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Meredith McRae

Born May 30

by Legacy Staff

Singer and actress Meredith MacRae was a fixture of 1960s film and television, appearing on programs such as “My Three Sons” and “Petticoat Junction.” We remember MacRae’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.

Singer and actress Meredith MacRae was a popular fixture in film and television throughout the 1960s on programs such as “My Three Sons” and “Petticoat Junction.” She also starred in “Bikini Beach,” from American International Pictures beloved “Beach Party” film series. She made appearances on shows like “The Rockford Files,” “Magnum, P.I.”, “The Dean Martin Show,” and many others, as well as celebrity games shows like “Hollywood Squares” and “Family Feud.” Off screen, she raised money for the Children’s Burn Foundation, American Cancer Society, and United Cerebral Palsy. We remember MacRae’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including “Cosby Show” actress Clarice Taylor.


1958: Marie Fredriksson,lead singer and keyboardist for Swedish pop gropu Roxette, is born in Ossjo, Sweden.

1944: Meredith MacRae, U.S. actress and singer who starred on “Petticoat Junction, is born in Houston, Texas.

MacRae’s big break as an actress came in 1963 when she joined the cast of the wildly popular “My Three Sons” as Sally Douglas. She left the show in 1965 and was quickly signed on to replace Gunilla Hutton as Billie Jo Bradley on “Petticoat Junction.” MacRae was the third and final actress to play the role. Her interpretation of Billie Jo added strength and depth to the character, which resonated well with fans, as did her singing voice. Read more

1943: James Chaney, U.S. civil rights worker who was murdered along with other civil rights workers in a high-profile 1964 case, is born in Meridian, Mississippi.

1939: Michael J. Pollard, actor best known for his role as gang member C.W. Moss in the 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde,” is born in Passsaic, New Jersey.

1938: Billie Letts, U.S. author of novels including “Where the Heart Is,” is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

1927: Clint Walker, popular actor who starred on the TV western “Cheyenne,” is born in Hartford, Illinois.

1926: Johnny Gimble, U.S. country music fiddler who played with musicians including Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Chet Atkins, is born in Tyler, Texas.

Johnny Gimble (David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images)Gimble grew up on a farm near Tyler, in East Texas, spent two years with Wills’ group beginning in 1949, and later became a much-requested session musician in Nashville performing with country giants such as Haggard, Nelson, George Strait, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn. He won six Country Music Association awards as best instrumentalist. Read more

1918: Bob Evans, U.S. businessman who founded Bob Evans Restaurants, is born in Sugar Ridge, Ohio.

Evans complained that he could not get good sausage for the restaurant he started after World War II in Gallipolis in southeast Ohio. Starting with $1,000, a couple of hogs, 40 pounds of black pepper, 50 pounds of sage, and other secret ingredients, he opted to make his own, relying on the hog’s best parts as opposed to the scraps commonly used in sausage. He began selling it at the restaurant and mom-and-pop stores, and peddled tubs of it out of the back of his pickup truck. Read more

1912: Joseph Stein, U.S. playwright known for writing the books for “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Zorba,” is born in New York, New York.

Joseph Stein (Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment)But it was “Fiddler,” based on Sholom Aleichem’s “Tevye and His Daughters,” that proved to be his biggest hit. Featuring a score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick and direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins, the show opened on Broadway in September 1964 and ran for more than 3,200 performances. It starred Zero Mostel as Tevye, the Jewish milkman forced to deal with a changing world – not to mention a changing family life – in early 20th-century Russia. Read more

1909: Benny Goodman, U.S. jazz clarinetist and bandleader known as the King of Swing, is born in Chicago, Illinois.

He ushered in the swing era, bringing jazz from shadowy clubs into the nation’s spotlight and bringing fame to the musicians, like Gene Krupa, who played with him. He was an early integrator of jazz, inviting black musicians like Lionel Hampton to play with him regardless of the fact that segregated society still frowned upon such pairings. And he launched the musical careers of many who would go on to become legends themselves. Read more

1908: Mel Blanc, U.S. voice actor who provided the voices of many popular cartoon characters including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig, is born in San Francisco, California.

Blanc was truly the Man of a Thousand Voices. The list of cartoon characters he brought to life goes on and on … from Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, to Barney Rubble, Marvin the Martian, Foghorn Leghorn, and so many more. Movie critic Leonard Maltin once noted, “It is astounding to realize that Tweety Bird and Yosemite Sam are the same man!” Read more

1903: Countee Cullen, U.S. poet who was a major figure of the Harlem Renaissance, is born, probably in Lexington, Kentucky.

1902: Stepin Fetchit, born Lincoln Perry, U.S. actor who was the first black film actor to receive featured screen credit, is born in Key West, Florida.

1899: Irving Thalberg, U.S. film producer whose movies include “Grand Hotel” and “The Good Earth,” is born in Brooklyn, New York.

1896: Howard Hawks, U.S. film director whose films include “The Big Sleep” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” is born in Goshen, Indiana.

1846: Peter Carl Fabergé, Russian jeweler known best for creating Fabergé eggs, is born in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including “Cosby Show” actress Clarice Taylor.

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