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Deceased American Celebrities


George Gaynes

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George Gaynes

George Gaynes (born George Jongejans; May 3, 1917 – February 15, 2016) was an American singer, actor and voice artist. Born to Dutch and Russian parents in Finland, he served in the Royal Netherlands Navy during World War II and subsequently emigrated to the United States, where he became a citizen and began his acting career on Broadway. Gaynes' most recognized roles in cinema were that of Commandant Eric Lassard in the Police Academy series and as John Van Horn in the 1982 comedy film Tootsie. He appeared as Senator Strobe Smithers in the hit TV show Hearts Afire; as the curmudgeonly but lovable foster parent Henry Warnimont on the NBC series Punky Brewster; as high-powered theatrical producer Arthur Feldman on The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, in which Gaynes' real-life wife, Allyn Ann McLerie, co-starred as his love interest; and as Frank Smith, the mob boss brought down by Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) on the soap opera General Hospital. Early life Gaynes was born on May 3, 1917, in Helsinki,[1] in wh

People from North Bend, Washington

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20th-century American comedians

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21st-century American comedians

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Jackie Gleason

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Jackie Gleason

John Herbert Gleason (February 26, 1916 – June 24, 1987), known as Jackie Gleason, was an American comedian, actor, writer, composer and conductor.[1] Developing a style and characters from growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he was known for his brash visual and verbal comedy, exemplified by his bus driver Ralph Kramden character in the television series The Honeymooners. He also developed The Jackie Gleason Show, which maintained high ratings from the mid-1950s through 1970. After originating in New York City, filming moved to Miami Beach, Florida, in 1964 after Gleason took up permanent residence there. Among his notable film roles were Minnesota Fats in 1961's The Hustler (co-starring with Paul Newman), and Buford T. Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit series from 1977 into the early 1980s (co-starring Burt Reynolds). Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Gleason enjoyed a prominent secondary music career, producing a series of best-selling "mood music" albums. His first album, Music for Lovers Only, still hol

American male musical theatre actors

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American composers

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Bushwick High School alumni

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Harold Gould

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Harold Gould

Harold Vernon Gould (December 10, 1923 – September 11, 2010) was an American character actor. He appeared as Martin Morgenstern on the sitcom Rhoda (1974–78) and Miles Webber on the sitcom The Golden Girls (1989–92). A five-time Emmy Award nominee, Gould acted in film and television for nearly 50 years, appearing in more than 300 television shows, 20 major motion pictures, and over 100 stage plays. He was known for playing elegant, well-dressed men (as in The Sting), and he regularly played Jewish characters and grandfather-type figures on television and in film.[1] Early life Gould was born to a Jewish family in Schenectady, New York. He was the son of Louis Goldstein, a postal worker, and Lillian, a homemaker who did part-time work for the state health department. Gould was raised in Colonie, New York and was valedictorian of his high school class. He enrolled at Albany Teachers College upon graduation (now known as University at Albany, SUNY), and studied to become a social studies or English teacher. A

Actors from Schenectady, New York

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Deceased American Celebrities

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Rodney Dangerfield

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Rodney Dangerfield

Jack Roy (born Jacob Rodney Cohen, November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004), popularly known by the stage name Rodney Dangerfield, was an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice artist, producer, screenwriter, musician and author. He was known for his self-deprecating one-liners humor, his catchphrase "I get no respect!" and his monologues on that theme. He began his career working as a stand-up comic in the Borscht Belt resorts of the Catskill Mountains northwest of New York City. His act grew in notoriety as he became a mainstay on late-night talk shows throughout the 1960s and 1970s, eventually developing into a headlining act on the Las Vegas casino circuit. He appeared in a few bit parts in films such as The Projectionist throughout the 1970s, but his breakout film role came in 1980 as a boorish nouveau riche golfer in the ensemble comedy Caddyshack, which was followed by two more successful films: 1983's Easy Money and 1986's Back to School. Additional film work kept him busy through the rest of his life,

21st-century atheists

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20th-century atheists

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People from Kew Gardens, Queens

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Carrie Fisher

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Carrie Fisher

Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016) was an American actress, writer, and comedian.[3] Fisher is best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, a role for which she was nominated for four Saturn Awards. Her other film credits include Shampoo (1975), The Blues Brothers (1980), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The 'Burbs (1989), When Harry Met Sally... (1989), Soapdish (1991), and The Women (2008).[4] She was nominated twice for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her performances on the television series 30 Rock and Catastrophe. She was posthumously made a Disney Legend in 2017,[5] and in 2018 she was awarded a posthumous Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. Fisher wrote several semi-autobiographical novels, including Postcards from the Edge and an autobiographical one-woman play, and its non-fiction book, Wishful Drinking, based on the play. She wrote the screenplay for the film version of Postcards From The Edge which garnered

Actresses from Burbank, California

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Drug-related deaths in California

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American people of Ukrainian-Jewish descent

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Gloria Grahame

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Gloria Grahame

Gloria Grahame Hallward (November 28, 1923 – October 5, 1981), known professionally as Gloria Grahame, was an American stage, film, and television actress and singer. She began her acting career in theatre and in 1944 made her first film for MGM. Despite a featured role in It's a Wonderful Life (1946), MGM did not believe she had the potential for major success, and sold her contract to RKO Studios. Often cast in film noir projects, Grahame was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Crossfire (1947), and later won the award for her work in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952). She achieved her highest profile with Sudden Fear (1952), Human Desire (1953), The Big Heat (1953), and Oklahoma! (1955), but her film career began to wane soon afterwards. Grahame returned to work on the stage, but continued to appear in films and television productions, usually in supporting roles. In 1974, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It went into remission less than a year later and Grahame returned to

