Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby (May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977) was a popular American singer and actor whose career stretched over more than half a century from 1926 until his death. Crosby was the best-selling recording artist until well into the rock era, with over half a billion records in circulation. One of the first multimedia stars, from 1934 to 1954 Bing Crosby held a nearly unrivaled command of record sales, radio ratings and motion picture grosses.
Béla Lugosi (20 October 1882 – 16 August 1956) was a Hungarian actor of stage and screen, well known for playing Count Dracula in the Broadway play and subsequent film version. In the last years of his career he featured in several of Ed Wood's low budget films.
Mack Sennett (January 17, 1880 – November 5, 1960) was a Canadian-born director and was known as the innovator of slapstick comedy in film. During his lifetime he was known at times as the "King of Comedy". His short "Wrestling Swordfish" was awarded the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1932 and he earned an Academy Honorary Award in 1937.
Frank James “Gary” Cooper (May 7, 1901 – May 13, 1961) was an American film actor. He was renowned for his quiet, understated acting style and his stoic, individualistic, emotionally restrained, but at times intense screen persona, which was particularly well suited to the many Westerns he made. His career spanned from 1925 until shortly before his death, and comprised more than one hundred films.
Sharon Marie Tate (January 24, 1943 – August 9, 1969) was an American actress. During the 1960s she played small television roles before appearing in several films. After receiving positive reviews for her comedic performances, she was hailed as one of Hollywood's promising newcomers and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Valley of the Dolls (1967). She also appeared regularly in fashion magazines as a model and cover girl.
Lawrence Welk (March 11, 1903 – May 17, 1992) was an American musician, accordionist, bandleader, and television impresario, hosting The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1982. His style came to be known to his large number of radio, television, and live-performance fans as "champagne music."
Thomas Leo McCarey (October 3, 1898 – July 5, 1969) was an American film director, screenwriter and producer. During his lifetime he was involved in almost 200 movies, especially comedies. French director Jean Renoir once said that "Leo McCarey understood people better than any other Hollywood director."
Fibber McGee and Molly was a popular and beloved radio show during the era of classic, old-time radio. It was one of the longest-running comedies in the history of classic radio in the United States. The series premiered in 1935 and remained popular until its demise in 1959, long after radio had ceased to be the dominant form of entertainment in American popular culture.
Frederick Martin "Fred" MacMurray (August 30, 1908 – November 5, 1991) was an American actor who appeared in more than 100 movies and a highly successful television series during a career that spanned nearly a half-century, starting in 1930 and extending into the 1970s. MacMurray is well known for his role in the 1944 film noir Double Indemnity, in which he starred with Barbara Stanwyck.
John Franklin Candy (October 31, 1950 – March 4, 1994) was a Canadian comedian and actor. He rose to fame as a member of the Toronto, Ontario branch of The Second City and for his starring role in the 1993 comedy Cool Runnings. One of his most renowned on-screen performances was that of Del Griffith in the John Hughes comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Charles Boyer (28 August 1899 – 26 August 1978) was a French actor who appeared in more than 80 films between 1920 and 1976. After receiving an education in drama, Boyer started on the stage, but he found his success in movies during the 1930s. Although moving to the U.S. , he maintained a heavy French accent. His most famous role was opposite Ingrid Bergman in the 1944 mystery-thriller Gaslight.
James Francis "Jimmy" Durante (February 10, 1893 – January 29, 1980) was an American singer, pianist, comedian and actor. His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, comic language butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and large nose helped make him one of America's most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s. His jokes about his nose included referring to it as a "Schnozzola", and the word became his nickname.
Raymond Wallace "Ray" Bolger (January 10, 1904 – January 15, 1987) was an American entertainer of stage and screen, best known for his portrayal of the Scarecrow and Kansas farmworker Hunk in the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz.
Rosalind Russell (June 4, 1907 – November 28, 1976) was an American actress of stage and screen, perhaps best known for her role as a fast-talking newspaper reporter in the Howard Hawks screwball comedy His Girl Friday, as well as the role of Mame Dennis in the film Auntie Mame. She won all 5 Golden Globes for which she was nominated, and was tied with Meryl Streep for wins until 2007 when Streep was awarded a sixth.
John Leslie "Jackie" Coogan, Jr. (October 26, 1914 – March 1, 1984) was an American actor who began his movie career as a child actor in silent films. Many years later, he became known as Uncle Fester on 1960s sitcom The Addams Family. In the interim, he sued his mother and stepfather over his squandered film earnings and provoked California to enact the first known legal protection for the earnings of child performers.
Lindley Armstrong "Spike" Jones (December 14, 1911 – May 1, 1965) was a popular musician and bandleader specializing in performing satirical arrangements of popular songs. Ballads and classical works receiving the Jones treatment would be punctuated with gunshots, whistles, cowbells and ridiculous vocals. Through the 1940s and early 1950s, the band recorded under the title Spike Jones and his City Slickers and toured the USA and Canada under the title The Musical Depreciation Revue.
Rita Hayworth (October 17, 1918 – May 14, 1987) was an American film actress and dancer who attained fame during the 1940s not only as one of the era's top stars, but also as the era's greatest sex symbol, most notably in Gilda (1946). She appeared in 61 films over 37 years and is listed as one of the American Film Institute's Greatest Stars of All Time.
John Ford (February 1, 1894 – August 31, 1973) was an American film director of Irish heritage famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach and The Searchers and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath. His four Best Director Academy Awards (1935, 1940, 1941, 1952) is a record, although only one of those films, How Green Was My Valley, also won Best Picture.
Berna Eli "Barney" Oldfield (June 3, 1878 – October 4, 1946) was an automobile racer and pioneer. He was born on a farm on the outskirts of Wauseon, Ohio. He was the first man to drive a car at 60 miles per hour (96 km/h) on an oval. His accomplishments led to the expression "Who do you think you are? Barney Oldfield?"
Helen O'Connell (May 23, 1920 – September 9, 1993) was an American singer, actress, and dancer. Born in Lima, Ohio, O'Connell joined the Jimmy Dorsey band in 1939 and achieved her best selling records in the early 1940s with "Green Eyes", "Amapola," "Tangerine" and "Yours". In each of these Latin-influenced numbers, Bob Eberly crooned the song which Helen then reprised in an up-tempo arrangement.
Louella Parsons (August 6, 1881 – December 9, 1972) was an American gossip columnist who, for many years, was an influential arbiter of Hollywood mores, often feared and hated by the individuals, mostly actors, whose careers she could negatively impact via her radio show and newspaper columns.
Mary Astor (May 3, 1906 – September 25, 1987) was an American actress. Most remembered for her role as Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (1941) with Humphrey Bogart, Astor began her long motion picture career as a teenager in the silent movies of the early 1920s. She eventually made a successful transition to talkies, but almost saw her career destroyed due to public scandal in the mid-1930s.