Born May 18
By: Legacy Staff
4 months ago
Bing Crosby once described Perry Como as "the man who invented casual." The smooth crooner sold millions of records and was a popular presence on TV for many years. Audiences tuned in to his two variety shows, "The Perry Como Show" and later "Kraft Music Hall" to take in the singing and see the biggest names in Hollywood who would make guest appearances. We remember Como's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1950: Rod Milburn, U.S. hurdler who won a gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, is born in Opelousas, Louisiana.
1946: Andreas Katsulas, U.S. actor known for roles in "Babylon 5" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation," is born in St. Louis, Missouri.
1936: Leon Ashley, U.S. country music singer whose song "Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't Got)" went to No. 1 on the country chart in 1967, is born in Covington, Georgia.
1931: Don Martin, U.S. cartoonist who was a popular artist for Mad magazine for decades, is born in Paterson, New Jersey.
As a young man, he once commented, "I distinguished myself by flunking out of college three times." After pursuing occupations that ranged from tombstone maker to railroad riveter, he decided to become an actor. Roberts worked extensively in regional theaters, then gained notice in New York, where he won a Drama Desk award in 1956 for his performance in an off-Broadway production of "Macbeth." He eventually moved to Hollywood, where he appeared on several TV shows and landed character roles in such features as "Desire Under the Elms,"
"The Sheepman," and "Ride Lonesome" until "Bonanza" made him a star. Read more
1920: Pope John Paul II, Polish priest who was a very popular pope, serving from 1978 until his death in 2005, who was later canonized as a saint, is born in Wadowice, Poland.
He was known for his political activism, most notably helping to end European Communism and defending human rights worldwide. The most traveled pope in history, he frequently used media and technology to communicate issues related to moral and ethical values and global affairs. Ultimately, Pope John Paul II's strong belief in prayer, faith, and traditionalism will be a legacy that will affect and inspire generations to come. Read more
1917: Bill Everett, U.S. comic book writer and artist who created "Daredevil," is born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1912: Perry Como, U.S. singer and television personality who was one of the most popular performers of the 1950s, is born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
Crooners were hugely popular during the era, and Como became a favorite of bobby-soxers nationwide. His first 14 years with RCA brought him an astounding 42 top-10 hits, a feat bested only Bing Crosby. He became the first artist to sell 2 million copies of two different records at the same time with "Till the End of Time" and "If I Loved You." Read more
1911: Big Joe Turner, U.S. blues musician whose enduring songs include "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," is born in Kansas City, Missouri.
1897: Frank Capra, Italian-American director acclaimed for films including "It Happened One Night" and "It's a Wonderful Life," is born in Bisacquino, Italy.
Capra first pushed his way into moviemaking with a bold move, telling a San Francisco producer that he was from Hollywood (true-ish) and that he had experience with movies (not so true). They gave him a shot on a silent film, and his bright-eyed vision made him a success. He built his career directing silent films … and he clinched that career by being unafraid, unlike many in the silent-film industry, to see the future success of talkies. Read more