Dick York‘s most famous role was on TV’s “Bewitched.” He played Darrin Stephens – the first of two actors to do so, he was replaced by Dick Sargent after he had to leave following illness and chronic pain from an old injury. That injury was sustained on the set of a movie, “They Came to Cordura,” one of several in which York appeared. His best-known movie role was in “Inherit the Wind,” in which he played the educator on trial for teaching evolution. York also appeared in a number of episodes of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “Playhouse 90” in addition to several other TV shows. We remember York’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1945: Danny Gatton, U.S. guitarist who is ranked among history’s best guitarists, is born in Washington, D.C.
A musician’s musician, his admirers included guitar heroes like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Albert Lee, Joe Pass, Les Paul, Ricky Sambora, and Slash. Bonnie Raitt and John Fogerty both tried to sign him as a sideman, as did “The Tonight Show.” He recorded with Chris Isaak, Arlen Roth, Delbert McClinton, and Commander Cody. Rolling Stone named him one of the top 100 guitarists of all time. So why haven’t you heard of him? Read more
After five seasons with the show, York’s injury became unbearable, and the demands of the job proved too much. Offered a chance to resign, he took it, devoting himself to recovering. But the show went on, and Dick Sargent stepped in to play Darrin. The transition between Darrins was a bit abrupt and strange, but many fans of the show took it in stride and continued watching. Still, a bit of the show’s heart seemed to be missing after York’s departure. Read more
1927: John McCarthy, U.S. computer scientist who coined the term “artificial intelligence” and was one of the pioneers of that discipline, is born in Boston, Massachusetts.
McCarthy was a leader in the artificial intelligence field, coining the term in a 1955 research proposal. He said “every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.” He went on to create the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab and the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, serving as its director from 1965 to 1980. In 1958, McCarthy invented the programming language Lisp, which paved the way for voice recognition technology, including Siri, the personal assistant application on the newest iPhone. Read more
1924: Joan Aiken, English author of award-winning children’s books including “The Whispering Mountain,” is born in Rye, England.
1919: Howard Morris, U.S. actor who played Ernest T. Bass on “The Andy Griffith Show,” is born in the Bronx, New York.
1918: Paul Harvey, U.S. radio host well-known for his programs “News and Comment,” “Paul Harvey News,” and “The Rest of the Story,” is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
His popular feature, “The Rest of the Story,” took listeners to obscure, forgotten, and sometimes unbelievable parts of history, illuminating people and events that otherwise might have slipped through the cracks of our collective knowledge. The man behind the microphone had his own intriguing history, too, some of which only came to light a year after his death at 90 in 2009, when The Washington Post obtained 1,400 pages of FBI documents on the famed broadcaster. Read more
1912: Syd Hoff, U.S. author of children’s books such as the early reader “Danny and the Dinosaur,” is born in the Bronx, New York.
1908: Richard Wright, U.S. author whose well-known novels include “Native Son” and “Black Boy,” is born in Roxie, Mississippi.
1803: Sarah Childress Polk, U.S. first lady who was the wife of President James K. Polk, is born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.