1-50 of 5,231 names.

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1. Heath Ledger Heath Ledger Actor, The Dark Knight When a hunky, twenty-year-old heart-throb Heath Ledger first came to the attention of the public in 1999, it was all too easy to tag him as a "pretty boy" and an actor of little depth. He spent several years trying desperately to sway this image, but this was a double-edged sword. Heath Ledger was born on the fourth of April 1979...
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman Philip Seymour Hoffman Actor, Capote Film and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. He was the son of Marilyn (Loucks), a lawyer and judge, and Gordon Stowell Hoffman, a Xerox employee, and was mostly of German, Irish, English and Dutch ancestry...
3. Eli Wallach Eli Wallach Actor, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly One of Hollywood's finest character / "Method" actors, Eli Wallach has been in demand for over 60 years (first film/TV role was 1949) on stage and screen and has worked alongside the biggest stars, including Clark Gable, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe, Yul Brynner, Peter O'Toole, and Al Pacino, to name but a few...
4. Lauren Bacall Lauren Bacall Actress, The Big Sleep Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924, in New York City. She is the daughter of Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, a Romanian Jewish immigrant, and William Perske, who was born in New Jersey, to Polish Jewish parents. Her family was middle-class, with her father working as a salesman and her mother as a secretary...
5. Natasha Richardson Natasha Richardson Actress, The Parent Trap Natasha Richardson made her feature film debut as Mary Shelley in Ken Russell's Gothic. Her performance caught the attention of director Paul Schrader, who cast her in the title role in Patty Hearst. Since then, Ms. Richardson achieved notable success in such films as Pat O'Connor's A Month in the Country...
6. Anne Bancroft Anne Bancroft Actress, The Graduate Anne Bancroft was born on September 17, 1931 in the Bronx, New York, the daughter of Italian-American parents Michael Italiano (1906-2001), a dress pattern maker, and Mildred DiNapoli (1908-2010), a telephone operator. She made her cinema debut in Don't Bother to Knock in 1952 and over the next five years appeared in a lot of undistinguished movies as a supporting actress (like...
7. John Hughes John Hughes Writer, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
8. Rita Hayworth Rita Hayworth Actress, Gilda Margarita Carmen Cansino was born on October 17, 1918, in Brooklyn, New York, into a family of dancers. Her father, Eduardo was a dancer as was his father before him. He emigrated from Spain in 1913. Rita's mother met Eduardo in 1916 and were married the following year. Rita, herself, studied as a dancer in order to follow in her family's footsteps...
9. Madeline Kahn Madeline Kahn Actress, Young Frankenstein Madeline Kahn was born Madeline Gail Wolfson on September 29, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Freda (Goldberg) and Bernard B. Wolfson, a garment manufacturer. She was of Russian Jewish descent. Madeline began her acting career in high school and went on to university where she trained as an opera singer and starred in several campus productions...
10. Gloria Grahame Gloria Grahame Actress, It's a Wonderful Life Gloria Hallward was born in Los Angeles, California. She was the daughter of Michael Hallward, an architect, and Jean MacDougall, an actress whose stage name was Jean Grahame. Her mother later became her acting coach. Descended from royalty--King Edward III through her father's side--she was bred for acting at an early age...
11. Peter Boyle Peter Boyle Actor, Taxi Driver A bold, blunt instrument of hatred and violence at the onset of his film career, Peter Boyle recoiled from that repugnant, politically incorrect "working class" image to eventually play gruff, gentler bears and even comedy monsters in a career that lasted four decades. He was born on October 18, 1935...
12. 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...
13. 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. Their father William made a lot of money in banking but was quite poor during the depression. Their mother...
14. Joan Crawford Joan Crawford Actress, Mildred Pierce Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23, 1905, in San Antonio, Texas, to Anna Belle (Johnson) and Thomas E. LeSueur, a laundry laborer. By the time she was born, 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...
15. William Hickey William Hickey Actor, The Nightmare Before Christmas Son of Edward & Nora Hickey. Best known as the ancient Mafia don in Prizzi's Honor, Hickey had a long, distinguished career in film, television, and the stage. Began career as a child actor on the variety stage. Made Broadway debut as walk-on in George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan" (1951 production, starring Uta Hagen)...
16. Mae Questel Mae Questel Actress, Christmas Vacation Her Orthodox Jewish family were totally adverse to her having an entertainment career. Her parents and grandparents forced her to leave the Theatre Guild school (New York) while still a teenager and had their wills drawn up accordingly so as to discourage this career choice. Studied drama at Columbia University, and belonged to the American Theatre Wing...
17. Jan Hooks Jan Hooks Actress, Batman Returns Jan Hooks is better remembered for her 5-year run on Saturday Night Live (1986-91) on the series she impersonated actress ranging from Bette Davis, to Ann-Margret, to Sally Kellerman, to Jodie Foster. After she left the show, she was proposed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason to replace Jean Smart on CBS's Designing Women...
