• William Arnold “Billy” Costello

    1898 - 1971

    William Arnold “Billy” Costello (1898 - 1971)

    Entertainer. He was the original voice of Popeye the Sailor in animated films. A comic scat singer and ukulele player, he appeared in vaudeville under the names Red Pepper Sam or Billy Costello. In the early 1930s he also played drums with the Fred Waring Orchestra. Cartoon producer Max Fleischer used Costello’s 1931 novelty recording […]

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  • William Asher

    1921 - 2012

    William Asher (1921 - 2012)

    William Asher was born in New York City to stage actress Lillian Bonner and producer Ephraim M. Asher (1887-1937), whose movie credits were mostly as an associate producer. His sister Betty Asher was an MGM publicist for Judy Garland. His father was Jewish, his mother Catholic. Asher’s family moved to Los Angeles when he was […]

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  • William Asher

    1921 - 2012

    William Asher (1921 - 2012)

    Television and Motion Picture Director, Producer. Best known for his behind-the-scenes contributions as producer and director for the TV series “Bewitched” (1964 to 1972), which starred his then-wife Elizabeth Montgomery. Born into a family of versed entertainers, his father was film producer Ephraim Asher, his mother Lillian Bonner was an actress, he spent his early […]

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  • William Augustus “Gus” Greenlee

    1895 - 1952

    William Augustus “Gus” Greenlee (1895 - 1952)

    Businessman, owner of the Pittsburgh Crawfords baseball team.  William Augustus “Gus” Greenlee was born near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Marion North Carolina.  In 1916, Greenlee migrated north to Pittsburgh becoming a racketeer and bootlegger.  He put the fortune he made into the Crawford Bar & Grill and the Pittsburgh Crawfords baseball team.  He also […]

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  • William Bailey

    1886 - 1962

    William Bailey (1886 - 1962)

    Actor. Born in Omaha, Nebraska as Gordon Reineck.  William was a silent screen supporting actor, often  playing the parts of the hero’s sidekick or best friend. He acted in Broadway plays such as Forbidden from 1919 to 1920. Also in other Broadway shows.  He was a member of the original cast of No, No Nanette […]

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  • William Bakewell

    1908 - 1993

    William Bakewell (1908 - 1993)

    Bakewell, educated at Los Angeles Harvard Military School, began his film career as an extra in the silent movie Fighting Blood (1924), and went on to appear in some 170 films and television shows. He had supporting roles at the end of the silent era and reached the peak of his career around 1930. He […]

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  • William Banting

    1970 - 1878

    William Banting (1970 - 1878)

    Author. He was an undertaker and furnisher of funerals, who had a parlour in St. James’s Street in London. His best-known commission was to build the Duke of Wellington’s coffin, but he would not be remembered were it not for the unfortunate fact that he suffered from a weight problem. None of his family, on […]

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  • William Barnes

    1801 - 1886

    William Barnes (1801 - 1886)

    Poet. The son of a farmer, he was born at Bagber, near Sturminster in North Dorset, England. He was educated locally and worked as a clerk until 1823 when he became a schoolmaster. He married in 1827 and began working toward a degree in divinity at Saint John’s College in Cambridge on a part-time basis […]

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  • William Barret

    1786 - 1871

    William Barret (1786 - 1871)

    Businessman. A Tobacco manufacturer, he opened one of the first large tobacco factories in Richmond and quickly amassed a large fortune. One of his slaves, a tobacco worker namded Henry “Box” Brown, gained notoriety in 1849, when he escaped in a box shipped from Richmond to Philadelphia, where he became an abolitionist author and speaker. […]

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  • William Barrymore

    1899 - 1979

    William Barrymore (1899 - 1979)

    Actor. Born Elia Bulakh, he was a successful performer who spent ten years starring in silent Western B movies. His many film credits included “Ridin’ Wild” (1925), “The Range Terror” (1925), “The Pony Express Rider” (1926), “The Border Cavalier” (1927), “Cheyenne Trials” (1928) and “Rawhide Romance” (1934). When motion pictures advanced to the sound era, […]

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  • William Bast

    1931 - 2015

    William Bast (1931 - 2015)

    Bast was born in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, the son of Gilbert Bast and Bernice Fleischmann. He began his early education in Milwaukee, transferring to Kenosha when his family moved there. Moving back to Milwaukee, he subsequently graduated from Wauwatosa High school, then enrolled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. When his family moved to Los […]

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  • William Baziotes

    1912 - 1963

    William Baziotes (1912 - 1963)

    American Abstract Expressionist Painter. Founded The Subjects of the Artist school in New York. Today his works can be seen in the Guggenheim Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Massachusetts, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (bio by: Laurie)

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  • William Beaudine

    1892 - 1970

    William Beaudine (1892 - 1970)

    Born in New York City, William Beaudine began his career as an actor in 1909 with American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. He married Marguerite Fleischer in 1914, to whom he stayed married until his death and who died in 1970 (Marguerite’s sister was the mother of actor Bobby Anderson). He was the brother of director […]

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  • William Beckford

    1760 - 1844

    William Beckford (1760 - 1844)

    Author. He born in Fonthill, Wiltshire, in the manor house owned by his father who was twice Lord Mayor of London. He inherited a large fortune from his father, William Beckford, consisting of one million in cash, and several sugar plantations in Jamaica. In 1783, after his marraige to Margaret Gordon , he travelled, having […]

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  • William Bendix

    1906 - 1964

    William Bendix (1906 - 1964)

