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Born April 5

One of the most beloved actors in the history of film, Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his portrayal of Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird," earned nominations for four other films, and appeared in a series of unforgettable classics from the 1940s to 2000. He was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his humanitarian efforts and also landed in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. He was active in Democratic politics throughout his life, and he signed on to a letter condemning the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings in the 1950s, risking a career-ending blacklisting in Hollywood. We remember Peck's 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 Nirvana's Kurt Cobain.

1967: Troy Gentry, singer-songwriter and guitarist was one half of the popular country music duo Montgomery Gentry, born in Lexington, Kentucky.

1962: Lana Clarkson, U.S. actress whose movies include "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," who was killed by record producer Phil Spector, is born in Long Beach, California.

1949: Judith Resnik, U.S. astronaut who was a NASA mission specialist on the space shuttle Challenger, is born in Akron, Ohio.

Judy Resnik (Photo: NASA)In 1978, she was recruited into the astronaut program by NASA recruiter and "Star Trek" actress Nichelle Nichols. Resnik became the second American woman and first Jewish woman in space in August 1984 when she served as mission specialist on the maiden voyage of the space shuttle Discovery. Read more

 

 

 

1939: Ronald "Ronnie" White, U.S. musician who co-founded the Miracles with Smokey Robinson, is born in Detroit, Michigan.

1939: Crispian St. Peters, English singer-songwriter whose 1960s hits include "The Pied Piper" and "You Were on My Mind," is born in Swanley, England.

1933: Frank Gorshin, U.S. character actor who played The Riddler on TV's "Batman," is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Despite dozens of television and movie credits, Gorshin will be forever remembered for his role as The Riddler, Adam West's villainous foil in the question mark-pocked green suit and bowler hat on "Batman" from 1966-69. "It really was a catalyst for me," Gorshin recalled in a 2002 AP interview. "I was nobody. I had done some guest shots here and there. But after I did that, I became a headliner in Vegas, so I can't put it down." Read more

 

 

 

1929: Nigel Hawthorne, English actor whose notable films include The Madness of King George, is born in Coventry, England.

1928: Tony Williams, U.S. musician who was lead singer of the Platters from 1953 to 1960, is born in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

1922: Gale Storm, U.S. actress who starred in "My Little Margie" and "The Gale Storm Show," is born in Bloomington, Texas.

Television in the 21st century has been dominated by reality TV contests and singing competitions. Shows like "American Idol," "The Voice," and "America's Got Talent" have taken the song and dance competition to new heights, with millions of fans watching – and voting – to see which small-town son or daughter will be the next big star. But long before Texan Kelly Clarkson became the first American Idol, another teenager from Texas entered a talent competition and took America by storm. Read more

 

 

 

1921: Christopher Hewett, English actor known best for playing the title role in Mr. Belvedere, is born in Worthing, England.

1916: Gregory Peck, U.S. actor whose well-known films include "The Yearling," "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Twelve O'Clock High," is born in San Diego, California.

It can be disappointing when we learn that a favorite actor isn't as good a person in real life as he seems in the roles he plays, but that's not the case with Peck. Friends and co-workers described him as a good man, as good as the gentle Atticus Finch. Harper Lee, author of the book that became the movie, made two telling statements about Peck: "In that film, the man and the part met," and "Atticus Finch gave him an opportunity to play himself." Read more

 

 

 

1909: Albert R. Broccoli, U.S. film producer who produced a number of James Bond films, including "Dr. No" and "The Living Daylights," is born in Queens, New York.

1908: Bette Davis, U.S. actress who won the Academy Award for best actress twice, for her performances in "Dangerous" and "Jezebel," is born in Lowell, Massachusetts.

There was no denying Davis' stardom – she appeared in more than 100 films, won the Academy Award twice, set a record by being nominated 10 times, was the first woman to receive a lifetime achievement award by the American Film Institute, and was the first to serve as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But it's safe to say Davis made a few enemies along the way. Read more

 

 

 

1908: Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, U.S. author whose works include "Cheaper by the Dozen," is born in New York, New York.

1901: Melvyn Douglas, U.S. actor known for roles in "Hud," "Being There" and "I Never Sang for My Father," is born in Macon, Georgia.

1900: Spencer Tracy, U.S. actor who won two Academy awards, for his performances in "Captains Courageous" and "Boys Town," is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1856: Booker T. Washington, U.S. educator and author whose autobiography, "Up From Slavery," describes his rise from being born a slave to advising U.S. presidents, is born in Hale's Ford, Virginia.

1827: Joseph Lister, English surgeon who was a pioneer of antiseptic surgery, is born in Upton, England.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including Nirvana's Kurt Cobain.