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Born December 4

Drummer Dennis Wilson is best known as one of the founders of the Beach Boys along with his older brother, Brian, and his younger brother, Carl. Though the Beach Boys first became famous for their "surfing" songs, Dennis was the only one who really surfed. Dennis put out one solo album, "Pacific Ocean Blue," in 1977 that received positive reviews.We remember Wilson's life today as well as the lives and legacies of other notable personalities who were born this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including the legendary Frank Zappa.

1944: Dennis Wilson, U.S. drummer for the Beach Boys and brother of Brian and Carl Wilson, is born in Marina del Rey, California.

"Hey, surfing's getting really big. You guys ought to write a song about it." - Dennis Wilson to his brother Brian and cousin Mike Love, in 1961. Read more





1934: Victor French, U.S. actor known best for starring with Michael Landon in two series, "Little House on the Prairie" and "Highway to Heaven," is born in Santa Barbara, California.

On "Highway to Heaven," Landon played a would-be angel named Jonathan, seeking to do right to enter heaven. French was Mark Gordon, his mortal sidekick. In a 1985 interview with The Associated Press, French described his role this way: "I'm the guy on the street who responds as the audience does. I'm a little sour on the world. He quit the police force because he felt criminals were getting the best of the system. He's closest to me. We share most of the same values. I don't have to make up stuff, the feelings are mine. I'm as moved by injustice, prejudice and pain as he is." French died in 1989. Read more



1930: Ronnie Corbett, Scottish comedian and actor known for the BBC show "The Two Ronnies," is born in Edinburgh, Scotland.

1927: Barbara Knudson, U.S. actress who co-starred in the movie "Meet Danny Wilson," is born in Las Vegas, Nevada.

1921: Deanna Durbin, Canadian-born U.S. actress and singer who was most popular in movie musicals in the 1940s, is born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Deanna Durbin (Associated Press)Her admirers included Winston Churchill, who said she was his favorite star, according to biographer William Manchester, and Anne Frank, who had Durbin's photo pasted on the wall in the secret quarters where she and her family hid in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, according to Durbin's 2013 obituary by The Associated Press. In 1938, she received an honorary Academy Award for her "significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth." Read more




1915: Eddie Heywood, U.S. jazz pianist who was popular in the 1940s and played with Billie Holiday, is born in Atlanta, Georgia.

1913: Mark Robson, Canadian-born director whose movies included "Peyton Place" and "Valley of the Dolls," is born in Montreal, Quebec. 

1910: Alex North, U.S. composer known best for his scores for films including "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Spartacus," is born in Chester, Pennsylvania.

1903: Cornell Woolrich, U.S. crime novelist whose short story "It Had To be Murder" served as the basis for the movie "Rear Window," is born in New York, New York.

1889: Lloyd Bacon, U.S. actor and director who directed the movie "42nd Street" and starred with Charlie Chaplin in "The Tramp," is born in San Jose, California.

1861: Lillian Russell, U.S. actress and singer who was famous in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is born in Clinton, Iowa.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including the legendary Frank Zappa.