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Born January 27

Donna Reed would certainly be a member of the unofficial Television Sitcom Mom Hall of Fame. Reed starred on The Donna Reed Show for eight years, playing the wife and mother of a middle class family. We also look forward to seeing her on TV every Christmas season as Mary Bailey in the classic film "It's a Wonderful Life." We remember Reed'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 the wrestler Andre the Giant.

1964: Jack Haley, U.S. NBA center who played for the Chicago Bulls and other teams and then became a broadcaster for the Los Angeles Lakers, is born in Long Beach, California.

1942: Kate Wolf, U.S. folk singer-songwriter whose compositions include "Give Yourself to Love," is born in San Francisco, California.

Ten years after Wolf's 1986 death, fans who still missed her organized the Kate Wolf Retrospective Concert, benefiting public radio and the Leukemia Foundation of America. The outdoor festival featured more than 15 acts and drew 1,200 concertgoers. The success of the event spurred an annual Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival – in 2011, the three-day lineup included luminaries like Taj Mahal, Bruce Cockburn and Los Lobos. Read more

 

 

 

1941: Bobby Hutcherson, U.S. legendary jazz vibraphonist who performed with Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins, is born in Los Angeles, California.

1926: Troy Donahue, U.S. actor and teen idol whose movies include A Summer Place and Palm Springs Weekend, is born in New York, New York.

Donahue's charms may have outshone his talent. His chiseled good looks made him a top teen idol in the 1950s and '60s, and the fact that his acting skills were a bit lacking didn't seem to matter much when balanced against his blond hair and sunny smile. Donahue was a hit with women, on screen and off. His fans loved him, as did his four wives and one fiancée. And his leading ladies were among Hollywood's loveliest. Read more

 

 

 

1931: Mordecai Richler, Canadian author known best for novels The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Barney's Version, is born in Montreal, Quebec.

1930: Bobby "Blue" Bland, U.S. blues singer whose hits include "That's the Way Love Is," is born in Rosemark, Tennessee.

Bland, who died in 2013, was known as the Sinatra of the Blues, beloved for his uniquely lush and dramatic tunes. From his earliest days on Memphis' Beale Street, where he played with legends including B.B. King and Junior Parker, to the Grammy Award for lifetime achievement the he received in 1997, to his final performances just before his death June 23, 2013, Bland wowed his fans with gospel-influenced blues and soul. Read more

 

 

 

1921: Donna Reed, U.S. actress whose notable movies include It's a Wonderful Life and From Here to Eternity, who also starred on the long-running sitcom The Donna Reed Show, is born in Denison, Iowa.

As improbably perfect as Reed's character was, she was the mother that so many viewers dreamed of having … or being. She always had time for her children as well as numerous other activities, all while keeping an immaculate home and a smile on her face. From today's perspective, Reed's Donna Stone is the archetypal mother, the ideal that none of us quite manages to live up to. The role has become such a crucial part of her identity that we don't always remember that she was an actress playing a part. Read more

 

 

 

1919: David Seville, born Ross Bagdasarian, U.S. singer and actor who created Alvin and the Chipmunks, is born in Fresno, California.

1918: Elmore James, U.S. blues singer and guitarist known as the King of the Slide Guitar, is born in Richland, Mississippi.

1905: Howard McNear, U.S. actor known best for roles on The Andy Griffith Show and Gunsmoke, is born in Los Angeles, California.

1901: Art Rooney, U.S. football player and coach who founded the Pittsburgh Steelers, is born in Coulterville, Pennsylvania.

1885: Jerome Kern, U.S. composer whose songs include "Ol' Man River" and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," is born in New York, New York.

1850: Samuel Gompers, English-American labor leader who founded the American Federation of Labor, is born in London, England.

1832: Lewis Carroll, English author known best for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, is born in Daresbury, England.

1756: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer whose works are deeply beloved and influential, is born in Salzburg, Austria.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including the wrestler Andre the Giant.