Date of Death between 1981-01-01 and 1981-12-31 (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)


1-50 of 1,889 names. | Next »


1. Gloria Grahame

Actress | In a Lonely Place

Gloria Grahame Hallward, an acting pupil of her mother (stage actress and teacher Jean Grahame), acted professionally while still in high school. In 1944 Louis B. Mayer saw her on Broadway and gave her an MGM contract under the name Gloria Grahame. Her debut in the title role of Blonde Fever (1944)...

2. Natalie Wood

Actress | Rebel Without a Cause

Natalie Wood (born Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko) was an American actress of Russian descent. She started her career as a child actress and eventually transitioned into teenage roles, young adult roles, and middle-aged roles. As a teenager, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in...

3. William Holden

Actor | Stalag 17

William Holden was born William Franklin Beedle, Jr. in O'Fallon, Illinois, to Mary Blanche (Ball), a schoolteacher, and William Franklin Beedle, Sr., an industrial chemist. He came from a wealthy family (the Beedles) that moved to Pasadena, California, when he was three. In 1937, while studying ...

4. Bernard Lee

Actor | Diamonds Are Forever

Best remembered as 'M' in the James Bond films, Bernard Lee was a popular character player in British films throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Born into a theatrical family, he made his stage debut at age six and later attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He first appeared on the West End stage...

5. Jenny Maxwell

Actress | Blue Hawaii

Jenny Maxwell was an American actress of Norwegian descent. She had a relatively brief career during the late 1950s and the 1960s. Her most substantial role was that of Ellie Corbett in the musical comedy "Blue Hawaii" (1961), depicted as a flirtatious teenage girl who has suicidal thoughts.

Maxwell...

6. Jack Albertson

Actor | Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

A former song-and-dance man and veteran of vaudeville, burlesque and Broadway, Jack Albertson is best known to audiences as "The Man" in the TV series Chico and the Man (1974), for which he won an Emmy. In 1968 Albertson, the brother of actress Mabel Albertson, won the Oscar for Best Supporting ...

7. Richard Boone

Actor | Have Gun - Will Travel

Richard Allen Boone was born in Los Angeles, California, to Cecile Lillian (Beckerman) and Kirk Etna Boone, a wealthy corporate lawyer. His maternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, while his father was descended from a brother of frontiersmen Daniel Boone and Squire Boone.

Richard was a...

8. Robert Montgomery

Actor | Night Must Fall

Born Henry Montgomery Jr., the elder son of New York businessman Henry Montgomery and his wife, Mary W. (nee Barney) Montgomery (a native of Brooklyn, Kings County, New York), Robert Montgomery had a younger brother, Donald. He was not related to Belinda Montgomery.

As a child, he enjoyed a ...

9. Melvyn Douglas

Actor | Being There

Two-time Oscar-winner Melvyn Douglas was one of America's finest actors, and would enjoy cinema immortality if for no other reason than his being the man who made Greta Garbo laugh in Ernst Lubitsch's classic comedy Ninotchka (1939), but he was much, much more.

Melvyn Douglas was born Melvyn Edouard...

10. Jim Davis

Actor | Big Jake

Tall, rangy Jim Davis spent much of his early career in westerns mainly at Republic Pictures. The Missouri-born and -raised Davis' relaxed, easygoing manner and Southern drawl easily fit most moviegoers' image of the cowboy and Republic put him in a ton of them over the years (the fact that, unlike...

11. Joan Elan

Actress | Darby's Rangers

Joan Elan was born on July 24, 1928 in Colombo, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka] as Joan Georgina Bingham-Newland. She was an actress, known for Darby's Rangers (1958), Matinee Theatre (1955) and Front Row Center (1955). She was married to Harry Franklin ("Bud") Nye Jr. She died on January 7, 1981 in New ...

12. Lotte Lenya

Actress | From Russia with Love

Lotte Lenya was a Tony Award-winning and Academy award-nominated actress and singer who is best remembered for her supporting role as Rosa Klebb in the classic Bond film From Russia with Love (1963).

She was born Karoline Wilhelmine Charlotte Blaumauer on October 18, 1898, in Vienna, Austria (at ...

