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Born January 4

Sorrell Booke is remembered best for one iconic role: Boss Hogg, the overblown, comic villain of TV's "The Dukes of Hazzard." Booke brought great gusto to the role and made Boss Hogg a bad guy to remember. Booke also appeared in films including "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Freaky Friday," and other television appearances included recurring roles on "All in the Family" and "Soap." We remember Booke'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 rocker Phil Lynott.

1962: Peter Steele, U.S. musician who was the lead singer and bassist for the heavy metal band Type O Negative, is born in Brooklyn, New York.

Peter Steele (Getty Images/Redferns)The Brooklyn-based band released seven studio albums. Their breakout success was 1993's platinum-selling "Bloody Kisses," featuring "Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)" and the band's cover of Seals and Crofts' "Summer Breeze." Though they scored few subsequent commercial successes in the U.S., the band toured extensively and enjoyed a large European fan base, according to Steele's obituary by The Associated Press. Read more




1959: Vanity, Canadian singer, actress, and model known best for working with superstar Prince, is born Denise Matthews in Niagara Falls, Canada.

She fronted the group Vanity 6, which associated closely with Prince. Vanity 6 released just a single album and was active from 1981 until 1983. The band was well-known for the 1982 R&B hit “Nasty Girl.” Read more




1941: Maureen Reagan, U.S. actress and Republican Party political activist who appeared in "Kissin' Cousins" with Elvis Presley and was the daughter of Ronald Reagan, is born in Los Angeles, California.

Reagan made a couple of unsuccessful bids for public office, trying for the U.S. Senate nomination in California in 1982 that was eventually won by Pete Wilson. In 1992, she finished second among 11 candidates for the Republican nomination for a new House seat, capturing 31 percent of the vote. An outspoken feminist, Reagan disagreed with her father on abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. From 1987-89, she served as co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, and she created a political action committee that supported more than 100 female candidates. She also chaired the U.S. delegation to the 1985 World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women, and served as U.S. representative to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. Read more



1935: Floyd Patterson, U.S. boxer who won Olympic gold as a middleweight and went on to become the youngest boxer ever to capture the world heavyweight title, is born in Waco, North Carolina.

In 1956, the undersized heavyweight became at age 21 the youngest man to win the title with a fifth-round knockout of Archie Moore. But three years later, Patterson was knocked down seven times in the third round in losing the title to Ingemar Johansson at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Patterson returned with a vengeance at the same site in 1960, knocking out Johansson with a tremendous left hook to retake the title, according to his obituary by the AP. Read more




1930: Sorrell Booke, U.S. actor known best for his portrayal of Boss Hogg on TV's "The Dukes of Hazzard," is born in Buffalo, New York.

Booke was only mildly overweight, so he wore a fat suit to create the corpulent character of Boss Hogg. The suit brought his girth to 5 feet around. Producers of "The Dukes of Hazzard" encouraged the comedic chemistry between Booke and co-star James Best, who played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, and often allowed the pair to ad-lib their scenes together. Read more




1916: Slim Gaillard, U.S. jazz singer and guitarist whose nonsensical, scat-singing style was celebrated in Jack Kerouac's "On the Road," is born, possibly in Pensacola, Florida.

1905: Sterling Holloway, U.S. actor known best for voice work in cartoons including "Dumbo," "Winnie the Pooh," and "The Jungle Book," is born in Cedartown, Georgia.

1900: James Bond, U.S. ornithologist whose name was borrowed by Ian Fleming for his series of spy novels, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

James Bond, the spy, took his name from a much humbler James Bond. The real James Bond was an ornithologist, an expert on the birds of the Caribbean who wrote a highly regarded field guide called "Birds of the West Indies." When Ian Fleming conceived of the spy who would make him famous, he was living in Jamaica, where he saw the book. Read more




1890: Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, U.S. pulp magazine writer and entrepreneur who founded the company that would become DC Comics, is born in Greeneville, Tennessee.

1838: General Tom Thumb, born Charles Stratton, U.S. circus performer who traveled with P.T. Barnum's circus, is born in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

1809: Louis Braille, French educator who invented a system of reading and writing for the blind, is born in Coupvray, France.

1785: Jacob Grimm, German philologist and mythologist who, along with his brother, collected and published fairy tales as the Brothers Grimm, is born in Hanau, Germany.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including rocker Phil Lynott.