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


1-50 of 1,968 names. | Next »


1. Natalie Wood

Actress | Rebel Without a Cause

Natalie Wood was an American actress of Russian and Ukrainian descent. She started her career as a child actress and eventually transitioned into teenage roles, young adult roles, and middle-aged roles. She drowned off Catalina Island on November 29, 1981 at age 43.

Wood was born July 20, 1938 in ...

2. William Holden

Actor | Stalag 17

Billy Wilder proclaimed William Holden to be "the ideal motion picture actor". For almost four decades, the handsome, affable 'Golden Holden' was among Hollywood's most durable and engaging stars. He was born William Franklin Beedle Jr., one of three sons to a high school English teacher, Mary ...

3. 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)...

4. 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...

5. 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 ...

6. 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 ...

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. Roger Tonge

Actor | Crossroads

Roger Tonge was born on January 30, 1946 in Birmingham, England, UK. He was an actor, known for Crossroads (1964), Crossroads: A Celebration (1971) and Nearest and Dearest (1968). He died on February 26, 1981 in London, England, UK.

9. 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...

10. 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...

11. 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 ...

12. 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). ...

13. 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...

14. Allyn Joslyn

Actor | I Wake Up Screaming

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 ...

15. 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...

16. Robert Montgomery

Actor | Night Must Fall

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

As a child, he enjoyed a ...

17. Reiko Sato

Actress | Flower Drum Song

Reiko Sato was born on December 19, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She was an actress, known for Flower Drum Song (1961), The Ugly American (1963) and Woman on the Run (1950). She died on May 28, 1981 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

18. 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, ...

19. 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...

20. 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 ...

21. 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 ...

22. Kipp Hamilton

Actress | The Unforgiven

Kipp Hamilton was born on August 16, 1934 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She was an actress, known for The Unforgiven (1960), Mike Hammer (1958) and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964). She was previously married to Donald Thorman Rosenfeld and Dave Geisel. She died on January 29, 1981 in Beverly ...

23. 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...

24. Don Megowan

Actor | The Creation of the Humanoids

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

25. 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...

26. 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 ...

27. Edith Head

Costume Department | Sabrina

Edith Head was born on October 28, 1897 in San Bernardino, California, USA. She was a costume designer and actress, known for Sabrina (1954), All About Eve (1950) and The Sting (1973). She was previously married to Wiard Ihnen and Charles Head. She died on October 24, 1981 in Los Angeles, ...

28. Matthew 'Stymie' Beard

Actor | Dogs Is Dogs

Matthew 'Stymie' Beard was born on January 1, 1925 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He was an actor, known for Dogs Is Dogs (1931), A Lad an' a Lamp (1932) and Bedtime Worries (1933). He was previously married to Annie. He died on January 8, 1981 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

29. 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 ...

30. James Murdock

Actor | The Godfather Part II

James Murdock was born on June 22, 1931 in Bloomington, Illinois, USA. He was an actor, known for The Godfather Part II (1974), Rawhide (1959) and Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1963). He was previously married to Betty. He died on December 24, 1981 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

31. 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 "...

32. 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 ...

33. Robert H. Harris

Actor | How to Make a Monster

Robert H. Harris was born on July 15, 1911 in New York City, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for How to Make a Monster (1958), Valley of the Dolls (1967) and Bundle of Joy (1956). He was previously married to Viola Harris and Louise Lewis. He died on November 30, 1981 in Los Angeles, ...

34. 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, ...

35. 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 (...

36. Lotte Lenya

Actress | From Russia with Love

Lotte Lenya was a Tony Award-winning and Academy award-nominated actress and singer. While best remembered in the U.S. for her supporting role as Rosa Klebb in the classic Bond film From Russia with Love (1963), she is celebrated in Germany for her ground-breaking performances in the plays of Kurt ...

37. Harold Bennett

Actor | Are You Being Served?

Harold Bennett was born on November 17, 1898 in Hastings, East Sussex, England, UK. 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, UK.

38. Allen Ludden

Self | Password

Allen Ludden was born on October 5, 1917 in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, USA. 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 previously married to Betty White and Margaret Frances McGloin. He died on June 9, ...

39. 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...

40. 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, ...

41. 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 ...

42. Woodrow Chambliss

Actor | Gargoyles

Woodrow Chambliss was born on October 14, 1914 in Bowie, Texas, USA. He was an actor, known for Gargoyles (1972), Then Came Bronson (1969) and Gunsmoke (1955). He was previously married to Erika Chambliss. He died on January 8, 1981 in Ojai, California, USA.

43. 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 ...

44. Maria Palmer

Actress | Lady on a Train

This lovely Austrian-born actress was born (in 1917) and raised in Vienna, performing as a child on stage and appearing in various productions for the renown Max Reinhardt. Trained in dance, she was a member of the Bodenwieser Ensemble, a European troupe. Following a few high school plays and dance...

45. Richard Hale

Actor | Julius Caesar

Richard Hale was born on November 16, 1892 in Rogersville, Tennessee, USA. He was an actor, known for Julius Caesar (1953), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and Scaramouche (1952). He was previously married to Fiona O'Shiel, Kathryn Hamill and Temple Duncan. He died on May 18, 1981 in Northridge, ...

46. 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, Ireland.

47. Lola Lane

Actress | The Big Fight

Lola Lane, born Dorothy Mullican, grew up Indianola, Iowa. Small-town life was not to her taste and she yearned to be in show business. She was also a bit of a rebel. At one time, in her teens, she 'scandalized' the townsfolk by dancing a particularly suggestive Charleston right in front of the ...

48. 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 ...

49. Russell Hayden

Actor | Rustlers' Valley

Russell "Lucky" Hayden was born as Hayden Michael Lucid, the son of Francis Lucid and Minnie Harvey Lucid on June 12, 1912 in Chico, California. In his early Hollywood career, he worked primarily behind the scenes as a film cutter, assistant cameraman, and sound recorder. In 1937, he began his ...

50. Isobel Elsom

Actress | My Fair Lady

The epitome of opulent, grande dame pomposity, British character actress Isobel Elsom was born Isabelle Reed in Cambridge, England on March 16, 1893. She began on the stage in 1911 and went on to grace a number of silent and sound pictures in England, marrying and divorcing director Maurice Elvey ...


1-50 of 1,968 names. | Next »

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