13. William Wyler

Director | The Best Years of Our Lives

William Wyler was an American filmmaker who, at the time of his death in 1981, was considered by his peers as second only to John Ford as a master craftsman of cinema. The winner of three Best Director Academy Awards, second again only to Ford's four, Wyler's reputation has unfairly suffered as the...

14. Ross Martin

Actor | The Great Race

Born in Grodek, Poland, Ross Martin grew up on New York City's Lower East Side. He spoke Yiddish, Polish, and Russian before even learning English and later added French, Spanish, and Italian to his amazing repertoire.

Despite academic training (and receiving honors in) business, instruction, and ...

15. Vera-Ellen

Actress | White Christmas

Vera-Ellen began dancing at the age of 10, and a few years later became one of the youngest Rockettes. She appeared in several Broadway musicals until she was spotted by film producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1945. She was only 24 years old when Goldwyn cast her opposite Danny Kaye in Wonder Man (1945). ...

16. Robert H. Harris

Actor | Valley of the Dolls

Robert H. Harris was born on July 15, 1911 in New York City, New York, USA as Jacob Harry Hurwitz. He was an actor, known for Valley of the Dolls (1967), Apache Uprising (1965) and How to Make a Monster (1958). He was married to Viola Harris and Louise Lewis. He died on November 30, 1981 in Los ...

17. Allen Ludden

Self | Password

Allen Ludden was born on October 5, 1917 in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, USA as Allen Packard Ellsworth. He was an actor and producer, known for Password (1961), It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman! (1975) and Futureworld (1976). He was married to Betty White and Margaret Frances McGloin. He ...

18. Arthur O'Connell

Actor | Anatomy of a Murder

Though stage, screen and TV veteran Arthur O'Connell was born in New York City (on March 29, 1908), he looked as countrified as the American Gothic painting or Mom's home-made apple pie. Looking much more comfy in overalls than he ever could in a tuxedo, he would find an equally comfortable niche ...

19. Matthew 'Stymie' Beard

Actor | Dogs Is Dogs

Matthew 'Stymie' Beard was born on January 1, 1925 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Matthew Beard Jr. He was an actor, known for Dogs Is Dogs (1931), Bedtime Worries (1933) and Mush and Milk (1933). He was married to Annie. He died on January 8, 1981 in Los Angeles.

20. Wanda Hendrix

Actress | Song of Surrender

Born Dixie Wanda Hendrix in Jacksonville, Florida to a logging camp boss (Max Sylvester Hendrix) and his wife (Mary Bailley), wholesome, green-eyed, dark-haired Wanda Hendrix was involved in her hometown's little theater group when she was "discovered" by a passing talent agent and signed up by ...

21. Beulah Bondi

Actress | It's a Wonderful Life

Character actress Beulah Bondi was a favorite of directors and audiences and is one of the reasons so many films from the 1930s and 1940s remain so enjoyable, as she was an integral part of many of the ensemble casts (a hallmark of the studio system) of major and/or great films, including The Trail...

22. Chief Dan George

Actor | Little Big Man

Actor, author, and musician Chief Dan George was born in present-day North Vancouver as Geswanouth Slahoot (later anglicized as 'Dan Slaholt'), the son of a tribal chief on Burrard Indian Reserve Nº. 3. He is the only Aboriginal actor in Canadian history to date with the right to use the title "...

23. Don Megowan

Actor | The Werewolf

Don Megowan was born on May 24, 1922 in Inglewood, California, USA. He was an actor, known for The Werewolf (1956), The Creation of the Humanoids (1962) and Blazing Saddles (1974). He was married to Alva Megowan and Betty Eleanor Wright. He died on June 26, 1981 in Panorama City, California.

24. Edith Head

Costume Department | Sabrina

Edith Head was born on October 28, 1897 in San Bernardino, California, USA as Edith Claire Posener. She is known for her work on Sabrina (1954), All About Eve (1950) and Roman Holiday (1953). She was married to Wiard Ihnen and Charles Head. She died on October 24, 1981 in Los Angeles, California.

25. Pat Conway

Actor | Destination 60,000

Born on January 9, 1931, in Los Angeles, California, Patrick (Pat) Douglas Conway was the son of Hollywood "royalty"-film actor/director/producer Hugh ("Jack") Ryan Conway and his second wife, Virginia C. Bushman Conway, daughter of famous silent screen star Francis X. Bushman. Pat was a real ...

