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  • Jimmy Wilde

    1892 - 1969

    Jimmy Wilde (1892 - 1969)

    Jimmy Wilde Born William James Wilde, Jimmy Wilde worked in the coal mines as a boy and started boxing at the age of sixteen in fairground booths where crowds were amazed by his toughness and ability to knock down much bigger opponents. Indeed throughout his career his opponents were usually larger and heavier than him. […]

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  • Brian Wilde

    1927 - 2008

    Brian Wilde (1927 - 2008)

    Though born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, he was brought up in Devon and Hertfordshire and attended Hertford Grammar School. He trained as an actor at RADA. He had a small part in the horror film Night of the Demon (1957). He had an earlier role as a small time crook in the 1954 film “Forbidden Cargo” (uncredited) […]

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  • Oscar Wilde

    1854 - 1900

    Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

    Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, his plays, as […]

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  • Christopher Wilder

    1945 - 1984

    Christopher Wilder (1945 - 1984)

    Christopher Wilder was born on March 13, 1945, in Sydney, Australia, the son of an American naval officer and an Australian national. He nearly died at birth, but recovered, and almost drowned in a swimming pool at the age of two. In 1962 or 1963, he pleaded guilty to a gang-rape at a beach in […]

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  • Billy Wilder

    1906 - 2002

    Billy Wilder (1906 - 2002)

    Billy Wilder From the late 1930s to the early 1960s, Billy Wilder dominated Hollywood’s Golden Age. With over fifty films and six Academy Awards to his credit, he is one of Hollywood’s all-time greatest directors, producers and screenwriters. His films range from stark melodrama, like DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), THE LOST WEEKEND (1945) and SUNSET BOULEVARD […]

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  • Thorton Wilder

    1897 - 1975

    Thorton Wilder (1897 - 1975)

    Thorton Wilder was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Amos Parker Wilder, a newspaper editor and U.S. diplomat, and Isabella Niven Wilder. All of the Wilder children spent part of their childhood in China. His older brother, Amos Niven Wilder, was Hollis Professor of Divinity at the Harvard Divinity School, a noted poet, and […]

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  • Michael Wilding

    1912 - 1979

    Michael Wilding (1912 - 1979)

    Born in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, and educated at Christ’s Hospital, Michael Wilding was a successful commercial artist when he joined the art department of a London film studio in 1933. He soon embarked on an acting career. He appeared in numerous British films, often opposite Anna Neagle, but had a less productive career in Hollywood. His […]

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  • David T. Wilentz

    1894 - 1988

    David T. Wilentz (1894 - 1988)

    Lawyer. Born in Dvinsk in the Russian Empire (now Daugavpils, Latvia). He emigrated with his parents to the United States, when he was a year old, settling in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  He graduated from Perth Amboy High School in 1912. He served in the United States Army in World War I as a private […]

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  • Samuel Wilkeson

    1781 - 1848

    Samuel Wilkeson (1781 - 1848)

    Samuel Wilkeson (1781–1848) was mayor of Buffalo, New York, serving 1836–1837. He was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on June 1, 1781, a child of immigrants from Northern Ireland. Around 1802 he married Jane Oram and moved to Mahoning County, Ohio where he built a farm and the first grist mill in the area. He later […]

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  • Ernie Wilkins

    1922 - 1999

    Ernie Wilkins (1922 - 1999)

    Ernie Wilkins was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In his early career he played in a military band, before joining Earl Hines‘s last big band. He worked with Count Basie from 1951 to 1955, eventually leaving to work free-lance as a jazz arranger and songwriter. His success declined in the 1960s, but revived after work with Clark Terry, […]

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  • Christopher Wilkins

    1968 - 2017

    Christopher Wilkins (1968 - 2017)

    Christopher Chubasco Wilkins (September 29, 1968 – January 11, 2017) was a Texas inmate sentenced to death and executed for a 2005 double murder. On October 27, 2005, Christopher Wilkins shot and killed Willie Freeman and Mike Silva. Freeman had allegedly cheated Wilkins in a drug deal; Silva was with Freeman at the time and […]

