Stars that cared the most about their fans

by BWRocks | created - 13 Aug 2016 | updated - 18 Aug 2016 | Public

This is a list of stars that have passed on, from any era, in any form of entertainment that truly cared the most about their fans and the public.

1. Joan Crawford

Actress | What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23, 1906, in San Antonio, Texas, to Anna Belle (Johnson) and Thomas E. LeSueur, a laundry laborer. By the time she was born, her parents had separated, and by the time she was a teenager, she'd had three stepfathers. It wasn't an easy life; ...

2. John Wayne

Actor | True Grit

John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Iowa, to Mary Alberta (Brown) and Clyde Leonard Morrison, a pharmacist. He was of English, Ulster-Scots, and Irish ancestry.

Clyde developed a lung condition that required him to move his family from Iowa to the warmer climate of southern California, ...

3. Imogene Coca

Actress | National Lampoon's Vacation

Imogene Coca is best remembered for playing opposite Sid Caesar in the live 90-minute Your Show of Shows (1950), which ran every Saturday night in regular season on NBC from February 1950 to June 1954. Their repertoire of comedy acts included the very memorable, hilarious, timeless and ...

4. John Ritter

Actor | Sling Blade

Jonathan Southworth Ritter was born in Burbank, California, on September 17, 1948. He was the son of legendary country singer/actor Tex Ritter and his wife, actress Dorothy Fay. The couple married in 1941 and had their first child, Tom Ritter, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. John was ...

5. Patsy Cline

Soundtrack | Assassin's Creed

Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932 in Winchester, Virginia. Her brush with show business came at age four when she won a prize in an amateur tap dancing contest. By the time she entered grade school, her family was fully aware of her musical talent. On her eighth ...

6. Michael Landon

Actor | Little House on the Prairie

Michael Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz, on Saturday, October 31st, 1936, in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. In 1941, he and his family moved to Collingswood, New Jersey.

When Eugene was in high school, he participated -- and did very well -- in track and field, especially javelin throwing, ...

7. Joan Fontaine

Actress | Rebecca

Born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland on October 22, 1917, in Tokyo, Japan, in what was known as the International Settlement. Her father was a British patent attorney with a lucrative practice in Japan, but due to Joan and older sister Olivia de Havilland's recurring ailments the family moved to ...

8. James Stewart

Actor | Anatomy of a Murder

James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Ruth (Johnson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. He was of Scottish, Ulster-Scots, and some English, descent. Stewart was educated at a local prep school, Mercersburg Academy, where he ...

9. Tammy Wynette

Soundtrack | Sordid Lives

Tammy once said: "I spent 15 minutes writing ["Stand by Your Man"], and a lifetime defending it". She was born Virginia Wynette Pugh on May 5, 1942, on her grandfather's cotton farm in Itawamba County, Mississippi. Tammy picked cotton as a child, and as a young woman worked as a waitress, a ...

10. Waylon Jennings

Actor | Maverick

Jennings, a singer, songwriter and guitarist, recorded 60 albums and had 16 No. 1 country singles in a career that spanned five decades. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October 2001. With pal Willie Nelson, Jennings performed duets like "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up ...

11. Ethel Merman

Actress | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Born in the Astoria section of Queens, New York City, Ethel Merman surely is the pre-eminent star of 'Broadway' musical comedy. Though untrained in singing, she could belt out a song like quite no one else, and was sought after by major songwriters such as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Having ...

12. Milton Berle

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Milton Berle was born Milton Berlinger on July 12, 1908, in New York City, to Sarah (Glantz) and Moses Berlinger, a paint and varnish salesman. He was educated at New York Professional Children's School and began performing at age 5. His first stage appearance was in "Florodora" in Atlantic City, ...

13. Helen Hayes

Actress | Airport

Known as "The First lady of the American Theater", Helen Hayes had a legendary career on stage and in films and television that spanned over eighty years. Hayes was born in Washington, D.C., to Catherine Estelle "Essie" Hayes, an actress who worked in touring companies, and Francis van Arnum Brown,...

14. Ernest Borgnine

Actor | Marty

Ernest Borgnine was born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut. His parents were Anna (Boselli), who had emigrated from Carpi (MO), Italy, and Camillo Borgnino, who had emigrated from Ottiglio (AL), Italy. As an only child, Ernest enjoyed most sports, especially boxing, ...

15. Joan Rivers

Actress | Spaceballs

Joan Rivers was born on June 8, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Joan Alexandra Molinsky. She was a writer and actress, known for Spaceballs (1987), Iron Man 3 (2013) and Serial Mom (1994). She was married to Edgar Rosenberg and James Bennat Sanger. She died on September 4, 2014 in...

