In Memoriam 2004 (Notable Celebs)

by raisleygordon | created - 20 Jun 2011 | updated - 20 Jun 2011 | Public

1. Alistair Cooke

Self | Masterpiece Theatre

British-born American journalist and broadcaster. Cooke was born in Salford, Manchester: his father was an iron-fitter and Methodist lay-preacher. He grew up in Blackpool where his parents ran a guest house. Here he first came into contact with Americans, in the form of GIs on their way to fight in...

2. Christopher Reeve

Actor | Superman

Christopher D'Olier Reeve was born September 25, 1952, in New York City, to journalist Barbara Johnson (née Barbara Pitney Lamb) and writer/professor F.D. Reeve (Franklin D'Olier Reeve). He came from an upper-class family; his paternal grandfather was CEO of Prudential Financial, and one of his ...

3. Eugene Roche

Actor | Soap

Adept at both comedy and drama, character player Eugene Roche (sometimes billed as Gene Roche) had an extensive four-decade career. Born in Depression-era Boston the son of a Navy man, the moon-faced, intent-looking Roche started on radio at age 15 displaying his knack for character voices, both ...

4. Isabel Sanford

Actress | The Jeffersons

Isabel Sanford was a Broadway actress for over thirty years before moving to Hollywood. She made numerous guest appearances on TV, including a stint as a supporting cast member on The Carol Burnett Show (1967). Until her passing, Isabel continued to act frequently, most recently in a series of ...

5. Jack Paar

Actor | Walk Softly, Stranger

Became host of the Tonight Show in 1957 and quickly view very popular with viewers. So popular, in fact, that the show was renamed "The Jack Paar Show" after only one year of hosting. Paar's trademark was his great ability to engage in conversation with guests that went above and beyond the generic...

6. Janet Leigh

Actress | Psycho

Janet Leigh was the only child of a couple who often moved from town to town. Living in apartments, Janet was a bright child who skipped several grades and finished high school when she was 15. A lonely child, she would spend much of her time at movie theaters. She was a student, studying music and...

7. Jerry Orbach

Actor | Law & Order

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 ...

8. John Randolph

Actor | You've Got Mail

Veteran performer John Randolph was a Tony Award-winning character actor whose union and social activism in the '40s and '50s caused him to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era. The balding performer may not have been a household name, but he was a regular face in movies and TV for over four ...

9. Julia Child

Writer | Julie & Julia

Julia Child was born on August 15, 1912 in Pasadena, California, USA as Julia Carolyn McWilliams. She was a writer, known for Julie & Julia (2009), The French Chef (1962) and We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993). She was married to Paul Child. She died on August 13, 2004 in Montecito, ...

10. Marlon Brando

Actor | Apocalypse Now

Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier in terms of esteem. Unlike Olivier, who preferred the stage to the screen, Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in ...

11. Paul Winfield

Actor | The Terminator

Signifying intelligence, eloquence, versatility and quiet intensity, one of the more important, critically acclaimed black actors to gain a Hollywood foothold in the 1970s was Paul Winfield. Born in 1939 in Los Angeles, he lived there in his early years before moving with his family to Los Angeles'...

12. Peter Ustinov

Actor | Spartacus

Peter Ustinov was a two-time Academy Award-winning film actor, a director, writer, journalist and raconteur. He wrote and directed many acclaimed stage plays and led numerous international theatrical productions.

He was born Peter Alexander Freiherr von Ustinov on April 16, 1921, in Swiss Cottage, ...

13. Ray Charles

Soundtrack | Ray

A tragic fate may have given this visionary a heightened sensitivity, perception, awareness, even expansion to his obvious musical gifts that he may have never touched upon had he not suffered from his physical affliction. Whatever it was, Ray Charles revolutionized American music and was ...

14. Robert Keeshan

Actor | Captain Kangaroo

Television producer and host Robert James Keeshan was born in Lynbrook, Long Island, New York. As a young man he served in the US Marine Corps Reserve. Starting as a page at the National Broadcasting Company, Keeshan later began his on-air career as the original "Clarabell, the Clown" for the NBC ...

15. Rodney Dangerfield

Actor | Back to School

Rodney Dangerfield was born Jacob Cohen on November 22, 1921 in Deer Park, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. He was the son of Dorothy "Dotty" (Teitelbaum) and Phillip Cohen, who performed in vaudeville under the name Phil Roy. His father was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents, and ...

16. Robert Pastorelli

Actor | Eraser

Beefy, roughhewn actor Robert Pastorelli was a former boxer and an admitted drug addict before he cleaned up his act and pursued theater work in New York in such 1970s productions as "Rebel Without a Cause," "The Rainmaker," and "Death of a Salesman," he headed west and turned to film and TV in ...

17. Ronald Reagan

Actor | The Killers

Ronald Reagan had quite a prolific career, having catapulted from a Warner Bros. contract player and television star, into serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild, the governorship of California (1967-1975), and lastly, two terms as President of the United States (1981-1989).

Ronald Wilson ...

18. Tony Randall

Actor | The Odd Couple

Tony Randall was born on February 26, 1920 in Tulsa, Oklahoma as Aryeh Leonard Rosenberg. He attended Tulsa Central High School and later Northwestern University and New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. After graduating, he starred in two plays: George Bernard Shaw's '...