Born April 13

Jonathan Brandis was a 1990s teen idol who got his big break starring on the 1990 miniseries Stephen King's "It" and the movie sequel "The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter." But "seaQuest DSV" propelled him to his greatest fame as he played young scientist Lucas Wolenczak. In addition to starring, Brandis also co-wrote and produced an  episode of the series. Later roles included "Hart's War," "Born Free: A New Adventure" and "Outside Providence." We remember Brandis' life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including environmental pioneer Grey Owl.

1976: Jonathan Brandis, U.S. actor who starred on "seaQuest DSV," is born in Danbury, Connecticut.

1962: Hillel Slovak, Israeli-American guitarist who was a founding member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers rock band, is born in Haifa, Israel.

1955: Louis Johnson, U.S. bassist who was known for his group The Brothers Johnson and who also played bass for the Michael Jackson album "Thriller," is born in Los Angeles, California.

1945: Lowell George, U.S. singer-songwriter and guitarist who was the frontman for the rock band Little Feat, is born in Los Angeles, California.

From 1969 until his death in 1979, George led Little Feat as they pushed the limits of what could be considered rock 'n' roll. Through six studio albums – a seventh was completed after his death – and countless live shows, George and Little Feat had a lasting influence on the genre that far outstrips their record sales. Slate.com called them "the most underrated '70s band to come out of ... the whole country." Rolling Stone readers named 1978's "Waiting for Columbus" the seventh-best live album of all time. Read more

 

 

 

1939: Seamus Heaney, Irish poet who won the 1995 Nobel Prize in literature, is born in County Derry, Northern Ireland.

Seamus Heaney (Associated Press/Peter Morrison)As one of the world's premier classicists, he translated and interpreted ancient works of Athens and Rome for modern eyes and ears. A bear of a man with a signature mop of untamed silvery hair, he gave other writers and fans time, attention, advice — and left a legacy of one-on-one, life-changing moments encouraged by his self-deprecating, common-man touch. Read more

 

 

 

1937: Lanford Wilson, U.S. playwright whose works include "The Hot l Baltimore" and "Fifth of July," is born in Lebanon, Missouri.

Lanford Wilson (AP Photo)Wilson was one of four founders of The Circle Repertory Company in New York, an incubator of important off-Broadway works. He was nominated for Tony awards for "Angels Fall," "Talley's Folly," and "Fifth of July." He won the Pulitzer for drama in 1980 for "Talley's Folly," the second in a trilogy of plays that follows the Talley family of Lebanon, Missouri, over several generations. Read more

 

 

 

1931: Jon Stone, U.S. screenwriter and producer who was a co-creator of "Sesame Street," is born in New Haven, Connecticut.

1923: Don Adams, U.S. actor known best for starring as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, on "Get Smart," is born in New York, New York.

1919: Madalyn Murray O'Hair, U.S. activist who founded American Atheists, is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1919: Howard Keel, U.S. actor who played Clayton Farlow on "Dallas," is born in Gillespie, Illinois.

Keel starred in Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals in New York and London before being signed to an MGM contract after World War II. He became a star with his first MGM film, playing Frank Butler to Betty Hutton's Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun." Keel's size and lusty voice made him an ideal leading man for such stars as Esther Williams ("Pagan Love Song," "Texas Carnival," "Jupiter's Darling"), Ann Blyth ("Rose Marie," "Kismet"), Kathryn Grayson ("Show Boat," "Lovely To Look At," "Kiss Me Kate") and Doris Day ("Calamity Jane"). His own favorite film was the exuberant "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." Read more

 

 

1909: Eudora Welty, U.S. author who won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for her novel "The Optimist's Daughter," is born in Jackson, Mississippi.

In "The Optimist's Daughter," the character Laurel McKelva Hand realized that "her life, any life" is "nothing but the continuity of its love." Eudora Welty endures in the continuity of love her family and friends feel for her just as she endures in her work as writer and photographer and in the legacy of the home and papers that she left to the state of Mississippi. Read more

1906: Samuel Beckett, Irish playwright whose well-known works include "Waiting for Godot," is born in Dublin, Ireland.

1902: Marguerite Henry, U.S. author of children's books including "Misty of Chincoteague," is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1899: Alfred Mosher Butts, U.S. architect and game designer who created the board game "Scrabble," is born in Poughkeepsie, New York.

1866: Butch Cassidy, born Robert Leroy Parker, U.S. criminal famous for his exploits in the Wild West with the Sundance Kid, is born in Beaver, Utah.

1743: Thomas Jefferson, U.S. politician who was the third president of the United States, serving from 1801 to 1809, is born in Shadwell, Virginia.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including environmental pioneer Grey Owl.