We remember Patsy Cline and other notable people who were born this day in history.
Patsy Cline became one of the great legends of country music despite her tragically short life. One of the first female stars of the genre, she made history with songs including “Crazy,” “Walkin’ After Midnight” and “I Fall to Pieces.” She was a mentor and nurturer to other young women of country music, helping boost the careers of future stars like Loretta Lynn and Dottie West. Cline’s career was still at its height when she was killed in a plane crash at 30. We remember Cline’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2016: Ray Tomlinson, U.S. computer programmer who implemented the first email program, dies at 74.
2015: Albert Maysles,U.S. documentary filmmaker known for working with his brother David whose films included “Gimme Shelter” about the Rolling Stones, dies at 88.
2015: Jim McCann, Irish folk musician who was a member of the group the Dubliners, dies at 70.
2014: Geoff Edwards, U.S. game show host whose shows included “Jackpot!” and “Treasure Hunt,” dies at 83.
“Geoff was one of the cleverest, funniest radio and television personalities I’ve worked with,” said fellow game show host Wink Martindale, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. The two were DJs at pop radio station KMPC in Los Angeles. Edwards, a native of Westfield, New Jersey, hosted “The New Treasure Hunt,” a revival of a 1950s quiz show, from 1973 to 1977 and hosted “Treasure Hunt” in 1981-82. He also emceed the 1980s game show “Jackpot!” and appeared on other shows including “Starcade.” Read more
2013: Hugo Chávez, president of Venezuela from 1999 until his death, dies of cancer at 58.
2004: Walt Gorney, U.S. actor who appeared in “Friday the 13th” and its first sequel, dies at 91.
1999: Richard Kiley, U.S. actor who won two Tony awards as well as an Emmy Award for his role on the TV series “A Year in the Life,” dies at 76.
1996: Whit Bissell, U.S. actor who appeared on numerous television series and had a key role in the famous Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles,” dies at 86.
1995: Vivian Stanshall, English musician who was part of the popular Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band that had a hit song with “I’m the Urban Spacemen,” dies at 51.
1992: Andrew Samuel, U.S. child actor who was one of the film stars of the early Our Gang series during the silent era, dies at 82.
1990: Gary Merrill, U.S. actor who appeared in many movies, including “All About Eve,” and then married his co-star in that movie, Bette Davis, dies at 74.
Powell starred in dozens of films during Hollywood’s golden age, starting with 1920s silents and moving on to play some of the most sophisticated and debonair heroes of the silver screen in the 1930s and beyond. He was nominated for an Academy Award for best actor three times – the first for his portrayal of detective Nick Charles in “The Thin Man,” delighting audiences as he played opposite Myrna Loy as wife Nora. Charles was one of dozens of charming characters Powell played in a career that spanned decades, and Loy just one of his many lovely leading ladies. Read more
Belushi’s impression of Joe Cocker was an early career catalyst, with Belushi performing it circa 1971 with Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe. A National Lampoon magazine staffer caught wind of Belushi’s energetic, slightly deranged impression and visited Chicago to see it. The staffer came away so impressed that he offered Belushi a job with the Lampoon’s “Lemmings” show in New York. Anyone who hasn’t seen Joe Cocker’s live performances would be excused if they thought Belushi’s performance a little (or a lot) strange. But those in the know can’t stop laughing at Belushi’s bizarre but dead-on take. Read more
1980: Jay Silverheels, Canadian actor well-known for his role as Tonto on “The Lone Ranger” TV Series, dies at 67.
1974: Billy De Wolfe, U.S. actor who had a recurring role on the TV series “The Doris Day Show” and “That Girl,” dies at 67.
1973: Michael Jeffery, English music manager of the English band the Animals and a co-manager of Jimi Hendrix, dies at 39.
1971: Winnie Lightner, U.S. actress known best as gold-digging Mabel in “Gold Diggers of Broadway,” dies at 71.
1967: Mischa Auer, Russian actor who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in “My Man Godfrey,” dies at 61.
1965: Pepper Martin, U.S. third baseman and outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals who helped lead them to two World Series championships, dies at 61.
Cline changed the face of country music. In the genre’s early days, women weren’t the stars. They were backing singers, wives and girlfriends, pretty faces on TV variety shows and at live concerts. Cline changed all that with her powerful voice and timeless songs. Her presence couldn’t be pushed to the background; she was an obvious star. Read more
1963: Hawkshaw Hawkins, U.S. country singer who was popular in the 1950s and ’60s, dies at 41 in a plane crash with Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas.
1963: Cowboy Copas, U.S. country singer who was a member of the Grand Ole Opry, dies at 49 in a plane crash with Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins.
1953: Herman J. Mankiewicz, U.S. screenwriter who co-wrote the movie “Citizen Kane” with Orson Welles, dies at 55.
1953: Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev, Ukrainian composer whose works include “Peter and the Wolf,” dies at 61.
1953: Josef Stalin, Russian leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death, dies at 74.
1827: Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist who invented the battery, dies at 82.
1770: Crispus Attucks, African-American widely considered the first casualty of the U.S. Revolutionary War, dies at 47.