1-50 of 1,145 names.

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1. Irene Ryan Irene Ryan Actress, My Dear Secretary 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...
2. 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...
3. Veronica Lake Veronica Lake Actress, Sullivan's Travels Veronica Lake was born in Brooklyn, New York with the birth name of Constance Frances Marie Ockelman. Her father worked for an oil company as a ship employee. While still a child, Veronica's parents moved to Florida when she wasn't quite a year old. By the time she was five, the family had returned to Brooklyn...
4. Robert Ryan Robert Ryan Actor, The Wild Bunch Chicago-born, distinguished U.S. actor and longtime civil rights campaigner, Robert Ryan served in the United States Marines as a drill sergeant (winning a boxing championship) and went on to become a key figure in post WWII American film noir and western productions. Ryan grabbed critical attention for his dynamic performances as an anti-Semitic bully in the superb Crossfire...
5. 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...
6. John Ford John Ford Director, The Searchers John Ford is, arguably, The Great American Director. When Orson Welles, who repeatedly screened Ford's Stagecoach as a crash course in filmmaking before helming his first film, Citizen Kane, was asked who his three favorite directors were, he answered, "John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford." Along with D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille...
7. 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...
8. Betty Grable Betty Grable Actress, How to Marry a Millionaire Elizabeth Ruth Grable was born on December 18, 1916 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother Lillian was a stubborn and materialistic woman who was determined to make her daughter a star. Elizabeth, who later became Betty, was enrolled in Clark's Dancing School at the age of three. With her mother's guidance...
9. John Banner John Banner Actor, 36 Hours John Banner, who achieved television immortality for his portrayal of the Luftwaffe prison-camp guard Sergeant Schultz in the TV series Hogan's Heroes, was born on January 28, 1910 in Vienna, the capital of what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The 28-year-old Banner, who was Jewish, was forced to abandon his homeland after the 1938 Anschluss (union) between Nazi Germany and Austria...
10. 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 assaying Beckett's characters onstage...
11. Laurence Harvey Laurence Harvey Actor, The Manchurian Candidate Laurence Harvey, the 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, was born Laruschka Mischa Skikne on October 1, 1928, in Joniskis, Lithuania...
12. 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...
13. 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"...
14. 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...
15. Tim Holt Tim Holt Actor, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Juvenile actor who graduated to starring his own series of 1940's "B" westerns and to playing solid supporting roles in higher-budget features.
16. 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). He studied at Notre Dame University where he excelled as a varsity letter athlete in football...
17. Norma Crane Norma Crane Actress, Fiddler on the Roof
18. 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...
19. J.R.R. Tolkien J.R.R. Tolkien Writer, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King English writer, scholar and philologist, Tolkien's father was a bank manager in South Africa. When his father died in 1896 his mother took him and his younger brother to his father's native village of Sarehole, near Birmingham, England. The landscapes and Nordic mythology of the Midlands may have been...
20. Lex Barker Lex Barker Actor, La Dolce Vita 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...
21. 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...
22. 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...
23. Jean-Pierre Melville Jean-Pierre Melville Writer, The Samurai 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...
24. Anna Magnani Anna Magnani Actress, Rome, Open City 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...
25. 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...
26. Wally Cox Wally Cox Self, Episode #1.58 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...
27. 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...
28. Myrna Fahey Myrna Fahey Actress, House of Usher
29. Cleo Moore Cleo Moore Actress, One Girl's Confession Cleo Moore was born Cleouna Moore on October 31, 1924 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her parents were deeply involved in Democratic politics. Politics, in Louisiana, was an all consuming passion with a lot of families in the 1920s and 1930s. Cleo began her trek to stardom when she participated in school plays in high school...
30. 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...
31. Stringbean Stringbean Self, Episode #5.21 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...
32. 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...
33. Cecil Kellaway Cecil Kellaway Actor, Harvey Though a native of South Africa, Cecil Kellaway spent many years as an actor, author and director in the Australian film industry until he tried his luck in Hollywood in the 1930s. Finding he could get only gangster bit parts, he got discouraged and returned to Australia. Then William Wyler called and offered him a part in Wuthering Heights...
34. James Beck James Beck Actor, Dad's Army Londoner James Beck took to the Theatre at the end of his National Service, playing roles as diverse as Shylock to Archie Rice in "The Entertainer". His role as Cockney spiv Private Walker in Dad's Army made him a familiar face, if not a familiar name. His life was cut short before a potentially much more interesting career.
35. Pablo Picasso Pablo Picasso Self, Le mystère Picasso Pablo Picasso, one of the most recognized figures of the 20th century art who co-created such styles as Cubism and Surrealism, was also among most innovative, influential, and prolific artists of all time. He was born Pablo Ruiz Picasso on October 6, 1881, in Malaga, Spain. He was the first child of Jose Ruiz y Blasco and Maria Picasso y Lopez...
36. J. Carrol Naish J. Carrol Naish Actor, Sahara 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.
37. Betty Field Betty Field Actress, Picnic Boston-born thespian Betty Field was born in the year 1913, 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...
38. 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...
39. Peggie Castle Peggie Castle Actress, Beginning of the End 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...
40. Alan Carney Alan Carney Actor, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
41. Douglas Kennedy Douglas Kennedy Actor, Dark Passage 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...
42. Paul Hartman Paul Hartman Actor, Inherit the Wind 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...
43. 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...
44. 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...
45. Robert Siodmak Robert Siodmak Director, The Killers The director Robert Siodmak (which he insisted, be pronounced 'See-odd-mack') was a masterful film maker who successfully blended the techniques of German Expressionism with contemporary styles of American film, particularly film noir, in the process creating a handful of moody, sometimes chilling, and always memorable motion pictures...
46. Bambi Allen Bambi Allen Actress, Affair in the Air
47. 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...
48. 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...
49. Lane Bradford Lane Bradford Actor, Zombies of the Stratosphere
50. Steven Geray Steven Geray Actor, All About Eve Diminutive, gentle-featured character actor, who specialised in playing meek, reticent or kindly gentlemen, usually of Gallic, Germanic or Eastern European backgrounds. Istvan Gyergyay was born in the old Austro/Hungarian town of Ungvar (present-day Uzhgorod) and studied at Budapest University. His acting career began on stage with the Hungarian National Theatre in 1924...
1-50 of 1,145 names.