• Vaclav Havel

    1936 - 2011

    Vaclav Havel (1936 - 2011)

    Vaclav Havel Václav Havel (Czech pronunciation: [ˈvaːt͡slav ˈɦavɛl] ( listen); 5 October 1936 – 18 December 2011) was a Czech writer, philosopher, dissident, and statesman. From 1989 to 1993, he served as the first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia in 41 years. He then served as the first president of the Czech Republic (1993–2003) after […]

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  • Val Avery

    1924 - 2009

    Val Avery (1924 - 2009)

    Avery was born in Philadelphia. In his early years he acted in plays with the Armenian Youth Federation. Following his service in World War II, he attended the Bessie V. Hicks School of Drama in Philadelphia. Avery’s pock-marked face and shifty appearance allowed him to frequently be cast as a gangster, or other menacing heavies. Avery’s […]

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  • Val Lewton

    1904 - 1951

    Val Lewton (1904 - 1951)

    Lewton was born Vladimir Ivanovich Leventon (Russian: Владимир Иванович Левентон, Ukrainian: Володимир Іванович Левентон) in Yalta, Imperial Russia (now in Ukraine), in 1904. He was of Jewish descent, the son of moneylender Max Hofschneider and Nina Leventon, a pharmacist’s daughter. The family converted to Christianity. He was nephew of actress Alla Nazimova. His mother left his […]

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  • Val Puccio

    1965 - 2011

    Val Puccio (1965 - 2011)

    Val Puccio Was a professional wrestler. Trained by Johnny Rodz, Puccio began his wrestling career in 1989 and worked for various northeast U.S. independent promotions for virtually his entire career. He frequently teamed with his brother, Tony. They originally called themselves The Undertakers, before changing their team name in the early 1990s to Double Trouble, […]

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  • Valerie French

    1928 - 1990

    Valerie French (1928 - 1990)

    Born Valerie Harrison in London, she spent her early childhood in Spain, but returned to England to become a student at Malvern Girls’ College. After graduating, she joined the BBC drama department, working in television production before deciding to become an actress, joining the Theatre Royal Repertory Company. She moved into film acting in her […]

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  • Valli Valli

    1882 - 1927

    Valli Valli (1882 - 1927)

    Valli was educated in London and Paris. As a twelve-year-old, she made her first stage appearance in Gentle Ivy (1894) at Terry’s Theatre in London. She demonstrated her theatrical skill in Berlin in 1895 with a successful run in the musical comedy Morocco Bound. She returned to London’s Drury Lane Theatre, performing the role of […]

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  • Van Cliburn

    1934 - 2013

    Van Cliburn (1934 - 2013)

    Cliburn was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, the son of Rildia Bee (née O’Bryan) and Harvey Lavan Cliburn, Sr. At age three, he began taking piano lessons from his mother, who had studied under Arthur Friedheim, a pupil of Franz Liszt. When Cliburn was six, his father, who worked in the oil industry, moved the family […]

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  • Van Heflin

    1908 - 1971

    Van Heflin (1908 - 1971)

    Van Heflin was born Emmett Evan Heflin, Jr. in Walters, Oklahoma, the son of Fanny Bleecker (née Shippey) and Dr. Emmett Evan Heflin, a dentist. He was of Irish and French ancestry. Heflin’s sister was Daytime Emmy-nominated actress Frances Heflin (who married composer Sol Kaplan). Heflin attended Classen High School in Oklahoma City (One source […]

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  • Vanda Godsell

    1922 - 1990

    Vanda Godsell (1922 - 1990)

    Vanda Godsell (17 November 1922 – 11 April 1990) was an English actress. Hal Erickson writes in Allmovie, “Vanda Godsell specialized in playing disheveled housewives, busybody landladies, and blowsy domestics.” She appeared as Mrs. Weaver in This Sporting Life (1963), Mrs. Pitt in Bitter Harvest (1965), Mrs. Goodge in The Wrong Box (1967)  She was […]

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  • Vanna Bonta

    1958 - 2014

    Vanna Bonta (1958 - 2014)

