We remember Farrah Fawcett and other notable people born this day in history.
Farrah Fawcett‘s big break came from her one season spent on “Charlie’s Angels” in 1976. After one season, Fawcett left the wildly popular program to pursue other opportunities. She appeared on many television series, in made-for-TV movies and in films throughout her 40-year career. She earned four Emmy nominations and six Golden Globe nominations, and she appeared in unforgettable films such as “Myra Breckinridge,” “Logan’s Run,” and “The Apostle.” For many, her classic 1976 pinup poster is as iconic as any of her acting roles. We remember Fawcett’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1952: Carol Ann Susi, U.S. actress known best for her voice role as Mrs. Wolowitz on the TV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” is born in Brooklyn, New York.
The veteran character actress had made numerous guest appearances on TV shows since the 1970s. On “The Big Bang Theory” she wasn’t seen on camera as the mother of Simon Helberg’s character, Howard, but her character’s loud voice with a Brooklyn accent was instantly recognizable. Read more
Fawcett began her acting career in the late 1960s and had several small but prominent roles in the early ’70s. But it was in 1976 that Fawcett’s career took off, with a show that seems to encapsulate late ’70s style: Aaron Spelling‘s wildly popular crime-fighting drama Charlie’s Angels. Fawcett starred in the movie special that kicked off the show, and she stayed with the series for its first season as the show rocketed to No. 1 – and its blond bombshell rocketed to superstardom. Read more
1941: Cory Wells, U.S. singer who was one of the three lead vocalists for the band Three Dog Night, is born in Buffalo, New York.
One of the founding members of Three Dog Night, Wells was one of the band’s three lead singers. They topped the Billboard Hot 100 three times with classic songs such as “Joy to the World” (which has appeared in numerous films and TV shows), “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)” and “Black and White.” The band earned 21 top-40 hits on the Hot 100 chart. Read more
1937: Duane Jones, U.S. actor known best for his starring role as Ben in Night of the Living Dead, is born in New York, New York.
1932: Robert Mandan, actor known for his role as Chester Tate on “Soap,” is born in Clever, Missouri.
1927: Doris Sams, U.S. baseball player with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, is born in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Sams, also called Sammye, was a leading player in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. According to the league’s website, she was a five-time all-star during her eight-year pro career. She played for the Muskegon Lassies, later the Kalamazoo Lassies. Sams made the circuit’s honor team in 1947 and from 1949 through 1952. She averaged more than .300 during each of her last four seasons. Read more
1927: Stan Getz, U.S. jazz saxophonist who popularized bossa nova, especially with his recording of “The Girl From Ipanema,” is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 1941, he won a seat on the All City High School Orchestra of New York playing the bassoon; he was tutored by the New York Philharmonic’s Simon Kovar. The conductor offered him a scholarship to Juilliard, but Getz declined. This was largely because he was already playing saxophone as a professional musician, where he would cross paths with a young Alan Greenspan (yes, that one). With lots of draft-age musicians off fighting in World War II, Getz had opportunities he might not have enjoyed otherwise – including an invitation to join the Jack Teagarden band at the ripe old age of 15. Getz feared his parents wouldn’t let him go, but his father was impressed by the promised salary of $70 per week – nearly double his own. Read more
1925: Elaine Stritch, U.S. actress who was a Tony-winning star of the Broadway stage and had a recurring role on 30 Rock, is born in Detroit, Michigan.
The five-time Tony Award nominee and eight-time Emmy nominee had a 70-year career in show business that took her from tiny theaters to the top of 30 Rock. She was a hit in London in the 1970s, lighting up the West End as well as British television sets on her own sitcom before coming back to America where she continued to build a career as one of Broadway’s all-time greats. Read more
1923: : Liz Smith, the legendary gossip columnist wrote her popular columns in New York City newspapers including the Daily News and New York Post, she was born in Fort Worth, Texas.
1923: James Dickey, U.S. author whose novel Deliverance was adapted for the big screen, is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
1923: Red Schoendienst, baseball hall of famer who was a ten-time all-star, is born in Germantown, Illinois.
1912: Burton Lane, U.S. composer and lyricist whose Broadway musicals include Finian’s Rainbow and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, is born in New York, New York.
1905: Ayn Rand, Russian-American novelist and playwright whose best-known works include Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, is born in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Rand’s first published fictional writing was the 1933 play Night of January 16th. A courtroom drama about a murder trial, the play was an early example of interactive entertainment, drawing its jury members from the audience. With different jury members at every performance, the play was written with two different endings, and each jury was able to determine whether the audience would see the “Guilty” or “Not Guilty” ending. Producers were initially wary of this quirky technique, but it proved to be an audience draw and propelled the play to Broadway success. Read more
1897: Howard Deering Johnson, U.S. businessman who founded the Howard Johnson’s chain of motels and restaurants, is born in Boston, Massachusetts.
Though only a couple of Howard Johnson’s restaurants remain, and the HoJo motels don’t have quite the cache they once did, the iconic orange and turquoise linger in the public consciousness. Howard Johnson’s was even featured in an episode of Mad Men, with Don Draper declaring, “I love Howard Johnson’s” before whisking his new bride away on a work-related HoJo excursion. (Sadly, Megan Draper does not share her husband’s enthusiasm, and the working vacation ends abruptly when the two quarrel over orange sherbet.) Read more
1895: George Halas, U.S. football player and coach who founded the Chicago Bears and was one of the original founders of the NFL, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
A jack-of-all-trades (one of his nicknames was Mr. Everything), Halas ran the front office, coached and played on the team – and, legend has it, even handled game-day ticket sales. The controlling aspect of his personality would come to the fore in his later years, as he continually tried to walk away from the game only to come out of retirement for another season of coaching. When he finally quit coaching for good in 1967, he joked it was only because he was too slow to run up and down the sideline to chew out the refs. (Halas was also well-known for having one of the NFL’s foulest mouths). Read more
1883: Johnston McCulley, U.S. author who created the character Zorro, is born in Ottawa, Illinois.
1882: James Joyce, Irish novelist and poet whose highly influential works include Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake, is born in Rathgar, Ireland.
1861: Solomon R. Guggenheim, U.S. businessman and art collector who founded the Guggenheim Museum, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.