William Hanna, 1987 (Ron Galella, Ltd. /WireImage)
Animator William Hanna picked up seven Oscars and eight Emmys for his work with Joseph Barbera. The two collaborated on classic series like Tom and Jerry and formed their own animation studio, producing some of the most-beloved cartoons of the 1960s. Their characters became worldwide icons and spawned countless merchandising tie-ins and adaptations to other media, while endless syndication kept their programs in the public eye for decades. We remember William Hanna's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2013: Ray Williams, U.S. NBA point guard who played for the New York Knicks and other teams and averaged more than 15 points a game in his career, dies at 58.
2013: Bebo Valdes, Cuba pianist and band leader who was a central figure during the golden age of Cuban music, dies at 94.
2013: Christa Speck, German actress and model who was the 1962 Playboy Playmate of the Year and the wife of television producer Marty Kroftt, dies at 70.
2009: Steven Doll, U.S. professional wrestler who wrestled in the World Wrestling Federation under the name Steven Dunn, dies at 48.
2005: Rod Price, English guitarist known best for playing in the band Foghat, dies at 57.
2001: William Hanna, U.S. animator who formed a partnership with Joseph Barbara to create Hanna-Barbara – which became one of the most successful animation studios, producing cartoons including The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Scooby-Doo – dies at 90.
1999: David Strickland, U.S. actor known best for playing reporter Todd Stities in the sitcom Suddenly Susan, commits suicide at 29.
1996: Billy Williamson, U.S. guitar player for Bill Haley and His Comets, dies at 71.
1996: Don Murray, U.S. drummer for the folk rock group the Turtles, dies at 50.
1994: Walter Lantz, U.S. animator known best as the founder of Walter Lantz Studios and the creator of Woody Woodpecker, dies at 94.
1994: Dan Hartman, U.S. singer and songwriter who had a hit song with "I Can Dream About You" and wrote and sang "Free Ride" as a member of the Edgar Winter Group, dies of AIDS at 43.
1991: Gloria Holden, U.S. actress known best for her role as the title character in the movie Dracula's Daughter, dies at 87.
1991: Dave Guard, U.S. guitarist, vocalist and a founding member of the Kingston Trio folk group that recorded many hit songs including "Tom Dooley," dies at 56.
1986: Charles Starrett, U.S. actor remembered best for playing the title role in The Durango Kid movie series, dies at 82.
1986: Mark Dinning, U.S. singer who cut a No. 1 hit song in 1960 with "Teen Angel," dies at 52.
1986: Olive Deering, U.S. actress who played Miriam in the movie The Ten Commandments, dies at 67.
1978: Karl Wallenda, German tightrope walker and founder of the Flying Wallendas, dies during a stunt at 78.
For generations the Wallendas have performed high-wire acts without a net, guided and inspired by patriarch Karl Wallenda. A circus performer from early childhood, he founded the troupe that would achieve world fame and break record after record. Some of those death-defying achievements belonged to Karl himself – as when he broke the world skywalk distance record by walking 1,800 feet on a high-wire at King's Island. Even when he didn't set a new standard on the high-wire for highest or longest, he dazzled and amazed, performing stunts like a midair headstand. Read more
1974: Peter Revson, U.S. race car driver who won the British Grand Prix in 1973, dies during a practice run crash at 35.
1958: Mike Todd, U.S. movie producer whose movies included Around the World in 80 Days and who was married to Elizabeth Taylor at the time of his death, dies in a plane crash at 48.
When producer Mike Todd married actress Elizabeth Taylor, it was the third marriage for both, and the only one for either that did not end in divorce. Taylor and Todd married in a civil ceremony in Acapulco, just weeks after her divorce from actor Michael Wilding. Taylor's future husband Eddie Fisher stood as Todd's best man; Fisher's wife, Debbie Reynolds, was matron of honor. Read more