From prisoner to president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela inspired the world.
Desi Arnaz called himself the embodiment of the American Dream. Arriving in Miami, Fla., at the age of 16 with no money and unable to speak English, Arnaz went on to become one of the most successful people in Hollywood. Together with his first wife, Lucille Ball, Arnaz helped to pioneer techniques in television production that are still in use today. Their groundbreaking show, I Love Lucy, transformed the way we think of television while winning over millions of fans worldwide.
During her 30 years in film, Claude Jade brought life and love to the screen through her portrayal of Christine Darbon in the films of Francois Truffaut. Her beauty and vulnerability were mesmerizing, and Darbon remains an icon in French cinema. Read more about Claude Jade, as well as the lives of other notable figures who died on this day in history.
Evel Knievel was a walking, talking thrill ride. His stunts were legendary, and his name is now synonymous with “daredevil.” Read about his incredible life, and the lives of other notable persons who died on this day in history.
Natalie Wood’s life and tragic death are the stuff of Hollywood legend. She starred in dozens of films and television movies, including classics like Miracle on 34th Street and West Side Story, and earned three Academy Award nominations before she was 25 years old. Wood was in production on yet another film when she died, drowning under mysterious circumstances. Her death inspired decades of investigations and speculation, as well as the hit song “Dirty Laundry.” The details of Natalie Wood’s death may never be known, but her legacy as an icon of talent and beauty is undeniable.
Leslie Nielsen was surely a master of deadpan comedy. With the charm and charisma of a traditional leading man, Nielsen was the ideal of the “straight man” for some of the 20th century’s zaniest comedies. We remember his remarkable life, and the lives of other notable persons who died on this day in history. Read more
In the mid-1970s when homosexuality was considered a mental illness by some and criminal by others, Harvey Milk prepared for his first run for public office as an openly gay man. His nephew Stuart was 15 at the time. He remembers telling his uncle, “I don’t know if you need to be so loud.”
Milk’s reply? Being out and proud was the only way to fight the lies and myths about homosexuality.
Was there anyone cooler than Robert Goulet? Impossible.
Today would have been Robert Goulet’s 85th birthday. Celebrate Goulet’s life and test your Goulet IQ with our quiz: Goulet!
Image: AP Photo/Elise Amendola