    Vanna Bonta was born in the United States to Maria Luisa Bonta (née Ugolini), an artist from Florence, Italy, and James Cecil Bonta, a military officer from Kentucky. Her mother’s elder sister was Italian children’s author Lydia Ugolini. In 1995, Bonta’s first novel, Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel was published. Flight has been characterized as “inter-genre” […]

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  • Vannie Higgins

    1897 - 1932

    Vannie Higgins (1897 - 1932)

    Organized Crime Figure. A veteran of the United States Navy, he rose to prominence by trafficking outlawed rum and other alcohol during the Prohibition Era. He was eventually shot by men of “Murder Inc” in 1932, on a street in Brooklyn, New York City, New York.

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  • Velma Barfield

    1932 - 1984

    Velma Barfield (1932 - 1984)

    Velma Barfield was born in rural South Carolina, but grew up near Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her father reportedly was abusive and she resented her mother who did not intervene in the beatings. She escaped by marrying Thomas Burke in 1949. The couple had two children and were reportedly happy until Barfield had a hysterectomy and […]

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  • Vern Gosdin

    1934 - 2009

    Vern Gosdin (1934 - 2009)

    Vern Gosdin Singer, Songwriter. Known as “The Voice” because of his rich baritone singing, this Woodland, Alabama native turned the musical talent he acquired by being a part of a gospel music singing family to develop a successful country music career. In 1961 he accompanied his brother to California where he sang as a member […]

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  • Vern Mikkelsen

    1928 - 2013

    Vern Mikkelsen (1928 - 2013)

    Mikkelsen was born in Parlier, California and was raised in the Danish-American community of Askov, Minnesota. His father, Michael, was an immigrant from Denmark who became a Lutheran pastor in Askov. in a town of primarily Danish-Americans.  Mikkelsen entered Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota on a basketball scholarship at the age of 16. In […]

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  • Vernon Baker

    1919 - 2010

    Vernon Baker (1919 - 2010)

    Baker was born on December 17, 1919, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the youngest of three children. After his parents died in a car accident when he was four, he and his two sisters were raised by their grandparents. His grandfather Joseph S. Baker, a railroad worker in Cheyenne, taught him to hunt in order to feed […]

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  • Vernon Dalhart

    1883 - 1948

    Vernon Dalhart (1883 - 1948)

    Vernon Dalhart Vernon Dalhart came to country music from outside the tradition, becoming a national star in the years just before more indigenous kinds of country music found their place in the machinery of the music industry. A 1924 recording by Dalhart became country music’s first million-selling record; pairing a train song (“Wreck of the […]

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  • Vestal Goodman

    1929 - 2003

    Vestal Goodman (1929 - 2003)

    Vestal Goodman Born Vestal Freeman, she grew up in Alabama, dreaming of a career as an opera singer. All that changed when she met Howard “Happy” Goodman at a revival in Albertville, Ala. The two were married Nov. 7, 1949 and were nearly inseparable until his death in November 2002 at 81. During the 50s, […]

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  • Vic Tayback

    1930 - 1990

    Vic Tayback (1930 - 1990)

    Victor “Vic” Tayback (January 6, 1930 – May 25, 1990) was an American actor. Vic Tayback was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, the son of Helen (née Hanood) and Najeeb James Tayback. His parents were immigrants from Aleppo, Syria. Vic Tayback moved with his family to Burbank, California, during his teenage years and […]

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  • Victor “Vic” Aldridge

    1893 - 1973

    Victor “Vic” Aldridge (1893 - 1973)

    Born in Indian Springs, Indiana, Vic Aldridge attended Central Normal College in Danville, Indiana, and taught school in Miami County. He was married to Cleta B. Wadsworth of Indian Springs.  Aldridge was a dependable second or third starter throughout most of his career. He was known for his curveball and pinpoint accuracy. Aldridge batted and […]

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  • Victor Borge

    1909 - 2000

    Victor Borge (1909 - 2000)

    Rosenbaum was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, into a Jewish family. His parents, Bernhard and Frederikke (Lichtinger) Rosenbaum, were both musicians—his father a violist in the Royal Danish Orchestra and his mother a pianist. Like his mother, Borge began piano lessons at the age of two, and it was soon apparent that he was a prodigy. […]

