Patrick Swayze was a classically trained dancer, and he danced his way into lots of hearts in “Dirty Dancing.” We remember Swayze’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Patrick Swayze was a classically trained dancer, and he danced his way into lots of hearts in “Dirty Dancing.” Even when he was standing still, audiences loved him in movies like “Red Dawn,” “Road House,” and “Point Break.” In 1991, the year after romantic favorite “Ghost” was a box-office smash, People magazine named Swayze its “Sexiest Man Alive.” He also had a recording career, scoring a No. 3 hit with “She’s Like the Wind.” We remember Swayze’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2012: Stephen Dunham, U.S. actor known best for his role as Edward Pillows on the television series “DAG,” dies of a heart attack at 48.
2009: Patrick Swayze, U.S. actor and dancer who starred in “Dirty Dancing,” “Ghost,” and “Point Break,” dies of pancreatic cancer at 57.
Swayze’s powerful charisma and charm helped to define masculinity in 1980s America. At once an action star and a gifted dancer, he enjoyed a successful career spanning several decades and many genres of film. He proved equally at home mixing it up with rowdy bikers in a “Roadhouse” or “Dirty Dancing” with Jennifer Grey, and turned in grounded, nuanced portraits of complicated characters in “Donnie Darko” and “The Outsiders.” He brought a rugged strength to action films such as “Red Dawn” and “Point Break,” and tenderness to iconic romances such as “Ghost.” Read more
2009: Henry Gibson, U.S. actor known best as a cast member of the television comedy show “Laugh-In” and for his recurring role as Judge Clark Brown on “Boston Legal,” dies of cancer at 73.
For three seasons on “Laugh-In,” he delivered satirical poems while gripping a giant flower. After “Laugh-In,” Gibson went on to appear in several films, including “The Long Goodbye” and “Nashville,” which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. His most memorable roles included playing the menacing neighbor opposite Tom Hanks in “The ‘Burbs,” the befuddled priest in “Wedding Crashers,” and voicing Wilbur the Pig in the animated “Charlotte’s Web.” Read more
“My dad’s a bit of a superhero,” his daughter and fellow actor Mariska Hargitay told the NPR show “Fresh Air” in 2005. He parlayed his perfect physique into a performing career when Mae West tapped him to be one of the musclemen in her stage show. It was there that Hargitay met Mansfield, whom he married in 1957. That same year, he made his big-screen debut in “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.” He went on to star opposite his wife in three films: “The Loves of Hercules,” “Promises! Promises!”, and “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?” Read more
Wise was nominated for seven Oscars during a career that spanned more than 50 years, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Besides the four wins, he was nominated for editing the 1941 Orson Welles classic “Citizen Kane,” directing 1958’s “I Want to Live!”, and producing 1966’s “The Sand Pebbles,” which was nominated for best picture. More recently, he served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Directors Guild of America. Read more
2000: Beah Richards, U.S. actress who played Sidney Poitier’s mother in the movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and appeared on the television series Designing Women and ER, dies at 80.
1999: Charles Crichton, English director who co-wrote and directed the popular British comedy A Fish Called Wanda, dies at 89.
1996: Juliet Prowse, South African dancer and actress who starred with Elvis Presley in the movie G.I. Blues, dies of pancreatic cancer at 59.
1991: Julie Bovasso, U.S. actress who appeared in the movies Saturday Night Fever and Moonstruck, dies of cancer at 61.
1984: Janet Gaynor, U.S. actress who won multiple Academy Awards and was a star of movies including State Fair and A Star Is Born until she retired from acting at age 32, dies of complications of critical injuries sustained in a traffic accident at 77.
1982: Grace Kelly, U.S. movie star who won an Academy Award for her performance in The Country Girl and retired from acting at 26 to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco, dies of injuries sustained in an auto accident at 52.
Before the hearts of young women around the world sank upon hearing of Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton … before Diana Spencer‘s shy gaze captured the hearts of millions … there was Princess Grace. Like any princess, she was clearly something special, something many women aspired to be. But as a princess who wasn’t born and bred for the part, she was, like Kate and Diana, a little different. She was living proof that sometimes fairy tales aren’t just stories. Read more
1981: Furry Lewis, U.S. blues guitarist and singer-songwriter who opened for the Rolling Stones and played on “The Tonight Show,” dies at 88.
1974: Warren Hull, U.S. actor who was a popular action star in movie serials such as “The Spider’s Web,” “Mandrake the Magician,” and “The Green Hornet,” dies of congestive heart failure at 71.
1974: Barbara Jo Allen, U.S. actress who created the popular character Vera Vague, dies at 68.
1966: Gertrude Berg, U.S. actress and screenwriter who was one of the first women to create, write, and star in a long-running hit show with “The Goldbergs,” which ran on radio and television, dies of heart failure at 67.
1959: Wayne Morris, U.S. actor who starred in the title role in the movie “Kid Galahad” opposite Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis and was a decorated World War II flying ace, dies of a heart attack at 45.
1936: Irving Thalberg, U.S. movie producer called the Boy Wonder who was the head of production at MGM studios at the age of 26, overseeing classic movies such as “Grand Hotel,” “Mutiny on the Bounty,” and “The Good Earth,” dies of heart disease at 37.
1901: William McKinley, U.S. 25th president of the United States who was assassinated while in office, dies at 58.
1851: James Fenimore Cooper, U.S. author who wrote “The Last of the Mohicans,” dies at 61.