Johnny Cash was one of the most prominent American singer-songwriters of the 20th century. Although he was known for his country music, his large gamut of work went on to influence genres like rock and roll, blues, folk, gospel and rockabilly. He is best-remembered for his deep, baritone voice and his meek demeanor, notwithstanding his fame and success which was rife. He earned the nickname, ˜The Man in Black', because he would always wear dark clothing while performing live and sang songs that were based on ˜dark' themes, echoing his troubled past and other themes of pathos, lust, oddity, misfortune and redemption. Some of his well-known works include, ˜I Walk the Line', ˜Ring of Fire', ˜Man in Black', ˜Jackson', ˜Hey, Porter', ˜Rock Island Line' and ˜A Boy Named Sue'. His typical trooping bass songs have influenced the likes of Waylon Jennings, Bono and Bob Dylan. He started his career by recording gospel music and ended it by doing covers for more modern artists such as ˜Nine Inch Nails'.
Debbie Reynolds was a renowned American actress, singer and humanitarian. Her performances earned her recognitions like the Academy Award, National Board of Review Award and Screen Actors Guild Award. Born into a modest family, she began modeling at a young age and this in turn led her into the world of acting. She began her career with Warner Bros and later worked with MGM and other studios as well. Debbie Reynolds initiated her career through musicals and feature films and later ventured into theatre, singing, voice acting, television and other business ventures. Her most memorable performances include her roles in ˜Three Little Words', ˜Tammy and the Bachelor', ˜The Unsinkable Molly Brown', and ˜Mother.' She final film appearance was in a documentary titled ˜Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds' that featured her along with her daughter Carrie Fisher and their close bonding. The film was premiered on HBO posthumously in 2017. Other ventures she was involved in include the establishment of the Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Hotel, and the opening of her dance studio and museum for Hollywood memorabilia. She also used to work towards social causes and had served as the President of the charitable organization ˜The Thalians'.
The phrase ˜talented beauty' best depicts Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor and her life. While it was her stunningly beautiful face and magnetic appeal that drew her to the world of showbiz, her prolific career that spanned over six decades was due to her great performance, exceptional talent and inherent creativity. A performer by birth, acting was an intrinsic part of the personality of this beautiful actress. She took on the robes of an actress even before she had hit the double digit of her age and rest as they say is history. By the time she entered teenage, she was a star in her own right with the biggest hit of the year, ˜National Velvet' in her kitty. While journalists adorned her with the title of ˜precious jewel of Hollywood', directors and fellow actors referred to her as ˜One-Shot Liz' for her ability to shoot a scene in one take. What is interesting to note in her career graph is that unlike other artists, the transition from a child actor to an adolescent star and from an adolescent star to a mainstream actress was a smooth and seamless one. She left an indelible mark in all the three phases of her career with movies, which have gained a cult status and are deemed as ˜classics' today.
Little Richard, born as Richard Wayne Penniman, is a musician who defined the rock and roll music scenario in the America of the 1950s with his flamboyant style, sexy lyrics, and dynamic music. He was one of the first male artists to unabashedly wear makeup on stage and was famous for his androgynous dance moves. He revolutionized the music world by introducing a certain kind of freedom characterized by the open expression of sexuality and rebellion. His music marked by loud screams, whooping sounds and sexually suggestive lyrics set the trend which several other rock and roll musicians tried to emulate over the years. He grew up malnourished in a poor neighbourhood and sought solace in church activities and prayers. He was also made fun of because of his effeminate appearance. His father threw him out of the house when he was a teenager because of rumours regarding his sexuality. He overcame the hardships of his youth to become one of the foremost figures of American rock and roll music and gave the world hits like ˜Tutti-Frutti' and ˜Long Tall Sally'. He inspired several musicians, including the Beatles with his musical style and enjoyed a long and productive career that spanned over six decades.
Herbert Buckingham Khaury, more famous by his stage name Tiny Tim, was an American singer, musical archivist and multi-instrumentalist (particularly known for playing the ukulele). This yesteryear performer with a distinctive high-pitched falsetto voice complimented with striking appearance including shoulder-length dark curly hair is best recognised for his cover hits ˜Tiptoe Through the Tulips', which eventually evolved as his signature song, as also ˜Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight'. He commenced his journey in music learning to play different instruments and with time realised his ability to sing. A school drop-out, he did several odd jobs before landing up with a local talent show. He took up different stage names and performed at dance club amateur nights and then at a gay and lesbian club in Greenwich Village called ˜Page 3'. After appearing in the film ˜You Are What You Eat', he landed up at the American sketch comedy TV show ˜Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In' garnering popularity. Starting from this debut album ˜God Bless Tiny Tim', he had over the years released several albums among which ˜For All My Little Friends', a collection of children's songs, garnered a Grammy nomination.
