Andy Williams was a phenomenon, a singing sensation with 17 gold and three platinum albums to bear testament to just how much his fans loved him. We remember Williams’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Andy Williams was a phenomenon, a singing sensation with 17 gold and three platinum albums to bear testament to just how much his fans loved him. Beginning his singing career with his three brothers as the Williams Brothers, he soon rose to standout solo stardom. In addition to recording well-known songs including “Can’t Get Used To Losing You” and his signature song, “Moon River,” Williams hosted the Emmy-winning TV variety program “The Andy Williams Show” and opened the Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri. We remember Williams’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1993: Kyle Jean-Baptiste, U.S. actor who was the youngest actor as well as the first African-American actor to be cast as Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables” on Broadway, is born in New York, New York.
Born in New York, Jean-Baptiste graduated from Baldwin Wallace University. Shortly afterward, he joined the cast of “Les Misérables” for the production’s critically acclaimed revival, playing the roles of the constable and Courfeyrac, as well as understudying in his “dream role” of Jean Valjean. He made Broadway history when he debuted as both the first African-American and youngest actor to play the coveted role. Read more
1963: Terri Schiavo, U.S. woman who was the subject of a landmark right-to-die legal battle, is born in Lower Moreland Township, Pennsylvania.
Schiavo died at the Pinellas Park hospice where she lay for years while her husband and her parents fought over her in what was easily the longest, most bitter – and most heavily litigated – right-to-die dispute in U.S. history, according to her 2005 obituary by The Associated Press. Michael Schiavo was at his wife’s bedside, cradling her, when she died a “calm, peaceful, and gentle” death, said his attorney, George Felos. Her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, were not at the hospice at the time, he said. Read more
1957: Valerie Quennessen, French actress who starred in the movie “Summer Lovers” with Daryl Hannah, is born in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.
1949: Heather Menzies-Urich, Canadian-American actress known for playing Louisa von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” and who was married to actor Robert Urich, is born in Toronto, Ontario.
1927: Andy Williams, U.S. singer known for his version of the song “Moon River,” who hosted “The Andy Williams Show” on television from 1962 until 1971, is born in Wall Lake, Iowa.
The crooner dazzled fans onstage – both around the world and at his Andy Williams Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri. Williams was the first noncountry act to hit Branson, a bold move that friends discouraged back home. But Williams – and his theater – became a huge success there, prompting others from the pop music world to follow. Read more
1925: Ferlin Husky, U.S. country music singer who had two dozen top-20 hits on the Billboard country charts, is born in Cantwell, Missouri.
With his resonant voice and good looks, Husky was one of the most versatile entertainers to emerge from country music, according to his 2011 obituary by The Associated Press. 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 the country’s quest for a national audience. Read more
1911: Nino Rota, Italian composer and pianist who won an Academy Award for his score for “The Godfather Part II,” is born in Milan, Italy.
1857: Joseph Conrad, Polish author who is considered one of the great novelists, whose works include “Heart of Darkness” and “The Secret Agent,” is born in Berdychiv, Ukraine.
1842: Charles Pillsbury, U.S. businessman who co-founded the Pillsbury Co., is born in Warner, New Hampshire.