We remember Chuck Berry and other notable people who died this day in history.
Chuck Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) may not have single-handedly invented Rock and Roll but we wouldn’t have it without him. Berry combined rhythm and blues with his love of country music to become one of the pioneers of rock. Berry brought showmanship to the stage with tight guitar solos and signature moves like his duckwalk. Berry was also one of the first great storytellers of rock, writing songs about teenage life. The Beatles covered his songs “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Rock and Roll Music.” John Lennon said, “if you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’. We remember his life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2020: Alfred Worden, astronaut who orbited the moon as the command pilot for Apollo 15, dies at 88.
2017: Chuck Berry, legendary pioneering rock and roll star dies at 90.
2013: Henry Bromell, U.S. writer who penned scripts for many TV series including “Northern Exposure” and “Homeland,” for which he also served as executive producer, dies at 65.
Bromell shared in Emmy and Golden Globe best-drama awards for Showtime’s “Homeland.” In 1992, he won a Humanitas Prize, given to work that meaningfully explores the human condition, for the TV drama “I’ll Fly Away.” Bromell was “an immensely talented and prolific” writer and producer, Showtime said in a statement. His other TV credits included “Northern Exposure,” “Chicago Hope,” “Rubicon,” and “Brotherhood.” Read more
2011: Warren Christopher, U.S. politician who served as secretary of state during President Bill Clinton’s first term, dies at 85.
The attorney turned envoy traveled tirelessly to Bosnia and the Middle East on peace missions during his 1993-1996 tenure — including some two dozen to Syria alone, in a futile effort to promote a settlement with Israel. After his work finished carrying out the Clinton administration agenda abroad, the longtime Californian returned home for an active life in local and national affairs and with his law firm. Read more
2010: Fess Parker, U.S. actor who was well-known for his starring television roles on “Davy Crockett” and then “Daniel Boone,” dies at 85.
Forty years after he’d made his name portraying Davy Crockett, Parker still had fans seeking autographs and photos. But they wouldn’t go to the Walt Disney lot in Hollywood, California, to find him. Instead, they’d travel farther north to the tasting room at the Fess Parker Winery near Santa Barbara, California, where the actor turned vintner signed autographs, shook hands, and posed for photos. Read more
2009: Natasha Richardson, English actress who had roles in the movies “Nell” and “The Parent Trap” and was the wife of actor Liam Neeson, dies after falling while skiing at 45.
More than five years after her death from a brain injury, the memory of actress and activist Natasha Richardson continues to inspire. The Tony Award-winning actress was born into a film and theater dynasty, the daughter of director Tony Richardson and screen icon Vanessa Redgrave, and she brought an amazing talent to every role she played. Read more
2008: Anthony Minghella, English film director who won an Academy Award for “The English Patient,” dies at 54.
“The English Patient,” the 1996 World War II drama, won nine Academy awards, including best director for Minghella, and best picture and best supporting actress for Juliette Binoche. Based on the celebrated novel by Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje, the movie tells of a burn victim’s tortured recollections of his wartime misdeeds. Minghella also was nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay for “The English Patient,” and for his screenplay for “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Read more
2008: Andrew Britton, U.S. author of spy novels including The New York Times best-seller “The Assassin,” dies of a heart condition at 27.
2001: John Phillips, U.S. musician who was a member of the Mamas and the Papas, dies at 65.
1998: Billy Butterfield, U.S. jazz trumpeter who played with Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman, dies at 71.
1991: Vilma Banky, Hungarian film actress in the silent era who was known best for her role opposite Rudolph Valentino in “The Son of the Sheik,” dies at 90.
1990: Robin Harris, U.S. actor who starred as the father in the movie “House Party,” dies of a heart attack at 36.
1986: Bernard Malamud, U.S. writer well-known for his novel “The Natural,” which was turned into a popular movie with Robert Redford, dies at 71.
1984: Charlie Lau, U.S. Major League Baseball coach and renowned hitting instructor who coached George Brett for Kansas City and Harold Baines for the Chicago White Sox, among others, dies at 50.
1978: Peggy Wood, U.S. actress who starred on the 1950s sitcom “Mama,” dies at 86.
1976: James McCartney, English father of Paul McCartney, dies at 73.
1969: Barbara Bates, U.S. actress known for her role as Phoebe in the movie “All About Eve,” dies at 43.
1963: Wanda Hawley, U.S. film star of the silent era whose credits include a number of Cecil B. DeMille films, dies at 67.