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    • Tim Cameresi

      Nancy Walker (May 10, 1922–March 25, 1992) was an American actress & comedienne of stage, screen, & TV. She was also a film & TV director (most notably of The Mary Tyler Moore Show). During her 50 year career, she may be best remembered for her role of Ida Morgenstern, who first appeared on The Mary Tyler Moore Show & later on the spinoff series Rhoda. From 1971-76 she was a regular on Rock Hudson's McMillian & Wife. From 1970-1990 she played Rosie the waitress in Bounty paper towel commercials.

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    Rodney Sturt "Rod" Taylor (born January 11, 1930) is an Australian film & TV actor. He has appeared in over 50 films, and is well known for his leading roles in the science fiction classic The Time Machine (1960), and Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963). Taylor acquired extensive radio and stage experience in Australia. Taylor was awarded the 1954 Rola Show Australian Radio Actor of the Year Award, which included a ticket to London via Los Angeles, but Taylor did not continue on to London.

    Salvatore "Sal" Mineo, Jr. (Jan. 10, 1939 – Feb. 12, 1976) was an American film & theatre actor, best known for his performance opposite James Dean in the film Rebel Without a Cause. He was twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his roles in Rebel Without a Cause and Exodus. In the late 1960s Mineo became one of the first major actors in Hollywood to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality. He was stabbed to death during a robbery attempt at age 37.

    Gypsy Rose Lee (Jan. 9, 1911 – April 26, 1970) was an American burlesque entertainer famous for her striptease act. She was also an actress, author, & playwright whose 1957 memoir was made into the stage musical and film Gypsy. Her innovations were an almost casual strip style compared to the styles of most burlesque strippers (she emphasized the "tease" in "striptease"), and she brought a sharp sense of humor into her act as well. She became as famous for her onstage wit as for her strip style.

    Nolan Miller (Jan. 8, 1933 – June 6, 2012) was an American fashion & jewelry designer, and a TV costume designer best known for his work on the long-running 1980s series Dynasty, and its spin-off series The Colbys. He collaborated on many projects with television producers Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer, including Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Hotel, and Vega$. He also maintained a career as a private couturier in Beverly Hills, California, with many celebrity clients.

    Terry Moore (born Helen Luella Koford, Jan. 7, 1929) is an American film & TV actress who starred in several box office hits, including Mighty Joe Young (1949), Come Back, Little Sheba (1952) (for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress), & Peyton Place (1957). In the 1940s, she lived with Howard Hughes. After he died, she claimed that they secretly married. She failed to provide any evidence of a marriage, but the Hughes estate paid her a settlement in 1984.

    Danny Thomas (born Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz, Jan. 6, 1912–Feb. 6, 1991) was an American comedian, TV & film actor & producer, whose career spanned 5 decades. He was best known for starring in the TV sitcom Make Room for Daddy (also known as The Danny Thomas Show). He was the founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He is the father of Marlo Thomas, Terre Thomas, & Tony Thomas. In 2012, the US Postal Service issued a first class stamp honoring Thomas as an entertainer & humanitarian.

    Alvin Ailey (January 5, 1931 – December 1, 1989) was an African-American choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. Ailey is credited with popularizing modern dance and revolutionizing African-American participation in 20th century concert dance. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gained the nickname "Cultural Ambassador to the World" because of its extensive international touring.(Photos: David Moore, Jack Mitchell, Carl Van Vechten)

    Arthur Conley (Jan. 4, 1946 – Nov. 17, 2003) was a U.S. soul singer, best known for the 1967 hit "Sweet Soul Music". He grew up in Atlanta, GA. In 1967 he met Otis Redding and, together, they rewrote Sam Cooke's "Yeah Man" into "Sweet Soul Music". It proved to be a massive hit, going to the number two position on the U.S. charts and the Top Ten across much of Europe, and sold over one million copies. He relocated to England in 1975, spent several years in Belgium, & finally settled in Amsterdam.

    Marion Davies (Jan. 3, 1897 – Sept. 22, 1961) was an American film actress, producer, screenwriter, & philanthropist. She had a romance with newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, who took over management of her career, financed her films, promoted her heavily through his newspapers, & pressured studios to cast her. Their lives are the basis for Orson Welles' film Citizen Kane. She is linked with the 1924 scandal aboard Hearst's yacht where one of his guests, film producer Thomas Ince, died.

    Todd Haynes (born Jan. 2, 1961) is an American independent film director & screenwriter. He is best known for his feature films Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (told with Barbie dolls!), Poison, Velvet Goldmine, Safe, & the Academy Award-nominated Far from Heaven (this homage to the 1950s melodrama films of Douglas Kirk is Haynes' greatest critical and commercial success), & I'm Not There. His 5-hour miniseries for HBO, Mildred Pierce, won 5 Emmys. Openly gay Haynes lives in Portland.

    John Kingsley "Joe" Orton (Jan. 1, 1933 – Aug. 9, 1967) was an English playwright & author. His public career was short but prolific, lasting from 1964 until his death. During this brief period he shocked, outraged, and amused audiences with his scandalous black comedies like Loot & Entertaining Mr. Sloan. He was bludgeoned to death with a hammer by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, who then committed suicide with an overdose. Gary Oldman portrayed Orton in the 1987 film Prick Up Your Ears.

    Diane von Fürstenberg (born December 31, 1946) is a Belgian-born American fashion designer best known for her iconic wrap dress. She rose to prominence when she married into the German princely House of Fürstenberg, as the wife of Prince Egon of Fürstenberg. Her company is now a global luxury lifestyle brand offering four complete collections a year. In 2005, the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006 she was named as their president.