18. Geoffrey Holder Geoffrey Holder Actor, Live and Let Die Dancer, choreographer and actor Geoffrey Holder was born on August 1, 1930, in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, into a middle-class family. One of four children, he was taught painting and dancing by his older brother Boscoe Holder, whose dance troupe, the Holder Dance Company, the young Geoffrey joined when he was seven years old...
19. Joan Rivers Joan Rivers Self, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
20. John Cazale John Cazale Actor, The Godfather: Part II John Cazale was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to an Irish-American mother, Cecilia (Holland), and an Italian-American father, John Cazale. Cazale only made five feature films in his career, all which many fans and critics alike call classics. But before his film debut, the short The American Way, he won numerous Obie Awards for his stage performances in "The Indian Wants the Bronx" and "The Line"...
21. Jim Henson Jim Henson Writer, Sesame Street Jim Henson never thought that he would make a name of himself in puppetry; it was merely a way of getting himself on television. The vehicle that achieved it was Sam and Friends, a late-night puppet show that was on after the 11:00 news in Washington DC. It proved to be very popular and inspired Jim to continue using puppets for his work...
22. Myrna Loy Myrna Loy Actress, The Best Years of Our Lives At the end of the silent era, Myrna Loy started her career as an exotic, Theda Bara-like femme fatale. Fortunately, she was rescued by the advent of the sound picture, where she was recast in the role of the witty, urbane, professional woman. She is best remembered for her role of Nora Charles opposite William Powell in six "Thin Man" movies (The Thin Man).
23. John Lennon John Lennon Soundtrack, A Hard Day's Night John Winston (later Ono) Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, to Julia (Stanley) an Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman. He was of Irish, and some Welsh and English, ancestry. In the mid-1950s, he formed his first band, The Quarrymen (after Quarry Bank High School, which he attended) who, with the addition of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, later became The Beatles...
24. Gloria Swanson Gloria Swanson Actress, Sunset Blvd. Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her film debut was as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket. From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in 1919, a contract with Cecil B. DeMille. DeMille transformed her from a typical Mack Sennett comedienne into a lively...
25. Greta Garbo Greta Garbo Actress, Ninotchka Greta Lovisa Gustafsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden on September 18, 1905. She was 14 when her father died, leaving the family destitute. Greta was forced to leave school and go to work in a department store. The store used her for her modeling abilities for newspaper ads. She had no film aspirations...
26. 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...
27. Bobby Driscoll Bobby Driscoll Actor, Peter Pan Bobby Driscoll was a natural-born actor. Discovered by chance at the age of five-and-a-half in a barber shop in Altadena, CA. and then convincing in anything he ever undertook on the movie screen and on television throughout his career spanning 17 years (1943-1960). Includes such notable movie screen appearances as The Sullivans...
28. Jerry Orbach Jerry Orbach Actor, Beauty and the Beast Jerry was born in the Bronx. His father, Leon, was a former vaudevillian actor and his mother, Emily, was a radio singer. His family moved frequently and eventually settled in Waukegan, Illinois where he went to high school. The constant moving made him the new kid on the block and forced him to become "a chameleon" to blend in his new settings...
29. Douglas Seale Douglas Seale Actor, Aladdin The British classical actor/producer/director Douglas Seale enjoyed a 65-year transatlantic career that included stage, films and television. Born in 1913 the son of Robert Henry Seale and his wife Margaret Law Seale, he was educated at Rutlish, a boys' comprehensive school in West Wimbledon. He displayed...
30. Anne Baxter Anne Baxter Actress, All About Eve Anne Baxter was born in Michigan City, Indiana, on May 7, 1923. She was the daughter of a salesman and his wife, Catherine, who herself was the daughter of Frank Lloyd Wright, the world-renowned architect. Anne was a young girl of 11 when her parents moved to New York City, which at that time was still the hub of the entertainment industry even though the film colony was moving west...
31. Sidney Lumet Sidney Lumet Director, 12 Angry Men Sidney Lumet was a master of cinema, best known for his technical knowledge and his skill at getting first-rate performances from his actors -- and for shooting most of his films in his beloved New York. He made over 40 movies, often complex and emotional, but seldom overly sentimental. Although his politics were somewhat left-leaning and he often treated socially relevant themes in his films...
32. Nora Ephron Nora Ephron Writer, You've Got Mail Nora Ephron was educated at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an acclaimed essayist (Crazy Salad 1975), novelist (Heartburn 1983), and had written screenplays for several popular films, all featuring strong female characters, such as anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood (Silkwood, co-written...
33. Ethel Merman Ethel Merman Actress, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Born in the Astoria section of Queens, New York City, Ethel Merman was surely the pre-eminent star of 'Broadway' musical comedy. Though untrained in singing, she could belt out a song like quite no one else, and was sought after by major songwriters such as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Having debuted in 1930 in "Girl Crazy...