20th-century American women singers

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Actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood

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California Democrats

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Dick Elliott

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Dick Elliott

For the U.S. senator with the same name, see Dick Elliott (politician). Richard Damon Elliott (April 30, 1886 – December 22, 1961) was an American character actor who played in over 240 films from the 1930s until the time of his death. Early years Elliott was born in Boston, Massachusetts.[1] Career Elliott played many different roles, typically as a somewhat blustery sort, such as a politician. A short, fat man, Elliott played Santa Claus on the Jimmy Durante, Red Skelton, and Jack Benny programs. Elliott had a couple of memorable lines in It's a Wonderful Life (1946), in which he scolded James Stewart, who was trying to say goodnight to Donna Reed, advising him to stop hemming and hawing and "just go ahead and kiss her". He also had a few memorable appearances in episodes of the Adventures of Superman television series. He appeared three times as Stanley on the CBS sitcom December Bride, as well as on two of ABC/Warner Brothers' western series, Sugarfoot and Maverick. He was cast as the prospector Pete

Burials at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)

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Deceased American Celebrities

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Male actors from Boston

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Florence Henderson

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Florence Henderson

Florence Henderson and William Tabbert from the Broadway production of Fanny (1955) Florence Agnes Henderson (February 14, 1934 – November 24, 2016) was an American actress and singer with a career spanning six decades. She is best remembered for her starring role as Carol Brady on the ABC sitcom The Brady Bunch from 1969 to 1974. Henderson also appeared in film, as well as on stage, and hosted several long-running cooking and variety shows over the years. She appeared as a guest on many scripted and unscripted (talk and reality show) television programs and as a panelist on numerous game shows. She was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2010. Henderson hosted her own talk show, The Florence Henderson Show, and cooking show, Who's Cooking with Florence Henderson, on Retirement Living TV during the years leading up to her death at age 82 on Thanksgiving Day 2016 from heart failure.[1] Early life Henderson, the youngest of 10 children,[2] was born on Valentine's Day, 1934,[3] in Dale, Indiana, a small

Deaths from heart failure

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Dancing with the Stars (American TV series) par...

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Deceased American Celebrities

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John Hoyt

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John Hoyt

John Hoyt (born John McArthur Hoysradt; October 5, 1905 – September 15, 1991) was an American actor. He began his acting career on Broadway, later also appeared in numerous films and television series. He is perhaps best known for his film roles in The Lawless (1950), When Worlds Collide (1951), Julius Caesar (1953), Blackboard Jungle (1955), Spartacus (1960), Cleopatra (1963) and Flesh Gordon (1974). Early life Hoyt was born John McArthur Hoysradt in Bronxville, New York,[1] the son of Warren J. Hoysradt, an investment banker, and his wife, Ethel Hoysradt, née Wolf. He attended the Hotchkiss School and Yale University, where he served on the editorial board of campus humor magazine The Yale Record.[2] He received a bachelor's and a master's degree from Yale.[3] He worked as a history instructor at the Groton School for two years.[3] Stage John Hoysradt (fifth from right) played the role of Decius Brutus in the Mercury Theatre production of Caesar (1937) Hoyt made his Broadway debut in 1931 in William

Educators from New York (state)

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Turner Classic Movies person ID not in Wikidata

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Larry Linville

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Larry Linville

Lawrence Lavon Linville[1] (September 29, 1939 – April 10, 2000) was an American actor known for his portrayal of the surgeon Major Frank Burns on the television series M*A*S*H. Early life and education Linville was born in Ojai, California, the son of Fay Pauline (née Kennedy) and Harry Lavon Linville.[2] Raised in Sacramento, he attended El Camino High School[3] (Class of 1957) and later studied aeronautical engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder before applying for a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Career After returning to the United States, Linville began his acting career at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, a year-round repertory theatre under director Robert Porterfield. Before M*A*S*H Before his five-year co-starring role on M*A*S*H, Linville had guest-starring roles on many of the well-known television series of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Included in his credits in that period are one appearance each on Bonanza, Room 222 and Adam-12. He h

Deceased American Celebrities

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Deaths from cancer in New York (state)

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People from Ojai, California

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Audra Lindley

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Audra Lindley

Audra Marie Lindley (September 24, 1918 – October 16, 1997) was an American actress, most famous for her role as landlady Helen Roper on the sitcom Three's Company and its spin-off, The Ropers.[2] Life and career Born in Los Angeles, California, Lindley got her early start in Hollywood by being a stand-in, which eventually progressed to stunt work, and she eventually became a contract player with Warner Bros. In 1943, she went to New York in her mid-20s to work in theater. Among her many Broadway plays during her long career were: On Golden Pond, Long Day's Journey into Night, and Horse Heavens. After a break from acting to raise five children, she began to make steady appearances on television in the early 1960s, including the role of Sue Knowles on the CBS soap opera Search for Tomorrow, and a six-year stint as manipulative "Aunt Liz" Matthews on the NBC soap opera Another World. She also had regular roles as Meredith Baxter's mother in the sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie, as well as Lee Grant’s best friend i

Deceased American Celebrities

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Warner Bros. contract players

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Deaths from leukemia

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Andy Kaufman

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Andy Kaufman

Andrew Geoffrey Kaufman ([1] January 17, 1949 – May 16, 1984)[2] was an American entertainer, actor, writer, and performance artist. While often called a comedian, Kaufman described himself instead as a "song and dance man".[3] He disdained telling jokes and engaging in comedy as it was traditionally understood, once saying in a rare introspective interview, "I am not a comic, I have never told a joke. ... The comedian's promise is that he will go out there and make you laugh with him... My only promise is that I will try to entertain you as best I can."[4] After working in small comedy clubs in the early 1970s, Kaufman came to the attention of a wider audience in 1975, when he was invited to perform portions of his act on the first season of Saturday Night Live. His Foreign Man character was the basis of his performance as Latka Gravas on the hit television show Taxi from 1978 until 1983.[5] During this time, he continued to tour comedy clubs and theaters in a series of unique performance art / comedy shows

