Died June 5
By: Legacy Staff
6 months ago
Ronald Reagan began his varied career as a radio announcer, but it wasn't long until he moved on to fame on the silver screen. Starring in movies including "Bedtime for Bonzo" and "Knute Rockne, All American," he soon became president of the Screen Actors Guild – practice, perhaps, for a later career move. In 1966, he was elected governor of California, serving until 1975, and in 1980, he was elected president of the United States. Over the course of two terms, he became known for Reaganomics, the War on Drugs, and for both escalating and helping to end the Cold War. We remember Reagan's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2013: Katherine Woodville, English actress known for her appearances on "Mission: Impossible," "Eight Is Enough," and a popular episode of "Star Trek," the latter for her role as Natira, dies at 74.
2013: Don Bowman, U.S. country singer and comedian who was the original host of "American Country Countdown" and was named Comedian of the Year in 1967 by the Country Music Association, dies at 75.
2012: Caroline John, English actress known best for her role as Liz Shaw on the sci-fi series "Doctor Who," dies at 71.
2012: Ray Bradbury, U.S. author known for his science-fiction and fantasy stories, whose best-known work was "Fahrenheit 451," dies at 91.
Bradbury broke through in 1950 with "The Martian Chronicles," a series of intertwined stories that satirized capitalism, racism, and superpower tensions as it portrayed Earth colonizers destroying an idyllic Martian civilization. Like Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End" and the Robert Wise film "The Day the Earth Stood Still," Bradbury's book was a Cold War morality tale in which imagined lives on other planets serve as commentary on human behavior on Earth. "The Martian Chronicles" has been published in more than 30 languages, was made into a TV miniseries, and inspired a computer game. Read more
2004: Ronald Reagan, U.S. politician and actor who was the 40th president of the U.S. from 1981 until 1989 and starred in many movies including "Knute Rockne, All American," dies at 93.
Even those who didn't like him had to admit Ronald Reagan could really deliver a line. During his eight years as the 40th president of the United States, the former actor proved an inspiring speaker, as when, during a 1987 speech in Berlin (which had been divided since 1961 by a Soviet-erected barrier between democratic West Berlin and communist East Berlin), he challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall." Read more
2002: Dee Dee Ramone, U.S. musician who was a founding member, bassist, and songwriter for the influential punk rock band the Ramones, dies of a heroin overdose at 50.
Dee Dee is credited with coming up with the name the Ramones, after having read that Paul McCartney often checked into hotels until the alias "Paul Ramon." He also was originally the vocalist before taking up the bass. Dee Dee co-wrote much of the Ramones' material throughout their career, and even contributed songs once he was out of the band (some of which he relinquished in exchange for being bailed out of jail). Read more
1999: Mel Torme, U.S. singer, composer, drummer, and actor who was called the Velvet Fog, was known best as a singer of jazz standards and co-wrote the classic "The Christmas Song," dies at 73.
The 1980s saw him introduced to a whole new audience through the sitcom "Night Court," whose protagonist Judge Harry T. Stone idolized the singer. Torme would make several guest appearances on the show, and in the '90s he also starred in a series of Mountain Dew commercials targeted at young consumers. In 1995, the man who'd once famously dismissed rock music as "three chord manure" appeared on a bill with punk icons the Ramones and grunge pioneers Mudhoney. He described the audience as one of the greatest he'd ever had. Read more
1998: Jeanette Nolan, U.S. actress who appeared on hundreds of television series including "Gunsmoke" and "Ironside," dies at 86.
1993: Conway Twitty, U.S. country music and early rock ’n’ roll singer-songwriter and guitarist who had 55 No. 1 hit songs and was known for his duets with Loretta Lynn, dies at 59.
Twitty last topped the Billboard charts in 1986, with his single "Desperado Love." It was almost 30 years after his first No. 1 single – and the dozens of chart-toppers in between constitute a testament to his brilliant career. Read more
1992: Laurence Naismith, English actor who was in the movie "Jason and the Argonauts" and on the TV series "The Fugitive," dies at 83.
1976: Violet Wilkie, U.S. child actor who appeared in numerous silent movies including "The Birth of a Nation" and "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," dies at 73.
1953: William Farnum, U.S. actor who was a major Hollywood star in the 1920s, dies at 76.
1953: Roland Young, English actor known best for playing the lead role in the movie "Topper," dies at 65.
1953: Bill Tilden, U.S. tennis player who was the world’s No. 1 player for seven years and won 10 grand slam titles, dies at 60.
1910: O. Henry, U.S. author well-known for his short stories including "The Gift of the Magi," dies at 47.