Died December 9
By: Legacy Staff
10 months ago
Mexican-American singer-songwriter Jenni Rivera won hearts with her music. Known for putting her own spin on traditional musical styles such as banda and norteña, she found mainstream success in 2008 when her album "Jenni" rose to No. 31 on Billboard's album chart and No. 1 on the Latin album chart. Fans got to know Rivera through her music – in which she often touched on personal themes including domestic abuse, divorce, and weight loss – as well as through her reality shows, including "I Love Jenni." On Dec. 9, 2012, Rivera was traveling from a concert to a TV appearance when her plane went down in northern Mexico. We remember her life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2014: Mary Ann Mobley, U.S. actress and TV personality who was Miss America in 1959, dies at 77.
After winning Miss America in 1959, Mobley embarked on a film and TV career. She appeared on "Love, American Style" and "Fantasy Island." She was married to fellow TV personality Gary Collins. Read more
2013: Eleanor Parker, U.S. actress who appeared in many movies and television series including "Detective Story" and "The Love Boat," dies at 91.
Parker was nominated for Oscars in 1950, 1951, and 1955, but then saw her career begin to wane in the early 1960s. Her last memorable role came in 1965's "The Sound of Music," in which she played the scheming baroness who loses Christopher Plummer to Julie Andrews, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. She worked only infrequently after that, appearing in films and on such TV shows as "Fantasy Island," "Murder, She Wrote," and "The Love Boat." She also starred on the short-lived 1960s TV series "Bracken's World." Read more
2012: Jenni Rivera, popular Mexican-American singer-songwriter, dies in a plane crash at 43.
Rivera began her career working in the office of her father's small Mexican music label in Long Beach, California. Gifted with a powerful, soulful voice, she recorded her first album, "Chacalosa," in 1995. It was a hit, and she followed it with two other independent albums, one a tribute to slain Mexican-American singer Selena that helped expand her following, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. Read more
2009: Gene Barry, U.S. actor known best for his role as the title character on TV's "Bat Masterson," dies at 90.
He said he was won over to TV when he learned that lawman Masterson had worn a derby and carried a gold-handled cane in real life, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. "I went over to the wardrobe department, picked out a brocaded vest, looked in the mirror, and there was this elegant gentleman," he recalled in 1999. "I said, 'Hey, that's Bat! That's me!'" Read more
2003: Norm Sloan, aka Stormin' Norman, legendary U.S. college basketball coach, dies at 77.
2003: Paul Simon, Democratic U.S. senator (1985-1997) and U.S. representative (1975-1985), dies at 75.
Simon was a bespectacled, slightly rumpled man with a strong reputation for honesty, a politician who began disclosing his personal finances in the 1950s, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. He had the sober, straight-laced bearing of a Sunday school teacher and wrote 13 books. "Government is not the enemy," he said in 1988. "Government is simply a tool that can be used wisely or unwisely. ... We can do better, my friends." Read more
1998: Archie Moore, U.S. boxer who was the longest-reigning light heavyweight boxing champion in history and held the record for most career knockouts (131), dies at 81.
When Moore finally did retire, he turned his attention to training future fighters like George Foreman, and to philanthropy work. He also spent some time acting. His performance as the runaway slave Jim in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was regarded as better than the film itself. He appeared in numerous other films and televisions shows, including "Batman" and "One Life to Live." But perhaps his most lasting legacy is the Any Boy Can foundation he started in 1957 – now known as Any Body Can, devoted to helping underprivileged children learn "lessons about life, character, and citizenship" through boxing and physical training. Read more
Donahue provided delightfully whiny vocals for quintessential 1980s new wave band the Waitresses. The band was short-lived, but they recorded a few classics that seem to scream legwarmers and lace. "I Know What Boys Like" is three minutes of confidently snotty and perky sing-song. And the theme to TV's "Square Pegs" engaged in that favorite '80s activity: making fun of nerds. Read more
1996: Mary Leakey, British paleoanthropologist who discovered Hominin fossils more than 3.5 million years old and, along with husband Louis Leakey, was a leader in the field, dies at 83.
1995: Vivian Blaine, U.S. film and stage actress known for originating the role of Adelaide in the original Broadway production of "Guys & Dolls," dies at 74.
1995: Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan, U.S. aviator known best for flying the wrong way as he flew from New York to Ireland instead of the planned destination of California, dies at 88.
1994: Garnet Silk, Jamaican reggae singer, dies at 28 in a house fire.
1992: Vincent Gardenia, Italian-born U.S. actor whose credits include the film "Moonstruck" and the TV sitcom "All in the Family," dies at 71.
1990: Mike Mazurki, Austrian-born U.S. wrestler and character actor specializing in portraying gangsters, dies at 82.
1982: Joey Forman, U.S. comedian and actor who appeared on "The Mickey Rooney Show," dies at 53.
1981: John Kieran, U.S. author, journalist, and TV and radio personality, dies at 89.
1975: William A. Wellman, film director whose movie "Wings" won the first Academy Award for best picture, dies at 79.
1972: Louella Parsons, pioneering U.S. newspaper columnist who wrote the nation's first gossip column and first movie column, dies at 91.
1965: Branch Rickey, innovative U.S. Major League Baseball executive who broke baseball's color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to a contract, dies at 83.
1944: Laird Cregar, U.S. actor whose films include "The Lodger," "Charley's Aunt," and "Hangover Square," dies of a heart attack at 31.
1930: Rube Foster, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame member who was one of the best pitchers in the Negro Leagues, dies at 51.