Marty Feldman got his start writing for and appearing on British comedy shows, but American audiences probably know him best as Igor (pronounced “EYE-gore”) from Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein.” We remember Feldman’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Marty Feldman got his start writing for and appearing on British comedy shows, but American audiences probably know him best as Igor (pronounced “EYE-gore”) from Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein.” Instantly recognizable by his protruding eyes, he came by his look as a result of the botched surgery for his Graves’ disease, a thyroid condition. He turned that look into comedy gold with ad-libs in “Young Frankenstein,” playing a part that was written with him in mind. He appeared in other Brooks films, including “Silent Movie,” recorded an album, and guest-starred on “The Muppet Show.” We remember Feldman’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1971: Amanda Peterson, U.S. actress known best for her role in the movie “Can’t Buy Me Love,” is born in Greeley, Colorado.
1940: Joe B. Mauldin, U.S. musician who was the bassist in Buddy Holly and the Crickets, is born in Lubbock, Texas.
1935: John David Crow, U.S. professional football player and coach who played with the Chicago and St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers, is born in Marion, Louisiana.
Crow was the first Heisman winner for the Aggies, who were coached at the time by Paul “Bear” Bryant. During the 1957 season, Bryant famously said: “If John David Crow doesn’t win the Heisman Trophy, they ought to stop giving it.” He had 129 carries for 562 yards and six touchdowns during his Heisman season. He also threw five touchdown passes and played defense, where he grabbed five interceptions. He ran for 1,465 yards and 14 touchdowns and caught four touchdowns in his three-year career at Texas A&M. Read more
1934: Marty Feldman, English actor and comedian known best for his role as Igor in “Young Frankenstein,” is born in London, England.
1930: Jerry Vale, U.S. singer whose rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was used at many sporting events for years, is born in the Bronx, New York.
Born Genaro Louis Vitaliano, Vale started performing in New York supper clubs as a teenager and went on to record more than 50 albums. His rendition of “Volare,” “Innamorata,” and “Al Di La” became classic Italian-American songs. His biggest hit was “You Don’t Know Me.” Vale’s recording of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the 1960s was played at sporting events for years. While his albums failed to make the charts in the early 1970s, Vale remained a popular club act. Read more
1926: Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Swiss-American psychiatrist whose theory of the five stages of grief is well-known, is born in Zurich, Switzerland.
Kubler-Ross, a psychiatrist, developed the model after years of working with terminally ill people. The stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Kubler-Ross said the order of the stages may differ by individual, and not every person may experience every stage. Most people, however, will experience two or more stages, she said, according to her obituary by The New York Times. Read more
1926: John Dingell, former U.S. Representative from Michigan who became the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history, is born in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
1924: Johnnie Johnson, U.S. pianist who played in Chuck Berry’s band and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is born in Fairmont, West Virginia.
1923: Harrison Dillard, four-time Olympic gold medal winner and one of the all-time greatest hurdlers, is born in Cleveland, Ohio.
1918: Craig Stevens, U.S. actor who starred in the title role on TV’s “Peter Gunn,” is born in Liberty, Missouri.
1914: Billy Eckstine, U.S. singer known best for his version of “I Apologize,” is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1908: Nelson Rockefeller, U.S. businessman and politician who was the 41st vice president of the United States, serving under President Gerald Ford from 1974 to 1977, is born in Bar Harbor, Maine.
1908: Louis Jordan, U.S. singer and saxophonist whose highly successful band popularized jump blues, is born in Brinkley, Arkansas.
In the 1940s, no self-respecting jukebox would have been complete without at least a few records by Louis Jordan. The pioneering bandleader-singer-saxophonist was one of the top hit-makers of the day, making black and white audiences alike move their feet to his uniquely infectious tunes. Along the way, he created some of the earliest precursors to rock ‘n’ roll and rap, and his wild success on the charts – as well as in diners, dance clubs, and drive-ins – led fans to dub him the King of the Jukebox. Read more
1882: Percy Grainger, Australian-American composer known best for his arrangement of traditional folk music, is born in Melbourne, Victoria.
1839: John D. Rockefeller, U.S. businessman and philanthropist who co-founded Standard Oil, is born in Richford, New York.
1831: John Pemberton, U.S. chemist who invented Coca-Cola, is born in Knoxville, Georgia.