Died December 18

Comedian Chris Farley knew how to make people laugh. He wasn't afraid to make a fool of himself on "Saturday Night Live" or in movies such as "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep." His friends described Farley as a sensitive soul who just wanted to be liked. Farley died of a drug overdose at 33. We remember Farley's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including actress Betty Grable.

2014: Larry Henley, U.S. singer-songwriter known best for co-writing the song "Wind Beneath My Wings," dies at 77.

2008: Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, U.S. actress and producer of "Star Trek" who was also the widow of franchise creator Gene Roddenberry, dies of leukemia at 76.

From the original series through "The Next Generation," "Deep Space Nine," and "Voyager," Roddenberry provided the voices of the onboard computers of Federation starships. And she brought the role to the movies, too, voicing the computer in most of the original run of films and bringing continuity to the reboot with her familiar voice. Read more





2008: Mark Felt, aka Deep Throat, U.S. FBI official and whistleblower during the Watergate scandal that led to President Richard M. Nixon's resignation, dies at 95.

For more than 30 years, W. Mark Felt kept his secret. He was the Nixon administration insider known to the world as Deep Throat. It was Felt, a high-ranking FBI official, who provided The Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein with information about the Watergate scandal, information that would eventually bring down the president. Read more




2007: William Strauss, U.S. writer and historian from Chicago who coined the term "millennials" with fellow generational researcher Neil Howe, dies of pancreatic cancer at 60.

2006: Joseph Barbera, U.S. animator whose production company with William Hanna created such iconic cartoon characters as the Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, and Huckleberry Hound, dies of natural causes at 95.

Hanna and Barbera were more than just co-workers – their 60-year partnership was based on a deep respect for each other, both as friends and as animators. And it showed in their work: Over and over, we see buddies at the forefront of their cartoons. One of Hanna-Barbera's earlier cartoons provides a classic example of best pals. There's no friendship quite like the stone-age friendship of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. Read more




2006: Ruth Bernhard, German-born U.S. photographer whose books include "Gift of the Commonplace" and "The Big Heart," dies at 101.

2000: Kirsty MacColl, English singer-songwriter whose albums included "Titanic Days" and "Galore," dies at 41 after being hit by a speedboat in Mexico.

MacColl had several hits, including her top-10 single "They Don't Know," recorded in 1979. Throughout the 1980s, legal problems with her record label kept MacColl from recording her own albums, but she found steady work as a session musician, providing vocals for groups such as the Smiths, Robert Plant, and the Pogues. Her collaboration with the Pogues led to one of her most enduring performances on 1987's beloved "anti-carol," "Fairytale of New York." Read more

1999: Robert Bresson, influential French film director whose works include "The Trial of Joan of Arc" and "A Gentle Woman," dies at 98.

1997: Chris Farley, U.S. comedian who shot to stardom as a cast member of the television sketch-comedy show "Saturday Night Live," dies of a cocaine and morphine overdose at 33.

Farley chose comedy as a career after watching his father "roar with laughter" while watching John Belushi in "Animal House," according to People magazine. He followed in Belushi's comic footsteps, starting out with Chicago's Second City troupe. And, like Belushi, he found fame on "Saturday Night Live," joining the cast in 1990. (He would find success later on the big screen with movies such as "Tommy Boy," "Black Sheep," and "Beverly Hills Ninja.") Read more

1993: Sam Wanamaker, U.S. actor from Chicago whose films included "The Spiral Staircase" and "Billy Jack Goes to Washington," dies of prostate cancer at 74.

1992: Mark Goodson, U.S. radio and television game show producer who formed Goodson-Todman Productions with partner Bill Todman, dies of pancreatic cancer at 77.

If you're even a casual fan of television game shows, you've probably heard the words "A Mark Goodson Television Production" before. TV viewers heard some variation of those words for more than half a century – and that's because Goodson was behind an amazing array of game shows. Beginning in 1946 with his partner, Todman, and then on his own after Todman's 1982 death, Goodson produced some of the longest-running and best-loved TV contests of skill, smarts, and speed. Read more




1991: June Storey, Canadian-born U.S. actress who played the leading lady role in 10 of Gene Autry's films, dies of cancer at 73.

1990: Anne Revere, U.S. actress who won the Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in "National Velvet," dies of pneumonia at 87.

1977: Cyril Ritchard, Australian actor who played Captain Hook in the Peter Pan musical production starring Mary Martin, dies at 80 after a heart attack.

1977: Louis Untermeyer, U.S. poet and a panelist on the TV quiz show "What's My Line?", dies at 92.

1971: Bobby Jones Jr., U.S. lawyer and the most successful amateur golfer who in 1930 won all four major golf tournaments of his era in a single calendar year, founded and helped design the Augusta National Golf Club, and co-founded the Masters Tournament, dies at 69.

1971: Diana Lynn, U.S. actress and piano prodigy whose film credits include "An Annapolis Story," "Bedtime for Bonzo," and "Easy Come, Easy Go," dies at 45 after a stroke.

1931: John T. "Legs" Diamond, U.S. gangster during the Prohibition era, is murdered in an Albany, New York, rooming house at 34.

1919: John Alcock, English Royal Air Force captain who piloted the first nonstop trans-Atlantic flight, dies in a flying accident at 27.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including actress Betty Grable.