Kennedy Center Honors Recipientsby Syl | created - 18 Jul 2012 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
1. Fred Astaire
Actor | The Towering Inferno
Fred Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Johanna (Geilus) and Fritz Austerlitz, a brewer. Fred entered show business at age 5. He was successful both in vaudeville and on Broadway in partnership with his sister, Adele Astaire. After Adele retired to marry in 1932, Astaire headed to Hollywood. ...
Soundtrack | The Great Debaters
Marian Anderson was born on February 27, 1897, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the first of three sisters in the family. Her father, named John Anderson, was a salesman at a railroad station. Her mother, named Anna Anderson, was a schoolteacher. From the age of six, Anderson sang in the ...
Actor | Playhouse 90
George Balanchine was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer with the "Ballets Russes" under Sergei Diaghilev, and became one of the foremost choreographers of the 20th century. He co-founded the School of American Ballet, and started the tradition of seasonal performances of "The Nutcracker" ...
Soundtrack | State Fair
Richard Rodgers was born on June 28, 1902 in New York City, New York, USA as Richard Charles Rodgers. He was married to Dorothy Rodgers. He died on December 30, 1979 in New York City.
Composer | WarGames
Arthur B. Rubinstein was born on March 31, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He is known for his work on WarGames (1983), Stakeout (1987) and Nick of Time (1995). He was married to Barbara Ferris. He died on April 23, 2018 in the USA.
Soundtrack | He Got Game
Aaron Copland is an Academy Award-winning composer (The Heiress (1949)), author, conductor, lecturer and educator. He was educated at public schools and was a music student of his sister and later Leopold Wolfson, Victor Wittgenstein, Clarence Adler, Rubin Goldmark and Nadia Boulanger. In 1925, he ...
Soundtrack | When Harry Met Sally...
On Saturday, June 15th, 1996, an era in jazz singing came to an end, with the death of Ella Fitzgerald at her home in California. She was the last of four great female jazz singers (including Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae) who defined one of the most prolific eras in jazz vocal ...
8. Henry Fonda
Actor | 12 Angry Men
Henry Jaynes Fonda was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, to Elma Herberta (Jaynes) and William Brace Fonda, who worked in advertising and printing. His recent ancestry included Dutch, English, and Scottish.
Fonda started his acting debut with the Omaha Community Playhouse, a local amateur theater ...
Actress | Heretic
American dancer and choreographer Martha Graham was a revolutionary artist of modern dance in the early 20th century. Born in Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in May 1894, her family moved to California when she was 10. She was inspired at that early age to become a dancer when she ...
Writer | A Streetcar Named Desire
Tennessee Williams met long-term partner Frank Merlo in the summer of 1948 (Merlo died of lung cancer in the fall of 1963). Though separated briefly in 1961 and again in 1962, the two were partners for 15 years. Merlo acted as his personal manager/secretary.
Williams spent much of his most prolific ...
Soundtrack | New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts
Renowned composer ("West Side Story", "Candide", "On The Town"), conductor, arranger, pianist, educator, author, TV/radio host, educated at the Boston Latin School and Harvard University (BA) with Walter Piston. Edward Burlingame Hill and A. Tillman Merritt. He studied piano with Helen Coates, ...
12. James Cagney
Actor | Angels with Dirty Faces
One of Hollywood's preeminent male stars of all time, James Cagney was also an accomplished dancer and easily played light comedy. James Francis Cagney was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City, to Carolyn (Nelson) and James Francis Cagney, Sr., who was a bartender and amateur ...
13. Agnes de Mille
Actress | The Ragamuffin
Agnes de Mille was born on September 18, 1905 in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA as Agnes George de Mille. She is known for her work on The Ragamuffin (1916), Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956). She was married to Walter Foy Prude. She died on October 7, 1993 in Greenwich Village,...
14. Lynn Fontanne
Actress | The Magnificent Yankee
Lynn Fontanne was born on December 6, 1887 in Woodford, Essex, England as Lillie Louise Fontanne. She was an actress, known for The Magnificent Yankee (1965), The Guardsman (1931) and Stage Door Canteen (1943). She was married to Alfred Lunt. She died on July 30, 1983 in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin, ...
