Actress Majel Barrett is known best for her roles on various “Star Trek” television series. We remember Barrett’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Actress Majel Barrett is known best for her roles on various Star Trek television series. That is fitting, as she was married to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and was known as the First Lady of Star Trek. She portrayed nurse Christine Chapel on the original Star Trek. On Star Trek: The Next Generation, she played Ambassador Lwaxana Troi. We remember Barrett’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1955: Flip Saunders, U.S. NBA head coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons, is born in Cleveland, Ohio.
1944: Johnny Winter, U.S. singer and guitarist who was a member of the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, is born in Beaumont, Texas.
Winter was a leading light among the white blues guitar players, including Eric Clapton and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, who followed in the footsteps of the earlier Chicago blues masters. Winter idolized Muddy Waters – and got a chance to produce some of the blues legend’s more popular albums. Rolling Stone magazine named Winter one of the top 100 guitarists of all time. Read more
1938: Diane Varsi, U.S. actress known best for her performance in Peyton Place, is born in San Mateo, California.
Varsi was unprepared for the sudden attention, and she didn’t like the endless rounds of interviews and parties Hollywood demanded of its starlets. She resented being told what to wear and how to comport herself. Her reticence to engage with the star-making machinery earned her a reputation for being uncooperative and introverted, and the media soon began comparing her to James Dean. A Pittsburgh Press reporter was shocked to find her interview subject clad in jeans and without makeup (“not even lipstick,” the writer clarified) and called her “a perfect ragamuffin, the antithesis of such studio glamour girls as Jayne Mansfield and Joan Collins.” Read more
1938: Sylvia Chase, pioneering reporter was a correspondent for ABC’s “20/20 from their first season until 1985.
She appeared on his television shows and movies again and again, spanning the years from the original series to the recent reboot. From her first appearance in the original Star Trek pilot episode to her final role in 2009’s Star Trek movie, a voice-over as the ship’s computer recorded just days before her death, Barrett-Roddenberry was an intrinsic part of Star Trek. Read more
1915: Paul Tibbets, U.S. brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force who flew the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, is born in Quincy, Illinois.
Tibbets’ historic mission in the plane named for his mother marked the beginning of the end of World War II and eliminated the need for what military planners feared would have been an extraordinarily bloody invasion of Japan. It was the first use of a nuclear weapon in wartime. The plane and its crew of 14 dropped the five-ton “Little Boy” bomb on the morning of Aug. 6, 1945. The blast killed 70,000 to 100,000 people and injured countless others, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Read more
1899: Norman Taurog, U.S. director and screenwriter who was the youngest person to win the Academy Award for best director, for Skippy in 1931, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
1868: W.E.B. Du Bois, U.S. civil rights activist and author who co-founded the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, is born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
1850: Cesar Ritz, Swiss hotelier who founded the Ritz hotels in London and Paris, is born in Niederwald, Switzerland.