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Born December 2

Maria Callas was born with one of the greatest voices of the 20th century. Callas was a diva in the old-fashioned sense of the word as well as in the spunkier modern definition. She was an all-time great operatic performer, and she was also glamorous and temperamental. We remember Callas' life today as well as the lives and legacies of other notable people who were born this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including TV legend Desi Arnaz.

1960: Razzle, the stage name of Nicholas Dingley, who was the drummer for the Finnish band Hanoi Rocks, is born in Royal Leamington Spa, England.

1946: Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer who founded a successful fashion company, is born in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The fashion mogul was shot on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion July 15, 1997, as he returned from his usual morning walk. Though the crime has been solved, it has never been fully resolved – we know Andrew Cunanan shot Versace, but we'll probably never learn why. (Spree killer Cunanan died by suicide days later.) Versace's sudden death was a great loss to his family – his partner, siblings, nieces, and nephews – and to a fashion world that surely would have benefited from his eye for color and trend even more. Read more

 

 

 

1931: Wynton Kelly, U.S. jazz pianist who was known for his work with singer Dinah Washington and who played with Miles Davis on his classic album "Kind of Blue," is born in Brooklyn, New York.

1925: Julie Harris, U.S. actress who won a Grammy, five Tony, and three Emmy awards, and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in "The Member of the Wedding," is born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.

Julie Harris (Associated Press)Harris won a record five Tonys for best actress in a play, displaying a virtuosity that enabled her to portray an astonishing gallery of women during a theater career that spanned almost 60 years and included such plays as "The Member of the Wedding" (1950), "The Lark" (1955), "Forty Carats" (1968), and "The Last of Mrs. Lincoln" (1972), according to her 2013 obituary by The Associated Press. She was honored again with a sixth Tony, a special lifetime achievement award in 2002. Only Angela Lansbury has neared her record, winning four Tonys in the best actress-musical category and one for best supporting actress in a play. Read more

 

 

1923: Maria Callas, U.S. soprano vocalist who was one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century, is born in Manhattan, New York.

Callas was a diva in the classic sense of the word as well as in the sassier modern definition –– she was a great operatic performer, and she was glamorous and temperamental, bombastic and beautiful. She transformed her appearance dramatically mid-career, losing weight and becoming as visually striking as she was vocally gifted. Scandal followed her in her professional life, as she feuded with La Scala opera house, fought a lawsuit from a former agent, and gained a reputation as a tigress. Read more

 

 

 

1917: Sylvia Syms, U.S. jazz singer who was popular in the New York City nightclubs and who had a hit song with "I Could Have Danced All Night," is born in Brooklyn, New York.

1914: Bill Erwin, U.S. character actor who appeared on television shows including "Seinfeld" and "I Love Lucy," is born in Honey Grove, Texas.

Erwin's Hollywood career dates back to 1941, when he appeared in the movie "You're in the Army Now." His scores of credits include roles on "The Twilight Zone," "Gunsmoke," "Perry Mason," "The Golden Girls," "Growing Pains," "Wagon Train," "The Rifleman," "The Jeff Foxworthy Show," "Who's the Boss?", and "My Name Is Earl." But his old man character Sid Fields on "Seinfeld," which got him an Emmy nomination in 1993, is perhaps his most memorable role, according to his 2010 obituary by The Associated Press. Read more

 

 

 

1913: Marc Platt, U.S. dancer and actor who played one of the brothers in the movie "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," is born in Pasadena, California.

1894: Warren William, U.S. actor who was popular during the 1930s, appearing in such movies as "Cleopatra," is born in Aitkin, Minnesota.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including TV legend Desi Arnaz.