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Died March 17

Published: 3/17/2015
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Ferlin Husky, 1970 (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Ferlin Husky started out playing in honky-tonks before moving up to entertaining Allied troops during World War II aboard Merchant Marine ships. Back on dry land, he made a name for himself as an up-and-coming country talent. In fact, he made a few names for himself, including the charming hick Simon Crum and his stage name, Terry Preston. Following a string of country and crossover hits, Husky found brief success on television and with bit parts in movies throughout the 1950s. His songs continued to chart during the 1960s and 1970s, producing three dozen hits, but no No. 1 songs. Heart problems slowed him down, but he still maintained a strong touring schedule, and in 2010 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. We remember Husky's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history

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2014: L'Wren Scott, U.S. stylist and fashion designer who was in a long-term relationship with Mick Jagger at the time of her death, dies at 49.

L'Wren Scott (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP, File)The Utah-born Scott had her own fashion label popular with celebrities. She was a fixture on Jagger's arm and, at around 6-foot-3, towered over her famous boyfriend. She founded her high-end label in 2006 and recently created a more affordable line of clothes with Banana Republic. On the red carpet, she dressed stars like Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Jessica Parker and Angelina Jolie. Read more



2013: Steve Davis, U.S. college football quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners who led them to two national championships in the 1970s, dies at 60.

Steve Davis (Associated Press Photo)Davis compiled a remarkable 32-1-1 record as the Sooners' starter from 1973 to 1975. The Sooners went 11-0 in 1974, then won the national title again the following year after going 11-1. It was a storybook career for Davis, who finished with one of the best records for a starting quarterback in the sport's history after a humble beginning at Oklahoma. He grew up in Sallisaw, in the eastern part of the state, and developed a love for the Sooners. In an interview with The Oklahoman newspaper, he described how he hid a picture from an Oklahoma football brochure in his top dresser drawer. Read more

2011: Ferlin Husky, U.S. country music singer who had two dozen Top 20 hits on the Billboard country charts, dies at 85.

Ferlin Husky (Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)With his resonant voice and good looks, Husky was one of the most versatile entertainers to emerge from country music. He was a singer, songwriter, guitarist, actor and even a comedian whose impersonations ranged from Bing Crosby to Johnny Cash. He was one of the first country musicians to bring the genre to television and helped spread its popularity in booming post-World War II California, an important step in country's quest for a national audience. Read more


2010: Alex Chilton, U.S. singer and guitarist who first was the lead singer of the Box Tops who had a hit song with "The Letter" and later formed the influential power-pop group Big Star, dies at 59.

2007: Roger Bennett, U.S. Southern gospel performer who was a co-founder of the award-winning gospel group Legacy Five, dies at 48.

2006: Bob Papenbrook, U.S. voice actor who was the voice of Rito Revolto in the Power Rangers live-action series, dies at 50.

2006: Ray Meyer, U.S. college basketball coach who was the head coach of DePaul University for 42 years, dies at 92.

From the days of two-handed set shots to the slam-dunk era, Meyer either coached or broadcast 1,467 consecutive Blue Demons games, a 55-year streak. He retired in 1984 with a 724-354 record and then became a special assistant to the president while also doing radio commentary. His 1978-79 team reached the Final Four by beating Southern California, Marquette and UCLA in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Demons lost 76-74 to Larry Bird's Indiana State team in the semifinals, then defeated Penn 96-93 to finish third. Read more

2006: Oleg Cassini, U.S. fashion designer who was famous for creating the "Jackie Look" for first lady Jackie Kennedy, dies at 92.

Kennedy loved Cassini's work, both complimenting him and relying heavily on him. As Cassini once reminisced, "All I remember about those days are nerves, and Jackie on the phone, 'Hurry, hurry, Oleg, I’ve got nothing to wear.'" He always came through, dressing her as, in his words, an American queen. Read more



2004: J.J. Jackson, U.S. radio and television personality who was one of the five original MTV VJs, dies at 62.

The first Jackson on MTV was not Michael. It was veteran rock disc jockey J.J. Jackson, known to fans of the new cable channel as "Triple J." Jackson, who died March 17, 2004, was one of the original five "video jockeys" who served as the faces of MTV after the channel's 1981 launch. Jackson, who had worked in rock ‘n’ roll radio since the late 1960s, brought the voice of experience to the young station. Although he was a full decade older than the next oldest VJ, turning 40 as the network made its debut, Jackson fit perfectly into the young, super-hip world of MTV in the early 1980s. Read more

1996: Terry Stafford, U.S. singer who had a hit song with "Suspicion," dies at 54.

1995: Rick Aviles, U.S. comedian and actor remembered best for his role as Willie Lopez in the movie Ghost, dies of AIDS at 42.

1993: Skip Young, U.S. actor known for his regular role as Wally Plumstead on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, dies at 63.

1993: Helen Hayes, U.S. actress who won two Oscars during a career that spanned nearly 80 years, dies at 92.

1992: Grace Stafford Lantz, U.S. actress who supplied the cartoon voice of Woody Woodpecker for 40 years and was the wife of Walter Lantz, who created the red-headed character, dies at 88.

1990: Rick Grech, English bass player who was in the groups Blind Faith and Traffic, dies at 43.

1990: Capucine, French actress and fashion model who starred in The Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers, commits suicide at 62.

1989: Merritt Butrick, U.S. actor known best for his regular role as "Johnny Slash" Ulasewicz on the TV series Square Pegs, dies of AIDS at 29.

1967: Richard Reeves, U.S. character actor who played the "tough guy" in many movies and TV shows, dies at 54.

1965: Amos Alonzo Stagg, U.S. college football coach mostly for the University of Chicago who led them to two national championships and created many of the innovations of the game, including the "man in motion" formation, dies at 102.

1962: Frank Orth, U.S. actor who appeared in many movies including His Girl Friday with Cary Grant, dies at 82.

1941: Marguerite Nichols, U.S. silent-film actress who was the wife of comedy producer Hal Roach, dies at 49.

461: St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, dies this day, age unknown.

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

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