16. Gene Kelly

Soundtrack | Singin' in the Rain

Eugene Curran Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the third son of Harriet Catherine (Curran) and James Patrick Joseph Kelly, a phonograph salesman. His father was of Irish descent and his mother was of Irish and German ancestry.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the largest and most powerful studio in...

17. Dinah Shore

Soundtrack | The Dinah Shore Chevy Show

Her real name was Frances "Fanny" Rose Shore, and she was born in Winchester, Tennessee. Stricken with polio at 18 months of age, she recovered after receiving the Sister Kenny treatment. She became a cheerleader at Hume-Fogg High School in Nashville and went on to graduate from Vanderbilt ...

18. Charlton Heston

Actor | Ben-Hur

With features chiseled in stone, and renowned for playing a long list of historical figures, particularly in Biblical epics, the tall, well built and ruggedly handsome Charlton Heston was one of Hollywood's greatest leading men and remained active in front of movie cameras for over sixty years. As ...

19. Martha Raye

Actress | McMillan & Wife

Known as "The Big Mouth" and considered the female equivalent to Bob Hope, Martha Raye was an American icon in her own right.

She was born Margy Reed in Butte, Montana, to Maybelle Hazel (Hooper) and Peter Reed, Jr., vaudeville performers. She had Irish, German, and English ancestry. Raye made her ...

20. Dickie Jones

Soundtrack | Avengers: Age of Ultron

American actor who achieved some success as a child and as a young adult, especially in B-Westerns and in television. The son of a Texas newspaper editor. Jones was a accomplished horseman from infancy. At the age of four he was billed as the World's Youngest Trick Rider and Roper. At the age of ...

21. Gloria Swanson

Actress | Sunset Blvd.

Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her film debut was as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket (1915). From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in...

22. Johnny Cash

Soundtrack | The Johnny Cash Show

Johnny Cash was born February 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas, to Carrie Cash (Rivers) and Raymond Cash. He made his first single, "Hey Porter", for Sun Records in 1955. In 1958 he moved to Columbia Records. He had long periods of drug abuse during the 1960s, but later that decade he successfully ...

23. Shelley Winters

Actress | The Poseidon Adventure

Shelley Winters was born Shirley Schrift of very humble beginnings on August 18, 1920 (some sources list 1922) in East St. Louis, Illinois. Her mother, Rose Winter, was born in Missouri, to Austrian Jewish parents, and her father, Jonas Schrift, was an Austrian Jewish immigrant. She had one sibling...

24. Buddy Ebsen

Actor | The Beverly Hillbillies

Buddy Ebsen began his career as a dancer in the late 1920s in a Broadway chorus. He later formed a vaudeville act with his sister Vilma Ebsen, which also appeared on Broadway. In 1935 he and his sister went to Hollywood, where they were signed for the first of MGM's Eleanor Powell movies, Broadway ...

25. Marjorie Lord

Actress | The Adventures of Smilin' Jack

Poised and lovely Marjorie Lord started her long and varied career on the Broadway stage and in "B" films as a sweet-natured ingénue.

Lord was born Marjorie F. Wollenberg in 1918 in San Francisco, California, to Lillian Rosalie (Edgar) and George Charles Wollenberg. Her family transported themselves...

26. Groucho Marx

Actor | A Night at the Opera

The bushy-browed, cigar-smoking wise-cracker with the painted-on moustache and stooped walk was the leader of The Marx Brothers. With one-liners that were often double entendres, Groucho never cursed in any of his performances and said he never wanted to be known as a dirty comic. With a great love...

27. Donna Reed

Actress | It's a Wonderful Life

Donna Reed was born in the midwestern town of Denison, Iowa, on January 27, 1921, as Donna Belle Mullenger. A small town - a population of less than 3,000 people - Denison was located by the Boyer River, and was the county seat of Crawford County. Donna grew up as a farm girl, much like many young ...

28. Ozzie Nelson

Actor | The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet

This preeminent sitcom dad of the 50s had already started things off studying law when he decided to put together a dance band in the 20s on the sly. The band was so successful that he never looked back -- his love for entertaining completely took over. The New Jersey-born performer made a living ...

29. Tallulah Bankhead

Actress | Lifeboat

Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was born on January 31, 1902 in Huntsville, Alabama. Her father was a mover and shaker in the Democratic Party who served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from June 4, 1936, to September 16, 1940. Tallulah had been interested in acting and, at age ...

30. Jackie Coogan

Actor | The Kid

Jackie Coogan was born into a family of vaudevillians where his father was a dancer and his mother had been a child star. On the stage by four, Jackie was touring at the age of five with his family in Los Angeles, California.

While performing on the stage, he was spotted by Charles Chaplin, who then...

