Born June 26
By: Legacy Staff
22 days ago
Colonel Tom Parker is probably the best-known manager in rock music history, thanks to his longtime association with a certain king … the King of Rock 'n' Roll, that is. Elvis Presley attributed much of his success to Parker's management, which began in the earliest days of Presley's career. Parker continued to guide Presley through his stint in the Army, his Hollywood stardom, and his comeback after a decline in popularity. We remember Parker's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1962: Jerome Kersey, U.S. NBA forward who won an NBA championship in 1999 with the San Antonio Spurs, is born in Clarksville, Virginia.
1922: Dick Smith, U.S. movie makeup artist known for his work in "Amadeus," "Taxi Driver," "The Godfather," and more, is born in Larchmont, New York.
Widely regarded as the master in his field, Smith helped pioneer such now-standard materials as liquid foam latex and make special effects more realistic and spectacular. He was also known and loved for his generosity, whether exchanging letters about his craft with a teenage J.J. Abrams or mentoring future Oscar-winner special effects artist Rick Baker, who in 2011 presented Smith his honorary statuette. Read more
1922: Eleanor Parker, U.S. actress who played Elsa von Schraeder in "The Sound of Music," is born in Cedarville, Ohio.
She was signed to a contract at Warner Bros., where she played only minor roles until the studio recognized her dramatic depth and cast her as Mildred Rogers in the 1946 remake of "Of Human Bondage." The Somerset Maugham story had made Bette Davis a star 12 years before. On Parker's first day of filming, Davis sent her flowers and a note proclaiming, "I hope Mildred does as much for your career as she did for mine." But the film flopped, and Parker was again relegated to mediocre roles until her breakthrough performance as an inmate in a brutal prison in the 1950 film "Caged." The role brought Parker her first Oscar nomination, for best actress. Read more
1911: Babe Didrikson Zaharias, U.S. athlete who won gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Summer Olympics and was also an accomplished professional golfer, is born in Port Arthur, Texas.
In 1932, Didrikson Zaharias competed in the Amateur Athletic Union Championships in the track and field team division … without any teammates. Her team of one was victorious, setting five world records in one day. (Did we mention that Didrikson Zaharias was the only person on the team?) Read more
1909: Colonel Tom Parker, born Andreas von Kuijk, Dutch-American talent manager known best for managing Elvis Presley's career, is born in Breda, Netherlands.
1904: Peter Lorre, Slovak-American actor whose notable films include "The Maltese Falcon" and "Casino Royale," is born in Ružomberok, Austria-Hungary.
1893: Big Bill Broonzy, U.S. blues guitarist and singer-songwriter who influenced musicians including Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton, is born in Scott, Mississippi.
1892: Pearl S. Buck, U.S. author who won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel "The Good Earth," is born in Hillsboro, West Virginia.
Her tales of the lives of Chinese peasants won hearts and helped illuminate a culture that was previously exotic and unknown to most Americans. Buck wrote not just from her imagination but from experience – she was raised in China from the time she was 3 months old until she returned to the U.S. for college, and she went back to serve as a missionary for 19 more years after receiving her degree. As a child, she was educated bilingually, and she lived in a small village among the people she would later write about. She came to know them not as strange "others" but as neighbors and friends. Read more
1819: Abner Doubleday, U.S. Army officer who is often mistakenly credited with inventing the game of baseball, is born in Ballston Spa, New York.