Lauren Bacall was one of the great stars of film noir, a talented beauty with an unforgettably sultry voice. We remember Bacall’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Lauren Bacall was one of the great stars of film noir, a talented beauty with an unforgettably sultry voice. Known for her trademark “Look” – chin tucked down, eyes gazing up at the camera – Bacall starred in a number of films with Humphrey Bogart, including “To Have and Have Not,” “The Big Sleep,” and “Key Largo,” and their onscreen chemistry carried over into real life, in which they began an affair after their first movie together and were eventually married. Bacall’s other cinematic successes include “How To Marry a Millionaire” with Marilyn Monroe and “The Shootist” with John Wayne. We remember Bacall’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2014: Lauren Bacall, U.S. actress who won a Golden Globe for her performance in “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” dies at 89.
She was among the last of the old-fashioned Hollywood stars and her legend, and the legend of “Bogie and Bacall” — the hard-boiled couple who could fight and make up with the best of them — started almost from the moment she appeared on screen. A fashion model and bit-part New York actress before moving to Hollywood at 19, Bacall achieved immediate fame in 1944 with one scene in her first film, “To Have and Have Not.” Read more
2010: Richie Hayward, U.S. musician who was a founding member and drummer for the band Little Feat and performed with Bob Dylan and Buddy Guy, dies of complications from pneumonia at 64.
Hayward helped form Little Feat in 1969, along with frontman Lowell George, Bill Payne, and Roy Estrada. The jam band mixed a variety of genres including rock, country, jazz, and blues, and was known for songs like “Willin.” The group fell apart in 1979 after George died, but reformed in 1987, and had been a fixture on the touring circuit, according to Hayward’s obituary by The Associated Press. Besides his work with Little Feat, Hayward also performed with acts including Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, Buddy Guy, and Barbra Streisand. Read more
2009: Les Paul, U.S. guitarist, songwriter, and inventor who had many hit records with his wife, Mary Ford, including “How High the Moon,” and who created one of the first solid-body electric guitars, dies of complications from pneumonia at 94.
In the 1960s, British guitarists began discovering the hard-rock potential of Gibson Les Paul guitars. The instruments were suitable for such music in part because of their propensity to distort when played at high volume. Keith Richards was the first, returning from the Rolling Stones’ 1964 U.S. tour with a 1959 Sunburst model. A couple of years later, Eric Clapton recorded with one. Soon Mick Taylor, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page began using Les Paul guitars, and the demand shot up exponentially. Read more
2007: Merv Griffin, U.S. television host, actor, singer, and producer known best for hosting his own talk show, “The Merv Griffin Show,” and for creating the game shows “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune,” dies of prostate cancer at 82.
From his beginning as a $100-a-week San Francisco radio singer, Griffin moved on as vocalist for Freddy Martin’s band, sometime film actor in films, and TV game and talk show host. His “The Merv Griffin Show” lasted more than 20 years, and Griffin said his capacity to listen contributed to his success. “If the host is sitting there thinking about his next joke, he isn’t listening,” Griffin reasoned in an interview. But his biggest break financially came from inventing and producing the television quiz shows “Jeopardy!” in the 1960s and “Wheel of Fortune” in the 1970s. Read more
2002: Enos Slaughter, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder and 10-time All-Star known best for his time playing with the St. Louis Cardinals, dies of non-Hodgkin lymphoma at 86.
When World War II broke out, Slaughter served three years in the U.S. Army Air Force. He returned to the Cardinals and would play for them until 1954. Slaughter was a key member of their 1942 World Series winning team, and his run that helped the Cardinals bring home the Series in 1946 remains one of the most memorable in Series history, going down in baseball lore as “Slaughter’s Mad Dash.” Read more
2000: Loretta Young, U.S. actress who won the Academy Award for her role in “The Farmer’s Daughter” and had her own TV series, “The Loretta Young Show,” dies of ovarian cancer at 87.
1997: Luther Allison, U.S. blues guitarist who played with Howlin’ Wolf’s band and then had a successful solo career, dies of lung cancer at 57.
1990: Dorothy Mackaill, U.S. actress who was a film star during the silent and early talkie periods, dies at 87.
1990: Sara Seegar, U.S. actress known best for her role as Mrs. Wilson during the final season of the TV sitcom “Dennis the Menace,” dies of a brain bleed at 76.
1988: Jean-Michel Basquiat, U.S. artist known initially for his graffiti in New York City, whose paintings later appeared in top art galleries and who created a series of paintings with Andy Warhol, dies of a heroin overdose at 27.
1984: Lenny Breau, U.S. guitarist known for blending many different styles of music, who won the admiration of many top guitar players and recorded an album with country guitar legend Chet Atkins, dies at 43.
1982: Henry Fonda, U.S. actor who was a longtime Hollywood star and starred in such movies as “The Grapes of Wrath,” “Mister Roberts,” and “On Golden Pond,” dies of chronic heart disease at 77.
After several years on the stage and a gradual entrance to the movie biz, Fonda first hit it big with what has become an iconic role: Tom Joad in “The Grapes of Wrath.” For the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning John Steinbeck novel, Fonda almost didn’t get the role; producers wanted heartthrob Tyrone Power to play the Depression-era farmer’s son who migrates with his family from Oklahoma to California in search of work. But Fonda was given the opportunity. His performance earned him an Oscar nomination and helped make the highly acclaimed film a classic. Read more
1964: Ian Fleming, English author known for his James Bond series of spy novels, dies at 56.
1944: Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., U.S. Navy officer who was the oldest brother of President John F. Kennedy, is killed in action during World War II at 29.
1918: Anna Held, Polish actress who was a star of the stage and was remembered for her relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld, dies at 46.
1904: William Renshaw, English tennis player who won the Wimbledon singles title seven times, a record he shares to this day with Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, dies at 43.
30 B.C.: Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, dies by suicide after the death of her lover, Mark Antony, during the final war of the Roman Republic at 39.