John Lennon changed the world when he met a few other lads from Liverpool, England, and asked them to join his band. They became the Beatles, and they stood at the forefront of a 1960s rock ‘n’ roll revolution. From their earliest pop hits like “She Loves You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand” to the psychedelia they embraced in later years with songs such as “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am the Walrus,” the Beatles shot to the top of the charts and remained there for years. After their breakup, Lennon embarked on a successful solo career, releasing more hits including “Imagine” and “Whatever Gets You Through the Night.” Through his music and actions like his famed “Bed-In,” Lennon advocated for peace. We remember Lennon’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1967: Eddie Guerrero, U.S. professional wrestler who wrestled in the World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment tours, is born in El Paso, Texas.
In February 2004, Guerrero became the second wrestler of Hispanic heritage to be WWE champion when he defeated Brock Lesnar, a former University of Minnesota wrestling standout. Guerrero lost the title four months later, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. In May 2004, UPN aired the special “Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story.” The one-hour program chronicled his childhood and his struggle with drug addiction that almost cost him his job, family, and life before his recovery and eventual capture of the WWE championship. Read more
1950: Rod Temperton, British songwriter and musician who wrote the Michael Jackson song “Thriller” and was a member of the band Heatwave, dies at 66.
1944: John Entwistle, English musician who was the bassist for The Who, is born in Chiswick, England.
Although his onstage appearance was that of the classic quiet man, Entwistle wasn’t afraid to make a lot of noise with his instrument – he had to, in order to be heard over the loud rock of Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, and Roger Daltrey. Incidentally, Entwistle was also, according to many rock music fans, the best bass player in the world. His distinctive “full treble, full volume” style helped get him there. Read more
“Beatlemania: The Movie” was already in production before Lennon died but wouldn’t hit screens until 1981. Based on a Broadway musical that had been running since 1977, the widely panned film featured David Leon as Lennon. Marshall Crenshaw got his big break in the music business when he joined a touring production of the Broadway show in 1981. Crenshaw would later portray another rock legend, appearing as Buddy Holly in 1987’s “La Bamba.” Read more
1939: O.V. Wright, U.S. Southern soul singer whose best-known song was “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” is born in Lenow, Tennessee.
1932: Judy Tyler, U.S. actress who was known for playing Princess Summerfall Winterspring on “The Howdy Doody Show” and starred opposite Elvis Presley in “Jailhouse Rock,” is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1922: Fyvush Finkel, U.S. actor known best for his role as Douglas Wambaugh on the TV series “Picket Fences,” is born in Brooklyn, New York.
Finkel had several movie and TV roles in the years leading to his greatest fame: on the big screen in movies including “Off Beat” and “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” and on TV in an episode of “Kojak.” But it was in 1992, when he joined the cast of the new David E. Kelley TV show, “Picket Fences,” that Finkel truly became known to a wider audience. He was 70 when he took on the role of the eccentric attorney, and when he won his Emmy Award for the portrayal in 1994, he commented, “I waited 51 years to get on this stage!” Read more
1918: E. Howard Hunt, U.S. CIA agent who was one of the engineers of the Watergate break-in, is born in Hamburg, New York.
1914: Edward Andrews, U.S. actor who was one of the most recognizable character actors in film and television during the 1960s and ’70s, is born in Griffin, Georgia.
1908: Lee Wiley, U.S. female jazz singer popular in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, is born in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.
1900: Alastair Sim, Scottish character actor known for playing Scrooge in the 1951 movie “A Christmas Carol,” is born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1888: Irving Cummings, U.S. actor and director who appeared in movies with Buster Keaton and Wallace Beery and then directed many movies, including “That Night in Rio” starring Don Ameche, is born in New York, New York.
1886: Rube Marquard, U.S. Hall of Fame baseball pitcher who won more than 200 games in his career, is born in Cleveland, Ohio.