Death conspiracy theories

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Andy Kaufman

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Great Neck North High School alumni

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Ted Knight

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Ted Knight

Ted Knight (December 7, 1923 – August 26, 1986) was an American actor and voice artist well known for playing the comedic roles of Ted Baxter in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Henry Rush in Too Close for Comfort, and Judge Elihu Smails in Caddyshack. Early years Knight was born Tadeusz Wladyslaw Konopka in the Terryville section of Plymouth in Litchfield County, Connecticut, to Polish-American parents, Sophia (Kavaleski) and Charles Walter Konopka, a bartender.[1] Knight dropped out of high school to enlist in the United States Army in World War II along with his best childhood friend Bernard P. Dzielinski (also from Terryville). He was a member of A Company, 296th Combat Engineer Battalion, earning five battle stars while serving in the European Theatre.[2][3] Career During the postwar years, Knight studied acting in Hartford, Connecticut. He became proficient with puppets and ventriloquism, which led to steady work as a television kiddie-show host at WJAR-TV in Providence, Rhode Island, from 1950 to 1955.[4

The Twilight Zone Guest Appearances

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Deceased American Celebrities

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People from Terryville, Connecticut

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Don Knotts

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Don Knotts

Jesse Donald Knotts (July 21, 1924 – February 24, 2006) was an American actor and comedian, best known for his role as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, a 1960s sitcom for which he earned five Emmy Awards[1], and for his role as Ralph Furley on the highly rated[2] sitcom Three's Company from 1979 to 1984. He also starred in multiple comedic films, including playing Luther Heggs in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) and Henry Limpet in The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964). In 1979 TV Guide ranked him #27 on its 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list.[3] Early life Jesse Donald Knotts was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, the youngest of four sons born to farmer William Jesse Knotts and his wife, Elsie Luzetta Knotts (née Moore). His parents were married in Spraggs, Pennsylvania. His English paternal ancestors emigrated to America in the 17th century, originally settling in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. Knotts' brothers were named Willis, William, and Ralph. Don's mother was 40 at the time of

Deceased American Celebrities

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21st-century American comedians

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20th-century American comedians

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Michael Landon

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Michael Landon

Michael Landon (born Eugene Maurice Orowitz; October 31, 1936 – July 1, 1991) was an American actor, writer, director, and producer. He is known for his roles as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza (1959–1973), Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983), and Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven (1984–1989). Landon appeared on the cover of TV Guide 22 times, second only to Lucille Ball.[1] Early life Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz on October 31, 1936, in Forest Hills, a neighborhood of Queens, New York.[2][3] His parents were Peggy (née O'Neill; a dancer and comedian) and Eli Maurice Orowitz. His father was Jewish,[4] his mother was Roman Catholic. Eugene was the Orowitz family's second child; their daughter, Evelyn, was born three years earlier, in 1933. In 1941, when Landon was four years old, he and his family moved to the Philadelphia suburb of Collingswood, New Jersey. He attended and celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Beth Shalom. His family recalls that Landon "went through a lot

Collingswood High School alumni

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Television producers from New York City

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Screenwriters from New Jersey

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Rue McClanahan

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Rue McClanahan

Eddi-Rue McClanahan (February 21, 1934 – June 3, 2010) was an American actress best known for her roles on television as Vivian Harmon on Maude (1972–78), Aunt Fran Crowley on Mama's Family (1983–84), and Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls (1985–92), for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1987. Early life Eddi-Rue McClanahan was born in Healdton, Oklahoma, on February 21, 1934. She was the daughter of Dreda Rheua-Nell (née Medaris; 1912 – 1973), a beautician, and William Edwin "Bill" McClanahan (1908 – 1999), a building contractor. Her mother's maiden name was a Portuguese or Galician surname variation of Madeiros.[1][2][3][4][5] She was raised Methodist and was of Irish and Choctaw ancestry.[4] Her Choctaw great-grandfather was named Running Hawk according to her autobiography My First Five Husbands... and the Ones Who Got Away (2007). She grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma; she graduated from Ardmore High School,[6] where she acted in school plays and won the gold

Disease-related deaths in New York (state)

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Neurological disease deaths in the United States

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Deceased American Celebrities

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Darren McGavin

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Darren McGavin

William Lyle Richardson (May 7, 1922 – February 25, 2006), known professionally as Darren McGavin, was an American actor. He was known for his portrayals of worldly, often somewhat gruff characters. Born in Spokane, Washington, McGavin claimed to have been a child runaway who spent his later childhood squatting in Tacoma. He began his film career while working as a set painter for Columbia Pictures, appearing in uncredited roles, and also starred in a regional Chicago production of Death of a Salesman in 1950. He subsequently originated roles in Broadway productions of My 3 Angels and The Rainmaker (both 1954), and went on to star in a further four Broadway productions before the end of the decade. Simultaneous to his stage career, McGavin also forged a career in film, starring in David Lean's Summertime and The Man with the Golden Arm (both 1955). From 1958 to 1959, he played the title character in the 1950s television series Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, and subsequently starred in the NBC Western series

Deceased American Celebrities

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Male actors from Spokane, Washington

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Actors from Spokane, Washington

