Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (December 11, 1918 – August 3, 2008) was a Soviet and Russian novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his writings he helped to make the world aware of the Gulag, the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system – particularly The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, two of his best-known works. Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970. He was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974 and returned to Russia in 1994.
Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include awards-winning plays such as All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and The Crucible.
Charles Martin "Chuck" Jones (September 21, 1912 – February 22, 2002) was an American animator, cartoon artist, screenwriter, producer, and director of animated films, most memorably of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio. He directed many of the classic short animated cartoons starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner and Wile E.
Jacob Kurtzberg (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994), better known by the pen name Jack Kirby, was an American comic book artist, writer and editor. Growing up poor in New York City, Kurtzberg entered the nascent comics industry in the 1930s. He drew various comic strips under different pseudonyms, ultimately settling on Jack Kirby. In 1941, Kirby and writer Joe Simon created the highly successful superhero character Captain America for Timely Comics.
Richard Kim Milford (February 7, 1951 – June 16, 1988) was an American actor, singer-songwriter, and composer. best known for his acting in musicals such as The Rocky Horror Show and Jesus Christ Superstar.
The Venerable Pope John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła (18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005) served as Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death over 26 years later. His was the second-longest documented pontificate; only Pope Pius IX served longer (St Peter the Apostle is reputed to have served for more than thirty years as the first pontiff; however documentation is too sparse to definitively support this).
The Venerable Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (2 March 1876 – 9 October 1958), reigned as the 260th Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958.
David Samuel "Sam" Peckinpah (February 21, 1925 – December 28, 1984) was an American filmmaker and screenwriter who achieved prominence following the release of the Western epic The Wild Bunch (1969). He was known for the innovative and explicit depiction of action and violence, as well as his revisionist approach to the Western genre. Peckinpah's films generally deal with the conflict between values and ideals, and the corruption of violence in human society.
Adlai Ewing Stevenson II (February 5, 1900 – July 14, 1965) was an American politician, noted for his intellectual demeanor, eloquent oratory, and promotion of liberal causes in the Democratic Party. He served as the 31st Governor of Illinois, and received the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 1952 and 1956; both times he was defeated by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Pierre Francis de Marigny Berton, CC, O. Ont (July 12, 1920 – November 30, 2004) was a noted Canadian author of non-fiction, especially Canadiana and Canadian history, and was a well-known television personality and journalist. An accomplished storyteller, Berton was one of Canada's most prolific and popular authors. He wrote 50 books, including ones on popular culture, Canadian history, critiques of mainstream religion, anthologies, children's books and historical works for youth.
Robert Earl Wise (September 10, 1914 – September 14, 2005) was an American sound effects editor, film editor, film producer and director. He won Academy Awards as Best Director for The Sound of Music (1965) and West Side Story (1961) as well as nominations as Best Film Editing for Citizen Kane (1941) and Best Picture for The Sand Pebbles (1966).
Christopher D'Olier Reeve (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) was an American actor, film director, producer and screenwriter. He achieved stardom for his acting achievements, including his notable motion picture portrayal of the fictional character Superman. On May 27, 1995, Reeve became a quadriplegic after being thrown from his horse in an eventing competition in Culpeper, Virginia. He required a wheelchair and breathing apparatus for the rest of his life.
Antonín Leopold Dvořák was a Czech composer of Romantic music, who employed the idioms of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. His works include operas, symphonic, choral and chamber music. His best-known works include his New World Symphony, the Slavonic Dances, "American" String Quartet, and Cello Concerto in B minor.
Rainier III, Prince of Monaco (Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi, Count of Polignac; 31 May 1923 – 6 April 2005), styled His Serene Highness The Sovereign Prince of Monaco, ruled the Principality of Monaco for more than 50 years, making him one of the longest ruling monarchs of the 20th century.
George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor, and author, who won five Grammy Awards for his comedy albums. Carlin was noted for his black humor as well as his thoughts on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects. Carlin and his "Seven Dirty Words" comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v.
River Jude Phoenix (August 23, 1970 – October 31, 1993) was an Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated American film actor. He was listed on John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 38 as one of twelve "promising new actors of 1986", and was hailed as highly talented by such critics as Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. Also well known for his animal rights activism, he was a spokesperson for PETA and a strict vegan.
Mahalia Jackson (October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972) was an African-American gospel singer. With her powerful contralto voice, Mahalia Jackson became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and is the first Queen of Gospel Music. She recorded about 35 albums during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen "golds"—million-sellers.
Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov, CBE (16 April 1921 – 28 March 2004), was a British actor, writer and dramatist. He was also renowned as a filmmaker, theatre and opera director, director, stage designer, screenwriter, comedian, humorist, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster and television presenter.
Corinne Griffith (November 21, 1894 – July 13, 1979) was an American actress. Dubbed "The Orchid Lady of the Screen", she was one of the most popular film actresses of the 1920s and widely considered the most beautiful actress of the silent screen. Shortly after the advent of sound film, Griffith retired from acting and became a successful author.
Colonel Robert Green Ingersoll (August 11, 1833 – July 21, 1899) was a Civil War veteran, American political leader, and orator during the Golden Age of Freethought, noted for his broad range of culture and his defense of agnosticism.
Ernest Wiseman OBE (27 November 1925 – 21 March 1999), better known by his stage name of Ernie Wise, was an English comedian, best known as one half of the comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, who became an institution on British television, especially for their Christmas specials.
Shelley Winters (August 18, 1920 – January 14, 2006) was an American actress who appeared in dozens of films, as well as on stage and television; her career spanned over fifty years, until her death in 2006. Winters is probably most remembered for her roles in A Place in the Sun, The Big Knife, Lolita, The Night of the Hunter, Alfie, and The Poseidon Adventure.
Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr. (February 23, 1915 – November 1, 2007) was a brigadier general in the United States Air Force, best known for being the pilot of the Enola Gay, the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb in the history of warfare. The bomb, code-named Little Boy, was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
Cass Elliot (September 19, 1941 – July 29, 1974), born Ellen Naomi Cohen, was a noted American singer, best remembered as Mama Cass of the pop quartet The Mamas & the Papas. After the group broke up, she had a successful solo career, releasing five studio albums. Elliot was found dead in her room in London from an apparent heart attack after two weeks of sold-out performances at the Palladium. In 1998, the four members of the group were inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.