We remember Randy Rhoads and other notable people who died this day in history.
Randy Rhoads was one of the great metal guitarists of all time – many even consider him among the best guitarists in any genre. Playing with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot, he used his background in classical music to create a new sound that combined classical skills with heavy metal sounds. The result proved amazing and influential, leaving a mark on rock music that has lasted long after Rhoads’ untimely death in a plane crash. We remember Rhoads’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2015: Michael Brown, U.S. keyboardist and songwriter known best as the principal songwriter in his band, the Left Banke, dies at 65.
Born Michael Lookofsky, Brown grew up in Brooklyn. A keyboardist and songwriter for the band the Left Banke, he co-wrote the 1966 hit “Walk Away Renee.” The Left Banke’s biggest hit, it rose to No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Read more
2013: Lester Lewis, U.S. television writer who penned scripts for “The Office” (U.S. version) and “The Larry Sanders Show,” dies at 46.
Clarke was a scientific visionary, recluse, and writer of more than 100 books, including “Childhood’s End” and “Rendezvous with Rama.” He served on the British Interplanetary Society and predicted numerous innovations to come, including satellite telecommunications and man landing on the moon. Yet he’s best remembered for “2001: A Space Odyssey”—a collaboration with director Stanley Kubrick for which he simultaneously wrote the screen story and novel. Why is it this film, and not his other works, that we so remember him for? Read more
2008: Paul Scofield, English actor who won an Academy Award for the film “A Man for All Seasons,” dies at 86.
Scofield made few films even after the Oscar for his 1966 portrayal of Tudor statesman Sir Thomas More. He was a stage actor by inclination and by his gifts – a dramatic, craggy face and an unforgettable voice that was likened to a Rolls Royce starting up or the rumbling sound of low organ pipes. Read more
2007: Luther Ingram, U.S. soul singer who had a hit song in 1972 with “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right,” dies at 69.
Ingram recorded with Decca Records in New York and in 1965 wrote and sang “I Spy for the FBI” with his brothers in their group, Luther Ingram and the G-Men, for Smash Records, part of the Mercury label. He eventually had a 5-year association with Memphis-based Stax Records during the height of its commercial success. In 1971, Ingram and songwriter-performer Sir Mack Rice (“Mustang Sally”) co-wrote “Respect Yourself” for the Staple Singers, the biggest hit Stax ever had. Read more
2007: Calvert DeForest, U.S. actor well-known for his role as Larry “Bud” Melman on “Late Night With David Letterman,” dies at 85.
He made dozens of appearances on Letterman’s shows from 1982 through 2002, handling a variety of twisted duties: dueting with Sonny Bono on “I Got You, Babe,” doing a Mary Tyler Moore impression during a visit to Minneapolis, handing out hot towels to arrivals at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. “Everyone always wondered if Calvert was an actor playing a character, but in reality he was just himself – a genuine, modest, and nice man,” Letterman said in a statement. Read more
2005: John DeLorean, U.S. automobile engineer who created the Pontiac GTO muscle car and founded the DeLorean Motor Co., dies at 80.
DeLorean, whose namesake car was turned into a time machine in the “Back to the Future” movies, was among just a handful of U.S. entrepreneurs who dared start a car company in the last 75 years. DeLorean “broke the mold” of staid Midwestern auto executives by pushing General Motors Corp. to offer smaller models, auto historians said. Read more
2000: Joanne Weaver, U.S. baseball player who was a right fielder in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during the 1950s, dies at 64.
1997: Willem de Kooning, Dutch painter and well-known abstract artist, dies at 92.
1993: Jeff Ward, U.S. drummer for Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, dies by suicide at 30.
1992: Cesare Danova, Italian actor who appeared in movies such as “Viva Las Vegas” and is remembered for his role as Mayor Carmine DePasto in “Animal House,” dies at 66.
1990: Andrew Wood, U.S. rock musician who was the lead singer of the Seattle band Mother Love Bone, dies of an overdose at 24.
1987: Tony Stratton-Smith, U.S. rock manager and record company owner who founded Charisma Records and who signed the then-unknown band Genesis, dies at 53.
1987: Emile Meyer, U.S. actor who was known for playing tough characters in films such as “Shane” and “Sweet Smell of Success,” dies at 76.
1982: Randy Rhoads, U.S. rock guitarist who was in Quiet Riot and later a member of Ozzy Osbourne’s band, dies in an air crash at 25.
1979: Richard Beckinsale, English actor who was on the popular BBC sitcom “Porridge” and is the father of actress Kate Beckinsale, dies of a heart attack at 31.
1979: Al Hodge, U.S. actor known best for playing Captain Video on the 1950s TV series “Captain Video and His Video Rangers,” dies at 65.
1976: Paul Kossoff, U.S. rock guitarist known best for being a member of the band Free, dies of heart failure at 25.
1974: Edward Platt, U.S. actor well-known for his role as Chief on the TV comedy “Get Smart,” dies at 58.
1974: Anne Klein, U.S. fashion designer who started her own line of women’s apparel, dies at 50.
Klein was one of the great fashion designers of the mid-20th century, creating styles that actually worked for the average American woman. She built her fame with Junior Sophisticates, a 1940s line of clothing that offered young women a new silhouette based on adult clothing rather than the cutesy children’s clothes they had typically worn until adulthood. The concept took off, and its success propelled Klein toward designing women’s sportswear and more. Read more
1950: Edgar Rice Burroughs, U.S. science fiction author known best for the “Tarzan” novels, dies at 74.
1944: William Hale Thompson, U.S. politician who was the mayor of Chicago from 1915 to 1923 and from 1927 to 1931, whose tenure was known for corruption, dies at 74.