15. Leontyne Price
Soundtrack | Romeo + Juliet
Leontyne Price was born on February 10, 1927 in Laurel, Mississippi, USA as Mary Leontyne Price. She is an actress, known for Romeo + Juliet (1996), NBC Television Opera Theatre (1950) and The Metropolitan Opera Presents (1977). She was previously married to William Warfield.
16. Count Basie
Soundtrack | Pearl Harbor
The famed composer ("One O'Clock Jump", "Two O'Clock Jump", "Jumpin' at the Woodside"), pianist, songwriter and bandleader began as an accompanist to vaudeville acts. He joined the Bennie Moten orchestra in Kansas City, later organizing his own orchestra and performing on radio. In 1936 he came to ...
17. Cary Grant
Actor | Charade
Once told by an interviewer, "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant", Grant is said to have replied, "So would I."
Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach on January 18, 1904 in Horfield, Bristol, England, to Elsie Maria (Kingdon) and Elias James Leach, who worked in a factory. His early years...
18. Helen Hayes
Actress | Airport
Known as "The First lady of the American Theater", Helen Hayes had a legendary career on stage and in films and television that spanned over eighty years. Hayes was born in Washington, D.C., to Catherine Estelle "Essie" Hayes, an actress who worked in touring companies, and Francis van Arnum Brown,...
19. Jerome Robbins
Writer | West Side Story
Jerome Robbins was born on October 11, 1918 in New York City, New York, USA as Jerome Rabinowitz. He is known for his work on West Side Story (1961), Fiddler on the Roof (1971) and On the Town (1949). He died on July 29, 1998 in New York City.
20. Rudolf Serkin
Soundtrack | Slaughterhouse-Five
Rudolf Serkin was born on March 28, 1903 in Eger, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary. He was married to Irene Busch. He died on May 8, 1991 in Guilford, Vermont, USA.
21. George Abbott
Writer | The Pajama Game
Legendary Broadway writer/producer/director George Abbott was born in 1887 in Forestville, New York. His father was mayor of Salamanca, New York, for two terms. In 1898 his family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Abbott attended Kearney Military Academy. The family returned to New York, where Abbott...
22. Lillian Gish
Actress | The Night of the Hunter
Lillian Diana Gish was born on October 14, 1893 in Springfield, Ohio. Her father James Lee Gish was an alcoholic who caroused around, was rarely at home and left the family to more or less to fend for themselves. To help make ends meet, Lillian, her sister Dorothy Gish and their mother Mary Gish ...
23. Benny Goodman
Soundtrack | Allied
The King of Swing! Famed clarinetist, composer ("Stompin' at the Savoy") and conductor, educated at the Lewis Institute in Chicago and a student of Schillinger and Schoepp. He was a clarinetist with the orchestras of Bix Beiderbecke, Jules Herbuveaux, Arnold Johnson and Ben Pollack, and also played...
24. Gene Kelly
Actor | Singin' in the Rain
Eugene Curran Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the third son of Harriet Catherine (Curran) and James Patrick Joseph Kelly, a phonograph salesman. His father was of Irish descent and his mother was of Irish and German ancestry.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the largest and most powerful studio in...
25. Eugene Ormandy
Soundtrack | True Lies
Eugene Ormandy conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra for 44 years, one of the longest tenures of a maestro and one orchestra. The Philadelphia under Ormandy's direction wad extremely popular, winning two Grammy Awards and being awarded three gold records for sales exceeding 500,000 units.
26. Katherine Dunham
Dancer, choreographer, composer and songwriter, educated at the University of Chicago. She made world tours as a dancer, choreographer, and director of her own dance company. She directed the Katherine Dunham School of Dance in New York, and was artist-in-residence at Southern Illinois University. ...
27. Elia Kazan
Director | On the Waterfront
Known for his creative stage direction, Elia Kazan was born Elias Kazantzoglou on September 7, 1909 in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey). Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He ...
