MAYA ANGELOU Writer, poet, actress, singer, dancer- her work embodied the deepest feelings of a generation, particularly of women and people of color. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the story of her life up to the age of 17, was the first of her powerful literary contributions. But oh, how that voice and the wisdom it expressed will be missed.
RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH Boom Era fans may remember him best as the British squad leader who spearheaded the ill-fated flight of WWII soldiers from a German P.O.W. camp in Great Escape, but Attenborough had a long stage history behind him and would go on to win two Academy Awards as a director and producer.
LAUREN BACALL Her beauty was stunning, her smarts apparent, and her acting talents always a bit underestimated. But never has a whistle been so sexily solicited as when Lauren Bacall reminded Humphrey Bogart of just how it’s done in To Have And Have Not. Unforgettable, Miss Bacall.
AMIRI BARAKA His poems, plays and other works dealt with life as he saw it in the U.S., a country he found plagued by racism and in need of Black Liberation. Amiri Baraka (also known as LeRoi Jones) drew fire for his positions on violence, women and gays, but remains one of the most respected Black writers of his generation.
POLLY BERGEN Bergen played the terrified wife of Gregory Peck in the original Cape Fear and America’s first female commander-in-chief in Kisses For My President. She had her own TV variety show and went on to garner a Tony nomination for her later-in-life turn in Follies.
BEN BRADLEE As executive editor of The Washington Post Bradlee oversaw the publication of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s coverage of the Watergate scandal, and challenged the federal government over the Post’s right to publish The Pentagon Papers.
SID CAESAR A genius whose brand of sketch comedy would influence generations of comedians and writers for generations to come, Caesar’s Your Show of Shows remains one of the jewels in the crown of television’s Golden Age. His collaboration with Imogene Coca remains legendary and his program nurtured the writing talents of Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Carl Reiner, Woody Allen et al.
JOE COCKER His raspy voice and jerky movements made him impossible to forget. His version of the Beatles' A Little Help From My Friends hit number one in his native U.K. and his You Are So Beautiful made it to number five on the U.S. charts.
ANN B. DAVIS She won two Emmys for playing "Schultzy," the sharply funny and long-suffering photographer’s assistant on The Bob Cummings Show, but went on to win even more hearts as Alice, the sharply funny and long-suffering housekeeper on The Brady Bunch.
OSCAR DE LA RENTA He began his career as an assistant to Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga and went on to make his own indelible mark on fashion. Favored by celebrities ranging from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama, de la Renta’s trademark femininity never lost a beloved spot on the runway.
RUBY DEE Her accolades as an actress include an Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, SAG and Kennedy Center National Medal of Arts Awards, but her achievements as a civil and human rights activist were of equal importance to Dee. Married to fellow actor Ossie Davis, the pair collaborated on stage, in films, on television, and in the fight for justice.
AL FELDSTEIN From 1956 to 1985 artist and writer Al Feldstein edited Mad magazine, the publication that kept Boomers amused and satiated with one-of-a-kind satire. A veteran of EC Comics, Feldstein has been credited with giving Mad the attitude of a "smart-alecky, sniggering and indisputably clever spitball-shooter."
JAMES GARNER He won us over with his suave tongue-in-cheek charm as Bret Maverick and continued to earn favor as a world-weary P.I. on The Rockford Files. A dyed-in-the-wool liberal, Garner never stopped rallying for the causes in which he believed.
NADINE GORDIMER Born just outside of Johannesburg, Gordimer’s work tackled the moral and racial crises of her native South Africa. A tireless anti-apartheid advocate, Gordimer, whose work was banned during the apartheid regime, would go on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
GEOFFREY HOLDER Holder, who began his career as a dancer, also acted, choreographed, directed and sang. His deep, mellifluous voice made him a memorable pitchman for Seven-Up
MARTHA HYER Nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her turn as Gwen French in Some Came Running, Hyer also played the rich socialite who vied with Audrey Hepburn for the affections of William Holden in Sabrina.
P.D. JAMES Forced to leave school at the age of sixteen to help support her family, Phyllis Dorothy James, began her career as a crime novelist in the 1950s. Her most famous creation, poet and police commander, Adam Dagleish won her numerous distinctions including the title of Baroness and being named Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
RUSSELL JOHNSON A close friend of cowboy star Audie Murphy, Johnson began his acting career with roles in a number of his pal's movies. But Russell would become most well known for his turn as the clever professor whose inventions made life bearable on Gilligan’s Island.
CHRISTOPHER JONES Jones began his career as an actor with a Broadway turn in Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana. A move to Hollywood garnered him the title role in TV's The Legend of Jesse James and then the starring spot as a rock musician who becomes President in Wild in the Streets.
BOBBY KEYS A brilliant sax player who performed with the likes of The Who, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker et al., Keys was best known for being the featured saxophonist for The Rolling Stones.
RICHARD KIEL Featured as space aliens and other out-there figures in a number of television shows of the 1960s, Kiel is perhaps most well known as the Jaws character in the James Bond film franchise.