34. Charles Durning Charles Durning Actor, The Sting WWII veteran, dance instructor and diversely talented stage & screen actor were all inclusions on the resume of this perpetually busy US actor who didn't get in front of the cameras until around the time of his fortieth birthday. The stockily built Charles Durning was one of Hollywood's most dependable and sought after supporting actors...
35. Kim Hunter Kim Hunter Actress, Planet of the Apes Her father, Donald Cole, was a consulting engineer, and died in 1926 when Kim was only 3 years old. Her mother, Grace Lind, once performed as a concert pianist. She had one brother who was eight years older than she, and she was educated at Miami Beach High. According to an in-depth article on Kim Hunter by Joseph Collura in the October 2009 issue of "Classic Images"...
36. Jean Stapleton Jean Stapleton Actress, Meet the Bunkers Jean Stapleton was born Jeanne Murray in Manhattan, New York City, to Marie A. (Stapleton), an opera singer, and Joseph Edward Murray, a billboard advertising salesman. Her paternal grandparents were Irish. She was a cousin of actress Betty Jane Watson. Other relatives in show business were her uncle...
37. Lillian Gish Lillian Gish Actress, The Night of the Hunter Lillian Gish was born into a broken family where her restless father James Lee Gish was frequently absent. Mary Robinson McConnell a.k.a. Mary Gish, her mother, had entered into acting to make money to support the family. As soon as Lillian and her sister Dorothy were old enough, they became part of the act...
38. Ben Gazzara Ben Gazzara Actor, Anatomy of a Murder Ben Gazzara's screen career began with two critically acclaimed roles as heavies in the late 1950s. He turned to television in the 1960s but made a big screen comeback with roles in three John Cassavetes films in the 1970s. The 1980s and 1990s saw Gazzara work more frequently than ever before in character parts...
39. Sylvia Sidney Sylvia Sidney Actress, Beetlejuice Sylvia Sidney was born in New York City, in the Bronx borough, on August 8, 1910 with the birth name of Sophia Kosow. Her father was Russian born and her mother was born in Romania. They divorced not long after her birth. Her mother subsequently remarried and Sylvia was adopted by her stepfather, Sigmund Sidney...
40. Matthew Cowles Matthew Cowles Actor, Shutter Island
41. Basil Rathbone Basil Rathbone Actor, The Adventures of Robin Hood Basil Rathbone was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1892, but three years later his family was forced to flee the country because his father was accused by the Boers of being a British spy at a time when Dutch-British conflicts were leading to the Boer War. The Rathbones escaped to England, where Basil and his two younger siblings...
42. Al Lewis Al Lewis Actor, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? In the late 1920s, Lewis worked as a circus performer, but ultimately decided on college, earning a Ph.D. in child psychology from Columbia University. He taught school and wrote two children's books. In 1949, at the suggestion of a friend, Lewis turned to acting and joined the Paul Mann Actor's Workshop in New York...
43. Lena Horne Lena Horne Self, That's Entertainment! III Lena Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. In her biography she stated that on the day she was born, her father was in the midst of a card game trying to get money to pay the hospital costs. Her parents divorced while she was still a toddler. Her mother left later in order to find work as an actress and Lena was left in the care of her grandparents...
44. Rex Harrison Rex Harrison Actor, My Fair Lady Born in 1908 in Lancashire, England, Reginald Carey Harrison changed his name to Rex as a young boy, knowing it was the Latin word for King. Starting out on his theater career at age 18, his first job at the Liverpool Rep Theatre was nearly his last - dashing across the stage to say his one line, made his entrance and promptly blew it...
45. Ron Silver Ron Silver Actor, Ali
46. Gene Anthony Ray Gene Anthony Ray Actor, Fame Born on May 24, 1962, in Harlem. Attended Julia Richmond High School, where he performed in a dance class, and later auditioned for Louis Falco, the choreographer for the film, Fame. Actually attended New York's "High School of the Performing Arts" for a year, before being kicked out...
47. Michelle Thomas Michelle Thomas Actress, Hangin' with the Homeboys Michelle Thomas was born in Boston but raised in New York and New Jersey. She attended the Montclair School of Arts and the Broadway Dance Center. She is survived by her parents, Phynjuar Thomas (a stage actress and acting coach) and Dennis J.T. Thomas (a founder and current member of the 1970s funk band Kool & the Gang); her brother...
48. 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...
49. Farley Granger Farley Granger Actor, Strangers on a Train Farley Earle Granger was born in 1925 in San Jose, California, to Eva (Hopkins) and Farley Earle Granger, who owned an automobile dealership. Right out of high school, he was brought to the attention of movie producer Samuel Goldwyn, who cast him in a small role in The North Star. He followed it up with a much bigger part in The Purple Heart and then joined the army...
50. Elia Kazan Elia Kazan Director, On the Waterfront Elia Kazan, known for his creative stage direction, was born "Elia Kazanjoglous" in Istanbul in 1909 to Greek parents. He directed such Broadway plays as "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". He directed the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire and also films written for the screen...
1-50 of 5,231 names.