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Mike Mazurki

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Mike Mazurki

Mike Mazurki (25 December 1907 – 9 December 1990) was an American actor and professional wrestler who appeared in more than 100 films. His towering 6 ft 5 in (196 cm) presence and intimidating face usually got him roles playing tough guys, thugs, strong men, and gangsters. Early years Mazurki was born Markiyan (Mykhailo) Mazurkevych (Ukrainian: Маркіян (Михайло) Мазуркевич) (Polish: Markijan (Mychajo) Mazurkiewicz) in Kupchyntsi (now Kozova Raion), near what was then Tarnopol, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (now Ternopil, Ukraine). He was from an ethnic Ukrainian family. In 1913, he emigrated with his family to the United States living in Cohoes, New York, just outside Albany, in old mill housing on Olmstead Street with his mother. Mazurki attended LaSalle Institute in Troy, for high school. Upon finishing school, he changed his name to "Mike". He played football[1] and basketball at Manhattan College,[2] where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1930.[3] After earning his bachelor's degree, Mazurki g

Jewish professional wrestlers

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Ukrainian Jews

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American people of Jewish descent

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Dean Martin

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Dean Martin

Dino Paul Crocetti (June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995), known famously as Dean Martin, was an American singer, actor and comedian. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed "The King of Cool" for his seemingly effortless charisma and self-assurance.[1][2] Martin gained his career breakthrough together with fellow comedian Jerry Lewis, billed as Martin & Lewis, in 1946. They performed in nightclubs and later had numerous appearances on radio, television and in films. Following an acrimonious ending of the partnership in 1956, Martin pursued a solo career as a performer and actor. Martin established himself as a notable singer, recording numerous contemporary songs as well as standards from the Great American Songbook. He became one of the most popular acts in Las Vegas and was known for his friendship with fellow artists Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., who together formed the Rat Pack. Starting in 1964, Martin was the host of the televisio

American people of Abruzzese descent

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20th-century comedians

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Jazz musicians from Pennsylvania

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Harry Morgan

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Harry Morgan

Harry Morgan (born Harry Bratsberg; April 10, 1915 – December 7, 2011) was an American actor and director whose television and film career spanned six decades. Morgan's major roles included Pete Porter in both December Bride (1954–1959) and Pete and Gladys (1960–1962); Officer Bill Gannon on Dragnet (1967–1970); Amos Coogan on Hec Ramsey (1972–1974); and his starring role as Colonel Sherman T. Potter in M*A*S*H (1975–1983) and AfterMASH (1983–1984). Morgan appeared in more than 100 films. Early life and career Morgan was born Harry Bratsberg in Detroit, the son of Hannah and Henry Bratsberg.[1][2][3] His parents were of Swedish and Norwegian ancestry.[4] In his interview with the Archive of American Television, Morgan spelled his Norwegian family surname as "Brasburg".[2] Many sources, however, including some family records, list the spelling as "Bratsburg". According to one source, when Morgan's father Henry registered at junior high school, "the registrar spelled it Bratsburg instead of Bratsberg. Bashful

American people of Scandinavian descent

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Deceased American Celebrities

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Male actors from Detroit

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Marilyn Monroe

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Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962[1]) was an American actress, model, and singer. Famous for playing comic "blonde bombshell" characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s and was emblematic of the era's changing attitudes towards sexuality. Although she was a top-billed actress for only a decade, her films grossed $200 million (equivalent to $2 billion in 2018) by the time of her unexpected death in 1962.[2] More than half a century later, she continues to be a major popular culture icon.[3] Born and raised in Los Angeles, Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage and married at the age of 16. While working in the Radioplane Company in 1944 as part of the war effort during World War II, she was introduced to a photographer from the First Motion Picture Unit and began a successful pin-up modeling career. The work led to short-lived film contracts with Twentieth Century-Fox (1946–1947) and Columbia Pict

Converts to Reform Judaism

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Models from Los Angeles

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American actresses who committed suicide

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Sheree North

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Sheree North

Sheree North (born Dawn Shirley Crang; January 17, 1932 – November 4, 2005) was an American actress, dancer and singer, known for being one of 20th Century-Fox's intended successors to Marilyn Monroe. Early life North was born as Dawn Shirley Crang[1] in Los Angeles, California, on January 17, 1932, the daughter of June Shoard and Richard Crang. Following her mother's remarriage to Edward Bethel, she was known as Dawn Shirley Bethel.[2] She began dancing in USO shows during World War II at age ten. In 1948, she married Fred Bessire. She bore her first child at age 17 in 1949, and continued dancing in clubs under the stage name Shirley Mae Bessire. Career Beginnings North made her film début as an uncredited extra in Excuse My Dust (1951). She was then spotted by a choreographer performing at the Macayo Club in Santa Monica, and was cast as a chorus girl in the film Here Come the Girls (1953), starring Bob Hope. Around that time, she adopted the stage name Sheree North. She made her Broadway début in the

20th-century American dancers

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American dancers

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Richard Mulligan

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Richard Mulligan

Richard Mulligan (November 13, 1932 – September 26, 2000) was an American television, film and character actor known for his role as Burt Campbell, the loving, protective husband of Cathryn Damon's character, in the sitcom Soap (1977–81). Later, Mulligan had a starring role as Dr. Harry Weston in Empty Nest (1988–95)[1], for which he won both the Emmy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 1989. Mulligan was the younger brother of film director Robert Mulligan. Early life and career Mulligan was born on November 13, 1932, in New York City. After attending Columbia University, Mulligan began working in theater, making his debut as a stage manager and performer on Broadway in All the Way Home in 1960. Additional theatre credits included A Thousand Clowns, Never Too Late, Hogan's Goat, and Thieves. Mulligan made a brief, uncredited appearance in the 1963 film Love with the Proper Stranger, which was directed by his elder brother. He starred with Mariette Hartley in the 1966