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  • Roy Wilkins

    1901 - 1981

    Roy Wilkins (1901 - 1981)

    Wilkins was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1901. His mother died when he was four years old, after which Wilkins and his siblings were raised by an aunt and uncle in St. Paul, Minnesota, where they attended local schools. Wilkins graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in sociology in 1923. In 1929, […]

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  • Greg Willard

    1958 - 2013

    Greg Willard (1958 - 2013)

    While attending Long Beach State University, Greg Willard officiated football as a member of the Orange County Football Officials Association and worked as a high school basketball official before advancing to the Continental Basketball Association where he spent four years. Willard also spent four years officiating basketball in college’s PCAA (now Big West) and Pac-10 […]

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  • Jess Willard

    1881 - 1968

    Jess Willard (1881 - 1968)

    Jess Willard On April 5, 1915, in Havana, Cuba, a Kansas farmer named Jess Willard became heavyweight champion of the world by defeating Jack Johnson. Willard, born in Pottawatomie County, began his professional career in 1911 at Sapulpa, Oklahoma, where he lost on a foul. Six weeks later he won over the same fighter at […]

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  • Emma Willard

    1787 - 1870

    Emma Willard (1787 - 1870)

    In 1807, Emma Willard left Berlin and briefly worked in Westfield, Massachusetts, before accepting a job offer at a female academy in Middlebury, Vermont. She held the position of principal at the Middlebury Female Seminary from 1807 to 1809. However, she was unimpressed by the material taught there and opened a boarding school for women […]

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  • Emma Hart Willard

    1787 - 1870

    Emma Hart Willard (1787 - 1870)

    Educator, Social Reformer. A pioneer in Women’s Rights and Education, she founded the first College for women, starting in Vermont, later moving it to Troy, New York. The educational standards she introduced influenced many educators to improve their school’s curriculum and started the movement to establish co-educational institutions. (bio by: Russ Dodge)  Family links:  Spouse: […]

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  • Charles Willeford

    1919 - 1988

    Charles Willeford (1919 - 1988)

    Charles Willeford was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1919. Following the death of his father from tuberculosis in 1922, Willeford and his mother moved to the Los Angeles area. After his mother’s death in 1927, also from TB, he lived with his grandmother Mattie Lowey on Figueroa Street near Exposition Park until 1932. At […]

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  • Jennifer Willems

    1947 - 2015

    Jennifer Willems (1947 - 2015)

    Dutch Actress. Willems was an actress who was well known in film and television, particularly the children’s television series “De film van ome Willem”. She started her acting career on the television series “Bibelebons” in 1972 and would continue to act in such films and television series as “De film van ome Willem” (1974), “Naked […]

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  • Afeni Shakur

    1947 - 2016

    Afeni Shakur (1947 - 2016)

    Afeni Shakur (born Alice Faye Williams; January 10, 1947 – May 3, 2016) was an American music businesswoman, philanthropist, political activist and Black Panther. She was the mother of the late rapper Tupac Shakur. She acted as her own criminal defense attorney after being accused of taking part in numerous bombings as a member of […]

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  • Claudia Barrett

    1929 - 2021

    Claudia Barrett (1929 - 2021)

    Claudia Barrett, 91, local poet, watercolor artist, and former actor, died of natural causes at her home in Palm Desert on April 30, 2021. She was born Imagene Williams on Nov 3, 1929 in West Los Angeles to Arvilla Benton and Iman Williams, who ran a lunch counter near the Sepulveda VA, where the gassed […]

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  • Colin Welland

    1934 - 2015

    Colin Welland (1934 - 2015)