    David Thomas "Davy" Jones (December 30, 1945 – February 29, 2012) was an English actor, musician, recording artist, performing artist, & businessman best known as a member of the pop rock band, the Monkees, and star of the TV series of the same name. His acting credits include a Tony-nominated role as the Artful Dodger in Oliver! as well as roles in The Brady Bunch film and television show; Love, American Style; and My Two Dads. Jones is considered to be one of the great teen idols.

    Marianne Faithfull (born Dec. 29, 1946) is a British singer, songwriter & actress whose career has spanned five decades. From 1966 to 1970 she had a highly publicized romantic relationship with Mick Jagger. Her early work in pop & rock music in the 1960s was overshadowed by her struggle with drug abuse in the 1970s. After a long commercial absence, she returned late in 1979 with the highly acclaimed album, Broken English. She ranked 25th on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.

    Roebuck "Pops" Staples (Dec. 28, 1914 – Dec. 19, 2000) was an American gospel and R&B musician. A pivotal figure in gospel in the 1960s & 70s, he was a songwriter, guitarist & singer. He was the patriarch and member of The Staple Singers, which included his son Pervis and daughters Mavis, Yvonne, and Cleotha. In 1998 he received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1999 the Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

    Marlene Dietrich (Dec. 27, 1901 – May 6, 1992) was a German-born American actress & singer. She remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Hollywood capitalized on her glamour & exotic looks. She became a US citizen in 1939, and throughout World War II she was a high-profile frontline entertainer. From the 1950s to the 1970s she toured the world as a successful show performer.

    Abdul "Duke" Fakir (born Dec. 26, 1935) is an American singer best known as a member of Motown's Four Tops (1954 to present-day). A first tenor, he is the group's only surviving original member. He attended Detroit's Pershing High School where he met Levi Stubbs. They first met Lawrence Payton & Renaldo "Obie" Benson at a friend's birthday party in 1954. They so enjoyed singing together that night that they decided to start a singing group named "The Four Aims", later renamed the Four Tops.

    Rodman E. "Rod" Serling (Dec. 25, 1924 – June 28, 1975) was an American screenwriter, playwright, TV producer, & narrator best known for his live TV dramas of the 1950s & his sci-fi anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone. Serling was active in politics, both on and off the screen, and helped form television industry standards. He was known as the "angry young man" of Hollywood, clashing with television executives and sponsors over a wide range of issues including censorship, racism, and war.

    Max Miedinger (December 24, 1910 – March 8, 1980) was a Swiss typeface designer. He was famous for creating Neue Haas Grotesk typeface in 1957 which was renamed Helvetica in 1960. When he was 26 years old he went to work as a typographer for an advertising studio called Globe. After ten years, Miedinger became a representative for the Type Foundry Haas (Switzerland). This is where he would make his mark on history by designing the most used typeface of the 20th century — Helvetica.

    Esther Phillips (Dec. 23, 1935 – Aug. 7, 1984) was an American singer known for her R&B vocals. She was a versatile singer also performing pop, country, jazz, blues & soul. She had her first hit, "Double Crossing Blues", when she was just 15 years old. Five years later she was chronically addicted to drugs. She got well enough to launch a comeback in 1962. In 1975, she scored her biggest hit since "Release Me" with a disco update of Dinah Washington's "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes".

    Jean-Michel Basquiat (Dec. 22, 1960 – Aug. 12, 1988) was an American artist who began his career creating graffiti art in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the late 1970s. By the 1980s he was exhibiting his Neo-expressionist and Primitivist paintings in galleries and museums internationally, but he died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 in 1988. In 1992 the Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art. In 2012, one of his paintings sold for $16.3 million.

    Carla Venita Thomas (born Dec. 21, 1942) is an American singer who is often referred to as the Queen of Memphis Soul. She is the daughter of Rufus Thomas. She is best known for the work she completed for both Atlantic Records and most notably, Stax Records in the 1960s. She wrote her biggest hit, "Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)" when she was just 15 years old. Her fourth LP of duets with Otis Redding, King & Queen, was Redding's final studio album before his death in 1967.

    Kim Weston (born Dec. 20, 1939) is an American soul singer & Motown alumna. In the 1960s, Weston scored hits with the songs "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" & "Helpless", and with her duet with Marvin Gaye, "It Takes Two". In 1967 she and her then-husband William "Mickey" Stevenson (former A&R head at Motown) left Motown over royalty disputes. Today Weston is a radio disc jockey in Detroit. She was the first woman to be inducted into The Official R&B Music Hall of Fame.

    Cicely Tyson (born Dec. 19, 1933) is an American actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and the Golden Globe Award for her performance as Rebecca Morgan in Sounder (1972). For this role she also won the NSFC Best Actress and NBR Best Actress Awards. She starred in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), for which she won two Emmy Awards and was nominated for a BAFTA Award. She won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for The Trip to Bountiful.

    Elizabeth Ruth "Betty" Grable (Dec. 18, 1916 – July 2, 1973) was an American actress, dancer, & singer. She was celebrated for having the most beautiful legs in Hollywood and studio publicity widely dispersed photos featuring them. Her iconic bathing suit poster made her the number-one pin-up girl of the World War II era. It was later included in the Life magazine project "100 Photographs that Changed the World". Hugh Hefner said that Grable was his inspiration for founding the Playboy empire.