• Wahoo McDaniel

    1938 - 2002

    Wahoo McDaniel (1938 - 2002)

    Wahoo McDaniel Wahoo McDaniel, who capitalized on his American Indian heritage as a football player and then a professional wrestler, died last Thursday at a hospital in Houston. He was 63. McDaniel was on the waiting list to receive a kidney when he died because of complications arising from renal failure, the National Football League […]

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  • Wallace Beery

    1885 - 1949

    Wallace Beery (1885 - 1949)

    Wallace Beery In 1902, 16-year-old Wallace Beery joined the Ringling Brothers Circus as an assistant to the elephant trainer. He left two years later after a leopard clawed his arm. Beery next went to New York, where he found work in musical variety shows. He became a leading man in musicals and appeared on Broadway […]

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  • Wallace Lloyd Algie

    1891 - 1918

    Wallace Lloyd Algie (1891 - 1918)

    He was born on 10 June 1891 at Alton, Ontario, the son of James and Rachel Algie who resided at 1155 King Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Wallace was brought up by his parents in the Presbyterian faith. He graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada. Prior to April 1916 he served as a lieutenant […]

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  • Wallis Simpson

    1896 - 1986

    Wallis Simpson (1896 - 1986)

    Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (previously Wallis Simpson and Wallis Spencer, born Bessie Wallis Warfield; 19 June 1896 – 24 April 1986) was an American socialite. Her third husband, Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, abdicated his throne to marry her.  Wallis’s father died shortly after her birth, and she and her widowed […]

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  • Wally Cassell

    1912 - 2015

    Wally Cassell (1912 - 2015)

    Wally Casell (March 3, 1912 – April 2, 2015), born as Oswaldo Silvestri Trippilini Rolando Vincenza Castellano, was an Italian-born American film-noir character actor and businessman. Castellano was born in Agrigento, Sicily, and moved with his family to the United States when he was two years of age. He began his film career in 1942, initially […]

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  • Walt Barnes

    1918 - 1998

    Walt Barnes (1918 - 1998)

    Barnes earned his nickname of “Piggy” from catching a piglet when a boy. Playing football at Parkersburg High School, he was on the unbeaten 1938 team and played in the 1939 North-South Game. Following military service in the United States Army in World War II as a Army Sergeant he enrolled in Louisiana State University […]

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  • Walt Bellamy

    1939 - 2013

    Walt Bellamy (1939 - 2013)

    Bellamy chose to play basketball at Indiana University. “In the summer after my junior year of high school I played with some guys from Indiana,” he said. “Indiana at the time was the closest school to the South that would accept African-Americans. It was an easy transition for me to make. Not that I was […]

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  • Walt Whitman

    1819 - 1892

    Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

    Walter “Walt” Whitman (/ˈhwɪtmən/; May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. […]

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  • Walter Abel

    1898 - 1987

    Walter Abel (1898 - 1987)

    Walter Abel (June 6, 1898 – March 26, 1987) was an American stage and film character actor. Known as a prolific and very dependable character actor, Abel appeared in over 200 films, beginning in the silent film era. Often portraying characters of “responsibility,” (the minister keeping morale up in a war zone in “So Proudly […]

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  • Walter Annenberg

    1908 - 2002

    Walter Annenberg (1908 - 2002)

    Walter Annenberg was born to a Jewish family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 13, 1908. He was the only son of Sadie Cecelia née Freedman (1879–1965) and Moses “Moe” Louis Annenberg, who published the Daily Racing Form and purchased The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1936. Annenberg was a stutterer since childhood.  He had seven sisters, whose […]

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  • Walter Brennan

    1894 - 1974

    Walter Brennan (1894 - 1974)

    Walter Brennan In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and performed in school plays. He worked some […]

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  • Walter Chiari

    1924 - 1991

    Walter Chiari (1924 - 1991)

    Born in Verona, Walter Chiari achieved a certain degree of international success in films such as The Little Hut (1957), Bonjour Tristesse (1958), Chimes at Midnight (1966), and The Valachi Papers (1972). He appeared opposite Anna Magnani in Luchino Visconti’s film Bellissima (1951). In the late 1950s and ’60s he was one of the main protagonists […]

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  • Walter De Maria

    1935 - 2013

    Walter De Maria (1935 - 2013)

    De Maria was born in 1935 in Albany, California. His parents were the proprietors of a local restaurant in Albany. Walter De Maria’s first academic interest was music—first piano, then percussion. He also took to sports and cars, of which he made drawings. By 1946 he had joined a musicians’ union.  De Maria studied history […]

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  • Walter Hickel

    1919 - 2010

    Walter Hickel (1919 - 2010)

    Born in Ellinwood, Kansas, Hickel relocated to Alaska in 1940, going into the local real estate industry. By 1947, Hickel had formed a successful construction company. While some fellow Republicans in the Alaska Territory opposed statehood, Hickel joined Democrats in calls for joining the Union during the late 1940s and into the 1950s. Using his […]

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  • Walter Payton

    1954 - 1999

    Walter Payton (1954 - 1999)

    Payton was one of three children born to Peter and Alyne Payton in Columbia, Mississippi. His father was a factory worker who had played semi-professional baseball. Payton was an active member of the Boy Scouts, Little League, and his local church. At John J. Jefferson High School, Payton played drums in the marching band, participated in the track team and sang in the […]

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  • Walter Pidgeon

    1897 - 1984

    Walter Pidgeon (1897 - 1984)

    Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, Walter Pidgeon was the son of Hannah (née Sanborn), a housewife, and Caleb Burpee Pidgeon, a haberdasher. His brother, Larry, was an editorial writer for the Santa Barbara News-Press. Walter Pidgeon attended local schools and the University of New Brunswick, where he studied law and drama. His university education […]

