Died January 15
By: Legacy Staff
7 months ago
Harry Nilsson's voice was unmistakable, with a clarity and range rarely found in pop music. He scored major hits and won awards with the unforgettable songs "Everybody's Talkin'" and "Without You," and he also wrote hits like "One" for Three Dog Night. We remember his life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2017: Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, the wrestler was one of the first superstars of the WWE and had a famous rivalry with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. He died at the age of 73.
2016: Dan Haggarty, U.S. actor best known for starring in the television series "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams," dies at 74.
The movie version of The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams was released in 1974 by Sunn Classic Pictures. The TV series followed soon after on NBC. The TV show – which also featured an orphaned grizzly bear cub named Ben, enjoyed a brief run, from 1977 to 1978. The real Adams was a 19th-century frontiersman who died in 1860. Read more
2015: Kim Fowley, U.S. rock musician who managed the Runaways and co-wrote songs for Kiss, dies at 75.
Fowley's career ranged from promoter to musician to manager to record producer. In the 1970s, he launched the all-female rock band the Runaways, a rarity at the time, thus introducing the world to a then-teenage Joan Jett. Read more
2008: Brad Renfro, U.S. actor who starred in The Client and Sleepers, dies of a heroin overdose at 25.
Renfro's film career began when he was 12, acting opposite Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in The Client. His other credits included Sleepers, Deuces Wild, Apt Pupil and The Jacket, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Renfro also completed a role in The Informers, a 2008 film adaptation of a Bret Easton Ellis novel that stars Winona Ryder, Brandon Routh and Billy Bob Thornton. Read more
2005: Ruth Warrick, U.S. actress known best for her role as Phoebe Tyler on the TV soap opera All My Children, dies of complications of pneumonia at 88.
In All My Children, which debuted in 1970, Warrick played Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, the grande dame of the fictitious affluent town of Pine Valley, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. She portrayed the meddlesome and over-the-top personality so believably that her fans often had trouble distinguishing between the stylish actress and her fictitious, equally sophisticated character. Read more
2003: Doris Fisher, U.S. singer who performed with big bands and was known as Queen of the Jukebox, dies at 87.
2001: Ted Mann, U.S. businessman who owned Mann's Chinese Theater, dies of a stroke at 84.
2000: Fran Ryan, U.S. character actress whose films include Big Wednesday, Take This Job and Shove It and The Long Riders, dies at 83.
1998: Junior Wells, U.S. Chicago blues harmonica player who recorded with the Rolling Stones, Buddy Guy and Van Morrison among other notable musicians, dies several weeks after having a heart attack at 63.
1996: Minnesota Fats, aka Rudolf Wanderone Jr., pool hustler who was one of the most popular billiards players in the U.S., dies of congestive heart failure at 82.
1994: Harry Nilsson, Grammy Award-winning U.S. rock and popular singer-songwriter whose commercial success peaked in the 1970s, dies of heart disease at 52.
Nilsson was much more than a novelty artist. His contemporaries certainly knew it – both John Lennon and Paul McCartney once declared him their favorite musician, and he received Grammy awards not for "Coconut" but for two other, more serious songs he recorded. One was Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" from the 1969 Oscar-winning film Midnight Cowboy, starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman. Read more
1993: Sammy Cahn, prolific U.S. songwriter who penned such iconic songs as "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" and "All the Way," dies at 79 after being hospitalized for congestive heart failure.
Cahn wrote so many hits for Frank Sinatra, Ol' Blue Eyes, that he was, essentially, Sinatra's unofficial official songwriter. "Love and Marriage"? Cahn wrote that one. "Come Fly With Me" was Cahn's, too. "The Tender Trap," "Time After Time," "Five Minutes More" – all are Sammy Cahn classics. Sinatra certainly wasn't Cahn's only customer. He wrote for plenty of other singers, such as Doris Day and Dean Martin, and he wrote the lyrics for several Broadway musicals. But when Cahn's unforgettable lyrics combined with Sinatra's velvety voice, the result was something magical. Read more
1993: Henry Iba, U.S. Hall of Fame college basketball coach who won two national championships, dies of heart failure at 88.
1992: Dee Murray, English bassist known best for playing in Elton John's band, dies of a stroke at 45.
1987: Ray Bolger, U.S. actor known best as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, dies of cancer at 83.
1987: Dolores Hawkins, U.S. singer who performed with Gene Krupa and other popular musicians, dies at 58.
1983: Meyer Lansky, U.S. reputed mobster, dies at 80.
1982: Red Smith, U.S. journalist who was the first sports writer to win a Pulitzer Prize, dies at 76.
1968: Bill Masterson, Canadian professional hockey player and the first NHL player fatally injured during a game, which led to players eventually wearing helmets, dies at 29.
1964: Weldon John "Jack" Teagarden, U.S. legendary jazz trombonist, dies at 58.
1876: Eliza Johnson, U.S. first lady who was the wife of President Andrew Johnson, dies at 65.