Born January 18
By: Legacy Staff
6 months ago
Cary Grant was one of the greatest movie stars of all time, a giant of Hollywood's golden age. His dashing good looks, sophisticated accent, and versatile skill as an actor endeared him to movie fans everywhere. We remember Grant's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1996: Alexandra Scott, U.S. cancer patient who founded Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, is born in Manchester, Connecticut.
Alexandra, diagnosed just before her first birthday with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer, decided to set up a lemonade stand to raise money for treatment, according to her 2004 obituary by The Associated Press. She took in $2,000 that first year, and a series of stands had raised $200,000 after four years. Later on, lemonade stand fundraisers were set up in all 50 states, as well as in Canada and France, and Alexandra and her family appeared on Oprah Winfrey's TV program and the "Today" show. Read more
1955: Frankie Knuckles, U.S. disc jockey and record producer known as the Godfather of House Music, is born in the Bronx, New York.
In Chicago, he was resident DJ at the city's The Warehouse club until it closed in 1983. It was there that he defined House music's distinct style and took on the role of DJ as tastemaker, said Phil White, co-author of "On the Record: The Scratch DJ Academy Guide." Knuckles "defined really what House music was in terms of style," White said, according to Knuckles' April 2014 obituary by The Associated Press. Knuckles even would cut and tape together pieces of reel-to-reel recordings to make extended tracks, he said. Read more
1941: David Ruffin, U.S. singer with the Temptations who sang lead on hits including "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," is born in Whynot, Mississippi.
By age 14, he'd moved to Memphis to pursue the ministry and soon joined first the Dixie Nightingales and later the Soul Stirrers, whose members over time included Sam Cooke and Lou Rawls. Traveling with these groups allowed him to witness up-and-coming acts like Elvis Presley and Little Richard – artists whose sense of showmanship he would later bring to the Temptations. It was a transitional time in black music, as many of the leading gospel artists began going secular. If you were a rhythm and blues musician, Detroit was the place to be. Read more
1938: Curt Flood, U.S. Major League Baseball center fielder with the St. Louis Cardinals, is born in Houston, Texas.
1933: Ray Dolby, U.S. engineer who invented the noise reduction system known as Dolby NR, is born in Portland, Oregon.
Dolby held 50 U.S. patents and won a number of notable awards for his life's work, including several Emmys, two Oscars, and a Grammy, according to his 2013 obituary by The Associated Press. He was awarded the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in the U.S. and the Royal Academy of Engineers in the U.K., among many more honors. In 2012, the theater that serves as home to the Academy Awards ceremony was renamed the Dolby TheatreSM, and the Ray Dolby Ballroom was named in his honor. Read more
1922: Bob Bell, U.S. entertainer who was the original portrayer of Bozo the Clown, is born in Flint, Michigan.
1911: Danny Kaye, U.S. actor, singer, and comedian who starred in movies including "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and became the first ambassador for UNICEF, is born in Brooklyn, New York.
Just as deserving of accolades as his career in the entertainment world was his humanitarian work. For decades, Kaye was the celebrity face of the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF. He was one of the first celebrities to represent a charitable organization, starting a trend that has grown over the years, to the point that almost every celebrity we can name is associated with one cause or another – though in most cases we'd be hard-pressed to come up with the specific cause. But not so with Kaye. He was inextricably linked with UNICEF – and his involvement and advocacy helped children around the world. Read more
1904: Cary Grant, English-American actor known for roles in movies including "North by Northwest," "Charade," and "An Affair To Remember," is born in Bristol, England.
When Grant came to America, he was a stilt walker with a troupe of performers. It was just a small shift to vaudeville, and within a few years, he was acting onstage in St. Louis. Then, for a talent like Grant's, it was a quick jump to Broadway and from Broadway to the silver screen. One of his earliest hits was "I'm No Angel," playing opposite Mae West. The great chemistry between the stars made the movie explode at the box office and helped save Paramount from bankruptcy. Read more
1892: Oliver Hardy, U.S. comedian who was one-half of the famous Laurel and Hardy comedy team, is born in Harlem, Georgia.
1882: A.A. Milne, English author known best for his books about Winnie-the-Pooh, is born in Hampstead, England.
Milne was already an established writer when he came up with Winnie-the-Pooh – he had written dozens of plays, novels, screenplays, and essays, most of them works for adults. His work was popular and well-received, but none of that prepared him for the wild popularity of his children's stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was born not long after Milne's son, Christopher Robin. Many of the characters from the stories – including Pooh himself – were inspired by the young boy's stuffed toys, while Pooh's human friend, Christopher Robin, was inspired by Milne's son. Read more
1854: Thomas Watson, U.S. assistant to Alexander Graham Bell whose surname was one of the first words spoken over the telephone, is born in Salem, Massachusetts.
1782: Daniel Webster, U.S. politician who served as secretary of state and a senator from Massachusetts, is born in Salisbury, New Hampshire.
1779: Peter Mark Roget, English physician and lexicographer known best for publishing the first modern thesaurus, is born in London, England.