Jane Wyman’s Hollywood career lasted over 60 years. We remember her life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Jane Wyman‘s Hollywood career lasted over 60 years. She started at Warner Brothers in 1932 at the age of 16 though she stated that she was 19 in her contract. She won an Academy Award for her role in the movie “Johnny Belinda” in 1948. Much later she starred on television as the evil Angela Channing on the prime time soap opera “Falcon Crest.” She met then actor Ronald Reagan when they co-starred in “Brother Rat” in 1938 and they were married in 1940. They had two children during their marriage and divorced in 1949. In spite of her divorce, she still voted for her former husband in the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections We remember her life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2014: Richard Kiel, U.S. actor who played the villain Jaws in the James Bond films “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker,” is born in Detroit, Michigan.
Easily recognizable, thanks to his 7-foot-2 frame, Kiel enjoyed a long and fruitful career in Hollywood, appearing in dozens of films and television shows in his 49 years as an actor. He made appearances in many classics, such as “The Longest Yard,” “Pale Rider,” and “The Twilight Zone,” but Kiel is known best today for his work as the villainous henchman Jaws, who battled James Bond in “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker.” Read more
2013: Lyn Peters, Argentine actress who appeared on many television series including “Batman,” “Get Smart,” and “Hogan’s Heroes,” dies at 72.
2013: Don Nelson, U.S. television and jazz musician who was a writer for “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” which starred his brother, Ozzie, dies of Parkinson’s disease and a heart aneurysm at 86.
2012: Steven Springer, U.S. guitarist who was a member of the world-famous Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band, dies at 60.
2012: Lance LeGault, U.S. actor known best for his recurring role as Colonel Decker on the television series “The A-Team,” dies at 77.
Robertson had created a string of impressive performances in television and on Broadway, but always saw his role played in films by bigger names, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. His TV performances in “Days of Wine and Roses” and “The Hustler,” for example, were filmed with Jack Lemmon and Paul Newman, respectively. Robertson’s role in Tennessee Williams‘ play “Orpheus Descending” was awarded to Marlon Brando in the movie. Robertson first appeared in the “Charly” story in a TV version, “The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon.” Both were based on “Flowers for Algernon,” a short story that author Daniel Keyes later revised into a novel. Robertson was determined that this time the big-screen role would not go to another actor. Read more
2007: Jane Wyman, U.S. actress who won an Academy Award for her role in “Johnny Belinda” and later was known for playing Angela Channing on “Falcon Crest,” who was also Ronald Reagan’s first wife, dies at 90.
It was 1936 when Warner Bros. signed Wyman to a long-term contract, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. She long remembered the first line she spoke as a chorus girl to show producer Dick Powell: “I’m Bessie Fuffnik. I swim, ride, dive, imitate wild birds and play the trombone.” Warner Bros. was notorious for typecasting its contract players, and Wyman suffered that fate. She recalled in 1968: “For 10 years I was the wisecracking lady reporter who stormed the city desk snapping, ‘Stop the presses! I’ve got a story that will break this town wide-open!'” Read more
2007: Anita Roddick, English businesswoman and human rights activist who was the founder of the cosmetics company The Body Shop, dies at 64.
In recognition of her contribution to business and charity, Queen Elizabeth II made Roddick a dame, the female equivalent of knighthood, in 2003. Greenpeace Executive Director John Sauven called Roddick an “incredible woman” who would be “sorely missed.” “She was so ahead of her time when it came to issues of how business could be done in different ways, not just profit motivated but taking into account environmental issues,” Sauven said. “When you look at it today, and how every company claims to be green, she was living this decades ago,” he said. Read more
Daniel Smith had small roles in her movies “Skyscraper” and “To the Limit.” He also appeared several times on the E! reality series “The Anna Nicole Show.” Read more
2006: Patty Berg, U.S. professional golfer who won a record 15 major titles on the LPGA tour, dies of complications of Alzheimer’s disease at 88.
2005: Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, U.S. musician known best as a blues artist but one who incorporated jazz, Cajun, country, and rock into his sound and played guitar, mandolin, and fiddle, dies at 81.
Gatemouth was much more than a single-genre musician. He embraced a wide variety of musical styles, recording country, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, and anything else that struck his fancy. He was a multi-instrumentalist as well, striking out beyond the guitar to become a masterful fiddle player, as well as playing harmonica, drums, viola, and more. In a nutshell … well, it’s hard to describe Gatemouth in a nutshell. He was a musician’s musician, one who loved a little bit of everything and wanted to play it all. He made it all sound good, too. Read more
1996: Joanne Dru, U.S. actress who co-starred in “The Pride of St. Louis” and whose other movies included John Ford’s “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” dies of a respiratory illness at 74.
1994: Charles Drake, U.S. actor who appeared in many movies and television series and may be known best for co-starring with James Stewart in the film “Harvey,” dies after a lengthy illness at 76.
1985: Alexa Kenin, U.S. actress who had roles in the movies “Little Darlings” and “Pretty in Pink,” dies at 23.
1976: Dalton Trumbo, U.S. screenwriter who was one of the Hollywood Ten, who were blacklisted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and who wrote the screenplays for “Exodus” and “Spartacus” and co-wrote “Roman Holiday,” dies at 70.
1976: Dorothy Devore, U.S. actress who was popular in silent films and known for her comedic roles, dies at 77.
1971: Pier Angeli, U.S. actress who starred in the movie “Teresa” and with Paul Newman in “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” dies of a barbiturate overdose at 39.
1965: Bobby Jordan, U.S. actor who starred in “The Dead End Kids,” “The East Side Kids,” and “The Bowery Boys” series, dies at 42.
1961: Leo Carrillo, U.S. actor best remembered for starring as the sidekick Pancho on the television series “The Cisco Kid,” dies at 80.
1935: Huey Long, U.S. politician who was the governor of Louisiana and a member of the U.S. Senate representing Louisiana from 1932 until his death, is assassinated at 42.
1920: Olive Thomas, U.S. film star in the silent era who starred in the popular movie “The Flapper,” dies after accidentally drinking mercury bichloride at 25.