Deceased American Celebrities

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People from the Bronx

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Male actors from Los Angeles, California

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Heather O'Rourke

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Heather O'Rourke

Heather Michele O'Rourke (December 27, 1975 – February 1, 1988)[3] was an American child actress. She was discovered by director Steven Spielberg when she was visiting MGM's studios.[4] Spielberg cast her as Carol Anne Freeling in the horror film Poltergeist (1982), where she is known for saying "They're here!" She reprised the role in the second and third installments. O'Rourke also had a recurring role on Happy Days in 1982 and 1983, and she made several television guest appearances. In February 1988 she died at the age of 12 of cardiac arrest and septic shock caused by a misdiagnosed intestinal stenosis. Early life Heather O'Rourke was born on December 27, 1975, in San Diego, California, to Kathleen and Michael O'Rourke. Her mother worked as a seamstress and her father was a carpenter. She had an older sister, Tammy O'Rourke, also an actress. Her parents divorced in 1981, and O'Rourke's mother married part-time truck driver Jim Peele in 1984, while they were living in a trailer park in Anaheim, Californ

Deceased American Celebrities

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People from Lakeside, California

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People from Big Bear Lake, California

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River Phoenix

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River Phoenix

River Jude Phoenix (né Bottom; August 23, 1970 – October 31, 1993) was an American actor, musician, and animal activist. He was the older brother of Rain Phoenix, Joaquin Phoenix, Liberty Phoenix, and Summer Phoenix. Phoenix's work encompassed 24 films and television appearances, and his rise to fame led to his status as a "teen idol".[1] He began his acting career at age 10, in television commercials. He starred in the science fiction adventure film Explorers (1985), and had his first notable role in 1986's Stand by Me, a coming-of-age film based on the novella The Body by Stephen King. Phoenix made a transition into more adult-oriented roles with Running on Empty (1988), playing the son of fugitive parents in a well-received performance that earned him a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and My Own Private Idaho (1991), playing a gay hustler in search of his estranged mother. For his performance in the latter, Phoenix garnered enormous praise and won a Volpi Cup for Best Actor at t

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Harold Ramis

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Harold Ramis

Harold Allen Ramis (November 21, 1944 – February 24, 2014) was an American actor, director, writer, and comedian. His best-known film acting roles were as Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989) and Russell Ziskey in Stripes (1981); he also co-wrote those films. As a director, his films include the comedies Caddyshack (1980), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), Groundhog Day (1993), and Analyze This (1999). Ramis was the original head writer of the television series SCTV, on which he also performed, as well as a co-writer of Groundhog Day and National Lampoon's Animal House (1978). The final film that he wrote, produced, directed and acted in was Year One (2009). Ramis' films influenced subsequent generations of comedians and comedy writers.[1] Filmmakers including Jay Roach, Jake Kasdan, Adam Sandler, and Peter and Bobby Farrelly have cited his films as among their favorites.[1] Along with Danny Rubin, he won the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay for Groundhog Day.[2] Early l

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Ronald Reagan

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Ronald Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and became the highly influential voice of modern conservatism. Prior to his presidency, he was a Hollywood actor and union leader before serving as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 to 1975. Reagan was raised in a poor family in small towns of northern Illinois. He graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and worked as a sports commentator on several regional radio stations. After moving to California in 1937, he found work as an actor and starred in a few major productions. Reagan was twice elected President of the Screen Actors Guild—the labor union for actors—where he worked to root out Communist influence. In the 1950s, he moved into television and was a motivational speaker at General Electric factories, during which time he became a conservative. Reagan was a Democrat until 1962, when he switched to the Republican Party. In 1964, Reagan's speech

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Donna Reed

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Donna Reed

Donna Reed (born Donna Belle Mullenger; January 27, 1921 – January 14, 1986) was an American film, television actress and producer. Her career spanned more than 40 years, with performances in more than 40 films. She is well known for her role as Mary Hatch Bailey in Frank Capra's 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life. In 1953, she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Lorene Burke in the war drama From Here to Eternity. Reed is known for her work in television, notably as Donna Stone, a middle-class American mother and housewife in the sitcom The Donna Reed Show (1958–66), in which her character was more assertive than most other television mothers of the era. She received numerous Emmy Award nominations for this role and the Golden Globe Award for Best TV Star in 1963. Later in her career, Reed replaced Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie Ewing Farlow in the 1984–85 season of the television melodrama Dallas; she sued the production company for breach of contract when she was a

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Arthur Peterson Jr.

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Arthur Peterson Jr.

Cast of Soap (1977). Back row, L-R: Robert Urich, Ted Wass, Richard Mulligan, Robert Guillaume, Robert Mandan, Jimmy Baio, Diana Canova, Arthur Peterson Jr.. Seated: Billy Crystal, Cathryn Damon, Katherine Helmond, Jennifer Salt. Arthur Peterson Jr. (November 18, 1912 – October 31, 1996) was an American actor. He played character and supporting roles on stage, television, and feature films. On television, he played the Major in the TV series Soap (1977–1981). Early life Born and raised in Mandan, North Dakota,[1] Peterson first obtained a degree in theater from the University of Minnesota before becoming a professional actor with the first Federal Theatre Project. Peterson made his media debut in 1936 with a regular role on the radio serial The Guiding Light. During World War II, Peterson fought within General Patton's Third Army. Acting career In the era of old-time radio, Peterson portrayed Wilton Comstock on Bachelor's Children,[2] Bill Baxter on The Baxters,[2]:34 Judge Parsons on The Tom Mix Ralston