28. Frank Sinatra
Actor | The Manchurian Candidate
Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants Natalina Della (Garaventa), from Northern Italy, and Saverio Antonino Martino Sinatra, a Sicilian boxer, fireman, and bar owner. Growing up on the gritty streets of Hoboken made Sinatra determined to work hard to get ahead. ...
29. James Stewart
Actor | Vertigo
James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Ruth (Johnson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. He was of Scottish, Ulster-Scots, and some English, descent. Stewart was educated at a local prep school, Mercersburg Academy, where he ...
30. Virgil Thomson
Composer | Louisiana Story
One of the driving forces, both as critic and musician, of 20th century American music, Thomson studied music at both Harvard University and elsewhere in the Boston area before moving to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger in 1921. After spending a short time in his native land, he returned to ...
31. Lena Horne
Soundtrack | Cabin in the Sky
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 ...
32. Danny Kaye
Soundtrack | The Danny Kaye Show
Danny Kaye left school at the age of 13 to work in the so-called Borscht Belt of Jewish resorts in the Catskill Mountains. It was there he learned the basics of show biz. From there he went through a series of jobs in and out of the business. In 1939, he made his Broadway debut in "Straw Hat Revue,...
Writer | The Medium
Gian Carlo Menotti was born on July 7, 1911 in Cadegliano-Viconago, Lombardy, Italy. He was a writer and composer, known for The Medium (1951), Great Performances (1971) and NBC Television Opera Theatre (1950). He was married to Samuel Barber. He died on February 1, 2007 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
34. Arthur Miller
Writer | The Crucible
Arthur Asher Miller was born on October 17, 1915, in New York City, to Augusta (Barnett) and Isidore Miller. His family was of Austrian Jewish descent. His father manufactured women's coats, but his business was devastated by the Depression, seeding his son's disillusionment with the American Dream...
35. Isaac Stern
Soundtrack | The Talented Mr. Ripley
Isaac Stern was born on July 21, 1920 in Kremenets/Krzemieniec, Ukrainian People's Republic. He was married to Linda Reynolds, Vera Lindenblit and Nora Kaye. He died on September 22, 2001 in New York City, New York, USA.
36. Merce Cunningham
Director | Deli Commedia
Merce Cunningham was born on April 16, 1919 in Centralia, Washington, USA as Mercier Philip Cunningham. He is known for his work on Deli Commedia (1984), Merce Cunningham (1998) and Variations V (1966). He was married to John Cage. He died on July 26, 2009 in New York City, New York, USA.
37. Irene Dunne
Actress | The Awful Truth
Irene Marie Dunne was born on December 20, 1898, in Louisville, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Joseph Dunne, who inspected steamships, and Adelaide Henry, a musician who prompted Irene in the arts. Her first production was in Louisville when she appeared in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the age...
38. Bob Hope
Actor | The Ghost Breakers
Comedian Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons of Avis (Townes), light opera singer, and William Henry Hope, a stonemason from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. His maternal grandmother was Welsh. Hope moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents...
39. Alan Jay Lerner
Writer | An American in Paris
Playwright/lyricist Alan Jay Lerner was born into a wealthy New York City retailing family. His professional association with Frederick Loewe started in 1942 when they teamed up to write "Life of the Party". Their first Broadway success was the 1947 musical fantasy "Brigadoon." Lerner adapted work ...
40. Frederick Loewe
Soundtrack | The Little Prince
Frederick Loewe was born on June 10, 1901 in Berlin, Germany as Fritz Loewe. He was married to Ernestine Zwerline. He died on February 14, 1988 in Palm Springs, California, USA.
41. Beverly Sills
Actress | Live from Lincoln Center
This vibrant, fine-humored coloratura was able to accomplish what most others of her ilk could or would not do -- she humanized opera and made it approachable to the masses. There were no diva-like traits in this star and the public absolutely adored her for it. Dubbed "America's Queen of Opera" in...
42. Lucille Ball
Actress | I Love Lucy
The woman who will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo was born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their ...
43. 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 ...
