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Died December 21

Published: 12/21/2014
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Stella Adler (Museum of the City of New York / Contributor / Getty Images)

Actress Stella Adler began her career on Broadway and in the movies, but then she found her calling in teaching others to act. The Stella Adler Studio of Acting became one of the most famous schools of its type, with some of the greats of the 20th century learning their craft from Adler. Alumni of the Adler Studio include Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Elaine Stritch and many more. The studio and her other acting school continue to operate today, teaching a new generation of talent. We remember Adler'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.

2007: Ken Hendricks, U.S. billionaire business owner from Wisconsin whose successful ABC Supply Co. earned him a spot on the Forbes 400 list, dies at 66 after falling off the top of a subfloor under construction over his garage.

Hendricks was lauded for his entrepreneurial skills and community service. Inc. magazine named him its 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Editor Jane Berentson described him as "a scrappy, Midwestern, dirt-under-the-fingernails type of guy who raised himself and created a company that employed all these people." Hendricks was unpretentious, a believer in hard work and doing things his way, she said. Read more.


2005: Elrod Hendricks, U.S. Major League Baseball player and coach from the U.S. Virgin Islands, dies of a heart attack the day before his 65th birthday.

Hendricks broke into professional baseball in 1959 and made his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 1968. He played in 711 games, including 658 with the Orioles, before retiring in 1979, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. He was made the bullpen coach following the 1977 season and was a player-coach in 1978-79. Hendricks became a fixture in Baltimore by holding the position as bullpen coach for 28 years, the longest coaching tenure in Orioles history. Read more.


2001: Dick Schaap, U.S. sports journalist who penned the 1968 best-seller Instant Replay, dies at 67 of complications following hip-replacement surgery.

1996: Margret E. Rey, German-born writer and illustrator of the Curious George children's picture books that she created with her husband, H.A. Rey, dies at 90.

1992: Albert King, influential U.S. blues singer and guitarist whose songs include "Crosscut Saw" and "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong," dies of a heart attack at 69.

1992: Stella Adler, U.S. actress and acting teacher from New York who founded the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, dies of heart failure at 91.

Marlon BStella Adler (Wikimedia Commons)rando, Judy Garland and Dolores Del Rio were notable among Adler's early students, and in addition to continuing to occasionally act and direct on Broadway, she taught at the Yale School of Drama and would lead New York University's undergraduate drama department. But it was her own school that had the largest impact, with such students as Robert De Niro, Martin Sheen, Harvey Keitel, Candace Bergen and a host of others going on to successful Hollywood careers. Read more.


1988: Bob Steele, aka Robert Bradbury, U.S. actor whose film credits include Rio Lobo and Rio Bravo, dies of emphysema at 81.

1987: John Spence, U.S. musician who co-founded and served as lead vocalist for the rock band No Doubt, commits suicide with a gun at 18.

1983: Rod Cameron, Canadian-born U.S. actor whose film credits include Rangers of Fortune and River Lady, dies at 73.

1974: Richard Long, U.S. actor whose television credits include The Big Valley and Nanny and the Professor dies of a heart attack at 47.

1945: George S. Patton, U.S. Army general who commanded armies in Europe during World War II, dies at 60 of congestive heart failure following a car crash.

1940: F. Scott Fitzgerald, U.S. author whose Jazz Age novels include The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise, dies of a heart attack at 44.

Fitzgerald was confident of his work, and when he wrote The Great Gatsby, he was hoping to write the Great American Novel. Though Gatsby's contemporary sales weren't what he hoped they'd be, he was rewarded almost immediately with a silent movie adaptation released in 1926, just a year after the novel. Unfortunately, the film didn't fit with his vision of his great work. In fact, Fitzgerald is reported to have called it "rotten." Read more.


1937: Frank Kellogg, U.S. lawyer from New York – and a U.S. secretary of state who received the Nobel Peace Prize for co-authoring a pact that calls for the peaceful settlement of disputes among nations – dies of pneumonia at 80.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history.

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