Born Today in History ›
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Published: 9 months ago
Allen Ludden was the host of the popular game show "Password" during the golden era of television game shows. He presided over daytime and prime time versions of Password from 1961 until 1975. He also hosted a revival of the show from 1979 - 1980. He was a regular panelist on "The Gong Show." Ludden's first wife Margaret died of cancer in 1961. He married actress Betty White in 1963 and they were together until his passing in 1981. Betty White was later asked if she would ever remarry, she replied, "Once you've had the best, who needs the rest?" We remember his life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1957: Bernie Mac, U.S. actor and comedian who was the star of "The Bernie Mac Show" and was known for his role as Frank Catton in the remake of "Ocean's 11,"
is born in Chicago, Illinois.
Born in Englewood on Chicago's South Side (a neighborhood Chaka Khan, Derrick Rose, and Jennifer Hudson have also called home), Mac held jobs at General Motors and Wonder Bread before tiring of the daily grind and beginning to pursue a career in comedy. His first big break came at an open mike night at Chicago's Cotton Club. Within a few years, he had won a citywide comedy talent search and was on his way to nationwide fame via HBO's "Def Comedy Jam." Read more
1950: Jeff Conaway, U.S. actor known best for his roles in the movie "Grease" and the TV series "Taxi," is born in New York, New York.
Conaway charmed audiences in the movie "Grease" with his smooth delivery of lines like, "You're cruisin' for a bruisin'?" and "A hickey from Kenickie is like a Hallmark card: When you only care enough to send the very best!" From there, he moved to the television series "Taxi," spending three seasons on the hit show. Conaway earned two Golden Globe nominations for best supporting actor for his portrayal of struggling actor Bobby Wheeler. His Wheeler exhibited both brashness and vulnerability, projecting "a wide-eyed eagerness that made it possible to connect with, and laugh with, a character it would be easy just to laugh at," Time magazine critic James Poniewozik wrote in a remembrance. Read more
1949: B.W. Stevenson, U.S. country pop artist who had a hit song in 1973 with "My Maria," is born in Dallas, Texas.
1945: Brian Connolly, Scottish musician known best as the lead singer for the rock band Sweet, which had a top-10 hit in 1975 in the U.S. with "Ballroom Blitz," is born in Glasgow, Scotland.
1942: Richard Street, U.S. vocalist who was a member of the Temptations from 1971 until 1993, is born in Detroit, Michigan.
1937: Carlo Mastrangelo, U.S. vocalist with the doo-wop group Dion and the Belmonts, is born in the Bronx, New York.
1936: Vaclav Havel, Czech playwright who became the first president of the Czech Republic, is born in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Shy and bookish, with a wispy mustache and unkempt hair, the dissident playwright was an unlikely hero of Czechoslovakia's 1989 "Velvet Revolution" after four decades of suffocating repression — and of the epic struggle that ended the wider Cold War, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. He was his country's first democratically elected president, leading it through the early challenges of democracy and its peaceful 1993 breakup into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, though his image suffered as his people discovered the difficulties of transforming their society. Read more
1925: Gail Davis, U.S. actress who starred in the TV series "Annie Oakley," is born in Little Rock, Arkansas.
1924: Bob Thaves, U.S. cartoonist who created the comic strip "Frank and Ernest," is born in Burt, Iowa.
1922: Bil Keane, U.S. cartoonist and creator of the long-running comic strip "The Family Circus," is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Keane said in a 1995 interview with The Associated Press that the cartoon endured because of its consistency and simplicity. "It's reassuring, I think, to the American public to see the same family," he said. Although Keane kept the strip current with references to pop culture movies and songs, the context of his comic was timeless, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. The ghostlike "Ida Know" and "Not Me" who got blamed for household accidents were staples of the strip. The family's pets were dogs Barfy and Sam, and the cat, Kittycat. Read more
1919: Donald Pleasence, English actor who appeared as Dr. Loomis in "Halloween" and as villain Blofeld in the James Bond film "You Only Live Twice," is born in Worksop, England.
1917: Allen Ludden, U.S. game show host well-known as the longtime host of "Password" and the husband of actress Betty White, is born in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.
1913: Lois January, U.S. actress who mostly appeared in Westerns including "Arizona Badman" with Reb Russell, is born in McAllen, Texas.
1905: John Hoyt, U.S. actor who played the strict principal in the movie "Blackboard Jungle," is born in Bronxville, New York.
1902: Ray Kroc, U.S. founder of the fast-food chain McDonald's who also owned the San Diego Padres, is born in Oak Park, Illinois.
1902: Larry Fine, U.S. actor who was a member of the comedy act the Three Stooges, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1886: Chester A. Arthur, U.S. 21st president of the United States, is born in Fairfield, Vermont.