44. Hume Cronyn
Actor | Cocoon
Hume Cronyn was born on July 18, 1911 in London, Ontario, Canada as Hume Blake Cronyn Jr. He was an actor and producer, known for Cocoon (1985), *batteries not included (1987) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943). He was married to Susan Cooper, Jessica Tandy and Emily Woodruff. He died on June 15, 2003 in...
45. Jessica Tandy
Actress | Driving Miss Daisy
A beloved, twinkly blue-eyed doyenne of stage and screen, actress Jessica Tandy's career spanned nearly six and a half decades. In that span of time, she enjoyed an amazing film renaissance at age 80, something unheard of in a town that worships youth and nubile beauty. She was born Jessie Alice ...
46. Yehudi Menuhin
Soundtrack | L'ultimo bacio
Yehudi Menuhin was born on April 22, 1916 in New York City, New York, USA. He was married to Diana Menuhin and Nola Nicholas. He died on March 12, 1999 in Berlin, Germany.
47. Antony Tudor
Antony Tudor was born on April 4, 1908 in London, England as William Cook. He is known for his work on In a Monastery Garden (1932), Folio (1955) and The Tempest/II (1939). He died on April 19, 1987 in New York City, New York, USA.
48. Perry Como
Soundtrack | The Perry Como Show
In a singing (and sometimes acting) career that spanned over six decades, the name Perry Como has come to mean that warm, smooth, easy-listening, general-audience, slow-flame romance that characterized popular music in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. It has also come to represent an overall good feeling....
49. Bette Davis
Actress | All About Eve
Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Ruth Augusta (Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother. Her early interest was dance. To Bette, dancers led a glamorous life, but...
50. Sammy Davis Jr.
Actor | The Cannonball Run
Sammy Davis Jr. was often billed as the "greatest living entertainer in the world".
He was born in Harlem, Manhattan, the son of dancer Elvera Davis (née Sanchez) and vaudeville star Sammy Davis Sr.. His father was African-American and his mother was of Puerto Rican ancestry. Davis Jr. was known as ...
51. Nathan Milstein
Actor | Nash Airflyte Theatre
Nathan Milstein was born on December 31, 1904 in Odessa, Kherson Governorate, Russian Empire as Nathan Milstein Mironowitsch. He was an actor, known for Nash Airflyte Theatre (1950), Music for You (1951) and Person to Person (1953). He was married to Teresa Kaufman. He died on December 21, 1992 in ...
52. Alwin Nikolais
Composer | Zelt
Alwin Nikolais was born on November 25, 1910 in Southington, Connecticut, USA. He is known for his work on Zelt (1969), The Company (2003) and Totem (1963). He died on May 8, 1993 in New York City, New York, USA.
53. Alvin Ailey
Ailey was born in the rural town of Rogers, Texas, USA. His childhood memories and experiences often informed his choreography; the most notable of his works was "Blues Suite", "Cry" (choreographed for Judith Jamison), and "Revelations", a ballet based on Ailey's observations and experiences in ...
54. George Burns
Actor | Oh, God!
George Burns was born on January 20, 1896 in New York City, New York, USA as Nathan Birnbaum. He was an actor and producer, known for Oh, God! (1977), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and Going in Style (1979). He was married to Gracie Allen and Hannah Siegel. He died on March 9, 1996 in Beverly Hills, Los...
55. Myrna Loy
Actress | The Best Years of Our Lives
Myrna Loy was born Myrna Adele Williams on August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana, to Adelle Mae (Johnson) and David Franklin Williams. Her paternal grandparents were Welsh, and her mother was of Scottish and Swedish descent. Myrna was raised in Helena and nearby Radersburg. Her father, a rancher, was ...
Soundtrack | Slaughterhouse-Five
Alexander Schneider was born on October 21, 1908 in Vilna, Russian Empire as Abram Chaim Leizer Sascha Schneider. He was married to Geraldine Page and Gerda Benfey. He died on February 2, 1993 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA.
57. Roger L. Stevens
Roger L. Stevens was born on March 11, 1910. He is known for his work on West Side Story (1961), Deathtrap (1982) and Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976). He died on February 3, 1998.
