Born January 20
By: Legacy Staff
2 days ago
Comedian and actor George Burns lived a showbiz life. For more than 90 years, he delighted and entertained fans, starting in vaudeville before moving on to film, radio, and television. Burns and his wife, Gracie Allen, became comedy superstars in the mid-20th century as the Burns and Allen team, thanks to their incredibly natural chemistry and comedic timing honed over decades spent working together. After Allen's death, Burns continued his solo career, turning out classic films like "Oh, God!" before dying at age 100. We remember Burns' life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1999: Shannon Tavarez, U.S. actress and singer who played the young lion cub Nala in the Broadway production of "The Lion King," is born in Queens, New York.
Alicia Keys, Rihanna, and 50 Cent campaigned to help Tavarez find a bone marrow donor, and cast members held bone marrow donor registration drives, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. Katharina Harf, co-founder of the bone marrow donor center DKMS, said the donor center registered 10,000 people as potential donors. Keys skyped with Tavarez while she was at the hospital, Harf said, and the singer, Rihanna, and 50 Cent urged their fans to sign up as potential donors. Read more
1935: Dorothy Provine, U.S. actress who starred in television shows including "The Roaring Twenties," is born in Deadwood, South Dakota.
1935: Joan Weston, U.S. roller derby athlete known as the Blonde Bomber, is born in Huntington Beach, California.
1933: Ronald Townson, U.S. singer who was a member of the 5th Dimension, is born in St. Louis, Missouri.
Neal projected force that almost crackled on the screen, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. Her forte was drama, but she had a light touch that enabled her to do comedy, too. She had the female leads in the 1949 film version of Ayn Rand's novel "The Fountainhead," the classic 1951 science fiction film "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and Elia Kazan's 1957 drama "A Face in the Crowd." She made a grand return to the screen after her strokes in 1968, winning an Oscar nomination for her performance in "The Subject Was Roses." Read more
1923: Slim Whitman, U.S. country music singer known for his distinctive yodeling abilities, is born in Tampa, Florida.
Whitman's high tenor and yodel-inspired vocals hit a chord with listeners, as did his gentle, romantic lyrics that didn't dwell on country music's common theme of loss. Whitman preferred to skip the down-on-your-luck songs in favor of love songs, like his No. 2 hit "Indian Love Call." Read more
1920: DeForest Kelley, U.S. actor known best for portraying Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy on the original "Star Trek" television series and in the movies, is born in Toccoa, Georgia.
Kelley's doctor was a "cranky but humane physician who served as sounding board for Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and quick-tempered foil for the painfully logical Vulcan, Mr. Spock," people.com noted in a remembrance. Bones' two signature lines "have both become comedy-skit staples. Confronted with a fresh intergalactic crisis, he'd sputter, 'Jim, I'm just a country doctor!' Or examining a victim of some alien foe, he'd emphatically declare, 'He's dead, Jim.'" Read more
1920: Federico Fellini, Italian film director who holds the record for most Academy awards for best foreign language film, is born in Rimini, Italy.
1918: Juan Garcia Esquivel, Mexican pianist, composer, and bandleader known as the King of Space Age Pop, is born in Tampico, Mexico.
Beginning in the 1960s, he took fullest advantage of stereo technology, experimenting with rapid panning, cross-channel echoes, reverberation, and extreme channel separation. For 1962's "Latin-Esque" album, he famously split his orchestra in two and had them play simultaneously in different studios over a block apart to enhance the stereo separation of sounds. Read more
1906: Aristotle Onassis, Turkish-Greek businessman and shipping magnate who was the second husband of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, is born in Smyrna, Ottoman Empire.
1896: George Burns, U.S. actor and comedian whose award-winning career spanned more than seven decades, is born in New York, New York.
Burns once said, "The happiest people I know are the ones that are still working. The saddest are the ones who are retired." And he kept himself happy all his life – his final feature film role was performed when he was 98. Read more
1894: Harold Gray, U.S. cartoonist who created "Little Orphan Annie," is born in Kankakee, Illinois.
1775: Andre-Marie Ampère, French physicist who was one of the founders of the science of electromagnetism, after whom the unit of measurement of electric current, the ampere, is named, is born in Lyon, France.