We remember famous people who died this day, October 31, in history, including River Phoenix.
2020: Sean Connery, actor who became a superstar for his portrayal of James Bond in “Dr. No” and six other films in the classic spy series, dies at 90.
2018: Willie McCovey, baseball legend for the San Francisco Giants who belted more than 500 home runs, dies at 80.
Brad Halsey, U.S. professional baseball player with the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Oakland Athletics, dies of injuries sustained in a fall at 33.
In 2004, Halsey dueled Boston ace Pedro Martinez into the middle innings in a game highlighted by Derek Jeter’s diving catch into the stands at Yankee Stadium. In 2006, Halsey gave up Barry Bonds’ 714th home run, tying Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Halsey later joked about the specially marked balls for Bonds’ at-bats.
Bobby Parker, U.S. blues-rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter known best for his 1961 song “Watch Your Step,” dies at 76.
Teri Shields, U.S. actress and producer who was the mother of actress Brooke Shields, dies at 79.
Teri Shields launched daughter Brooke’s on-camera career when she was a baby and managed the young star into her 20s, sometimes with controversy, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. Read more
Ted Sorensen, lawyer and Presidential adviser who served as speechwriter for John F. Kennedy, dies at 82 of complications from a stroke.
Of the courtiers to Camelot’s king, special counsel Sorensen ranked just below Kennedy’s brother Bobby. He was the adoring, tireless speechwriter and confidant to a president whose term was marked by Cold War struggles, growing civil rights strife and the beginnings of the U.S. intervention in Vietnam. Some of Kennedy’s most memorable speeches, from his inaugural address to his vow to place a man on the moon, resulted from such close collaborations with Sorensen that scholars debated who wrote what. Read more
Maurice Lucas, legendary power forward for the Portland Trailblazers who was known as “The Enforcer and helped the team win their only NBA title, dies at 58.
Studs Terkel, U.S. author and broadcaster who won a Pulitzer Prize for “The Good War” and hosted a popular radio show in Chicago, dies at 96.
Most of the people he interviewed were everyday people with ordinary lives –– what he called “the etcetera of history.” Though the topics of his books were very different, Terkel used simple, direct questions: “What do you think about …?” “What’s it like …?” “Tell me about your day. What goes on in your mind?” Read more
Ring Lardner Jr., U.S. screenwriter of “The Cincinnati Kid” and “M*A*S*H,” dies at 85.
Rosalind Cash, U.S. actress who starred opposite Charlton Heston in “The Omega Man,” dies of cancer at 56.
River Phoenix, U.S. actor who starred in “Stand by Me,” “Running on Empty,” and other films, dies at 23.
When Phoenix died Oct. 31, 1993, he was only 23 and at the peak of his career. A movie star, a singer and an activist, he had recently completed movies and had new projects in the works. His death was a shock to his friends and fans alike. Read more
Federico Fellini, Italian filmmaker who won five Academy awards, dies at 73.
John Houseman, U.S. actor known best for starring in “The Paper Chase,” dies at 86.
Indira Gandhi, the first female prime minister of India, is assassinated at 66.
George Halas, U.S. football coach and longtime owner of the Chicago Bears, dies at 88.
Perhaps no figure has defined a franchise as much as George “Papa Bear” Halas did the Chicago Bears. During 63 years as their owner, 40 as their coach, and 10 as a player, he helped bring the Bears eight NFL championships and 324 victories, and was a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Read more
Harry Houdini, legendary Hungarian-born illusionist and escape artist, dies at 52.
Leave it to Harry Houdini to die on Halloween. After all, the world-famous magician wasn’t just noted for his sleight-of-hand and escape-artist abilities. He also had a keen, and very public, interest in the spiritual world. His most prominent hobby was debunking psychics and mediums. So for Houdini to pass through the veil on Halloween – the day when the spirit world is said to be closest to ours – was, honestly, almost too obvious. Read more
Egon Schiele, Austrian painter who was a protégé of Gustav Klimt, dies at 28 of the Spanish flu.