John Williams is a multiple award-winning, widely successful American composer, conductor and pianist. As his father was a professional jazz percussionist, John developed a liking for music and symphonies at an early age. By the time he was 15, he had his own jazz band and he played and experimented with various musical instruments. He created his first original composition, a piano sonata, when he was 19. He worked as a jazz pianist and studio musician before making a name for himself in films and television in the 1960s. His career has spanned several decades and in the process he has given iconic film scores in over a 100 films including the ˜Star Wars' series, ˜Jaws', ˜E.T.', ˜Indiana Jones' series, ˜Superman', ˜Schindler's List', ˜Saving Private Ryan', ˜Catch Me If You Can', ˜Memoirs of a Geisha', ˜War Horse' and ˜Lincoln'. For his efforts he has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards and 22 Grammy Awards, highlighting the importance and quality of his work. He has enjoyed most of his success with Steven Spielberg, composing music for all but two of his films. Other than composing for films, he has conducted many national and international orchestras and authored several concert works too
Melodious voice, old rustic feel and chartbusting tracks have made Loretta Lynn what she is today. A star performer, Lynn has had a glorious 50 years of career in which she played a dominant role in changing the world music scenario. Her soulful country renditions gave way to the strong feminist tracks which kick-started a new genre in the music industry. She played a ground-breaking role in music, contributing greatly to American country music. It is due to her strong influence in country music that she has been named as the First lady of Country Music. She is also popularly known as Country Music's First Girl Singer. In her five decades and on-going career, she has released more than 160 songs and 60 albums with total sales of 45 million records. She has had ten Number 1 albums and sixteen Number 1 singles on the country charts.
Virginia Patterson Hensley, popularly known as Patsy Cline, was a famous American country singer from Nashville, Texas. She was known for her rich and booming, emotionally charged voice that could give anyone goose bumps. She did not become a country music star in a day- she had to, in fact, work very hard to sustain her life and support her family members as she came from a middle-class background. Her love for singing was so huge that she taught music to herself by experience. After getting some popularity through sporadic performances on the local radio channels, Cline signed contracts with the big record companies like Four Star Records, Decca Records, etc. and found her way to the heart of country and pop music lovers through television, radio and stage shows. She was the first female country singer to have a crossover pop hit but unfortunately at the height of her singing career, Cline died in a tragic plane crash. Millions of records were sold after her death and she became the first female solo artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Pat Morita, born as Noriyuki Morita, was an American actor and comedian. He became an on-screen hero to thousands of kids and adults alike after playing Mr. Miyagi in the flick ˜The Karate Kid'. His stardom reached new heights after he reprised this role in ˜The Karate Kid Part II', ˜The Karate Kid Part III' and ˜The Next Karate Kid'. Putting this film series aside, Morita also gained much popularity as a stand-up comedian. He first came into the limelight after playing the roles of Ah Chew in the drama series ˜Sanford and Son' and Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi in the series ˜Happy Days'. His additional notable works include the television programs ˜M*A*S*H', ˜Mr. T and Tina' and ˜Ohara' and the Disney animated flick ˜Mulan'. The much adored Asian-American actor is also known for starring in the TV movie ˜Amos' for which he received both a Primetime Emmy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award nomination. Most of Morita's fans are also aware of the fact that he suffered from spinal tuberculosis as a young child and had to spend most of his early years in several hospitals. After entertaining his fans for several years, the actor died due to kidney failure at the age of 73.
Comic actor who was the original host of the game show Family Feud after previously being a regular on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and The New <a title='Dick Van Dyke' href='/famous/dick-van-dyke.htm'>Dick Van Dyke</a> Show.
Artist who illustrated the classic children's books of <a title='Roald Dahl' href='/famous/roald-dahl.htm'>Roald Dahl</a> and other authors. He was awarded the biennial international <a title='Hans Christian Andersen' href='/famous/hans-christian-andersen.htm'>Hans Christian Andersen</a> Award in 2002 and was the first British Children's Laureate from 1999 until 2001.
Casey Kasem was a well-known American radio jockey, disc jockey, voice actor and actor. Apart from being a popular radio jockey, he was also a philanthropist and animal lover. He was reportedly inspired by "Make Believe Ballroom" to follow a career in radio, and his chance to work as a DJ/announcer came with the U.S. army on the Armed Forces Radio Korea Network. He voiced the character of Shaggy in the famous ˜Scooby-Doo' series, as well as hosted the mega-successful radio program ˜America Top 40'. He was proud of his radio program for he believed that he was playing a major part in bringing disconnected loved ones together and also connecting music enthusiasts to their favorite music idols. His unprecedented success from his radio program earned him the title of ˜The King of Countdowns' from his fans, all around the world. He also acted in minor roles in a number of movies as well as provided his voice for many commercials and TV show characters. His legacy and prosperous career has inspired many voice artists over the years.