    As an actor, Colin Welland appeared as PC David Graham in the BBC Television series Z-Cars from 1962 to 1978. He was a sympathetic schoolteacher in a BAFTA-winning performance in the film Kes (1969), and a detective in the Richard Burton film Villain (1971). He appeared as a villain in one 1975 episode of The […]

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  • Jody Williams

    1935 - 2018

    Jody Williams (1935 - 2018)

    Jody Williams Jody Williams, a famed Chicago blues guitarist and Blues Hall of Fame member, has died at the age of 83. Williams succumbed to cancer at the at the Munster Med Inn in Munster, Indiana Saturday night, according to a statement from Alligator Records. Jody Williams—known for a six-string style that evoked sophisticated, jazzy West […]

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  • Robin Williams

    1951 - 2014

    Robin Williams (1951 - 2014)

    Robin Williams Robin McLaurin Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 21, 1951. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (c. 1923 – September 4, 2001), was a former model from Jackson, Mississippi, whose own great-grandfather was Mississippi senator and governor Anselm J. McLaurin. His father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams (September 10, 1906 – October 18, 1987), was […]

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  • Hank Williams Sr.

    1923 - 1953

    Hank Williams Sr. (1923 - 1953)

    Hank Williams Sr Williams’s parents, Elonzo Huble “Lon” Williams and Jessie Lillybelle “Lillie” Skipper married on November 12, 1916. Hank Williams was of English-American ancestry. Elonzo Williams worked as an engineer for the railroads of the W.T. Smith lumber company. He was drafted during World War I, serving from July 1918 until June 1919. He […]

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  • Clifton Curtis Williams, Jr

    1932 - 1967

    Clifton Curtis Williams, Jr (1932 - 1967)

    Astronaut. Born in Mobile, Alabama, he was a US Marine Corps Major, graduated from the Navy Test Pilot School and accumulated 2,500 hours flying time in jet aircraft. In October 1963, he was selected by NASA as an Astronaut serving as backup pilot for the Gemini 10 mission and worked in the areas of launch […]

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  • Don Williams

    1939 - 2017

    Don Williams (1939 - 2017)

    After the Pozo-Seco Singers disbanded, Don Williams briefly worked outside the music industry. Soon, however, Williams resumed his career in music. In December 1971, Williams signed on as a songwriter for Jack Clement with Jack Music Inc. In 1972, Williams inked a contract with JMI Records as a solo country artist. His 1974 song, “We […]

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  • Sybil Christopher

    1929 - 2013

    Sybil Christopher (1929 - 2013)

    Sybil Williams was born on 27 March 1929, in Tylorstown, Mid Glamorgan. She attended the London Academy of Dramatic Arts (now LAMDA), meeting Richard Burton during the filming of The Last Days of Dolwyn (1949). After their marriage, she retired from acting, performing only a few times, and generally on stage rather than on film. […]

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  • Billy Paul

    1934 - 2016

    Billy Paul (1934 - 2016)

    Billy Paul Billy Paul, a pioneer of the Philadelphia Sound who recorded the 1972 number one hit  “Me and Mrs. Jones,” a smoky ode to an extramarital affair, died Sunday at his home in Blackwood, N.J. He was 80. His co-manager Beverly Gray told the Associated Press that Paul, born Paul Williams in Philadelphia, had been diagnosed […]

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  • Donald Williams

    1942 - 2016

    Donald Williams (1942 - 2016)

    Selected by NASA in January 1978, Donald Williams became an astronaut in August 1979, qualified for assignment as a pilot on future Space Shuttle flight crews. Since then he has had various support assignments, including working at the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) as a test pilot, and at the Kennedy Space Center participating in […]

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  • Robert Harbin

    1908 - 1978

    Robert Harbin (1908 - 1978)

    Robert Harbin (born Ned Williams 14 February 1908 Balfour, South Africa – 12 January 1978 Westminster, London, UK) was a British magician and author. He is noted as the inventor of a number of classic illusions, including the Zig Zag Girl. He also became an authority on origami. The young Ned Williams first got interested in […]

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