RALPH KINER Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975, Ralph Kiner played outfield for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. Kiner also served as an announcer for the New York Mets.
JIM LANGE After years as a prominent west coast disc jockey, Jim Lange donned the mantle of game show host, most memorably as the kiss-blowing emcee of The Dating Game.
VIRNA LISI An Italian beauty whose steamy dance in How To Murder Your Wife made her an instant American hit, Lisi was considered a film treasure in her homeland.
LORIN MAAZEL Violinist, composer and conductor Lorin Maazel took up the baton at the tender age of eight. He would go on to lead the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras and the Orchestre National de France.
DAVE MADDEN He started off playing one of the party regulars on Rowan and Martin's Laugh In, but is remembered most as the long-suffering manager of The Partridge Family, Ruben Kincaid.
GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ His short-stories and novels, the most famous of which may be One Hundred Years of Solitude, helped popularize the style of magic realism and won him a Nobel Prize for Literature. A vocal critic of politics in his native Colombia and abroad, Marquez is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century.
MARY ANN MOBLEY A girl from small town Mississippi who ended up crowned Miss America 1959, Mobley made her TV acting debut as a regular on Burke's Law and in 1965 won a Golden Globe award as New Star of the Year.
MIKE NICHOLS He began his career as an improv troupe comedian who later famously paired with Elaine May. His work as a director, which includes The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe, Catch-22 and others, earned him an Academy Award. Nichols is one of a few to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony and an Emmy.
DON PARDO His trademark voice helped Pardo span 70 years as an announcer during which he brought his talents to The Price Is Right, Jeopardy, The NBC Nightly News and, for 39 years, to Saturday Night Live.
PAUL REVERE Organist for and founder of Paul Revere and the Raiders, Paul created the group when he was in his early 20s. The Raiders found success with hits like Kicks which was named the 400th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
JOAN RIVERS Her acerbic, self-deprecating wit earned her the spotlight on the variety and late night shows of the 60s and 70s as well as pioneering slot in the history of female entertainers.
MICKEY ROONEY At one time the biggest box office draw in Hollywood, Rooney's years as a child star stretched into a lifetime of comedic and dramatic roles in film, television and on the stage. Laurence Olivier is said to have considered Rooney "the greatest actor of them all." Married eight times, Mickey's personal life was as much of a drama as any part he played for audiences.
JIMMY RUFFIN The son of a Missisippi sharecropper with musical roots in gospel, Ruffin racked up a number of hits in the 60s, the most famous of which was What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted.
MAXIMILIAN SCHELL A talented pianist and conductor as well as an actor, Schell received a Best Actor Academy Award for his performance in Judgement at Nuremberg.
PETE SEEGER An icon of American folk music and activism, Seeger and fellow members of The Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy era. Undaunted, he continued to support causes for peace, human rights and environmental issues until his death at 95.
JAMES SHIGETA Featured in the 1961 film Flower Drum Song, Shigeta was also a noted recording artist and nightclub performer.
ELAINE STRITCH Nominated for three Tonys before winning the award later in life, Stritch was a staple of the U.S. and British stages for over 50 years.
SHIRLEY TEMPLE Televised reruns of her childhood films made Temple as much of a hit with little Boomers as she'd been with the public of the 30s and 40s. She continued to win hearts as the host of a weekly fairy tale show in the 50s and early 60s.
ULTRA VIOLET Isabelle Collin Dufresne began her career as an artist studying with Salvador Dali before becoming an Andy Warhol "superstar" in the 60s. Dufresne, who chose the name Ultra Violet during her days at Warhol's factory, starred in over a dozen of the artist's films.
MARIA VON TRAPP The tale of her transformation from the teacher of a local captain's seven children to the matriarch of the von Trapp Family Singers was richly embellished to become the basis for the play and film of The Sound of Music. Von Trapp and her family left Europe for the U.S. in 1940 where they settled into life as innkeepers in Stowe, Vt.
RALPH WAITE Waite turned to acting after a brief stint as a social worker, performing on and off Broadway during the 60s before landing the role of the father on TV's The Waltons. Active in liberal politics, Waite was also an ordained minister with a degree from Yale Divinity School.
ELI WALLACH The son of Polish immigrants, Wallach would become, per Turner Classic Movies, "one of the greatest character actors ever to appear on stage and screen." Performing in over 90 films, Wallach often costarred with wife, Anne Jackson.
KEN WEATHERWAX We knew him as Pugsley Addams, the wonderfully macabre offspring of TV's Morticia and Gomez.
JOHNNY WINTER Blues guitarist and singer, Winter also produced three Grammy-winning albums for Muddy Waters and was included in the Rolling Stone roster of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time.
BUNNY YEAGER A model who segued into photography to save money on the cost of reprints, Yeager carved out her own niche in the world of pin-up photos including shooting eight centerfolds for Playboy and working for more mainstream magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Esquire.