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Dana Plato

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Dana Plato

Dana Michelle Plato (born Dana Michelle Strain; November 7, 1964 – May 8, 1999) was an American actress known for her role as Kimberly Drummond on the U.S. television sitcom Diff'rent Strokes from 1978 to 1986.[4] After leaving the cast of Diff'rent Strokes, Plato attempted to establish herself as a working actress, with mixed success: she worked sporadically in made-for-TV movies and in independent films, and did voice-over work. At the age of 34, after years of struggling with poverty and substance abuse, Plato died from an overdose of prescription drugs.[1][2] Early life Plato was born Dana Michelle Strain on November 7, 1964 in Maywood, California to Linda Strain, an unwed teenager who already was caring for an 18-month-old child. In June 1965, the seven-month-old Dana was adopted by Dean Plato, who owned a trucking company, and his wife Florine "Kay" Plato.[5] Plato was raised in the San Fernando Valley. When she was three, her adoptive parents divorced, and she lived with her mother.[6] Career When

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Robert Reed

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Robert Reed

Robert Reed (born John Robert Rietz Jr.; October 19, 1932 – May 12, 1992) was an American actor. He played Kenneth Preston on the legal drama The Defenders from 1961 to 1965 alongside E. G. Marshall, and is best known for his role as the father Mike Brady, opposite Florence Henderson's role as Carol Brady, on the ABC sitcom The Brady Bunch, which aired from 1969 to 1974. He later reprised his role of Mike Brady on several of the reunion programs. In 1976, he earned two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his guest-starring role in a two-part episode of Medical Center and for his work on the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man. The following year, Reed earned a third Emmy nomination for his role in the miniseries Roots. Early life Reed was born John Robert Rietz Jr. in the northern Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois,[1] the only child of Helen (née Teaverbaugh) and John Robert Rietz Sr.,[2] who were high-school sweethearts and married at 18. Reed attended the West Division School in Community Consolidated

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Christopher Reeve

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Christopher Reeve

Christopher D'Olier Reeve[2] (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) was an American actor who played DC comic book superhero Superman, beginning with the acclaimed Superman (1978), for which he won a BAFTA Award. Reeve appeared in other critically acclaimed films such as The Bostonians (1984), Street Smart (1987) and The Remains of the Day (1993). He received a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance in the television remake of Rear Window (1998). On May 27, 1995, Reeve was left quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition in Culpeper, Virginia. He used a wheelchair and needed a portable ventilator to breathe for the rest of his life. He lobbied on behalf of people with spinal cord injuries and for human embryonic stem cell research, founding the Christopher Reeve Foundation and co-founding the Reeve-Irvine Research Center.[3] Early life and education Christopher D'Olier Reeve was born on September 25, 1952, in New York City, the

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John Ritter

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John Ritter

Jonathan Southworth Ritter[1] (September 17, 1948 – September 11, 2003) was an American actor and comedian. He was the son of the singing cowboy star Tex Ritter and the father of actors Jason and Tyler Ritter. Ritter is known for playing Jack Tripper on the ABC sitcom Three's Company (1977–1984), for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award in 1984. He briefly reprised the role on the spin-off Three's a Crowd, which aired for one season. Ritter appeared in over 100 films and television series combined and performed on Broadway, with roles including It (1990), Problem Child (1990), Problem Child 2 (1991), and Bad Santa in 2003 (his final live action film, which was dedicated to his memory). In 2002, Don Knotts called Ritter the "greatest physical comedian on the planet".[2] His final roles include voicing the title character on the PBS children's program Clifford the Big Red Dog (2000–2003), for which he received four Daytime Emmy Award nominations, and as Paul Hennessy on the ABC sit

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Garry Shandling

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Garry Shandling

Garry Emmanuel Shandling (November 29, 1949 – March 24, 2016) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, director, writer, and producer. He was best known for his work in It's Garry Shandling's Show and The Larry Sanders Show. Shandling began his career writing for sitcoms, such as Sanford and Son and Welcome Back, Kotter. He made a successful stand-up performance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson where he became a frequent guest-host. Shandling was for a time considered the leading contender to replace Johnny Carson (other hopefuls were Joan Rivers, David Letterman, and David Brenner). In 1986, he created It's Garry Shandling's Show for Showtime. It was nominated for four Emmy Awards (including one for Shandling) and lasted until 1990. His second show titled The Larry Sanders Show, which began airing on HBO in 1992, was even more successful. Shandling was nominated for 18 Emmy Awards for the show and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 1998, along with Peter T

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Beatrice Straight

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Beatrice Straight

Beatrice Whitney Straight (August 2, 1914 – April 7, 2001) was an American theatre, film and television actress and a member of the prominent Whitney family. She was an Academy Award and Tony Award winner as well as an Emmy Award nominee.[1] Straight made her Broadway debut in The Possessed (1939). Her other Broadway roles included Viola in Twelfth Night (1941), Catherine Sloper in The Heiress (1947) and Lady Macduff in Macbeth (1948). For her role as Elizabeth Proctor in the production of The Crucible (1953), she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. For the satirical film Network (1976), she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She was on screen for five minutes and two seconds, the shortest performance to win an Academy Award for acting. She also received an Emmy Award nomination for the miniseries The Dain Curse (1978). Straight also appeared as Mother Christophe in The Nun's Story (1959) and Dr. Martha Lesh in Poltergeist (1982). Early life Beatrice Whitney Straight was

