress Hazel Harrison. After moving to New York, he became a noted actor on the Broadway stage with some impressive credits to his name...
50. Stringbean Stringbean Self, Hee Haw David Akeman, the country musician known as "Stringbean," was a legend at the Grand Ole Opry and one of the stars of television's Hee Haw. Along with his long-time partner and Hee Haw co-star Grandpa Jones, he was one of the premier traditional-style banjo players in country music...
1-50 of 1,309 names.