José Ferrer was a Puerto Rican actor and director of film and theater. We remember Ferrer’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
José Ferrer was a Puerto Rican actor and director of film and theater. He was the first Puerto Rican actor, as well as the first Hispanic actor, to win an Academy Award. He won for his performance in “Cyrano de Bergerac” in 1950. We remember Ferrer’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2017: Barbara Hale, The actress who won an Emmy Award for playing legal secretary Della Street on the long-running “Perry Mason” television series, dies at 94.
2017: Mike Connors, the B-movie actor who found stardom on the long-running detective series “Mannix,” dies at 91.
2016: Abe Vigoda, U.S. character actor known best for his role as Detective Sergeant Phil Fish on the TV sitcom “Barney Miller,” dies at 94.
Vigoda began acting as a young man and took numerous roles in the early days of his career, but it wasn’t until 1972 – two and a half decades after his first professional work in 1947 – that he got his big break. That break was thanks to Francis Ford Coppola, who had a role for Vigoda in his upcoming film, “The Godfather.” The role was Salvatore Tessio, a Mafia capo who betrays the Corleone family. Read more
2012: Robert Hegyes, U.S. actor known best for playing Epstein on “Welcome Back, Kotter,” dies of cardiac arrest at 60.
“Kotter’s” Juan Epstein was known for the excuse notes he presented to his teacher – ostensibly written by his mother and signed “Epstein’s Mother,” though Epstein clearly wrote them himself. That became even more obvious when Epstein would lip-sync along with each note, which he knew by heart after composing it, while Kotter read it aloud. Read more
2011: Gladys Horton, U.S. musician and singer known for being the lead vocalist in the Marvelettes, dies at 65 after having a stroke.
Horton was a teenager in the Detroit suburb of Inkster when she and friends formed a group they called “the Casinyets,” short for “Can’t Sing Yet.” By the time she was 15, Motown had given the group a new name and a hit song in “Please Mr. Postman.” The tune, more pop-oriented than much of Motown’s early recordings, was covered later by the Beatles and others. Read more
2011: Charlie Louvin, influential U.S. country music singer-songwriter who was a member of the Louvin Brothers, dies of complications of pancreatic cancer at 83.
According to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the unique sound of Charlie and his brother, Ira, proved highly influential in the genre’s history. The hall inducted them in 2001. Among their hits were “I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby,” which reached No. 1 in 1965; “When I Stop Dreaming”; “Hoping That You’re Hoping”; and “You’re Running Wild.” The brothers decided to disband their duo in 1963. Two years later, Ira died in a Missouri car accident. Charlie recalled later that differences in personality and Ira’s drinking created friction between them, but he also said they probably would have reunited had Ira survived. Read more
2008: Christian Brando, U.S. actor and troubled eldest son of Marlon Brando, dies of pneumonia at 49.
2007: Gump Worsley, Canadian NHL goalie and Hockey Hall of Famer who played without a mask, dies after having a heart attack at 77.
2001: Al McGuire, U.S. college basketball coach who led Marquette University to its only national championship and then became a television announcer for college basketball, dies at 72 after being diagnosed with leukemia.
2000: Don Budge, U.S. tennis player who was a world No. 1 player for five years, dies at 84 about a month after being injured in a one-car accident.
1998: Shinichi Suzuki, Japanese music teacher who created the popular Suzuki instructional method, dies at 99.
1996: David Schultz, U.S. wrestler who won the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, is shot to death by his athletic sponsor John du Pont at 36.
1993: Jan Gies, Dutch resistance fighter who helped hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazi persecution, dies of kidney failure at 87.
1992: José Ferrer, actor and director who was the first Latino actor to win an Oscar for his role in “Cyrano de Bergerac,” dies after a brief illness at 80.
1983: Paul “Bear” Bryant, Legendary college football coach for the University of Alabama who won six national championships, dies of a heart attack at 69.
Bryant remains an icon – for his houndstooth hat, stoic demeanor, and winning ways – and many still consider him the greatest college coach in the game’s history. During his quarter of a century as head coach at Alabama, he led the Crimson Tide to six national championships and 13 Southeastern Conference championships. When he retired at the end of the 1982 season, just weeks before he died, he was the all-time winningest coach in college football history. Read more
1979: Nelson Rockefeller, U.S. businessman and politician who was the governor of New York from 1959 to 1973, dies of a heart attack at 70.
1977: Margaret Hayes, U.S. TV and film actress who played the school teacher in “Blackboard Jungle,” dies at 60.
1973: Edward G. Robinson, Romanian-American actor who was a Hollywood star and appeared in such movies as “Little Caesar” and “Double Indemnity,” dies of cancer at 79.
1962: Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Sicilian-born Mafia boss who is considered the father of modern organized crime in the U.S., dies at 64.
1933: Alva Belmont, U.S. socialite who was a major figure in the women’s suffrage movement, dies of heart and lung ailments at 80.
1893: Abner Doubleday, career U.S. Army officer and the supposed creator of the game of baseball, dies at 73.