Died March 14
By: Legacy Staff
10 months ago
Peter Graves was a TV and movie icon, perhaps best known for starring on TV's "Mission: Impossible" from 1967 to 1973 and again in the show's revival from 1988 to 1990. On the big screen, he was hilarious as the pilot in "Airplane!" and its sequel, and he was informative as the television host of A&E's "Biography." He was the younger brother of actor James Arness, the star of "Gunsmoke." We remember Graves' life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2016: Peter Maxwell Davies, British composer and conductor who was an associate conductor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, dies at 81.
2015: Mark Murphy, U.S. jazz vocalist who received six Grammy Award nominations for best jazz vocal performance, dies at 83.
He was a six-time Grammy Award nominee who sang with a wide range of techniques, from scatting and vocalese to spoken word. He released more than 40 recordings since making his debut with his 1956 album, "Meet Mark Murphy." Read more
2013: Jack Greene, U.S. country music artist who had five No. 1 country hits, including "There Goes My Everything," dies at 83.
"There Goes My Everything" showed off his deep voice, made him a star and earned him the Country Music Academy's male vocalist of the year award in 1967. Greene performed regularly on the Grand Ole Opry beginning that year. His other hits, mostly in the late 1960s, included "All the Time," "Are My Treasure," "Until My Dreams Come True," "What Locks the Door," and "Statue of a Fool." Read more
2013: Scott Kennedy, openly gay U.S. comedian who appeared on Comedy Central and dedicated himself to entertaining the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, dies at 49.
2010: Peter Graves, U.S. actor who was well-known for his starring role on the TV series "Mission: Impossible," dies at 83.
Graves first gained attention of many baby boomers with the 1950s TV series "Fury," but he remained best-known for the role of Jim Phelps, the leader of a gang of special agents who battled evil conspirators on TV's "Mission: Impossible." Normally cast as a hero, he turned in an unforgettable performance early in his career as the treacherous Nazi spy in Billy Wilder's 1953 prisoner-of-war drama "Stalag 17." He also masterfully lampooned his straight-arrow image when he portrayed the bumbling airline pilot Clarence Oveur in the 1980 disaster movie spoof "Airplane!" Read more
2009: Altovise Davis, U.S. entertainer known best as Sammy Davis Jr.'s third wife, dies at 65.
2006: Ann Calvello, U.S. roller derby athlete who is a member of the Roller Derby Hall of Fame, dies at 76.
Calvello enjoyed fame as a star on the San Francisco Bay Bombers after helping introduce the rough-and-tumble spectator sport to the country decades ago. Calvello joined her first roller derby team in 1948 when she was only 18. Her looks earned her the nickname "Banana Nose," and she quickly garnered a reputation as a bad girl because of her splashy clothing and hair color that ranged from purple to green and even polka dots. Read more
1999: Kirk Alyn, U.S. actor who was the first to play Superman on screen in the 1948 serial, dies at 88.
1992: Ralph James, U.S. voice actor who was the voice of the turtle in Tootsie Pops commercials and the voice of Orson on the TV series "Mork and Mindy," dies at 67.
1992: Jean Poiret, French actor and screenwriter known best as the author of "La Cage aux Folles," dies at 65.
1991: Howard Ashman, U.S. playwright and lyricist who wrote the lyrics to the songs of the Disney movies "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast," dies at 40.
1986: Edith Atwater, U.S. actress who had a recurring role on the TV drama "Peyton Place," dies at 74.
1977: Fannie Lou Hamer, U.S. civil rights activist who organized voter registration drives in Mississippi, dies at 59.
1976: Busby Berkeley, U.S. choreographer and director whose movies include "42nd Street" and "Strike Up the Band," dies at 80.
With each film, his dance numbers got more lavish and sophisticated. But even with his success, Berkeley felt the limitations of his role. Directors, not choreographers, dictated camera placement and shot selection, and they could control pace through editing. He'd get his chance to direct with the follow-up, "Gold Diggers of 1935." In addition to kaleidoscopic, geometric compositions, another Berkeley innovation was using close-ups of his dancer's faces, unconventional at a time when most filmmakers saved close-ups for the big stars. His reasoning? "We've got all the beautiful girls in the picture, why not let the public see them?" Read more
1975: Susan Hayward, U.S. actress who won an Academy Award for her role in "I Want To Live!", dies at 57.
1973: Murat B. "Chic" Young, U.S. comic strip artist who created the popular comic "Blondie," dies at 72.
1932: George Eastman, U.S. industrialist who founded the Eastman Kodak Co., dies by suicide at 77.
1925: Walter Camp, U.S. football player and coach who is considered the Father of Modern American Football for his rule innovations, dies at 65.
1883: Karl Marx, German philosopher who published "The Communist Manifesto," dies at 64.