Eddie Albert, date unknown (Associated Press)
Eddie Albert made farming cool, or at least hilarious, as the star of Green Acres in the 1960s. Outside of Hooterville, Albert could be found in films like Oklahoma! and Roman Holiday, for which he was nominated for the best supporting actor Oscar. He was nominated again in 1973 for The Heartbreak Kid and would turn up again in the 1980s on Falcon Crest. Off screen he was a tireless advocate for social and environmental causes. He fought hunger in Africa and in American inner cities, campaigned against the pesticide DDT and promoted organic farming, among other causes. He also was a speaker at the inaugural Earth Day ceremony in 1970. We remember Eddie Albert's remarkable life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2010: Art Linkletter, Canadian-born U.S. radio and television personality who hosted the TV show House Party, which included the popular interview segment "Kids Say the Darndest Things," dies at 97.
Linkletter had a successful writing career, enjoyed a happy marriage that lasted almost 75 years, and was the host of two long-running and popular TV and radio shows. Those shows had casual formats that gave Linkletter plenty of room to chat with his guests, ad-lib … and look for the laughs. Read more
2008: Sydney Pollack, U.S. director and actor who won an Academy Award for directing and producing Out of Africa and whose acting credits included Michael Clayton and a recurring role as Will's father in Will and Grace, dies at 73.
Pollack, who occasionally appeared on the big screen himself, worked with and gained the respect of Hollywood's best actors, including Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, in a long career that reached prominence in the 1970s and ’80s. "Sydney made the world a little better, movies a little better and even dinner a little better. A tip of the hat to a class act," George Clooney said in a statement from his publicist. Read more
2005: Chico Carrasquel, Venezuelan Major League Baseball shortstop who was known as a great fielder and was a four-time All-Star as well as the first Latin American player to start in an All-Star game, dies at 77.
2005: Eddie Albert, U.S. actor who starred in the TV series Green Acres and Switch, dies at 99.
Just as important to Albert as his acting career was his activism. He was committed to fighting for social causes like Meals for Millions and the World Hunger Conference. And perhaps even dearer to his heart was the environment: He supported organic gardening and fought agricultural and industrial pollution; he founded the Eddie Albert World Trees Foundation; he chaired the Boy Scouts of America's conservation program; and he co-founded the global environmental awareness celebration, Earth Day. Read more
2001: Dona Massin, U.S. film choreographer known best for her work on The Wizard of Oz, dies at 84.
2001: Anne Haney, U.S. actress who appeared in numerous television series, including Mama's Family and L.A. Law, dies at 67.
1995: Friz Freleng, U.S. animator, cartoonist and director well-known for his work on the Looney Tunes cartoon series and for creating the characters Yosemite Sam and Sylvester the Cat, dies at 88.
1994: Sonny Sharrock, U.S. jazz guitarist who was a member of the punk jazz band Last Exit and was known best for performing the soundtrack to the Cartoon Network show Space Ghost Coast to Coast, dies at 53.
1991: Tom Eyen, U.S. playwright who co-wrote the book and lyrics for the hit Broadway musical Dreamgirls, dies at 50.
1979: George Brent, Irish actor who was a leading man in the 1930s and ’40s and starred opposite Bette Davis, Greta Garbo and Myrna Loy, dies at 80.
1977: William Powell, U.S. rhythm-and-blues singer who was a member of the O'Jays, who had hit songs with "Back Stabbers" and "Love Train," dies of cancer at 35.
1968: Little Willie John, U.S. rhythm-and-blues singer who had chart success with "Need Your Love So Bad" in 1956 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, dies at 30.
1967: George E. Stone, Polish-born U.S. actor known for playing streetwise characters in such movies as Little Caesar and The Man With the Golden Arm, dies at 64.
1963: Sharon Lynn, U.S. actress who worked in the 1920s and ’30s and was in the Laurel and Hardy movie Way out West, dies at 62.
1959: Ed Walsh, U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher who had the lowest career ERA, which is an unofficial record since ERA was not a statistic when he played, dies at 78.
1956: Al Simmons, U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder who had a career batting average of .334 and won two World Series championships, dies at 54.
1933: Jimmie Rodgers, U.S. country singer who was among the first country music superstars, dies at 35.