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Actress Rebecca Shaeffer and other celebrities who died this day in history

We remember actress Rebecca Shaeffer and other famous people who died this day, July 18, in history.

Discover notable people born this day in history including Nelson Mandela.



Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, U.S. activist and researcher who uncovered the truth behind the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, dies at 93. Read more





Alex Rocco, U.S. character actor who appeared in many movies and television shows including "Get Shorty," dies at 79. He appeared in many films including “Freebie and the Bean," “Cannonball Run II,” and “Dream a Little Dream," which was directed by his son Marc Rocco, who preceded his father in death, in 2009. He also appeared in such popular movies as “Get Shorty” in 1995 and in “That Thing You Do” in 1996. Read more





William Westmoreland, U.S. Army general who was the commander of the U.S. military operations during the Vietnam War from 1964 until 1968, dies at 91. American support for the war suffered a tremendous blow near the end of Westmoreland's tenure when enemy forces attacked several cities and towns throughout South Vietnam in what is known as the Tet Offensive in 1968. Though Westmoreland fought off the attacks, the American public remained stunned that the enemy had gained access to the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, even if only for a few hours, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. After the event, President Lyndon Johnson limited further increases in troops; Westmoreland was recalled to Washington to serve as the U.S. Army chief of staff after asking for reinforcements in response to the attacks. Read more


Mimi Farina, U.S. folk singer and activist who recorded a number of influential folk records and was the younger sister of folk singer Joan Baez, dies of neuroendocrine cancer at 56.



Rudolph Ising, Oscar-winning U.S. animator who was a co-founder of Warner Brothers and MGM animation studios who directed the "Merrie Melodies" cartoons, dies after a long illness at 88.



Johnny Wayne, Canadian comedian who was one-half of the popular comedy duo Wayne and Shuster and appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" a record 67 times, dies of brain cancer at 72.



Rebecca Schaeffer, U.S. actress known best for starring on the CBS sitcom "My Sister Sam," is fatally shot by an obsessed stalker at 21. Shaeffer starred in "My Sister Sam" for two seasons and appeared in several films during her brief career, including "Scenes From the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills" and "The End of Innocence." At just 21, Schaeffer was shot and killed in her Los Angeles home by a mentally ill stalker who had been obsessed with her for three years. Following her death, California passed anti-stalking laws and strengthened privacy rights. Schaeffer's death also provided the inspiration for the film "Moonlight Mile," written and directed by her boyfriend.




Image via Flickr Creative Commons/ky_olsenNico, German model, actress, and singer known for her work in Andy Warhol movies and who sang with the Velvet Underground rock group with Lou Reed, dies after falling off a bicycle while vacationing on Ibiza at 49. As the sunny optimism of 1950s rock 'n' roll turned darker in the mid-1960s, one artist offered moody soundscapes as no other. She was Nico, and her recordings with the Velvet Underground and as a solo performer have inspired generations of musicians. From Stevie Nicks to Siouxsie Sioux, Björk to Blind Melon, a diverse group of musicians have made Nico their muse. Read more




Jack Hawkins, English character actor whose movie appearances included "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Bridge on the River Kwai," dies at 62.



Mary Jo Kopechne, U.S. political campaign specialist, dies at 28 in a car accident on Chappaquiddick Island while a passenger in a car being driven by U.S. Sen. Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy.

Barbara Pepper, U.S. actress and former Goldwyn Girls member known best for playing Doris Ziffel on the TV sitcom "Green Acres," dies of a coronary blood clot at 54.



Bobby Fuller, U.S. singer-songwriter and guitarist who formed the Bobby Fuller Four and had a hit song in 1966 with "I Fought the Law," is found dead at 23 in his car with the cause of death undetermined.



Machine Gun Kelly, U.S. criminal who was a well-known bootlegger during the Prohibition era, dies in prison of a heart attack at 54.



Jack Earle, U.S. actor and sideshow performer for Ringling Brothers who was 7 feet 7.5 inches tall because of acromegalic gigantism, whose movie appearances included "Jack and the Beanstalk," dies at 46.



Horatio Alger Jr., U.S. author who had a prolific career and whose best-known work is "Ragged Dick," dies at 67.



Jane Austen, English author known for her works of romantic fiction including "Sense and Sensibility" and "Emma," dies of an unspecified illness at 41. During her time, Austen's works were admired as biting bits of social commentary. In more recent years, some readers group her works in with romance novels. "The Patron Saint of Chick Lit" is how the Orlando Sentinel newspaper once referred to Austen. Austen's works have inspired other works of fiction, including Helen Fielding's "Bridget Jones's Diary," which even has a character named Darcy after one of Austen's complicated heroes. Her stories have also inspired movies, including the 1995 comedy "Clueless," which took inspiration from Emma. Even Bollywood has jumped aboard with 2004's "Bride and Prejudice." Read more



Discover notable people born this day in history including Nelson Mandela.