58. Harry Belafonte
Actor | Bobby
Harold George Belafonte was born on March 1, 1927 in New York City. He was educated at the New York Dramatic Workshop. He grew up in Jamaica, British West Indies, and did folk-singing in nightclubs and theaters, and on television and records. His debut was at the Village Vanguard in New York. Also,...
Actress | It Happened One Night
One of the brightest film stars to grace the screen was born Emilie Claudette Chauchoin on September 13, 1903, in Saint Mandé, France where her father owned a bakery at 57, rue de la République (now Avenue Général de Gaulle). The family moved to the United States when she was three. As Claudette ...
Alexandra Danilova was born on November 20, 1903 in Peterhoff, Russia. She is known for her work on Live from Lincoln Center (1976), The Turning Point (1977) and Spanish Fiesta (1942). She was married to Kazimir Kokich and Giuseppe Massera. She died on July 13, 1997 in New York City, New York, USA.
61. Mary Martin
Actress | Peter Pan
Originally a dance instructor, she came to Broadway during the Depression to begin her career as a professional actress. A daughter of Texas, she originally began work as a dance instructor until a local evangelical-adherent burned down her studio citing her work as being too sinful for human ...
62. William Schuman
Composer | Omnibus
William Schuman was born on August 4, 1910 in New York City, New York, USA as William Howard Schuman. He was a composer, known for Omnibus (1952), Night Journey (1960) and Eye on New York (1956). He died on February 15, 1992 in Manhattan, New York.
63. Dizzy Gillespie
Soundtrack | The Talented Mr. Ripley
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, along with Charlie Parker, ushered in the era of Be-Bop in the American jazz tradition. He was born in Cheraw, South Carolina, and was the youngest of nine children. He began playing piano at the age of four and received a music scholarship to the Laurinburg Institute ...
Actress | The Lion in Winter
Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was ...
65. Risë Stevens
Actress | Going My Way
One of the great voices of the Metropolitan Opera, New York-born mezzo-soprano Rise (pronounced REE-za) Stevens made her debut with the company in 1939 as Octavian in Richard Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier" in a tour performance in Philadelphia. Her other notable roles in 21 years with the company ...
66. Jule Styne
Soundtrack | Funny Girl
Jule Styne was born on December 31, 1905 in London, England as Julius Kerwin Stein. He was married to Margaret Ann Bissett Brown and Ethel Rubenstein. He died on September 20, 1994 in New York City, New York, USA.
67. Billy Wilder
Writer | The Apartment
Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929 and wrote scripts for many ...
68. Roy Acuff
Soundtrack | Night Train to Memphis
Roy Acuff was born on September 15, 1903 in Maynardville, Tennessee, USA as Roy Claxton Acuff. He was married to Mildred Louise Douglas. He died on November 23, 1992 in Nashville, Tennessee.
69. Betty Comden
Soundtrack | On the Town
Songwriter ("New York, New York", "Lonely Town", "The Party's Over", "Just in Time"), author and actress. educated at New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree. While a student, she acted with the Washington Square Players. She was a member of the Revuers, a night club act which also ...
70. Adolph Green
Soundtrack | On the Town
Songwriter ("New York, New York", "The Party's Over", "Just in Time", "Make Someone Happy"), author and actor, educated at City College of New York. While he was a student, he acted with the Washington Square Players and had a part in the road company of "Having a Wonderful Time". A member of The ...
71. Fayard Nicholas
Actor | Down Argentine Way
Fayard Nicholas was one-half of The Nicholas Brothers, a famous African-American tap dancing team who appeared in several movies and became one of the famous and most beloved dance team of all time. Both brothers appeared in films such as An All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935), The Pirate (1948) and ...
72. Harold Nicholas
Soundtrack | Kid Millions
Harold Nicholas, the younger half of the world famous Nicholas Brothers dance team, is known as one of the world's greatest dancers. He and his brother Fayard Nicholas were established superstars at Twentieth Century Fox with their astounding dance numbers in the studios musicals features. Harold ...