26. Frank DeKova

Actor | The Ten Commandments

Frank DeKova parlayed a sinister scowl, piercing eyes and an all-around menacing attitude into a long career of playing cold-blooded trigger-men, rampaging Indian chiefs, brutal Mexican army officers and the like. So it would probably come as a shock to those who know his work to discover that, ...

27. Margaret Lindsay

Actress | Scarlet Street

Picture-pretty brunette Margaret Lindsay was one of a number of pleasant, sweet-natured ingénues who could do no wrong in a score of 1930s stylish Hollywood pictures. Such altruistic love interests were often overlooked in pictures that were carried by the flashy histrionics of a jaunty James Cagney...

28. Nigel Patrick

Actor | Raintree County

This droll, urbane, dry-witted gent was born Nigel Dennis Patrick Wemyss-Gorman in London on May 2, 1912. Coming from a family of actors, his parents were actors Charles Wemyss and Dorothy Turner.

Nigel made his stage debut in the 1932 play "The Life Machine" and continued on the stock and repertory...

29. Torin Thatcher

Actor | Witness for the Prosecution

Associated with gritty, flashy film villainy, veteran character actor Torin Herbert Erskine Thatcher was born in Bombay, India to British parents on January 15, 1905. The son of a police officer (who died when Torin was 10) and a voice/piano teacher, he was educated in England at the Bedford School...

30. Madge Evans

Actress | Dinner at Eight

Lovely Madge Evans was the perennial nice girl in films of the 1930's. By then, she had been in front of the camera for many years, starting with Fairy Soap commercials at the age of two (she sat on a bar of soap holding a bunch of violets with the tag line reading "have you a little fairy in your ...

31. Paddy Chayefsky

Writer | Network

Author, producer, and composer who earned a Bachelor of Science degree from CCNY, then a Purple Heart during World War II while serving in the US Army. Joining ASCAP in 1955, his chief musical collaborators included George Bassman and Harry Warren. His popular-song compositions include "Marty" and ...

32. Patsy Kelly

Actress | Rosemary's Baby

Patsy Kelly was born Bridget Sarah Veronica Rose Kelly on January 12, 1910, in Brooklyn, New York. She began performing in vaudeville when she was just twelve years old. Patsy worked with comedian Frank Fay and starred in several Broadway shows. She was discovered by producer Hal Roach, who paired ...

33. Hoagy Carmichael

Soundtrack | To Have and Have Not

Award-winning songwriter ("Stardust", "Ole Buttermilk Sky", "Georgia on My Mind"), composer, pianist, actor and singer, educated at Indiana University (LL.B). He played piano in the college bands, and later gave up a law practice for a career in songwriting. He joined ASCAP in 1931, and his chief ...

34. Virginia Huston

Actress | Out of the Past

Virginia Huston was born on April 24, 1925 in Wisner, Nebraska, USA. She was an actress, known for Out of the Past (1947), Tarzan's Peril (1951) and Flight to Mars (1951). She was married to Manus Paul Clinton II. She died on February 28, 1981 in Santa Monica, California, USA.

35. Richard Hale

Actor | Julius Caesar

Richard Hale was born on November 16, 1892 in Rogersville, Tennessee, USA as James Richards Hale Jr. He was an actor, known for Julius Caesar (1953), Scaramouche (1952) and Star Trek: The Original Series (1966). He was married to Fiona O'Shiel, Kathryn Hamill and Temple Duncan. He died on May 18, ...

36. Frank McHugh

Actor | All Through the Night

The parents of Frank McHugh ran their own stock company and he was on the stage as a child. When he was 10 he was part of an act that include his brother Matt McHugh and sister Kitty McHugh. After vaudeville and other stock companies, Frank debuted on Broadway "The Fall Guy" (1925). In 1930 he was ...

37. Harry von Zell

Actor | Meet Mr. Mischief

Portly, pudding-faced, wavy dark-haired actor/announcer Harry Von Zell, whose well-modulated voice was a standard radio fixture during the 1930s and '40s, also extended his talents toward film and TV where he appeared in numerous comedy outings, often as a straight man foil. Born in Indianapolis, ...

