Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Died On This Date

August 5
Monroe (Baker), Marilyn (Norma Jean)
b. June 1, 1926 d. August 5, 1962
Actress. In a career that spanned 16 years, with no acting experience and through the promotion of her sex symbol image, Marilyn became a Hollywood media star and a legend while making 29 movies. She was born in Los Angeles at General Hospital to unmarried Gladys Pearl Monroe Baker. Cause of death: Overdose of Nembutal and Chloral Hydrate.

Burton, Richard
b. November 10, 1925 d. August 5, 1984
Actor. He is best remembered for his roles in such movies as "Cleopatra" (1963), "Where Eagles Dare" (1971), "Raid on Rommel" (1973), as the voice of Sir Winston Churchill in the television series, "The Valiant Years," and for being married to Actress Elizabeth Taylor twice. Born in Pontrhydyfen, Wales, as Richard Walter Jenkins, Jr, he would take his stage name from his former schoolteacher, Philip Burton, and grew up speaking Cymraeg (Welsh) as well as English.

Guinness, Alec
b. April 2, 1914 d. August 5, 2000
Actor. He is best remembered for his role of 'Colonel Nicholson' in the motion picture "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" (1957), and for his role of 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' in the first three "Star Wars" films (1977 to 1983). Despite many rumors to the contrary, he never spoke the words "May the Force be with you" in any of the Star Wars movies. Born in London, England, he was raised by his mother, and never knew his father.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Died On This Date

August 4
Andersen, Hans Christian
b. April 2, 1805 d. August 4, 1875
Writer. Famous for his fairy tales. His father was a poor shoemaker and literate, who believed he was of aristocratic origin. Andersen's mother worked as washerwoman. He declined into alcoholism and died in 1833 in a charitable old people's home. Andersen's half-sister Karen Marie worked as a prostitute for some time. She contacted her famous brother only a few times before dying in 1846. Andersen received little education. As a child he was highly emotional, suffering all kinds of fears.

Mature, Victor John
b. January 29, 1913 d. August 4, 1999
Actor. He appeared in musicals, westerns, comedies, historical epics and melodramas. The brawny star of the 1940s and '50s appeared in 50 credit movies mostly with 20th Century Fox. His most noted are now classics..."Samson and Delilah" playing Samson and "My Darling Clementine" playing Doc Holliday. He was born to Italian immigrant parents as Victor Joseph Maturi in Louisville, Kentucky the only survivor of three children. Cause of death: Leukemia.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Died On This Date

August 3
Jones, Carolyn
b. April 28, 1930 d. August 3, 1983
Actress. She is best remembered for her role of Morticia Frump Addams on "The Addams Family" television show (1964-1966). Born Carolyn Sue Jones in Amarillo, Texas, her father abandoned the family in 1933 when he lost his job in the Great Depression, and her mother moved the family in with her parents, then also living in Amarillo. As a child, she suffered from asthma, but loved to go to the movies, and while in school, she won several awards for speech, poetry and dramatics. Cause of death: Cancer.

Lupino, Ida
b. February 4, 1918 d. August 3, 1995
Actress, Writer and Director. Ida Lupino is best known as a pioneering figure in the world of female filmmakers. Born into a British theater family in Camberwall, London, England, Ida was encouraged to enter the world of show business by both her parents and her uncle, actor and theater manager, Lupino Lane. In 1931, Ida made her film debut in the "The Love Race." She would continue playing minor roles until 1939, when she appeared in the drama, "The Light That Failed."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Died On This Date

August 2
Bell, Alexander Graham
b. March 3, 1847 d. August 2, 1922
Inventor, Educator. He is famous not only as an inventor, but also as an educator and writer of books to help people who cannot speak or hear. Born in Edinburgh Scotland, he emigrated to Canada along with his family. He was hired to teach in Boston at a school for children not being able to speak nor hear. His home remained America for the rest of his life and he became an American citizen. Through his teachings, he became interested in the sound of the human voice which led to his invention. Cause of death: Heart attack.

