Clarice Taylor was nominated for an Emmy as the lovable mother of Heathcliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.” We remember Taylor and other notable people who died this day, May 30, in history.
2016: Rick MacLeish, Canadian NHL forward who won two Stanley Cup championships with the Philadelphia Flyers, dies at 66.
2015: Beau Biden, U.S. lawyer and son of Vice President Joe Biden, dies at 46.
2012: Jack Twyman, U.S. NBA Hall of Fame forward who played for the Cincinnati Royals, averaged more than 19 points a game, and was a six-time All-Star, dies at 78.
Twyman played for the University of Cincinnati and spent 11 seasons in the NBA with the Rochester, New York, and Cincinnati Royals. He averaged a career-high 31.2 points per game in the 1959-60 season, and he played in six All-Star games. In 1958, after teammate Maurice Stokes was left paralyzed after a head injury sustained during a game, Twyman became his legal guardian to help Stokes receive medical benefits. Read more
He took a creative approach to stringing and tuning his guitars, and liberally applied the distortion pedal to his licks. He started to develop his unique sound as a teenager in Arizona, where he would play in the mountains near Phoenix, according to a Chicago Tribune article. His explorations of sound drew the attention of one of jazz’s legendary minds, Miles Davis. Read more
2011: Clarice Taylor, U.S. actress known best for her recurring role on television as Cliff Huxtable’s mom on “The Cosby Show,” dies at 93.
Taylor was nominated for an Emmy as the lovable mother of Heathcliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.” Before her big break, Taylor worked for the U.S. Postal Service, but she left her job behind to pursue acting full time in the 1960s. She worked with filmmakers Otto Preminger and Clint Eastwood during her career and also appeared as Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, in “The Wiz.” She won the Obie Award for her one-woman show, “Moms,” in 1987, and she appeared on “Sesame Street” as a grandmother to one of the young actors.
2006: Robert Sterling, U.S. actor who starred on the television series “Topper” with his wife, Anne Jeffreys, dies at 88.
2005: Alma Ziegler, U.S. baseball player who played infielder and pitcher positions in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and was a four-time All-Star, dies at 87.
2003: Mickie Most, English record producer who worked with the Animals, Herman’s Hermits, and Donovan, dies at 64.
2000: Tex Beneke, U.S. saxophonist and bandleader known for his work with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, dies at 86.
1993: Sun Ra, U.S. jazz composer, bandleader, and pianist known for his cosmic music compositions, dies at 79.
Legendary jazz pianist Sun Ra was born in Birmingham, Alabama. Or maybe not. As Ra said of himself in 1998, “I’m a psychic being, and you know, we don’t concern ourselves with being born; we concern ourselves with being eternal.” The man was a conundrum, exhibiting equal parts genius and madness. Read more
1986: Perry Ellis, U.S. fashion designer who created the popular line of men’s clothing that features his name, dies at 46.
1977: Paul Desmond, U.S. jazz saxophonist known best for his work in the Dave Brubeck Quartet and for writing their signature hit, “Take Five,” dies at 52.
1976: Max Carey, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame center fielder who led the league in stolen bases 10 times, dies at 86.
1975: Steve Prefontaine, U.S. runner who held many American records during his track career, dies in an auto accident at 24.
“Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints,” Prefontaine said. “I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race, it’s a style.” Read more
1967: Claude Rains, English actor who was the star of the movie “The Invisible Man” and also had roles in such movies as “Casablanca” and “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” dies at 77.
1955: Bill Vukovich, U.S. race car driver who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1953 and 1954, dies at 36 in a crash during the Indy 500 while leading the race.
1953: Dooley Wilson, U.S. actor and singer remembered best for his role as Sam the nightclub piano player and singer in the classic movie “Casablanca,” dies at 67.
1912: Wilbur Wright, U.S. inventor who along with brother Orville was credited with creation of the first successful airplane, dies at 45.
1911: Milton Bradley, U.S. inventor and board-game pioneer, dies at 74.
1778: Voltaire, French writer and philosopher known for his advocacy of freedom of religion and separation of church and state, dies at 83.
1431: Joan of Arc, French heroine and Roman Catholic saint who fought in the Hundred Years’ War against England, is burned at the stake at 19.