Alfred Hitchcock films were groundbreaking…
Alfred Hitchcock directed more than 50 feature films throughout his storied career. His films were groundbreaking, including classics like “Psycho,” “North by Northwest,” “Vertigo,” and dozens more. He used the camera in new and exciting ways, forcing audiences into the role of voyeur, and the inclusion of elements of psychoanalysis added a depth to his work rarely seen in movies at the time. Hitchcock is widely regarded today as a master of suspense and terror, leading to certain expectations of his films from audiences, or as Hitchcock himself said, “If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.” We remember Hitchcock’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2015: Calvin Peete, U.S. professional golfer who was the most successful African-American player to play on the PGA Tour prior to Tiger Woods, dies at 71.
Peete won 12 times on the PGA Tour, mainly on the strength of his uncanny accuracy off the tee. Peete led the PGA Tour in driving accuracy for 10 straight years starting in 1981, and he captured the Vardon Trophy over Jack Nicklaus in 1984. He also played on two Ryder Cup teams. Read more
Short and bald, with a face he once compared to “a squashed cabbage,” Hoskins was a remarkably versatile performer. As a London gangster in “The Long Good Friday,” he moved from bravura bluster to tragic understatement. In “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” he cavorted with a cast of animated characters, making technological trickery seem both seamless and natural. Read more
2012: Amarillo Slim, born Thomas Preston Jr., U.S. professional poker player who won the World Series of Poker in 1972 and was elected to the Poker Hall of Fame, dies at 83.
Preston would bet on just about anything, and he mastered the art of elaborating on the truth. Among his many claims laid out on his website are that he played Minnesota Fats in one-pocket billiards using a broomstick; beat tennis player Bobby Riggs at table tennis using an iron skillet; and outran “a horse for a hundred yards (no one ever said nothing about the race being straight-away).” Read more
2012: Kenny Roberts, U.S. country music singer known for the song “I Never See Maggie Alone,” dies at 85.
2006: John Kenneth Galbraith, U.S. economist, public official, and diplomat who was considered the best-known economist during his lifetime, dies at 97.
The Canadian-born Galbraith became one of America’s best-known liberals, and was outspoken in his support of government action to solve social problems. He served as adviser to Democratic presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, and was John F. Kennedy’s ambassador to India. His 1958 book, “The Affluent Society,” caused the country to reconsider its values and helped propel him into the international spotlight. Read more
2005: William Bell, U.S. screenwriter and producer who created the soap operas “Another World,” “The Young and the Restless,” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” dies at 78.
1997: Mike Royko, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. journalist who was a well-known columnist for the Chicago Daily News, Chicago Sun-Times, and Chicago Tribune, dies at 64.
1997: Keith Ferguson, U.S. musician and the bass player for the Fabulous Thunderbirds in the 1970s, dies at 50.
1994: Bill Quinn, U.S. actor who had recurring roles on “All in the Family” and “The Odd Couple,” dies at 81.
1993: Mick Ronson, English guitarist, songwriter, and producer who was in David Bowie’s band as one of the Spiders from Mars and who recorded with Morrissey and John Mellencamp, dies of liver cancer at 46.
Things didn’t really start cooking for Ronson until 1970. First, he played guitar on some tracks for Elton John’s “Tumbleweed Connection” album, which, though it didn’t chart, ranked in Rolling Stone’s 2003 list of the top 500 albums of all time. But the real breakthrough came with David Bowie. Read more
1993: Michael Gordon, U.S. film director whose movies included “Pillow Talk” with Rock Hudson, dies at 83.
1992: Mae Clarke, U.S. actress who played Dr. Frankenstein’s bride in the movie “Frankenstein” with Boris Karloff, dies at 81.
1988: James McCracken, U.S. operatic tenor whom The New York Times called “the most successful dramatic tenor yet produced by the United States,” dies at 61.
1980: Alfred Hitchcock, English film director who was well-known for his psychological thrillers, including the classics “Vertigo,” “Psycho,” “North by Northwest,” and “The Birds,” dies at 80.
When Hitchcock was 5, his father punished him for misbehaving by sending him to the police station with a note asking them to lock him up for 10 minutes. As Hitchcock told it, the police followed through, putting him behind bars briefly, and offering a lecture – and he never forgot it. Wrongful accusation and harsh punishment were frequent themes in his films. Read more
1967: Anthony Mann, U.S. film director who was known for his Western movies with James Stewart, including “The Far Country” and “The Man from Laramie,” dies at 60.
1967: J.B. Lenoir, U.S. blues musician who was active in the Chicago blues scene, dies in an auto accident at 38.
1961: Cisco Houston, U.S. folk musician who influenced many younger folk singers, including Bob Dylan, and who recorded with Woody Guthrie, dies of cancer at 42.
1935: Leroy Carr, U.S. singer-songwriter and pianist who was a pioneer of sophisticated urban blues and was famous for his song “How Long, How Long Blues,” dies at 30.