We remember animator William Hanna and other notable people who died this day in history.
Animator William Hanna picked up seven Oscars and eight Emmys for his work with Joseph Barbera. The two collaborated on classic series like “Tom and Jerry” and formed their own animation studio, producing some of the most beloved cartoons of the 1960s. Their characters became worldwide icons and spawned countless merchandising tie-ins and adaptations to other media, while endless syndication kept their programs in the public eye for decades. We remember Hanna’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2018: Johan van Hulst, Dutch principal who saved the lives of hundreds of children during the Holocaust, dies at 107.
2016: Phife Dawg, U.S. rapper and a founding member of the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, dies at 45.
Dawg, who was born Malik Isaac Taylor Nov. 20, 1970, formed the chart-topping group with his high school classmates Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Kamaal Ibn John Fareed, formerly Jonathan Davis, who took the stage name Q-Tip. Jarobi White was also involved at the beginning, but only for a short time. Read more
2016: Rita Gam, U.S. actress who was most popular in the 1950s, dies at 88.
2016: Rob Ford, Canadian mayor of Toronto, Ontario, who was known for his controversial situations, dies at 46.
During her early film career, she worked alongside actors such as Doris Day, Kirk Douglas, and Randolph Scott. In 1960, she played Frank Sinatra’s girlfriend in the original version of “Ocean’s 11.” She met her future husband when she was cast as the female lead in the 1950 Western “Rocky Mountain.” When they began filming near Gallup, New Mexico, the 21-year-old actress knew little of the handsome Flynn, then an established 41-year-old star known for his roles in “Robin Hood” and “Captain Blood.” Their 1950 marriage in France was her first and his third. Read more
2013: Ray Williams, U.S. NBA point guard who played for the New York Knicks and other teams and averaged more than 15 points a game in his career, dies at 58.
2013: Bebo Valdes, Cuba pianist and bandleader who was a central figure during the golden age of Cuban music, dies at 94.
2013: Christa Speck, German actress and model who was the 1962 Playboy Playmate of the Year and the wife of television producer Marty Kroftt, dies at 70.
2010: James Black, Scottish Nobel Prize-winning pharmacologist who established the physiology department at the University of Glasgow, dies at 85.
2009: Steven Doll, U.S. professional wrestler who wrestled in the World Wrestling Federation under the name Steven Dunn, dies at 48.
2005: Rod Price, English guitarist known best for playing in the band Foghat, dies at 57.
2004: Ahmed Yassin, Palestinian founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, dies at 67 in an Israeli missile attack.
2001: William Hanna, U.S. animator who formed a partnership with Joseph Barbera to create Hanna-Barbera – which became one of the most successful animation studios, producing cartoons including “The Flintstones,” “The Jetsons,” and “Scooby-Doo” – dies at 90.
1999: David Strickland, U.S. actor known best for playing reporter Todd Stities on the sitcom “Suddenly Susan,” dies by suicide at 29.
1996: Billy Williamson, U.S. guitar player for Bill Haley and His Comets, dies at 71.
1996: Don Murray, U.S. drummer for the folk-rock group the Turtles, dies at 50.
He worked on the “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” series with Walt Disney, and in 1935 was able to secure a deal with Universal that allowed him to retain ownership of his cartoons. That agreement proved lucrative for Lantz in 1939, when the donation of a panda to the Chicago Zoo inspired Lantz and his team to create Andy Panda, who became Lantz’s first hit character. Andy Panda was soon joined by the hyperactive Woody Woodpecker in the 1940 short “Knock Knock.” CBS Sunday Morning profiled the jubilant character, including the source of Woody’s voice: Lantz’s wife, Grace. Read more
1994: Dan Hartman, U.S. singer and songwriter who had a hit song with “I Can Dream About You” and wrote and sang “Free Ride” as a member of the Edgar Winter Group, dies of AIDS at 43.
1991: Gloria Holden, U.S. actress known best for her role as the title character in the movie “Dracula’s Daughter,” dies at 87.
1991: Dave Guard, U.S. guitarist, vocalist, and a founding member of the Kingston Trio folk group that recorded many hit songs including “Tom Dooley,” dies at 56.
1986: Charles Starrett, U.S. actor remembered best for playing the title role in “The Durango Kid” movie series, dies at 82.
1986: Mark Dinning, U.S. singer who cut a No. 1 hit song in 1960 with “Teen Angel,” dies at 52.
1986: Olive Deering, U.S. actress who played Miriam in the movie “The Ten Commandments,” dies at 67.
1978: Karl Wallenda, German tightrope walker and founder of the Flying Wallendas, dies during a stunt at 78.
For generations, the Wallendas have performed high-wire acts without a net, guided and inspired by patriarch Karl Wallenda. A circus performer from early childhood, he founded the troupe that would achieve world fame and break record after record. Some of those death-defying achievements belonged to Karl himself – as when he broke the world skywalk distance record by walking 1,800 feet on a high-wire at King’s Island. Even when he didn’t set a new standard on the high-wire for highest or longest, he dazzled and amazed, performing stunts like a midair headstand. Read more
1974: Peter Revson, U.S. race car driver who won the British Grand Prix in 1973, dies during a practice-run crash at 35.
1966: John Harlin, U.S. Air Force pilot and mountaineer, dies at 30 while making an ascent of the north face of the Eiger in the Swiss Alps.
When producer Mike Todd married actress Elizabeth Taylor, it was the third marriage for both, and the only one for either that did not end in divorce. Taylor and Todd married in a civil ceremony in Acapulco, just weeks after her divorce from actor Michael Wilding. Taylor’s future husband Eddie Fisher stood as Todd’s best man; Fisher’s wife, Debbie Reynolds, was matron of honor. Read more