73. Gregory Peck
Actor | To Kill a Mockingbird
Eldred Gregory Peck was born on April 5, 1916 in La Jolla, California, to Bernice Mary (Ayres) and Gregory Pearl Peck, a chemist and druggist in San Diego. He had Irish (from his paternal grandmother), English, and some German, ancestry. His parents divorced when he was five years old. An only ...
74. Robert Shaw
Soundtrack | The American President
Robert Shaw was born on April 30, 1916 in Red Bluff, California, USA. He died on January 25, 1999 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
75. Lionel Hampton
Soundtrack | Allied
Lionel Hampton was born on April 20, 1908 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Lionel Leo Hampton. He was married to Gladys Neal Riddle. He died on August 31, 2002 in New York City, New York, USA.
76. Paul Newman
Actor | The Hustler
Screen legend, superstar, and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history, Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the second son of Theresa (Fetsko) and Arthur Sigmund Newman. Paul's father was Jewish, the son of emigrants from Poland and Hungary; he owned...
77. Joanne Woodward
Actress | Rachel, Rachel
Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward was born on February 27, 1930, in Thomasville, Georgia, to Wade Woodward and Elinor Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward in a modest household. Her one older brother, Wade Jr., who was the favorite of her father, eventually became an architect. Elinor Woodward was a ...
78. Ginger Rogers
Actress | The Major and the Minor
Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri on July 16, 1911. Her mother, known as Lelee, went to Independence to have Ginger away from her husband. She had a baby earlier in their marriage and he allowed the doctor to use forceps and the baby died. She was kidnapped ...
Soundtrack | Mr. Nobody
Mstislav Rostropovich was a Russian cellist, pianist, conductor, pedagogue and political figure whose international performances and public appearances symbolized the struggle of intellectuals against the rigid Soviet Communism.
He was born Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich on March 27, 1927, in ...
80. Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor was born on July 29, 1930 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA as Paul Belville Taylor Jr. He is known for his work on Great Performances: Dance in America (1976), The Wrecker's Ball: Three Dances by Paul Taylor (1996) and American Ballet Theatre in San Francisco (1985). He died on August ...
81. Johnny Carson
Soundtrack | The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson, the legendary "King of Late Night TV" who dominated the medium's nether hours for three decades, was born in Corning, Iowa, but moved with his family to nearby Norfolk, Nebraska when he was eight years old. It was in Norfolk, where he lived until he was inducted into the US Navy in ...
82. Arthur Mitchell
Producer | Dance Theatre of Harlem: Fall River Legend
Arthur Mitchell was born on March 27, 1934 in New York City, New York, USA as Arthur Adams Mitchell Jr. He is known for his work on Dance Theatre of Harlem: Fall River Legend (1989), Playhouse 90 (1956) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (1967). He died on September 19, 2018 in Manhattan, New York City.
83. Georg Solti
Soundtrack | Birth
Sir Georg Solti was a renowned orchestra and opera conductor, best known as the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who set a since-surpassed record by winning 31 Grammy Awards. He was born György Stern in Budapest, Hungary (his Germanic last named was changed under the country's ...
84. Stephen Sondheim
Soundtrack | Dick Tracy
Sondheim's work as a composer-lyricist over the past four decades has set the standard for modern American musical theater. He has won a record seven Tony Awards for his songwriting, and received a Pulitzer Prize for Sunday in the Park with George. Sondheim was an unpaid and uncredited clapper boy ...
85. Marion Williams
Soundtrack | Fried Green Tomatoes
Marion Williams was born on August 29, 1927 in Miami, Florida, USA. She died on July 2, 1994 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
86. Kirk Douglas
Actor | Spartacus
Cleft-chinned, steely-eyed and virile star of international cinema who rose from being "the ragman's son" (the name of his best-selling 1988 autobiography) to become a bona fide superstar, Kirk Douglas, also known as Issur Danielovitch Demsky, was born on December 9, 1916 in Amsterdam, New York. ...
