Died Today in History ›
Getty Images / Silver Screen Collection
Published: 10 months ago
Bob Fosse became one of the best-known dancers and choreographers in showbiz, creating many beloved dances for popular musicals. His hits include "The Pajama Game," "Damn Yankees," and "All That Jazz." It was with "Cabaret" that his career reached its greatest heights; not only did he choreograph the film, he also directed it – as he did several other movies – and in this case, he won the Academy Award for best director. In his choreography, Fosse was known for using props like hats and canes, and especially for the use of jazz hands. We remember Fosse's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2006: Etta Baker, U.S. Piedmont blues guitarist and singer who was highly influential and shared her knowledge with artists including Bob Dylan, dies at 93.
She was raised in a musical family in Western North Carolina. Baker made her first mark in music in 1956, when she appeared on a compilation album called "Instrumental Music of the Southern Appalachians." The recording was very influential on the growing folk revival, especially her versions of "Railroad Bill" and "One-Dime Blues," according to her obituary by The Associated Press. She worked for 26 years at a textile mill in Morganton, North Carolina, before quitting at age 60 to pursue a career as a professional musician. Read more
1999: Ivan Goff, Australian screenwriter who co-wrote the movie "White Heat" and wrote for the television series "Mannix" and "Charlie's Angels," dies at 89.
1998: Mary Frann, U.S. actress remembered for her starring role as Bob Newhart's wife Joanna on the television series "Newhart," dies of a heart condition at 55.
1997: Shirley Clarke, U.S. independent filmmaker known best for her movies "The Connection" and "The Cool World," dies after a stroke at 77.
1994: Robert Bloch, U.S. writer known best for his novel "Psycho," the basis for the film of the same name, dies of cancer at 77.
1994: Jerry Barber, U.S. professional golfer who won seven titles, including the 1961 PGA Championship, dies of heart failure following a stroke at 78.
1987: Bob Fosse, U.S. actor, dancer, choreographer, and director who won an Academy Award for directing the movie "Cabaret" and eight Tony awards for choreography, dies of a heart attack at 60.
Thirty-three years ago, two stars of the entertainment world came together – along with a cast of, well, if not thousands, certainly hundreds – to create a spectacle like no other: "All That Jazz," the semi-autobiographical imagining of the life of Broadway legend Bob Fosse. The film starred Roy Scheider of "Jaws" fame and was written and directed by – who else? – Bob Fosse. Read more
1982: Jimmy Wakely, U.S. country music singer and actor who appeared in movies with Hopalong Cassidy and whose duet with Margaret Whiting titled "Slippin' Around" was a No. 1 country music hit, dies of heart failure at 68.
1981: Chief Dan George, Canadian Tsleil-Waututh Nation actor, author and poet who appeared in "Little Big Man" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales," dies in his sleep at 82.
1978: Lyman Bostock, U.S. Major League Baseball outfielder who had a career batting average over .300, including a .336 batting average in 1977, dies of injuries sustained in a shooting while visiting relatives in Gary, Indiana, at 27.
1974: Robbie McIntosh, Scottish drummer who was a founding member of the Average White Band, dies of an accidental heroin overdose at 24.
1974: Cliff Arquette, U.S. actor and comedian known best for his signature character Charley Weaver, who appeared on many television shows and was a regular on the game show "Hollywood Squares," dies of a heart attack at 68.
The patriarch of the Arquette entertainment family – he is the grandfather of actors Rosanna, Patricia, Richmond, Alexis, and David Arquette – was known for his double entendres and jokes about his family and other residents of the fictional small town of Mount Idy. Some said Arquette's jokes were dated even during their day, but his delivery and timing still drew laughs. Read more
1973: Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and diplomat who won the Nobel Prize in literature and the International Peace Prize, dies of a heart collapse at 69.
1971: Billy Gilbert, U.S. comedian and actor who appeared in Charlie Chaplin's movie "The Great Dictator" and provided the voice of Sneezy in the Disney movie "Snow White," dies at 77.
1961: Billy House, vaudeville performer and actor who had roles in three Orson Welles movies, dies at 71.
1960: Kathlyn Williams, film actress known for her blond beauty who was popular during the silent era, dies of natural causes at 81.
1950: Sam Barry, U.S. Basketball Hall of Fame college coach who is one of only three coaches to lead teams to the college basketball Final Four and the College World Series, dies at 57.
1939: Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist known as the founding father of psychoanalysis, dies at 83.