31. Butterfly McQueen

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Thelma McQueen attended public school in Augusta, Georgia and graduated from high school in Long Island, New York. She studied dance with Katherine Dunham, Geoffrey Holder, and Janet Collins. She danced with the Venezuela Jones Negro Youth Group. The "Butterfly" stage name, which does describe her ...

32. Bing Crosby

Actor | White Christmas

Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. in Tacoma, Washington, the fourth of seven children of Catherine Helen "Kate" (Harrigan) and Harry Lowe Crosby, a brewery bookkeeper. He was of English and Irish descent. Crosby studied law at Gonzaga University in Spokane but was more interested in ...

33. Lillian Gish

Actress | The Night of the Hunter

Lillian Diana Gish was born on October 14, 1893, in Springfield, Ohio. Her father, James Lee Gish, was an alcoholic who caroused around, was rarely at home and left the family to more or less fend for themselves. To help make ends meet, Lillian, her sister Dorothy Gish and their mother, Mary Gish ...

34. Roy Rogers

Soundtrack | Men in Black 3

Roy Rogers (born Leonard Slye) moved to California in 1930, aged 18. He played in such musical groups as The Hollywood Hillbillies, Rocky Mountaineers, Texas Outlaws, and his own group, the International Cowboys. In 1934 he formed a group with Bob Nolan called Sons of the Pioneers. While in that ...

35. Jane Wyatt

Actress | Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Born in Campgaw, New Jersey, Jane Waddington Wyatt came from a New York family of social distinction (her father was a Wall Street investment banker and her mother was a drama critic). Jane was raised from the age of three months in New York City and attended the fashionable Chapin School and later...

36. Sammy Davis Jr.

Actor | The Cannonball Run

Sammy Davis Jr. was often billed as the "greatest living entertainer in the world".

He was born in Harlem, Manhattan, the son of dancer Elvera Davis (née Sanchez) and vaudeville star Sammy Davis Sr.. His father was African-American and his mother was of Cuban and African-American ancestry. Davis Jr....

37. Betsy Palmer

Actress | Friday the 13th

Betsy Palmer was probably best known for playing Jason Voorhees' mother in the horror film Friday the 13th (1980), but her career as an actress began many years before.

Palmer was born Patricia Betsy Hrunek in East Chicago, Indiana, to Marie (née Love), who launched the Chicago Business College, and...

38. Conway Twitty

Soundtrack | Limitless

Conway Twitty was born on September 1, 1933 in Friars Point, Mississippi, USA as Harold Lloyd Jenkins. He was married to Dolores Virginia Henry, Temple Medley and Ellen Matthews. He died on June 5, 1993 in Springfield, Missouri, USA.

39. Ann B. Davis

Actress | The Brady Bunch

Ann B. Davis made her debut in show business at age 6 earning $2.00 in a puppet show. At the University of Michigan, Anne planned to study medicine but got the acting bug from her brother who was the lead dancer in the national company of "Oklahoma" for over a year. Anne then spent six years in ...

40. Frank Sinatra Jr.

Actor | Hollywood Homicide

Frank Sinatra Jr. was born on January 10, 1944 in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA as Francis Wayne Sinatra. He was an actor, known for Hollywood Homicide (2003), Aru heishi no kake (1970) and Dream for an Insomniac (1996). He was married to Cynthia Sinatra. He died on March 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, ...

41. Kitty Wells

Soundtrack | The Blues Brothers

Kitty Wells was born on August 30, 1919 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA as Muriel Ellen Deason. She was married to Johnny Wright. She died on July 16, 2012 in Madison, Tennessee.

42. Robert Young

Actor | Marcus Welby, M.D.

Quiet, soft-spoken Robert grew up in California and had some stage experience with the Pasadena Playhouse before entering films in 1931. His movie career consisted of playing characters who were charming, good-looking--and bland. In fact, his screen image was such that he usually never got the girl...

43. Mary Ann Mobley

Actress | Get Yourself a College Girl

Born on February 17, 1937 in Biloxi, Mississippi, Mary Ann Mobley is one of the few Miss Americas to have true success as an actress or television personality (the others are Barnaby Jones (1973) beauty Lee Meriwether, television hostess Phyllis George, Consumer advocate/game show panelist Bess ...

44. Gene Autry

Soundtrack | The Gene Autry Show

After high school Gene Autry worked as a laborer for the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad in Oklahoma. Next he was a telegrapher. In 1928 he began singing on a local radio station, and three years later he had his own show and was making his first recordings. Three years after that he made his ...

45. Myrna Loy

Actress | The Best Years of Our Lives

Myrna Loy was born Myrna Adele Williams on August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana, to Adelle Mae (Johnson) and David Franklin Williams. Her paternal grandparents were Welsh, and her mother was of Scottish and Swedish descent. Myrna was raised in Helena and nearby Radersburg. Her father, a rancher, was ...



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