87. Aretha Franklin
Actress | The Blues Brothers
Grammy-winning Queen of Soul and the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Barbara Vernice (Siggers) and C. L. Franklin, a Baptist minister, who preached at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit for over thirty ...
88. Morton Gould
Composer | Holocaust
Composer ("American Salute", "Pavanne"), conductor, pianist and arranger, educated at New York University and a music student of Abby Whiteside and Vincent Jones. At six, he had his first composition published ("Just Six"), and thereafter concertized until age 17. He was a staff arranger for Radio ...
89. Harold Prince
Harold Prince was born on January 30, 1928 in New York City, New York, USA as Harold Smith Prince. He is known for his work on West Side Story (1961), The Phantom of the Opera (2004) and Cabaret (1972). He has been married to Judith Chaplin since October 26, 1962. They have two children.
90. Pete Seeger
Soundtrack | Forrest Gump
Sixteen-year-old Pete Seeger enrolled at the Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut and then decided to become a hermit. His life since then has been one social cause after another, buoyed by an almost indefatigable career as a self-described "sing-along leader."
During the 1930s he attended Harvard, ...
Actor | Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Jacques D'Amboise was trained in the School of American Ballet before joining the New York City Ballet in 1950. He soon went on to become a principal dancer. For over 3 decades, he danced with NYCB. During that time, he also choreographed several ballets. In 1976, D'Amboise founded the National ...
92. Marilyn Horne
Soundtrack | Strange Days
Marilyn Horne was born on January 16, 1934 in Bradford, Pennsylvania, USA. She is an actress, known for Strange Days (1995), Carmen Jones (1954) and Orlando furioso (1990). She was previously married to Nicola Zaccaria and Henry Lewis.
93. B.B. King
Actor | Blues Brothers 2000
B.B. King was born on September 16, 1925 as Riley B. King. He was married to Sue Carol Hall and Martha Lee Denton. He died on May 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
94. Sidney Poitier
Actor | In the Heat of the Night
A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (though born in Miami during a mainland visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to Miami to live with ...
95. Neil Simon
Writer | The Odd Couple
Neil Simon was born on July 4, 1927 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as Marvin Neil Simon. He was a writer and producer, known for The Odd Couple (1968), Murder by Death (1976) and The Goodbye Girl (1977). He was married to Elaine Joyce, Diane Lander, Marsha Mason and Joan Baim. He died ...
96. Edward Albee
Writer | Nijinsky: Unfinished Project
Edward Albee was born on March 12, 1928 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Edward Franklin Albee III. He was a writer, known for Nijinsky: Unfinished Project (1970), A Delicate Balance (1973) and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991). He died on September 16, 2016 in Montauk, New York, USA.
97. Benny Carter
Soundtrack | Raging Bull
Saxophonist, songwriter ("Because of You", "Hot Toddy", "Cow Cow Boogie"), conductor, arranger and composer, educated at Wilberforce University in theology. He was a saxophonist in Horace Henderson's Wilberforce Collegians, then played in the orchestras of Fletcher Henderson and Chick Webb. He went...
98. Johnny Cash
Soundtrack | The Johnny Cash Show
Johnny Cash was born February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas, to Carrie Cash (Rivers) and Raymond Cash. He made his first single, "Hey Porter", for Sun Records in 1955. In 1958 he moved to Columbia Records. He had long periods of drug abuse during the 1960s, but later that decade he successfully ...
99. Jack Lemmon
Actor | The Apartment
Jack Lemmon was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Mildred Lankford Noel and John Uhler Lemmon, Jr., the president of a doughnut company. His ancestry included Irish (from his paternal grandmother) and English. Jack attended Ward Elementary near his Newton, MA home. At age 9 he was sent to Rivers ...
100. Maria Tallchief
Actress | Million Dollar Mermaid
Maria Tallchief was born on January 24, 1925 in Fairfax, Oklahoma, USA as Elizabeth Marie Tall Chief. She was an actress, known for Million Dollar Mermaid (1952), Camera Three (1955) and The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950). She was married to Henry D. Paschen Jr., Elmourza Natirboff and George Balanchine...