Jack Lemmon, circa 1970 (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Jack Lemmon took home two Oscars for his acting, the first actor ever to do so. He worked with some of Hollywood's greatest leading ladies, among them Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood and Doris Day, and he made more than 60 films in his 51-year acting career. He won over generations of fans through his many collaborations with director Billy Wilder and fellow actor Walter Matthau. In addition to acting, Lemmon also taught himself how to play the piano and mastered several other instruments, including the double bass, which he played in one of his most beloved films, Some Like it Hot. We remember Jack Lemmon's life today as well as the lives of other notable men and women who died this day in history.
2013: Dudley Knight, U.S. actor whose appearances included the movie The Candidate and television shows such as M*A*S*H and Eight is Enough, dies of a heart attack at 73.
2012: Don Grady, U.S. actor remembered for his role as Robbie Douglas on the television series My Three Sons, dies of cancer at 68.
In the show's earlier years, Grady was actually the middle brother, with Tim Considine playing the oldest, Mike, and Stanley Livingston playing the youngest, Chip. When Considine departed, Barry Livingston became the adopted "third" son, and Grady became the cool, handsome and assured eldest brother that much of America adored, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. A musical prodigy, Grady appeared with a band, the Greefs, in the series, and in real life played drums for the Yellow Balloon, who had a minor hit with a self-titled song in 1967, the obituary said. Read more
2009: Gale Storm, U.S. actress who starred in two popular 1950s television series, My Little Margie and The Gale Storm Show, dies at 87.
Television in the 21st century has been dominated by reality TV contests and singing competitions. Shows like American Idol, The Voice and America’s Got Talent have taken the song and dance competition to new heights, with millions of fans watching – and voting – to see which small-town son or daughter will be the next big star. But long before Texan Kelly Clarkson became the first American Idol, another teenager from Texas entered a talent competition and took America by storm. Read more
2009: Fayette Pinkney, U.S. vocalist who was an original member of the Three Degrees who had a hit song in 1974 with "When Will I See You Again?", dies of acute respiratory failure at 61.
2008: Michael Turner, U.S. comic book artist known for his work on Superman/Batman, Witchblade and Soulfire, dies of bone cancer at 37.
2005: Shelby Foote, U.S. historian and author known for his many appearances in Ken Burns’ Public Broadcasting Service documentary The Civil War, and who wrote The Civil War: A Narrative, dies of a heart attack at 88.
Foote's first novel, Tournament, was started before the war and published in 1949. Then came Follow Me Down in 1950, Love in a Dry Season in 1951, Shiloh in 1952 and Jordan County in 1954. That same year, Random House asked him to write a one-volume history of the Civil War. He took the job, but it grew into a three-volume project finally finished in 1974, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Foote's The Civil War: A Narrative as No. 15 on its list of the century's 100 best English-language works of nonfiction, the obituary said. Read more
2003: David Newman, U.S. screenwriter who co-wrote Bonnie and Clyde and the three Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve, dies at 66.
2002: John Entwistle, English musician who was very well-known as the bassist for The Who, dies of a heart attack at 57.
Although his onstage appearance was that of the classic quiet man, Entwistle wasn't afraid to make a lot of noise with his instrument – he had to, in order to be heard over the loud rock of Pete Townshend, Keith Moon and Roger Daltrey. Incidentally, Entwistle was also, according to many rock music fans, the best bass player in the world. His distinctive "full treble, full volume" style helped get him there. Read more
2001: Jack Lemmon, U.S. actor who starred in many movies including Some Like It Hot, The Odd Couple and Glengarry Glen Ross, dies of cancer at 76.
Lemmon was a favorite of director Billy Wilder, who cast him in films including Some Like it Hot, The Apartment, Irma la Douce and The Front Page. Some Like it Hot – which the American Film Institute has listed as the greatest comedy of all time – saw Lemmon acting opposite Marilyn Monroe. "Difficult?" he said later when asked about working with Monroe. "Yes. But she was a wonderful comedienne and she had a charisma like no one before or since." For his part Lemmon was awarded a Golden Globe and nominated for an Oscar. He also released an album called A Twist of Lemmon: Some Like It Hot that featured him performing originals on piano and singing selections from the movie. Read more
1996: Albert Broccoli, U.S. film producer known as the producer of 17 of the James Bond movies, dies of heart failure at 87.
1991: Milton Subotsky, U.S. movie producer and screenwriter known for cult classic films, who wrote the screenplay for Tales From the Crypt, dies of heart disease at 69.
1989: Jack Buetel, U.S. actor who appeared mostly in Westerns including a starring role as Billy the Kid in The Outlaw with Jane Russell, dies at 73.
1986: Joe Maphis, U.S. country music guitarist known as "The King of Strings," who played with Merle Travis, Johnny Burnette and Ricky Nelson, dies at 65.
1982: Jack Mullaney, U.S. actor who had a regular role on The Ann Sothern Show, whose other television appearances included The Phil Silvers Show, dies at 52.
1960: Lottie Dod, English athlete who won five Wimbledon tennis championships and the British Amateur Golf Championship, along with winning a silver medal at the 1908 Olympics in archery, and is considered one of the greatest female athletes, dies at 88.
When Dod was just 11 years old, she entered her first tennis tournament, competing against adult women in doubles with her sister. The Dods won the Consolation Tournament and a reporter noted, "Miss L. Dod should be heard of in the future." The world didn't have long to wait. At age 15, she became the youngest woman ever to win the Wimbledon Ladies' Singles Championship. That was in 1887, and her record stands to this day. Read more
1958: Robert Greig, Australian-born U.S. actor who had roles in two Marx Brothers movies, Animal Crackers and Horse Feathers, dies at 78.