Died July 7
By: Legacy Staff
16 days ago
Veronica Lake remains an icon of Hollywood glamour and beauty, in addition to her success as an actress. She won acclaim for the comedy "Sullivan's Travels" and the thriller "The Blue Dahlia." She was one of the most bankable stars of the 1940s as the quintessential femme fatale in noir movies like the classic "This Gun for Hire." Struggles with mental illness and alcoholism led to her reputation for being difficult to work with, and her career cooled in the 1950s. Lake would still find scattered success throughout the rest of her life, including brief stage work, television hosting, and her well-received memoir. Fifteen years after her death, Lake's signature hairstyle showed up on another Hollywood icon, as part of the character design for femme fatale Jessica from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" We remember Lake's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2014: Dick Jones, U.S. actor known best for providing the voice of Pinocchio in the 1940 Disney film, dies at 87.
The son of a Texas newspaper editor, he learned to ride and rope from an early age and had a Western show career by age 4. Other roles included Henry Aldrich on the radio show "The Aldrich Family," and parts in movies such as "Destry Rides Again" and "Stella Dallas." In the 1950s, he had roles on TV Westerns, including the lead on "Buffalo Bill Jr." Read more
2013: Joe Conley, U.S. actor known best for his role as storekeeper Ike Godsey on "The Waltons," dies of dementia complications at 85.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Conley had bit parts on 1960s series like "Green Acres" and "The Beverly Hillbillies" before he landed the role on CBS' "The Waltons" in 1972 that would last nearly a decade, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Conley played Ike Godsey, postmaster and owner of the Jefferson County general store frequented by the Walton family in Depression-era Virginia. He would appear in 172 episodes over nine seasons and in TV movie reunions that lasted into the 1990s. Read more
2012: Dennis Flemion, U.S. musician who was a founding member of the independent rock band the Frogs and toured with the Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam, dies in a drowning accident at 57.
2011: Dick Williams, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame manager who led the Oakland Athletics to two World Series titles, dies of a ruptured aortic aneurysm at 82.
Williams managed the Boston Red Sox, Oakland A's, California Angels, Montreal Expos, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Mariners during a 21-year career. He was the second manager to win pennants with three different clubs, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Williams won World Series titles with the A's in 1972 and 1973, and an American League pennant with the Red Sox in 1967. He won a National League pennant with the Padres in 1984. Read more
2008: Dorian Leigh, U.S. model considered one of the first supermodels, dies of Alzheimer's disease at 91.
She was among the first models who signed with Ford Agency, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. In 1997, founder Eileen Ford told the The Free Lance-Star in Virginia that Leigh was "truly the best model of our time." "She instinctively knew what every photographer wanted, and she came alive just at the moment the shutter clicked," Ford said. Leigh helped Revlon's "Fire and Ice" and "Cherries in the Snow" lipstick and nail polish campaigns take off in the 1950s with poses shot by Richard Avedon. Read more
2006: Syd Barrett, English musician, singer, and songwriter who was a founding member of Pink Floyd and the principal songwriter during their early years, dies of pancreatic cancer at 60.
By the time Pink Floyd released their debut album, "Piper at the Gates of Dawn," Barrett’s mental state – almost certainly worsened by his heavy use of LSD and other drugs – was already in freefall. He began missing gigs, and when he did show, often stood catatonic onstage, strumming a single chord and mumbling into the microphone. Their American tour was curtailed, and the band considered employing another guitarist while keeping Barrett on as a nontouring member (as the Beach Boys would do with Brian Wilson). Read more
1994: Cameron Mitchell, U.S. actor who had a long Hollywood career, appearing in "How To Marry a Millionaire," "Carousel," and "My Favorite Year," dies of lung cancer at 75.
1994: Anita Garvin, U.S. actress known best for her roles in multiple "Laurel and Hardy" movies, dies at 87.
1990: Bill Cullen, U.S. television personality known as the host of "The $25,000 Pyramid" and a panelist on "To Tell the Truth," dies of lung cancer at 70.
1981: Peace Pilgrim, U.S. spiritual teacher and peace activist who was born Mildred Norman and who walked across the United States at least eight times to promote peace, dies in an auto accident at 72.
1980: Dore Schary, U.S. screenwriter who co-wrote the movie "Boys Town" and later became the head of MGM Studios, dies at 74.
1980: Reginald Gardiner, English-born U.S. actor who was well-known for his role as Schulz in the Charlie Chaplin movie "The Great Dictator," dies of a heart attack at 77.
1973: Veronica Lake, U.S. actress who was a star in the 1940s and was known for her peek-a-boo hairstyle, dies of hepatitis and acute kidney failure at 50.
The hairstyle that made Lake famous wasn't planned. We can imagine her stylist sighing in frustration when, at a publicity photo shoot, a lock of Lake's hair fell out of place and covered her right eye. But someone at that shoot knew that Lake’s unruly lock was the next big thing, and Lake began to cultivate the look. Peering out from behind her long, blond hair created an aura of mystery and won her film noir fame as she vamped her way through the moody movies of the 1940s. Read more
1964: Lillian Copeland, U.S. athlete who was a female pioneer in the discus throw and won the silver medal at the 1928 Olympics and the gold medal at the 1932 Olympics, dies at 59.
1949: Bunk Johnson, U.S. trumpet player who was a prominent part of the New Orleans jazz scene in the early 20th century, influencing Louis Armstrong, dies at 69.
1930: Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish author and physician who was well-known as the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, dies of a heart attack at 71.