Born July 6

Frida Kahlo's best-known paintings are self-portraits – with flowers, with monkeys, and always unflinchingly depicting her famously heavy eyebrows. Kahlo explained her frequent self-portraits by saying, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best." She was considered a surrealist, though she felt her paintings reflected her own reality and were not surreal. One of Mexico's most famous artists, she is pictured on the country's 500-peso note along with her husband, artist Diego Rivera. Her former home is a museum and popular tourist destination. We remember Kahlo'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 jazz legend Louis Armstrong.

1982: Misty Upham, U.S. actress known best for her performance in "Frozen River," is born in Kalispell, Montana.

Misty Upham (Associated Press)Upham was a member of the Blackfoot tribe, and much of her work explored the experience of indigenous people in America. She was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her work in "Frozen River," and her work in "August: Osage County" contributed to the cast's nomination for outstanding performance from the Screen Actors Guild. Read more

 

 

 

1949: Phyllis Hyman, U.S. singer-songwriter and actress whose popular songs include "You Know How To Love Me" and "Don't Wanna Change the World," is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1931: Della Reese, actress and gospel-influenced singer who in middle age found her greatest fame as Tess, the wise angel in the long-running television drama "Touched by an Angel," is born in Detroit, Michigan.

1927: Janet Leigh, U.S. actress who was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," is born in Merced, California.

The infamous shower scene was filmed over the course of seven days and used 77 different camera setups. There is some controversy about whether Leigh used a body double – she claimed it was all her except for the end when Norman Bates drags Marion Crane out of the shower; meanwhile, another source has said much of the scene actually featured showgirl and Playboy model Marli Renfro, who was paid $500 for her efforts (coincidentally, her Playboy cover featured her in the shower). Whatever the case, Leigh said she was so traumatized by watching the finished scene that for years afterward she opted for baths instead of showers. Read more

 

 

1925: Bill Haley, U.S. singer-songwriter and guitarist who helped popularize rock 'n' roll with hit songs like "Rock Around the Clock" and "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," is born in Highland Park, Michigan.

Bill HaleyIn 1957, Bill Haley & His Comets became the first American rock 'n' roll act to tour Europe, and their appearances had a catalytic effect. Much as every punk or New Wave band to come out of Europe in the 1980s claimed they'd attended a Sex Pistols show, many of the artists who would make up the 1960s British Invasion cited Haley's tour as a watershed moment. "The first time I really ever felt a tingle up my spine was when I saw Bill Haley and the Comets on the telly," Paul McCartney told Gibson.com. "Then I went to see them live. The ticket was 24 shillings, and I was the only one of my mates who could go, as no one else had been able to save up that amount. But I was single-minded about it. I knew there was something going on here." Read more

 

 

1925: Merv Griffin, U.S. television host and actor who hosted the long-running talk show "The Merv Griffin Show" and created game shows including "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune," is born in San Mateo, California.

From his beginning as a $100-a-week San Francisco radio singer, Griffin moved on as vocalist for Freddy Martin's band, sometime actor in films, and TV game show and talk show host. His talk show, "The Merv Griffin Show," lasted more than 20 years, and Griffin has said his capacity to listen contributed to his success. "If the host is sitting there thinking about his next joke, he isn't listening," Griffin reasoned in a later interview. Read more

 

 

 

1924: Louie Bellson, U.S. jazz drummer who was a popular bandleader and, with his wife Pearl Bailey, made many appearances at the White House, is born in Rock Falls, Illinois.

He was designated as a "master of jazz" in 1994 by the National Endowment for the Arts, which said he "ranks among the foremost big-band drummers of the swing and post-swing eras and is best known for his precise technique and the invention of two pedal-operated bass drums." Bellson wrote more than 1,000 compositions and arrangements in several genres, including jazz, swing, orchestral suites, symphonic works, and ballets. As an author, he published more than a dozen books on drums and percussion. Read more

 

 

 

1922: William Schallert, U.S. character actor best known for playing the father on "The Patty Duke Show," is born in Los Angeles, California.

1921: Nancy Reagan, U.S. actress and former first lady of the United States, is born in New York, New York.

As the nation's first lady, she brought glamour to the White House that echoed that of the Kennedy administration, becoming known for her personal style and meticulous decoration and renovation of the White House. Also of key importance to her eight years as the first lady was her "Just Say No" campaign against recreational drugs. Read more

 

 

 

1918: Sebastian Cabot, English actor who played Giles French in "Family Affair," is born in London, England.

1914: Vince McMahon Sr., U.S. professional wrestling promoter who created the company that would later become World Wrestling Entertainment, is born in New York, New York.

1907: Frida Kahlo, Mexican artist known best for her self-portraits, is born in Mexico City, Mexico.

1887: Marc Chagall, Russian-French artist who was a pioneer of surrealism, is born in Liozna, Russian Empire.

1747: John Paul Jones, Scottish-American sailor who fought in the Revolutionary War and is often considered the Father of the U.S. Navy, is born in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including jazz legend Louis Armstrong.