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Died May 6

Actress Marlene Dietrich started out as a star of silent movies in her native Germany. Signed to Paramount Pictures, she capitalized on her exotic looks to become one of the top draws of Hollywood's golden era. She starred in such classics as "Shanghai Express" and "Desire." We remember Dietrich's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including Hollywood icon Orson Welles.

2014: Jimmy Ellis, U.S. boxer who was the world heavyweight champion from 1968 until he lost the title to Joe Frazier in 1970, dies at 74.

Jimmy Ellis (AP Photo, File)Ellis, the son of a preacher who loved singing gospel music, held the World Boxing Association's heavyweight title from 1968 to 1970. He lost to Joe Frazier in a fight to unify the world heavyweight championship in 1970. In 1971, Ellis was stopped by Muhammad Ali in the 12th round. He retired in 1975. Read more

 

 

 

2012: George Lindsey, U.S. actor well-known for his role as Goober Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Mayberry R.F.D.," dies at 83.

George Lindsey (Associated Press/Reed Saxon)He joined "The Andy Griffith Show" in 1964 when Jim Nabors, portraying Gomer Pyle, left the program. Goober Pyle, who had been mentioned on the show as Gomer's cousin, thus replaced him. "At that time, we were the best acting ensemble on TV," Lindsey once recalled. "The scripts were terrific. Andy is the best script constructionist I've ever been involved with. And you have to lift your acting level up to his; he's awfully good." Read more

 

 

 

2012: James Isaac, U.S. movie director who directed the "Friday the 13th" sequel, "Jason X," dies at 51.

2010: Robin Roberts, U.S. Hall of Fame baseball player who was a pitcher mostly for the Philadelphia Phillies and was a seven-time All-Star, dies at 83.

Robin Roberts (AP Photo)He won 286 games and put together six consecutive 20-win seasons. Roberts had 45 career shutouts, 2,357 strikeouts, and a lifetime ERA of 3.41. He pitched 305 complete games, but he also holds the dubious distinction of giving up more home runs than any other big league pitcher. Read more

 

 

 

2007: Curtis Harrington, U.S. director of movies and TV shows whose credits include "Charlie's Angels" and "Dynasty," dies at 80.

2006: Grant McLennan, Australian musician who was a member of the alternative rock band the Go-Betweens, dies at 48.

2004: Virginia Capers, U.S. actress who appeared in movies including "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and had a recurring role on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," dies at 78.

2004: Barney Kessel, U.S. jazz guitarist who played with Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins and was a member of the famous group of session players known as the Wrecking Crew, who played on albums by artists including the Beach Boys and the Monkees, dies at 80.

2002: Otis Blackwell, U.S. singer-songwriter who wrote some of the most iconic songs of early rock 'n' roll, including "Don't Be Cruel" and "All Shook Up," recorded by Elvis Presley and "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis, dies at 71.

1993: Ann Todd, English actress known best to American audiences for her role as Gregory Peck's wife in the Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Paradine Case," dies at 84.

1992: Jilly Rizzo, U.S. restaurateur and entertainer who owned Jilly's Saloon, which was a popular hangout for celebrities, and who was close friends with Frank Sinatra, dies at 75.

1992: Marlene Dietrich, German-born actress and singer whose movies included "Shanghai Express" and "Destry Rides Again" with James Stewart, dies at 90.

Dietrich elevated drag to an art form – one that has been endlessly imitated in the decades since. She wasn't hiding her femininity, trying to pass as a man. Instead, she enhanced it with top hat and tails, giving menswear a beauty it had never seen before. Read more

 

 

 

1991: Wilfrid Hyde-White, English character actor known best as Colonel Pickering in the film "My Fair Lady," dies at 87.

1990: Charles Farrell, U.S. actor who was known for his romantic comedies with actress Janet Gaynor and who later played the father role on the sitcom "My Little Margie," dies at 88.

1983: Ezra Jack Keats, U.S. children's book author who wrote the important children's book "The Snowy Day," dies at 67.

1963: Ted Weems, U.S. bandleader and musician whose band the Ted Weems Orchestra was popular in the 1930s and '40s, dies at 61.

1919: L. Frank Baum, U.S. author well-known for writing "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," dies at 62.

Author L. Frank Baum is as respected today as his creations – among them Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion – are unforgettable. Before his death May 6, 1919, at 62, the author of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" completed more than 55 novels, 200 poems, and dozens of short stories and scripts. Read more

 

 

 

1862: Henry David Thoreau, U.S. author and poet known chiefly for his book "Walden," dies at 44.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history including Hollywood icon Orson Welles.