Fernando Lamas was a popular leading man of the 1950s, starring in films such as “Dangerous When Wet.” The Argentine-born actor was known as a Latin Lover, a stereotype that had its origin in both Lamas’ homeland and his well-deserved reputation as a ladies’ man. Beloved for his debonair good looks, Lamas carefully cultivated them, and his quote, “It is better to look good than to feel good,” inspired Billy Crystal to create his over-the-top character Fernando for “Saturday Night Live.” The character’s other signature line, “You look mahvelous,” wouldn’t have sounded so out of place coming from Lamas. We remember Lamas’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2020: Whitey Ford, legendary Hall of Fame pitcher who helped lead the New York Yankees to six World Series titles.
2015: Paul Prudhomme, U.S. chef who popularized Cajun cuisine, dies at 75.
2015: Lindy Infante, U.S. head coach in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts, dies at 75.
2013: Andy Pafko, U.S. Major League Baseball outfielder who was a five-time All-Star with the Chicago Cubs, dies at 92.
A fan favorite known for his dogged play and diving catches, Pafko played with Jackie Robinson for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1951 to 1952, and with Hank Aaron as a Milwaukee Brave from 1954-59, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. But he is perhaps remembered best as being part of one of the most famous games in baseball history, when Bobby Thomson’s three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth gave the New York Giants the win in the decisive Game 3 of their National League playoff against the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds. Read more
2011: Al Davis, U.S. football executive and coach known best as the owner of the Oakland Raiders from 1972 until 2011, whose catchphrase was, “Just win, baby,” dies at 82.
It was Davis’ willingness to buck the establishment that helped turn the NFL into THE establishment in sports — the most successful sports league in American history. Davis was charming, cantankerous and compassionate — a man who when his wife suffered a serious heart attack in the 1970s moved into her hospital room. But he was best known as a rebel, a man who established a team whose silver-and-black colors and pirate logo symbolized his attitude toward authority, both on the field and off. Read more
2011: Roger Williams, U.S. popular music pianist whose song “Autumn Leaves” is the only piano instrumental to reach No. 1 on the Billboard pop music charts, dies of complications of pancreatic cancer at 87.
1996: William Prince, U.S. actor in movies and soap operas, including a regular role on “Young Dr. Malone,” dies at 83.
1990: B.J. Wilson, English rock drummer and member of Procol Harum, dies after a long illness at 43.
1983: Joan Hackett, U.S. actress who starred in the movies “The Group” and “Only When I Laugh,” dies of ovarian cancer at 49.
When Hackett died of ovarian cancer at just 49, she joined a group of notable women who fought the same devastating disease: comedian Gilda Radner, actress Jessica Tandy, singer Dinah Shore, civil rights activist Coretta Scott King, and so many more. Like many of these women, Hackett was at the height of her career when the disease struck. Her final film before she became too ill to work brought her an Academy Award nomination. Read more
1982: Fernando Lamas, Argentine-born U.S. actor and director who starred in musicals in the 1950s and had a regular role on the television series “Run for Your Life,” dies of cancer at 67.
Depending on your age, you might remember Lamas as a handsome actor from the 1950s with a seriously seductive accent. … Or you might know him only from the “Saturday Night Live” sketches that featured Billy Crystal. In the recurring “Fernando’s Hideaway” sketch, Crystal used Lamas’ accent for inspiration, as well as a quote from the actor: “It is better to look good than to feel good.” Read more
1969: Eduardo Ciannelli, Italian baritone and actor who starred in the movie “Gunga Din” with Cary Grant, dies at 81.
1953: Nigel Bruce, English character actor known best for his starring role as Dr. Watson opposite Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes in the popular movie series of the 1930s and ’40s, dies of a heart attack at 58.
1947: Felix Salten, Austrian writer known best for writing the novel “Bambi,” dies after a long illness at 76.
1869: Franklin Pierce, U.S. politician who was the 14th president of the United States, dies of cirrhosis of the liver at 64.
1793: John Hancock, U.S. patriot and merchant who is remembered for his large signature on the “Declaration of Independence,” dies at 56.