Joan Rivers was one of the most celebrated comedians of all time, one who paved the way for generations of female comedians to follow with her hilarious stand-up and biting commentary. We remember Rivers’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Joan Rivers was one of the most celebrated comedians of all time, one who paved the way for generations of female comedians to follow with her hilarious stand-up and biting commentary. She was a staple of “The Tonight Show,” a frequent guest, and Johnny Carson’s regular guest host for years. She wrote books and screenplays, recorded comedy albums, and performed at Carnegie Hall and at the 1984 Republican National Convention. Along with her daughter, Melissa, she became a fixture of the red carpet, where they interviewed celebrities arriving at awards shows. We remember Rivers’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1965: Rob Pilatus, German singer and dancer who was a member of Milli Vanilli, is born in New York, New York.
When it was revealed that the phenomenally successful duo were merely lip-syncing over other singers, the backlash against Pilatus and Milli Vanilli proved swift and terrible. Their Grammy Award for best new artist was rescinded by the Recording Academy, something that had never happened in the history of the Grammys. Their record label, Arista, dropped the duo from the label’s roster and took the additional step of removing Milli Vanilli’s No. 1 album, the ironically titled “Girl You Know It’s True,” from their catalog. Read more
1944: Mark Belanger, U.S. professional baseball player with the Baltimore Orioles who won eight Gold Glove awards, is born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
1933: Joan Rivers, U.S. comedian and writer who was the first woman to host a late-night TV talk show, is born in Brooklyn, New York.
Rivers – who made “Can we talk?” a trademark of her routines – never mellowed during her half-century-long career. She had insults ready for all races, genders, and creeds. She moved from longtime targets such as the weight problems of Elizabeth Taylor, of whom she said “her favorite food is seconds,” to newer foes such as Miley Cyrus, and continued to appear onstage and on TV into her 80s. Read more
1931: Dana Wynter, English actress known best for her role in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” is born in Berlin, Germany.
Wynter, who starred on a number of television dramas in the 1960s, was known best for her role as Becky Driscoll in director Don Siegel’s paranoid film about townspeople being replaced by emotionless duplicates grown from plant-like pods. Read more
1927: Jerry Stiller, comedian and actor best known for playing Frank Costanza on “Seinfeld” and Arthur Spooner on “The King of Queens,” is born in Brooklyn, New York.
1925: Barbara Bush, former first lady of the United States, the husband of George HW. Bush and the father of former President George W. Bush, is born in New York, New York.
1921: LeRoy Nieman, U.S. artist known best for his paintings of athletes and sporting events, is born in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Neiman was a media-savvy artist who knew how to enthrall audiences with his instant renditions of what he observed. In 1972, he sketched the world chess tournament between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer in Reykjavik, Iceland, for a live television audience. He also produced live drawings of the Olympics for TV and was the official computer artist of the Super Bowl for CBS. Read more
1918: Robert Preston, U.S. actor known best for his starring roles in “Victor Victoria” and “The Music Man,” is born in Newton, Massachusetts.
1917: Byron White, U.S. professional football player and judge who was an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, serving from 1962 to 1993, is born in Fort Collins, Colorado.
1867: Frank Lloyd Wright, U.S. architect famous for buildings including Fallingwater and the Guggenheim Museum, is born in Richland Center, Wisconsin.
Wright’s creations could be sinuously curved or aggressively stacked, crafted to blend in with the landscape, or designed to stand out – but one thing they have in common is their ingenuity. There’s no building quite like a Frank Lloyd Wright building, and today, 56 years after his death, hundreds of his works still can be found in the U.S. and other countries. Many of Wright’s creations are single-family homes, but he also designed corporate headquarters, an unforgettable museum, a school, a hotel, and even a gas station. Read more
1847: Ida Saxton McKinley, U.S. first lady who was the wife of President William McKinley, is born in Canton, Ohio.
1810: Robert Schumann, German composer considered one of the greatest romantic composers, is born in Zwickau, Kingdom of Saxony.