Died Today in History ›
Published: 10 months ago
Eddie Fisher became famous for his singing … and he became notorious for his romantic entanglements. One of the great crooners, Fisher was a teen idol of the early 1950s as well as one of the era's most popular singers. His hits included "Oh! My Pa-Pa" and "I Need You Now." His TV variety show, "Coke Time With Eddie Fisher," led to a number of movie roles. As much as his fans loved his music and his on-screen appearances, they also thrilled to news of his many romances: an early marriage to Debbie Reynolds, whom he left for a scandalous wedding to Elizabeth Taylor, who left him, leading to his marriage to Connie Stevens … and the list continues. We remember Fisher's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Signing with the Yankees in 1946, Berra joined a team that was recovering from losing some of its best players to World War II – Berra himself had served in the U.S. Navy. A catcher, he became one of the stars of the team's postwar years, alongside teammates including Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. These were spectacular years for the Yankees: In Berra's 18 seasons with the team, they went to the World Series 14 times and won 10 times. Berra holds the records for most World Series appearances as well as most World Series wins. Read more
2013: Gary Brandner, U.S. author known best for his werewolf-themed trilogy "The Howling," dies at 83.
2011: Vesta Williams, U.S. singer and actress whose best-known song was "Congratulations," and who had a recurring role on the sitcom "Sister, Sister," dies at 53.
Williams' diminutive frame belied her powerful, soulful pipes, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. Her initial success in the music industry came as a background singer for artists ranging from Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, and Sting. But she would eventually establish her career with release of her first album, "Vesta," in 1986. Over the years, she had hits including "Once Bitten Twice Shy," "Sweet, Sweet Love," and her signature torch song, "Congratulations." Read more
2010: Eddie Fisher, U.S. singer who was the most successful pop singles artist of the first half of the 1950s and was married at one time to the actresses Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, and Connie Stevens, dies of complications of hip surgery at 82.
When Fisher first married, it was 1955. He was a teen idol still dominating radio play, and his blushing bride was one of the loveliest young stars in Hollywood, Debbie Reynolds. It was a romance straight out of a teen dream, America's Sweethearts made one. They soon had two children, Carrie and Todd Fisher, who would grow up to be actors just like Mom and Dad. Things seemed perfect for the perfect couple … until all of a sudden, they weren't. Read more
2007: Marcel Marceau, French actor and mime who was one of the best-known pantomime artists of his time, dies at 84.
His biggest inspiration was Charlie Chaplin. Marceau, in turn, inspired countless young performers – Michael Jackson borrowed his famous "moonwalk" from a Marceau sketch, "Walking Against the Wind." Marceau performed tirelessly around the world until late in life, never losing his agility, never going out of style. In one of his most poignant and philosophical acts, "Youth, Maturity, Old Age, Death," he wordlessly showed the passing of an entire life in just minutes. "Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?" he once said. Read more
2006: Edward Albert, U.S. actor who starred in the movie "Butterflies Are Free," had a recurring role on the TV series "Beauty and the Beast," and was the son of actor Eddie Albert, dies of lung cancer at 55.
2004: Big Boss Man, U.S. professional wrestler and four-time winner of the World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship, dies of a heart attack at 41.
2003: Gordon Jump, U.S. actor well-known for his role as Arthur Carlson on the sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati" and as the lonely Maytag repairman on television commercials, dies at 71.
And then there was Jump's signature role. "WKRP" was one of the best-loved shows of the late 1970s and early '80s, and Jump's Big Guy – with his hilarious cluelessness – helped make it great. As Big Guy, Jump played a key part in one of the most enduringly funny sitcom episodes of all time – "Turkeys Away." Don't miss his unforgettable delivery of the scene's final line. Read more
2001: Isaac Stern, Grammy Award-winning U.S. violinist who was considered a master of the instrument and who was a Kennedy Center honoree, dies of heart failure at 81.
1999: George C. Scott, U.S. actor and director who starred in the films "Patton" and "Dr. Strangelove" and refused the Oscar he won for "Patton" for philosophical reasons, dies of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm at 71.
1989: Irving Berlin, U.S. composer and lyricist who was one of the greatest songwriters in American history and wrote many iconic songs, including "God Bless America," "There's No Business Like Show Business," and "White Christmas," dies at 101.
1987: Dan Rowan, U.S. comedian known best for the television show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," dies of lymphatic cancer at 65.
1981: Harry Warren, U.S. songwriter whose hits included "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "Jeepers Creepers," and "That's Amore," dies at 87.
1961: Marion Davies, U.S. actress who starred in "Polly of the Circus" with Clark Gable and was known for her longtime affair with newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, dies of stomach cancer at 64.