Hickok, James Butler 'Wild Bill'
b. May 27, 1837 d. August 2, 1876
Western Figure. Born in Troy Grove, near Ottawa, Illinois, he took part in the Kansas struggle preceding the Civil War, was a driver of the Butterfield stage line, and gained fame as a gunfighter. He was an assistant station tender for the Pony Express at the Rock Creek, Nebraska station. He served as a Union scout in the Civil War. After the war he became deputy United States Marshal at Fort Riley (1866), Marshal of Hays, Kansas (1869), and Marshal of Abilene (1871). Cause of death: Shot in the back of the head by Jack McCall

Caruso, Enrico
b. February 27, 1873 d. August 2, 1921
Opera Singer. Enrico Caruso was born in Naples, Italy. His singing was always in demand, either at the local church or some special festivities. At the age of fifteen his mother was seriously ill, she insisted he must sing, upon return after mass found her dead. His father remarried and the family ultimately reached 22 children. With very little formal or musical education he learned and refined his theatrical skills throughout his life on his own.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Died On This Date

August 1
Cannary, Martha Jane 'Calamity Jane'
b. May 1, 1852 d. August 1, 1903
American Folk Figure. Born Martha Jane Cannary, Calamity Jane is nearly as famous as Bill Hickok was and is known to be as tough as any man in the West. Raised in the mining camps of Wyoming, she is a legendary horsewoman and crack shot, and was an Army scout for Custer. Her apparent immunity to small pox made her extremely valuable as a nurse during the small pox outbreak. She got her famous nickname by rescuing Captain Egan, whose command she was under at the time.

Hatfield, Sid
b. May 15, 1893 d. August 1, 1921
Sheriff and former miner in Matewan, WV, during what is now called the "Coal Wars," in the 1920's. He and Mayor C. Testerman helped protect miners who were being evicted by the Baldwin-Felts detectives. His murder by Felts Detectives resulted in the founding of the United Mine Workers Union. He was played by David Strathairn in John Sayles' 1987 film "Matewan." Cause of death: Murdered on the McDowell County Courthouse steps.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Died On This Date

July 31
Reeves, Jim
b. August 20, 1923 d. July 31, 1964
Nicknamed "Gentleman Jim," he was one of the great voices in music. His aspirations of becoming a professional baseball player ended due to an ankle injury so he turned to singing and working as a disc jockey for KWKH, Shreveport, Louisiana, the home of the Louisiana Hayride. His breakthrough single came in 1953 with a song called Mexican Joe. That same year he officially joined the cast of the Louisiana Hayride and in 1955 he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Cause of death: Plane crash.

Johnson, Andrew
b. December 29, 1808 d. July 31, 1875
17th United States President. The first President to be tried for impeachment. After President Johnson notified Congress on February 21, 1868, that he had removed Edwin Stanton as Secretary of War and replaced him with Adjutant-General Lorenzo Thomas, it took the House of Representatives only three days to impeach him for "high crimes and misdemeanors." Meanwhile, Stanton refused to abandon his office and had Thomas arrested for attempting to exercise the duties of the Secretary of War. Cause of death: Stroke

Saint-Exupéry, Antoine Marie Roger de
b. June 29, 1900 d. July 31, 1944
Author, Inventor. He wrote "Wind, Sand and Stars" (1939), and the children's classic "The Little Prince" (1943). Went missing on a flight over the Mediterranean in 1944 and his body was never recovered. The flowerbed around his memorial is laid out in the shape of his drawing of the Little Prince.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Died On This Date

July 30
Colbert, Claudette
b. September 13, 1903 d. July 30, 1996
Actress who starred in more than 60 films. Claudette Colbert died in Speightstown, Barbados, on July 30, 1996. (This was her vacation home.) Her permanent address was Manhattan. She was born on September 13, 1903, in France. Her real name was "Lily Claudette Chauchoin. While still a child her parents moved the family to New York. She won the Best Actress award in 1934 for "It Happened One Night," a Frank Capra movie.

Phillips, Sam Cornelius
b. January 5, 1923 d. July 30, 2003
Rock pioneer. He was the founder of Sun Records and was credited with discovering Elvis Presley. He produced Presley's first record in 1954. He later sold Presley's recording contract to RCA for only $35,000. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Walsh, Bill (William Ernest)
b. November 30, 1931 d. July 30, 2007
Professional Football Coach. Nicknamed "the genius", he was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1988 and NFL Coach Of the Year in 1981 & 1984. He coached the 49ers to three Super Bowl Championships. An innovative thinker, he popularized an offensive game plan that became known as the West Coast Offense and is still in use today. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1993. Cause of death: Leukemia.