    William Bendix William Bendix made a career out of playing lovable big lugs, although he also occasionally got to play sinister and tragic roles with equal success. He was born in New York City, in a cold-water flat at Third Avenue and 45th Street in 1906, the only son of Oscar Bendix and the former […]

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  • William Benton

    1900 - 1973

    William Benton (1900 - 1973)

    William Benton was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was educated at Shattuck Military Academy, Faribault, Minnesota, and Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota until 1918, at which point he matriculated at Yale University, where he contributed to campus humor magazine The Yale Record and was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity. He graduated in 1921 and began […]

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  • William Bigler

    1814 - 1880

    William Bigler (1814 - 1880)

    William Bigler (January 1, 1814 – August 9, 1880) was an American politician. A Democrat, he served as the 12th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1852 to 1855, and later a U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania from 1856 until 1861. William Bigler was born in rural Pennsylvania and received little formal education; he studied informally under his elder brother […]

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  • William Bishop

    1918 - 1959

    William Bishop (1918 - 1959)

    William Bishop was the son of Edward T. Bishop and Helen MacArthur Bishop. He had a brother, Robert. His elementary and secondary schooling came in New York and New Jersey. He went to West Virginia University where he wanted to study law but left to enter theater. While he was at WVU, Bishop “won laurels […]

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  • William Blaisdell

    1970 - 1931

    William Blaisdell (1970 - 1931)

    Actor, he appeared in the original stage productions of “Star and Garter” (1900), “Vienna Life” (1901), “The Toreador” (1902) and “Drifting” (1922). He appeared in over 35 films including “Rainbow Island” (1917), “The City Slicker” (1918), “ The Covered Schooner”(1923), “The Golf Bug”(1924), “Crazy Like a Fox” (1926), and “Dizzy Sights” (1927). (bio by: Ginny […]

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  • William Blake

    1757 - 1827

    William Blake (1757 - 1827)

    William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English painter, poet and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form “what is in proportion to its […]

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  • William Bonin

    1947 - 1996

    William Bonin (1947 - 1996)

    Bonin was born in Connecticut in January 1947, the second of three brothers. His father was a compulsive gambler and alcoholic, Bonin’s mother, Alice, was also an alcoholic, who frequently left Bonin and his brothers in the care of their grandfather, a convicted child molester. Bonin and his brothers were neglected as children, and were […]

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  • William Borzage

    1892 - 1973

    William Borzage (1892 - 1973)

    Actor. Appeared on stage and in motion pictures in the 1930s and 1940s. Appeared with Henry Fonda in the 1935 romantic drama “Way Down East.” (bio by: A.J. Marik)  Family links:  Children:  Raymond William Borzage (1916 – 1990)*  Infant Male Borzage (1918 – 1918)* *Calculated relationship

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  • William Bouguereau

    1825 - 1905

    William Bouguereau (1825 - 1905)

    Artist. He was France’s most popular painter of the late 1800s. A leader of the Academic School, Bouguereau specialized in carefully detailed mythological and genre scenes, and was particularly noted for his tender portrayals of children. “The Abduction of Psyche” (1895) is probably his best-known work.  Today many critics dismiss his style as kitsch and […]

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  • William Boyd

    1895 - 1972

    William Boyd (1895 - 1972)

    Boyd was born in Hendrysburg in Belmont County, located 26 miles east of Cambridge, Ohio. He was reared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of day laborer Charles William Boyd and his wife, the former Lida Wilkens. Following his father’s death, he moved to California and worked as an orange picker, surveyor, tool dresser and auto […]

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  • William Boyett

    1927 - 2004

    William Boyett (1927 - 2004)

    Boyett was born in Akron, Ohio, and lived there until the 1940s, when he moved with his family to Los Angeles, California. He won a Shakespeare competition in high school which led to acting jobs in radio. He served in the Navy during World War II and afterward performed on the stage in both New […]

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  • William Bradford

    1663 - 1752

    William Bradford (1663 - 1752)

    Pioneer American Publisher.  Bradford established the American colony’s first press, in Philadelphia, after his emigration from England in 1683. He defended press freedom and was tried for sedition in 1692. He was not convicted and moved to New York where he became a Trinity Vestryman in 1703. He created the first edition of the Book […]

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  • William Bronder

    1930 - 2015

    William Bronder (1930 - 2015)

    Actor. He will be remembered for playing ‘Milo Pressman’ in the Rob Reiner hit film “Stand by Me” (1986). Raised in New York City (some sources state date of birth as August 16, 1928), he served with the United States Merchant Marines and later the United States Army, prior to relocating to California, where he […]

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  • William Brooks Ching

    1913 - 1989

    William Brooks Ching (1913 - 1989)

    Actor. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he began his career as a professional singer, appearing in musical stage productions. Signed with Republic Pictures, he made his screen debut in “The Mysterious Mr. M” (1946), followed by “I‘ll Be Yours” (1947) and “The Michigan Kid” (1947) . He went on to appear in nearly twenty films […]

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  • William Buchan

    1970 - 1805

    William Buchan (1970 - 1805)

    Medical Pioneer. Author of the first-ever book of home medicine, ‘Domestic Medicine’, which sold over 80,000 copies in his lifetime. (bio by: David Conway)

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  • William Buckley

    1928 - 1985

    William Buckley (1928 - 1985)

    During the Korean War, William Buckley served as a company commander with the 1st Cavalry Division. Next, he returned to Boston University and completed his studies, graduating with a degree in Political Science. It was during this time that Buckley began his first employment with the Central Intelligence Agency, from 1955 to 1957. He was […]

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