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Born October 17

Rita Hayworth’s titillating (for the time) roles in 1940s films like "Gilda" and "The Strawberry Blonde" earned her the nickname the Great American Love Goddess, and a famous LIFE magazine photo inspired World War II GIs as they served overseas. But she also was one of Hollywood’s great dancers, starring in musicals with both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. She appeared in more than 60 films in her career, dying in 1987 of Alzheimer’s disease. We remember Hayworth'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 country music star Tennessee Ernie Ford.

1960: Bernie Nolan, Irish lead vocalist of musical sister act the Nolans, who had an international hit in 1979 with "I'm in the Mood for Dancing," and who later achieved success as a television and stage actress in the U.K., is born in Dublin, Ireland.

1950: Howard E. Rollins Jr., U.S. actor whose film credits include "Ragtime" and "A Soldier’s Story," is born in Baltimore, Maryland.

1946: Mike Hossack, U.S. drummer for the Doobie Brothers, is born in Paterson, New Jersey.

Michael Hossack (AP Photo/Jim Cooper)Hossack played with the group from 1971 to 1973 and rejoined in 1987. His drumming can be heard on early hits including "Listen to the Music," "China Grove," and "Blackwater." He stopped performing with the band in 2010 while being treated for cancer, according to his 2012 obituary by The Associated Press. Doobie Brothers co-founder Tom Johnston said, “Mike has always been a part of my musical life and the life of the Doobie Brothers. ... He was an incredible musician.” Read more




1946: Ronni Chasen, Hollywood publicist who represented Michael Douglas and Hans Zimmer, is born in Kingston, New York.

1938: Evel Knievel, U.S. motorcycle daredevil who jumped over 14 buses at Kings Island amusement park and who had 433 bone fractures during his career, is born in Butte, Montana.

Knievel's two appearances at Houston’s Astrodome in 1971 were among his few legendary jumps that were actually successful. In classic Knievel form, he jumped 19 cars, setting a record that stood for 27 years. Another record Knievel set? Attendance at the Astrodome – he sold more than 100,000 tickets for his two-day appearance. Read more




1933: Jeanine Deckers, Belgian singer known better as the Singing Nun, who had a chart-topping song in 1963 with "Dominique," is born in Brussels, Belgium.

The single "Dominique" became an instant hit in Europe. The record didn’t make its American debut until late 1963, but in many ways, given the tumult the country was experiencing, an innocuous ditty dedicated to a 13th century saint proved a perfectly timed release. In the wake of President John F. Kennedy’s death, many were seeking softer fare on the radio dial, eschewing songs like the Surfaris’ "Wipe Out" for more soothing, less chaotic sounds. Read more




1930: Robert Atkins, U.S. physician and cardiologist who was the creator of the Atkins Diet, is born in Columbus, Ohio.

1926: Beverly Garland, U.S. actress known best for her role as Barbara Douglas, who married Fred MacMurray's character on the sitcom "My Three Sons," is born in Santa Cruz, California.

She gained cult status for playing gutsy women in low-budget exploitation films such as "The Alligator People" and a number of Roger Corman movies including "Gunslinger," "It Conquered the World," and "Naked Paradise," according to her 2008 obituary by The Associated Press.

“I never considered myself very much of a passive kind of actress,” she said in a 1985 interview with Fangoria magazine. “I was never very comfortable in love scenes, never comfortable playing a sweet, lovable lady.” Read more



1924: Don Coryell, U.S. NFL head coach known best for his time as head coach of the San Diego Chargers and his “Air Coryell” offense led by quarterback Dan Fouts, is born in Seattle, Washington.

Don Coryell (AP Photo)From 1978-86, Air Coryell — led by Fouts — set records and led the NFL in passing almost every season. Coryell guided the Chargers to the AFC championship game after the 1980 and '81 seasons, but he never reached the Super Bowl, according to his 2010 obituary by The Associated Press. The lack of a Super Bowl on his resume may have hurt Coryell last winter in voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a finalist for the first time but was not selected for induction. Read more




1923: Barney Kessel, U.S. jazz guitarist who played with Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins and was a member of the famous group of session players known as the Wrecking Crew, who played on albums by artists including the Beach Boys and the Monkees, is born in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

1921: Tom Poston, U.S. actor known best as George Utley on the sitcom "Newhart," is born in Columbus, Ohio.

If a TV show was funny any time in the second half of the 20th century, there's a good chance Poston was involved with it. Whether he was a regular cast member, a recurring character or a onetime guest, and whether the show was a sitcom, game show, variety or talk show, chances are Poston was there, making it funnier. Read more




1920: Montgomery Clift, U.S. actor who was a leading man in such movies as "A Place in the Sun" and "From Here to Eternity," is born in Omaha, Nebraska.

1918: Ralph Wilson, NFL Hall of Fame owner who was the founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills until his death in 2014, is born in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.

Ralph Wilson (AP Photo/Dean Duprey, File)Wilson was the founder and sole owner of the Bills after establishing the team with the upstart AFL. He was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 2009, according to his obituary by The Associated Press.

“Ralph Wilson was a driving force in developing pro football into America's most popular sport,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Ralph always brought a principled and common-sense approach to issues.” Read more



1918: Rita Hayworth, U.S. actress, dancer, and 1940s box office star whose movies included "Cover Girl" with Gene Kelly and "Gilda" with Glenn Ford, is born in Brooklyn, New York.

In the 1940s, Hayworth was box office gold when she partnered with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly – and she was the first dancer to partner with both superstars on film. Hayworth loved that period in her career – when she looked back years later, she noted, “I guess the only jewels of my life were the pictures I made with Fred Astaire.” Read more




1915: Arthur Miller, U.S. playwright who wrote "Death of a Salesman," is born in Harlem, New York.

Miller’s career was marked by early success. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for "Death of a Salesman" in 1949, when he was just 33 years old. His marriage to Marilyn Monroe in 1956 further catapulted the playwright to fame, though that was publicity he said he never pursued, according to his 2005 obituary by The Associated Press. In a 1992 interview with a French newspaper, he called her “highly self-destructive” and said that during their marriage, “all my energy and attention were devoted to trying to help her solve her problems. Unfortunately, I didn't have much success.” Read more



1914: Jerry Siegel, U.S. comic book writer who was the co-creator of "Superman," is born in Cleveland, Ohio.

1912: Pope John Paul I, Italian pope who reigned for only 33 days before his death, is born in Canale d'Agordo, Italy.

1909: Cozy Cole, U.S. jazz drummer who scored a No. 1 hit with "Topsy Part 2" in 1958, is born in East Orange, New Jersey.

1902: Irene Ryan, U.S. actress who was well-known for her role as Granny on the hit sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies," is born in San Francisco, California.

1900: Jean Arthur, U.S. actress known for her appearances in Frank Capra films, including "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," is born in Plattsburgh, New York.

1898: Shinichi Suzuki, Japanese music teacher who created the popular Suzuki Method, is born in Nagoya, Japan.

1886: Spring Byington, U.S. actress who starred in the popular sitcom "December Bride," is born in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including country music star Tennessee Ernie Ford.