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Dolph Sweet

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Dolph Sweet

Adolphus Jean Sweet (July 18, 1920 – May 8, 1985) was an American actor, credited with nearly 60 television and film roles as well as several roles in stage productions before his death from stomach cancer in 1985. Life and career Sweet was born in New York City, New York. His father was an auto mechanic and his first ambition was playing football. In 1939, he attended the University of Alabama; however, he was called away from his education for a tour of duty in World War II with the US Army Air Force, serving as a navigator on B-24 Liberator bomber aircraft. During his service, he was shot down over Romania while flying on Operation Tidal Wave, and subsequently spent two years as a POW. After the war, he played semi-pro football and boxed as he worked on a master's degree from Columbia University. He went on to head up the drama department at Barnard College. Shortly after, he made his Broadway debut in Rhinoceros which starred Zero Mostel. His first major film role was in The Young Doctors in 1961. He

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Robert Urich

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Robert Urich

Robert Michael Urich (December 19, 1946 – April 16, 2002) was an American film, television, stage actor, and television producer. Over the course of his 30-year career, he starred in a record 15 television series.[1] Urich began his career in television in the early 1970s. After guest stints and roles in short-lived television series, he won a co starring role in the action/crime drama series S.W.A.T. in 1975. In 1976, he landed the role of Dan Tanna in the crime drama series Vega$. It aired on ABC from 1978 to 1981, and earned him two Golden Globe Award nominations. In addition to his work in television, he also starred in several feature films, including Magnum Force (1973), The Ice Pirates (1984), and Turk 182 (1985). From 1985 to 1988, he portrayed the title role in the detective television series Spenser: For Hire, based on Robert B. Parker's series of mystery novels. In 1988, he began hosting the documentary series National Geographic Explorer. He won a CableACE Award for his work on the series. He was

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Dick Van Dyke

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Dick Van Dyke

Richard Wayne Van Dyke (born December 13, 1925) is an American actor and singer. Known mainly for his comedic roles, his award-winning career has spanned seven decades. Van Dyke first gained recognition on radio and Broadway, then he became known for his role as Rob Petrie on the CBS television sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran from 1961 to 1966. He also gained significant popularity for roles in the musical films Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Mary Poppins (1964), and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). His other prominent film appearances include roles in The Comic (1969), Dick Tracy (1990), Curious George (2006), Night at the Museum (2006), Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014), and Mary Poppins Returns (2018). Other prominent TV roles include the leads in The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971–74), Diagnosis: Murder (1993–2001), and Murder 101 (2006–08) which both co-starred his son Barry. Van Dyke is the recipient of five Primetime Emmys, a Tony, and a Grammy Award, and was inducted into the Television H

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James Stewart

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James Stewart

James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American actor and military officer who is among the most honored and popular stars in film history. Known for his distinctive drawl, down-to-earth persona, and authentic, everyman acting style, Stewart's film career spanned over 55 years and 80 films. With the strong morals he portrayed both on screen and in his personal life, Stewart epitomized the "American ideal" in the 20th-century United States. The characters he played spanned a wide range of subjects and appealed to large audiences. His emotional film performances contributed to his cinematic acclaim. Stewart began his career as a performer on Broadway which earned him a film contract at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). He began his career portraying idyllic and moral characters and established himself as a movie star working with Frank Capra for You Can't Take It with You (1938) and then Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), which earned him his first of five Academy Award nominations for Best Act

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Robert Stack

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Robert Stack

Robert Stack (born Charles Langford Modini Stack, January 13, 1919 – May 14, 2003) was an American actor, sportsman, and television host. Known for his deep, commanding voice and presence, he appeared in over 40 feature films. He starred in the landmark ABC-TV television series The Untouchables (1959–1963), for which he won the 1960 Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series, and later hosted/narrated true crime series Unsolved Mysteries (1987–2002). He was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film Written on the Wind (1956). Early life He was born Charles Langford Modini Stack in Los Angeles, California, but his first name, selected by his mother, was changed to Robert by his father. He spent his early childhood in Europe (Limerick, Ireland). He became fluent in French and Italian at an early age, and did not learn English until returning to Los Angeles.[1] His parents divorced when he was a year old, and he was raised by his mother, Mary Elizabeth (née Woo

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McLean Stevenson

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McLean Stevenson

Edgar McLean Stevenson Jr. (November 14, 1927 – February 15, 1996) was an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his role as Lt. Colonel Henry Blake in the television series M*A*S*H, which earned him a Golden Globe Award in 1974. Stevenson also appeared on a number of television series, notably The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Doris Day Show. Early life and career Stevenson was born in Normal, Illinois. He was the great-grandson of William Stevenson (brother of US Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson), making him a second cousin once removed of two-time presidential candidate Adlai E. Stevenson II. He was also the brother of actress Ann Whitney. His father, Edgar, was a cardiologist. Their shared middle name, "McLean", came from Edgar Sr.'s mother, Lottie McLean. Stevenson attended Lake Forest Academy and later joined the United States Navy. After his service he attended Northwestern University, where he was a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity brother, and graduated with a bachelor's degree

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Mary Treen

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Mary Treen

Mary Treen (born Mary Louise Summers, March 27, 1907 – July 20, 1989) was an American film and television actress, a familiar face who brought levity to the screen. A minor actress for much of her career, she managed to secure a plain, unassuming niche for herself in the Hollywood of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Early years She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of attorney Don C. Summers and actress Helene Sullivan Summers. In 1908, when Mary Louise was 11 months old, her mother sued her father for divorce on the grounds that he failed to provide for her.[1] Her father died while she was an infant. She was reared in California by her mother and her stepfather, a physician. Treen attended the Westlake School for Girls and a convent where she tried out successfully in school plays. Treen was a Roman Catholic[2]. Career During her career, Treen was seen in over 40 films.[3] Among her film roles were Tilly, the secretary of the Building and Loan, in It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and the role of Pat