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  • Walter Plunkett

    1902 - 1982

    Walter Plunkett (1902 - 1982)

    Walter Plunkett (June 5, 1902 in Oakland, California – March 8, 1982) was a prolific costume designer who worked on more than 150 projects throughout his career in the Hollywood film industry. Born in Oakland, California, Walter Plunkett studied law at the University of California, where he was a member of the California-Alpha chapter of Sigma […]

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  • Walter Slezak

    1902 - 1983

    Walter Slezak (1902 - 1983)

    Born in Vienna, Austria, the son of opera tenor Leo Slezak and Elsa Wertheim, he studied medicine for a time and later worked as a bank teller. He was talked into taking his first role, in the 1922 Austrian film Sodom und Gomorrah, by his friend and the film’s director, Michael Curtiz. In his early […]

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  • Wanda Hendrix

    1928 - 1981

    Wanda Hendrix (1928 - 1981)

    Born Dixie Wanda Hendrix in Jacksonville, Florida, Hendrix was performing in her local amateur theater when she was seen by a talent agent who signed her to a Hollywood contract. She made her first film, Confidential Agent, in 1945 and for the first few years of her career was consistently cast in “B” pictures. By […]

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  • Wanda Jean Allen

    1959 - 2001

    Wanda Jean Allen (1959 - 2001)

    Wanda Jean Allen was born in 1959, the second of eight children. Her mother was an alcoholic; her father left home after Wanda’s last sibling was born and the family lived in public housing and scraped by on public assistance.  At the age of 12, Allen was hit by a truck and knocked unconscious, and […]

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  • Ward Bond

    1903 - 1960

    Ward Bond (1903 - 1960)

    Ward Bond Ward Bond was a football player at the University of Southern California when, together with teammate John Wayne, he was hired for extra work in the silent film Salute (1928), directed by John Ford. Both Bond and Wayne continued in films, but Bond never achieved the fame and notoriety that was afforded Wayne. […]

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  • Warner Anderson

    1911 - 1976

    Warner Anderson (1911 - 1976)

    Warner Anderson (March 10, 1911 – August 26, 1976) was an American actor. Anderson was born to “a theatrical family” in Brooklyn, New York, March 10, 1911. Anderson had a small part in a film in 1915. A contemporary newspaper article about the movie Sunbeam, in which Anderson appeared in 1917, noted, “Warner Anderson is one of […]

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  • Warren Earl Burger

    1907 - 1995

    Warren Earl Burger (1907 - 1995)

    Burger was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1907, and one of seven children. His parents, Katharine (née Schnittger) and Charles Joseph Burger, a traveling salesman and railroad cargo inspector, were of Swiss German descent. His grandfather, Joseph Burger, had emigrated from Switzerland and joined the Union Army when he was 14. Joseph Burger fought […]

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  • Warren Stevens

    1919 - 2012

    Warren Stevens (1919 - 2012)

    Born in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, Stevens began his acting career after serving in the United States Army Air Corps as a pilot during World War II. A founding member of The Actor’s Studio in New York, Warren Stevens received notice on Broadway in the late 1940s, and thereafter was offered a Hollywood contract at 20th […]

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  • Waxey Gordon

    1888 - 1952

    Waxey Gordon (1888 - 1952)

    Organized Crime Figure. Born Irving Wexler in New York City, New York’s Lower East Side, he became one of the most powerful Prohibition-era alcohol smugglers on the Eastern coast of the United States. His power ended when Prohibition was repealed in 1933. In 1951, Gordon was sentenced to twenty-five years in Alcatraz Prison in San […]

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  • Waylon Jennings

    1937 - 2002

    Waylon Jennings (1937 - 2002)

    Waylon Jennings Waylon Arnold Jennings was born in Littlefield, Texas, the seat of Lamb County, the son of Lorene Beatrice (née Shipley) and William Albert Jennings. His original birth name was Wayland, meaning land by the highway, but it was changed after a Baptist preacher visited Jennings’s parents and congratulated his mother for naming him after the Wayland Baptist […]

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  • Wayne Allwine

    1947 - 2009

    Wayne Allwine (1947 - 2009)

    Allwine was born in Glendale, California on February 7, 1947. In 1966, Allwine started work in the mailing room at the Disney studios, before working in the sound effects department under Jimmy MacDonald.  After auditioning for the role, Allwine became the voice of Mickey Mouse from 1977 until his death in 2009. He succeeded MacDonald, […]

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  • Wayne Robson

    1946 - 2011

    Wayne Robson (1946 - 2011)

    Robson was born in Vancouver. He began his acting career on stage there, but moved with his family to Toronto, where he continued his stage acting career and appeared in Canadian television commercials in the 1970s. After receiving several small character roles in films such as McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) and Popeye (1980), Robson […]

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  • Webb Pierce

    1921 - 1991

    Webb Pierce (1921 - 1991)

    Webb Pierce Webb Pierce was one of the most popular honky tonk vocalists of the ’50s, racking up more number one hits than similar artists like Hank Williams, Eddy Arnold, Lefty Frizzell, and Ernest Tubb. For most of the general public, Pierce — with his lavish, flamboyant Nudie suits — became the most recognizable face […]

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  • Wende Wagner

    1941 - 1997

    Wende Wagner (1941 - 1997)

    Born to a career U.S. Navy officer and swimming and diving coach father (John H. Wagner) and a mother (Rudy Arnold Wagner) who was a champion skier, Wagner lived in nearly all the Continental United States with her family’s various naval postings. While living in Coronado, California, with her family, Billy Wilder then filming Some […]

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