On This Day
1908 – William Hartnell
William Henry Hartnell, also known as Billy Hartnell or Bill Hartnell, was an English actor. Hartnell played the first incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, from 1963 to 1966. He was also well known for his role as Sergeant Grimshaw, the title character of the first Carry On film, Carry On Sergeant in 1958, and Company Sergeant Major Percy Bullimore in the sitcom The Army Game from 1957 until 1958, and again in 1960.
Died: 23 April 1975
1934 – Roy Kinnear
Roy Mitchell Kinnear was an English actor. He is known for his roles in films directed by Richard Lester; including Algernon in Help! (1965); Clapper in How I Won the War (1967); and Planchet in The Three Musketeers (1973), reprising the latter role in the 1974 and 1989 sequels. He is also known for playing Henry Salt in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Kinnear made his stage debut in 1955, and came to prominence in the BBC satirical comedy series That Was the Week That Was in 1962. He went on to appear in numerous British television comedy programmes, including The Dick Emery Show (1979–81), and in the sitcoms Man About the House (1974–75), George and Mildred (1976–79) and Cowboys (1980–81).
Died: 20 September 1988
1941 – Graham Chapman
Graham Arthur Chapman was an English comedian, writer, actor, author, and one of the six members of the British surreal comedy group Monty Python. He played authority figures such as the Colonel and the lead role in two Python films, Holy Grail and Life of Brian.
Chapman was born in Leicester and was raised in Melton Mowbray. He enjoyed science, acting, and comedy, and after graduating from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and St Bartholomew’s Medical College, he turned down a career as a doctor to be a comedian. Chapman eventually established a writing partnership with John Cleese, which reached its critical peak with Monty Python in the 1970s. Chapman subsequently left Britain for Los Angeles, where he attempted to be a success on American television, speaking on the college circuit and producing the pirate film Yellowbeard, before returning to Britain in the early 1980s.
In his personal life, Chapman was openly homosexual and a strong supporter of gay rights, and was in a relationship with David Sherlock. He was an alcoholic during his time at Cambridge and the Python years, quitting shortly before working on Life of Brian. Chapman died of tonsil and spinal cancer on 4 October 1989, on the eve of Monty Python’s 20th anniversary, and his life and legacy were commemorated at a private memorial service at St Bartholomew’s with the other five Pythons.
Died: 04 October 1989
1947 – David Bowie
David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie, was an English singer, songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in popular music for over five decades, acclaimed by critics and other musicians for his innovative work. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, his music and stagecraft significantly influencing popular music. During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million albums worldwide, made him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. In the UK, he was awarded nine platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, releasing eleven number-one albums. In the US, he received five platinum and nine gold certifications. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Born in Brixton, South London, Bowie developed an interest in music as a child, eventually studying art, music and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1963. “Space Oddity” became his first top-five entry on the UK Singles Chart after its release in July 1969. After a period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with his flamboyant and androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The character was spearheaded by the success of his single “Starman” and album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which won him widespread popularity. In 1975, Bowie’s style shifted radically towards a sound he characterised as “plastic soul”, initially alienating many of his UK devotees but garnering him his first major US crossover success with the number-one single “Fame” and the album Young Americans. In 1976, Bowie starred in the cult film The Man Who Fell to Earth, directed by Nicolas Roeg, and released Station to Station. The following year, he further confounded musical expectations with the electronic-inflected album Low (1977), the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno that would come to be known as the “Berlin Trilogy”. “Heroes” (1977) and Lodger (1979) followed; each album reached the UK top five and received lasting critical praise.
After uneven commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie had UK number ones with the 1980 single “Ashes to Ashes”, its parent album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), and “Under Pressure”, a 1981 collaboration with Queen. He then reached his commercial peak in 1983 with Let’s Dance, with its title track topping both UK and US charts. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bowie continued to experiment with musical styles, including industrial and jungle. He also continued acting; his roles included Major Celliers in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), the Goblin King Jareth in Labyrinth (1986), Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Nikola Tesla in The Prestige (2006), among other film and television appearances and cameos. He stopped concert touring after 2004 and his last live performance was at a charity event in 2006. In 2013, Bowie returned from a decade-long recording hiatus with the release of The Next Day. He remained musically active until he died of liver cancer two days after the release of his final album, Blackstar (2016).
Died: 10 January 2016
1948 – Norman Piper
Norman Piper is an English former footballer who played professionally in England for 13 years before finishing his career in the United States,
Piper was one of that generation who bridged the gap between terminological eras, beginning his career as a wing half and ending it as a midfielder despite playing a similar role throughout. Born in North Tawton, Devon on 8 January 1948 he joined Plymouth Argyle as an apprentice and signed professional terms in February 1965. Already an England Youth international, Piper made his debut for the Under 23 side in 1970 against Bulgaria, the year he left The Pilgrims- for whom he scored 35 goals in 221 appearances. That summer Piper had signed for Portsmouth, becoming their record signing at £50,000.
Piper served Pompey with great distinction during the clubs increasingly tenuous hold on Division Two status, but eventually lost form after relegation to the third. He was dropped in February 1978, being replaced by his namesake Steve Piper. His contract, along with that of Bobby Stokes was terminated the following month and a move to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers soon followed. In 1979, Piper was the first player signed by the expansion Wichita Wings of Major Indoor Soccer League. He played for the Wings until 1982 when he was sent to the Pittsburgh Spirit.
Following his retirement from playing, he became and assistant coach with the Wichita Wings. He was fired on 30 January 1988. In 1989, he was hired to coach the Wichita Blue in the Heartland Soccer League. In 1990, the Blue moved to the Lone Star Soccer Alliance. He was fired mid-season. He coached the men’s soccer team at Bethel College (Kansas) from 1988 to 1990. He now is a coach for a small travel soccer team in Southern California known as TVSA Hawks
Piper played 358 times for Portsmouth scoring 60 goals between 1970 – 1978
1965 – Michelle Forbes
Michelle Renee Forbes Guajardo is an American actress who has appeared on television and in independent films in both the UK and US. Forbes first gained attention from her dual role in daytime soap opera Guiding Light, for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. She is also a Saturn Award winner with three nominations.
Although she has appeared in significant roles in movies such as Escape from L.A., Kalifornia and Swimming with Sharks, Forbes is known for her recurring appearances on genre and drama shows such as Ensign Ro Laren in Star Trek: The Next Generation and her regular role as Dr. Julianna Cox on Homicide: Life on the Street during the 1990s, while building her career with recurring roles throughout the 2000s in Battlestar Galactica, 24, In Treatment, Durham County, Prison Break and her series regular role as Maryann Forrester on True Blood.
She starred in the 2011–2012 AMC television series The Killing, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination on July 14, 2011.
1977 – Amber Benson
Amber Nicole Benson is an American actress, writer, director, and producer. She is best known for her role as Tara Maclay on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but has also directed, produced and starred in her own films Chance (2002) and Lovers, Liars & Lunatics (2006). She also co-directed the film Drones with fellow Buffy cast member Adam Busch.