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Nedra Volz

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Nedra Volz

Nedra Volz (née Gordonier, June 18, 1908 – January 20, 2003) was an American actress. Early life and career Born in Montrose, Iowa, she began her career in the family tent show, and appeared in vaudeville as a toddler (called "Baby Nedra"). In the early 1930s, Volz was featured vocalist with Cato's Vagabonds, a Des Moines, Iowa, big band that briefly enjoyed national popularity. Cato never made records, but Nedra managed to appear on exactly one 78 side, with Will Osborne's orchestra in 1933. Beginning with an episode of Good Times in 1975, she became a well-recognized supporting character actress, primarily on television and also in feature films. Nedra often played grandmothers or feisty little old ladies, in 1970s sitcoms such as Alice, Maude and One Day at a Time, after she appeared in two of Norman Lear's summer television series: as Grandma Belle Durbin in A Year at the Top in 1977 and as Bill Macy's housekeeper Pinky Nolan in Hanging In in 1979. In 1978, Volz appeared in the pilot episode of the TV

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Orson Welles

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Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American actor, director, writer and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre and film. He is considered one of the greatest film directors of all time.[3] While in his twenties Welles directed a number of high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937 he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of radio adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds, which caused widespread panic because many listeners thought that an invasion

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Robin Williams

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Robin Williams

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and comedian. Born in Chicago, Williams began performing stand-up comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the mid-1970s,[1] After rising to fame playing the alien Mork in the sitcom Mork & Mindy, Williams established a career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. He was known for his improvisation skills[2][3] and the wide variety of memorable character voices he created.[4][5] Many critics have lauded Williams as one of the funniest comedians of all time.[6][7] After his first starring film role in Popeye (1980), Williams starred in numerous films that achieved critical and commercial success, including The World According to Garp (1982), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), Patch Adams (1998), One Hour Photo (2002) and World's Greatest Dad (2009), as well as box office hits, such as Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs

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Rick Zumwalt

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Rick Zumwalt

Richard Lee Zumwalt Jr. (September 24, 1951 – March 19, 2003) was an American professional arm-wrestler and actor. He is known for playing the character of Bob "Bull" Hurley in the 1987 Sylvester Stallone movie Over the Top. Career In addition to his role in Over the Top, Zumwalt appeared in several other films. In 1988, he had a small but memorable role fighting Sean Connery in a bar in The Presidio. In 1992, he played a tattooed strongman, one of the Penguin's henchmen, in the blockbuster Batman Returns. Zumwalt also appeared on TV. He co-starred as "Judge Mental" on the kids' gameshow Pictionary and also had a supporting role in a 1990 episode of Night Court. In the mid-1990s, Zumwalt began appearing with the popular theatrical production Cirque du Soleil as a strongman. Zumwalt became an alcoholic in his early thirties. Ten years later, he became an active member in a clean and sober fellowship and spent a great deal of time and effort in service to others suffering from substance abuse. Death Acco

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Richard Pryor

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Richard Pryor

Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American stand-up comedian and actor. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and storytelling style, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential stand-up comedians of all time. Pryor's body of work includes the concert movies and recordings: Richard Pryor: Live & Smokin' (1971), That Nigger's Crazy (1974), ...Is It Something I Said? (1975), Bicentennial Nigger (1976), Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979), Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982), and Richard Pryor: Here and Now (1983). As an actor, he starred mainly in comedies such as Silver Streak (1976), but occasionally in dramas, such as Paul Schrader's Blue Collar (1978), or action films, such as Superman III (1983). He collaborated on many projects with actor Gene Wilder. Another frequent collaborator was actor/comedian/writer Paul Mooney. Pryor won an Emmy Award (1973) and five Grammy Awards (1974, 1975, 1976, 19

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Bob Denver

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Bob Denver

Robert Osbourne Denver (January 9, 1935 – September 2, 2005) was an American comedic actor, widely known for portraying Gilligan on the 1964-1967 television series Gilligan's Island and beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on the 1959–1963 series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Background Denver was born January 9, 1935 in New Rochelle, New York but raised in Brownwood, Texas. He graduated from Loyola University in Los Angeles, California with a degree in political science. He acted in college productions at Loyola and met fellow student Dwayne Hickman, with whom he later co-starred in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. After graduation, he coached physical education and taught mathematics and history at Corpus Christi School, a Roman Catholic elementary school in Pacific Palisades, California.[1] In 1971, Denver was arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his car and pleaded no contest for a reduced sentence of a $250 fine. In 1998, he was arrested for marijuana delivered to his home, originally s

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Michael Jackson

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Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. The eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5. He began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records, and in the early 1980s, became a dominant figure in popular music. His music videos, including those for "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Thriller" from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. Their popularity helped bring the television channel MTV to fame. Bad (1987) was the first a

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Russell Johnson

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Russell Johnson

Russell David Johnson (November 10, 1924 – January 16, 2014) was an American actor, known for his role as Professor Roy Hinkley in Gilligan's Island. He was also known for Marshal Gib Scott in Black Saddle. Early life Johnson was born in Ashley, Pennsylvania, on November 10, 1924,[1][2] to Russell Kennedy Johnson (1901–1932) and Marion Wenonah Smink Johnson (1902–1976).[3] Johnson was the oldest of seven siblings: Kenneth W. Johnson (1925–2012), David Reed Johnson (1926–1976), Lois Marion Johnson (1927–1928), Lorraine Johnson Crosby (1928-2015), Marion Joan Johnson Reeves (1930–2010), and Paul Wesley Johnson (1932–1933).[2][3] Their father died of pneumonia in December 1932, and Paul Wesley died not long after. Minnie Johnson later remarried Thomas S. Lewis.[3] As a teenager, Johnson attended Girard College, a private boarding school for fatherless boys, located in Philadelphia.[1] Military career After graduating from high school, Johnson enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces as an aviation cad

People from Bainbridge Island, Washington

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