Born August 17

Mae West is known best today for her sultry, sexy look and her clever double-entendres. But the actress offered much more than sex appeal. She was a singer whose pipes can be heard in a number of her movies. She was a screenwriter who wrote her own funny films. She was a playwright who was responsible for some of the most notorious shows on Broadway in the 1920s. And she's a Hollywood legend who is still beloved, decades after her death. We remember West'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 singer Pearl Bailey.

1982: Mark Salling, actor known for his role as Noah Puckerman on "Glee," is born in Dallas, Texas.

1968: Andrew Koenig, U.S. character actor who played Boner on "Growing Pains," is born in Los Angeles, California.

1951: Richard Hunt, U.S. puppeteer who worked with Jim Henson and the Muppets, is born in the Bronx, New York.

1936: Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman, U.S. actor, singer, and activist who appeared in movies including "Dances With Wolves" and "The Doors," is born in the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation, South Dakota.

Westerman continued to act until 2007, completing work on the Kevin Costner film "Swing Vote" in September. Perhaps his most memorable movie role was in Costner's 1990 Western epic, "Dances With Wolves." He played the Sioux leader Ten Bears, who befriends Costner's character. Westerman was also well-known as an activist for environmental causes, the rights of Native Americans and other indigenous people. His debut album, released in 1970, was titled "Custer Died for Your Sins." In 2006, he released "A Tribute to Johnny Cash" to positive reviews. Read more

 

 

 

1933: Mark Dinning, U.S. singer who had a hit in 1960 with "Teen Angel," is born in Manchester, Oklahoma.

1933: Glenn Corbett, U.S. actor who starred as Lincoln Case on TV's "Route 66," is born in El Monte, California.

1930: Ted Hughes, English poet who is considered one of the best poets of the 20th century and was married to Sylvia Plath, is born in Mytholmroyd, England.

1920: Maureen O'Hara, U.S. Irish-born actress who starred in many classic movies including "Miracle on 34th Street," is born in Ranelagh, Ireland.


In 1946, O'Hara became a U.S. citizen, and the following year, she starred in the film with which many identify her most closely, "Miracle on 34th Street." Playing the mother of Natalie Wood's character, O'Hara grew close to the young actress. O'Hara made five movies with frequent co-star John Wayne: "Rio Grande," "The Quiet Man," "The Wings of Eagles," "McLintock!", and "Big Jake." She called "The Quiet Man" her favorite of all the films she made: "It is the one I am most proud of, and I tend to be very protective of it. I loved Mary Kate Danaher. I loved the hell and fire in her." Read more

 

 

 

1914: Bill Downs, U.S. broadcast journalist known for his work with Edward R. Murrow and for his coverage of World War II, is born in Kansas City, Kansas.

1913: Mark Felt, U.S. FBI agent who was the whistleblower on the Watergate scandal, otherwise known as Deep Throat, is born in Twin Falls, Idaho.

The source –– often referred to as "My Friend" or "MF" in the newsroom –– soon became so integral to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's reporting that the Post's managing editor proposed giving him a more distinctive moniker; he suggested Deep Throat based on the notorious 1972 pornographic movie of the same name, journalist Alicia C. Shepard, who wrote a book about Woodward and Bernstein, told National Public Radio in 2008. "The nickname stuck," she said. "Among several unanswered questions is a basic one: Would Felt have become such a cultural icon if his moniker were 'My Friend'?" Read more

 

 

 

1893: Mae West, U.S. actress, screenwriter, and playwright who was a major sex symbol and starred in movies including "I'm No Angel" opposite Cary Grant, is born in Brooklyn, New York.

West left many lasting legacies, including some unique ones: The inflatable life jackets used by the Royal Air Force were named for her, and Army soldiers called their two-turret combat tanks "Mae Wests," according to her New York Times obituary. In 1959 she released her best-selling autobiography titled "Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It." The line was allegedly her retort to a hat-check girl who complimented West: "Goodness, those are beautiful diamonds!" To which the star responded, "Dearie, goodness had nothing to do with it." Read more

 

 

 

1786: Davy Crockett, U.S. frontiersman, soldier, and politician who represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives and fought at the Alamo, is born in Limestone, North Carolina.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including singer Pearl Bailey.