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  • Victor Francen

    1888 - 1977

    Victor Francen (1888 - 1977)

    Victor Francen (5 August 1888 – 18 November 1977), born Victor Franssens, was a Belgian-born actor with a long career in French cinema and in Hollywood. Victor Francen was born in Tienen, the son of a chief of police. He worked in trade in Belgium before settling in Paris where he trained in dramatic art under […]

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  • Victor Jory

    1902 - 1982

    Victor Jory (1902 - 1982)

    Born in Dawson City, Yukon, of American parents, he was the boxing and wrestling champion of the United States Coast Guard during his military service, and he kept his burly physique. Victor Jory toured with theater troupes and appeared on Broadway, before making his Hollywood debut in 1930. He initially played romantic leads, but later […]

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  • Victor Moore

    1876 - 1962

    Victor Moore (1876 - 1962)

    Victor Moore appeared in over 50 films and 21 Broadway shows. His first appearance was on Broadway in Rosemary (1896). He also appeared in George M. Cohan’s Forty-five Minutes from Broadway, which opened January 1, 1906, and its sequel, The Talk of New York (1907). He went on to star in shows such as Oh, […]

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  • Victor Sen Yung

    1915 - 1980

    Victor Sen Yung (1915 - 1980)

    Sen Yung made his first significant acting debut in the 1938 film Charlie Chan in Honolulu, as the Chinese detective’s “number two son,” Jimmy Chan. In this movie, Sidney Toler replaced the recently deceased Warner Oland as Charlie Chan and Sen Yung replaced Oland’s “number one son” Lee, who had been played by Keye Luke. […]

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  • Victor Spinetti

    1929 - 2012

    Victor Spinetti (1929 - 2012)

    Vittorio Giorgio Andrea Spinetti (2 September 1929 – 18 June 2012) was a Welsh comedy actor, author, poet and raconteur. Victor Spinetti appeared in dozens of films and stage plays throughout his 50-year career and is best remembered today for appearing in the three Beatles films in the 1960s, A Hard Day’s Night, Help! and […]

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  • Vidal Sassoon

    1928 - 2012

    Vidal Sassoon (1928 - 2012)

    Sassoon was born in Hammersmith, London, and lived in Shepherd’s Bush. His parents were Sephardic Jews. His mother, Betty (Bellin), came from a family of immigrants from Spain, and his father, Jack Sassoon, was from Thessaloniki, Greece.[citation needed] Sassoon had a younger brother, Ivor, who died from a heart attack at the age of 46. […]

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  • Vince Barnett

    1902 - 1977

    Vince Barnett (1902 - 1977)

    Vince Barnett was born July 4, 1902, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Luke Barnett, a well-known comedian who specialized in insulting and pulling practical jokes on his audiences. (Luke’s professional nickname was “Old Man Ribber” and “the King of Ribbing”.) Barnett graduated from Duquesne University Prep School and Carnegie Institute of Technology. An avid amateur […]

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  • Vince Edwards

    1928 - 1996

    Vince Edwards (1928 - 1996)

    Edwards was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York City, New York, to Julia and Vincento Zoino. He and his twin brother, Anthony, were the youngest of seven children. He was a standout on his high school swim team and went on to study at Ohio State University on an athletic scholarship. He […]

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  • Vincent Alo

    1904 - 2001

    Vincent Alo (1904 - 2001)

    Organized Crime Figure. Born in Harlem, New York, Alo started working on Wall Street at age 14. As a young man, Alo was convicted of armed robbery and sent to state prison (either at Sing Sing or Dannemora state prisons).  In 1926, Alo became a made man, or full member, of Giuseppe Masseria‘s powerful New York […]

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  • Vincent Coll

    1908 - 1932

    Vincent Coll (1908 - 1932)

    Organized Crime Figure. An Irish-born gangster in New York City, he regaled in the media attention for his violent activities, preferring short-term, violent solutions to his problems with gang rivalry. His attacks on the major New York City gangs left him with the nickname “Mad Dog,” for daring to take on the other mobsters. In […]

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