38. Allyn Joslyn

Actor | Only Angels Have Wings

Allyn Joslyn, the son of a Pennsylvania mining engineer, made his stage debut at 17. He was soon appearing regularly in Broadway productions, and headed for Hollywood in 1936, making his debut in They Won't Forget (1937). His nervous, at times dyspeptic demeanor and somewhat aristocratic looks fit ...

39. Bob Marley

Soundtrack | I Am Legend

Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945, in Nine Miles, Saint Ann, Jamaica, to Norval Marley and Cedella Booker. His father was a Jamaican of English descent. His mother was a black teenager. The couple planned to get married but Norval left Kingston before this could happen. Norval died in 1955, ...

40. George Voskovec

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Czech actor/producer/director/author George Voskovec was born Jirí Wachsmann on June 19, 1905, the son of Jirina Valentina Marie (nee Pinkasová) and Vilem Eduard Voskovec (Wachsmann). His ancestry was Czech, German, and French. Prior to George's birth, the spelling of the family name was Vaksman (...

41. Eddie Byrne

Actor | Star Wars

Eddie Byrne was born on January 31, 1911 in Dublin, Ireland. He was an actor, known for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Island of Terror (1966) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). He died on August 21, 1981 in Dublin.

42. Woodrow Chambliss

Actor | Then Came Bronson

Woodrow Chambliss was born on October 14, 1914 in Bowie, Texas, USA as Lewis Woodrow Chambliss. He was an actor, known for Then Came Bronson (1969), Gunsmoke (1955) and The Wild Wild West (1965). He was married to Erika Chambliss. He died on January 8, 1981 in Ojai, California, USA.

43. Ann Harding

Actress | When Ladies Meet

Ann, born Dorothy Gatley, spent most of her childhood as an "army brat" constantly moving around before the family finally settled in New York. Ann first appeared on the stage while she spent a year attending Bryn Mawr College. She became a clerk and freelance script reader with a film company ...

44. Stanley Clements

Actor | Spook Chasers

Stanley Clements realized he wanted a show-business career while he was in grammar school, and when he graduated he toured in vaudeville for two years. He then joined the touring company of Edward Bowes' (aka Major Bowes) Amateur Hour. In 1941 he was signed to a contract by 20th Century-Fox and ...

45. Brenda de Banzie

Actress | The Man Who Knew Too Much

The daughter of a musical conductor, fair-haired, matronly Brenda de Banzie appeared in around 40 films. As the result of two outstanding performances she became an unexpected star when well into her middle age. Brenda first came to public notice as a sixteen year old chorus girl on the London ...

46. Kipp Hamilton

Actress | Mike Hammer

Kipp Hamilton was born on August 16, 1934 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Rita Marie Hamilton. She was an actress, known for Mike Hammer (1958), Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955) and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964). She was married to Donald Thorman Rosenfeld and Dave Geisel. She died on January 29,...

47. Harold Bennett

Actor | Are You Being Served?

Harold Bennett was born on November 17, 1898 in Hastings, East Sussex, England as Harold Frank Bennett. He was an actor, known for Are You Being Served? (1972), Are You Being Served? (1977) and Clayhanger (1976). He died on September 15, 1981 in London, England.

48. Enid Markey

Actress | Tarzan of the Apes

Enid Markey was born on February 22, 1894 in Dillon, Colorado, USA as Enid Virginia Markey. She was an actress, known for Tarzan of the Apes (1918), Sink or Swim (1920) and The Yankee Way (1917). She was married to George W. Cobb. She died on November 15, 1981 in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York, ...

49. Herb Voland

Actor | Airplane!

Herb Voland was born on October 2, 1918 in New Rochelle, New York, USA as Herbert Maurice Voland. He was an actor, known for Airplane! (1980), Play of the Week (1959) and The Love God? (1969). He was married to Betty Jean Carlton and Laura Elizabeth Hale. He died on April 26, 1981 in Riverside, ...

50. René Clair

Writer | Le silence est d'or

René Clair was born on November 11, 1898 in Paris, France as René-Lucien Chomette. He was a writer and director, known for Man About Town (1947), The Grand Maneuver (1955) and Beauties of the Night (1952). He was married to Bronia Clair. He died on March 15, 1981 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, ...


1-50 of 1,889 names. | Next »

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