Dizzy Gillespie was one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time. We remember Gillespie’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Dizzy Gillespie was one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time. Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser, adding layers of harmonic complexity previously unheard in jazz. His beret and horn-rimmed spectacles, his scat singing, his bent horn, pouched cheeks, and winning personality were essential in popularizing bebop.We remember Gillespie’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2016: Pat Harrington, U.S. actor best known for playing Schneider on the sitcom “One Day at a Time,” dies at 86.
As the building superintendent, Schneider was handy with a hammer and nails, but he fancied himself a ladies man and an advice guru, offering tips to the tenants. None was too keen on taking his advice, and his advances toward his female neighbors were rebuffed, too. Harrington played the character with funny smarminess, and his performance made him a star. Read more
2014: Larry Mann, Canadian character actor who provided the voice of Yukon Cornelius in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” dies of age-related causes at 91.
2012: Louise Annand-MacFarquhar, Scottish painter and filmmaker, dies at 96.
2007: “Sneaky Pete” Kleinow, U.S. guitarist with the Flying Burrito Brothers and a film special-effects artist, dies at 72.
2006: Lou Rawls, U.S. rhythm and blues singer whose records sold more than 60 million copies, dies of cancer at 72.
Frank Sinatra once said that Rawls had “the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game.” That velvety voice sounds good throughout the year, though never quite as wonderful as during the holidays. Read more
2004: Francesco Scavullo, U.S. photographer known best for his celebrity portraits, dies at 82.
2000: Don Martin, U.S. cartoonist known for his work in Mad magazine, dies of cancer at 68.
1997: Catherine Scorsese, U.S. actress who was the mother of director Martin Scorsese and appeared in many of his films, dies at 84.
1997: Vince Williams, U.S. actor known best as Hampton Speakes on the soap opera “Guiding Light,” dies of colon cancer at 39.
1994: Virginia Kelley Clinton, mother of President Bill Clinton, dies of cancer at 70.
1993: Rudolph Nureyev, Russian ballet dancer who was one of the most celebrated of his time, dies of AIDS at 54.
1993: John “Dizzy” Gillespie, U.S. jazz trumpeter considered one of the all-time greats, dies of pancreatic cancer at 75.
What was the story with Dizzy’s horn? According to Gillespie, things got a little rowdy at a 1953 birthday party for his wife, and a pair of dancers fell on the instrument. Out of necessity, Gillespie finished the night’s performance with the damaged horn … and he found that he liked the sound the banged-up trumpet created. He had it straightened the next day, but he couldn’t forget the bent horn’s tone. So he commissioned a reproduction of the damaged trumpet, which he played for the rest of his career. Read more
1990: Ian Charleson, Scottish actor who was in the films “Gandhi” and “Chariots of Fire,” dies of AIDS at 40.
1985: Robert H.W. Welch Jr., U.S. businessman and founder of the conservative John Birch Society, dies at 85.
1984: Ernest Laszlo, Hungarian-American Oscar-winning cinematographer, dies at 85.
1975: Noel Madison, U.S. character actor who appeared in more than 75 films, dies at 77.
1919: Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States from 1901 to1909, dies of a blood clot that entered his lungs at 60.