Thornton Wilder (April 17, 1897-December 7, 1975) was an American playwright and novelist. He became most famous for his play, Our Town, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. He also won Pulitzers for his play The Skin of Our Teeth and his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey. He lived in China and California as a child, but moved all around as an adult. He studied at Oberlin College, Yale University, and Princeton University. He was a professor of French, comparative literature, and poetry at different points in his life. Though he was an award winning writer, he always thought of himself first as a teacher.
Charlie Chaplin (April 16, 1889-December 25, 1977) was a British silent film actor. His contributions to the film world are virtually unparalleled. His career evolved from small time comedy troupes to vaudeville to film. By the age of 26, he was one of the highest paid people in the world. He achieved enough of a following to start his own distribution company, United Artists, by 1919. He went on to produce his own films, some his most notable including The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), and The Great Dictator (1940). He was nominated for Best Production, Best Director in a Comedy Picture, Best Actor and Best Writing (Original Story) for The Circus (1928) in the first ever Academy Awards in 1929, along with receiving many other recognitions throughout his life and posthumously.
Happy birthday Elizabeth Montgomery!
Elizabeth Montgomery (April 15, 1933-May 19 1995) was an American actress, most famous for her role as Samantha on Bewitched, which aired from 1964 to 1972. She had a prolific career in television and film, and was nominated for several Emmys, Golden Globes, and other awards. She was married four times throughout her life and had three children.
Robert Doisneau (April 14, 1912-April 1, 1994) was a French photographer, known as a pioneer of photojournalism. He mostly took pictures of people in the streets, highlighting social class, and paying particular attention to children at play. He is well known for his photo, Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Town Hall), which he took in 1950.
Al Green (born April 13, 1946) is an American soul singer. He produced hits throughout the 1970s, selling over 20 million albums. Some of his greatest hits include "Tired of Being Alone", "I'm Still In Love With You", "Love and Happiness," and "Let's Stay Together." He is listed as number 66 on Rolling Stone's Greatest Artists of All Time. Green has balanced his pop career with his spirituality, preaching and singing gospel at his church between tours. Green continues to perform and record. His last recording, Lay it Down, was released in 2008.
Montserrat Caballé (born April 12, 1933) is a Catalán operatic singer. She is a soprano. She is best known for her execution of "bel canto" singing style. She is particularly admired for singing the works of Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Giuseppe Verdi.
Oleg Cassini Loiewski (April 11, 1913-March 17, 2006) was a French-born American fashion designer. He was hugely influential in the fashion world, designing such ubiquitous styles as the A-line, the Sheath dress, and the Empire Strapless dress. His most notable moment was his stint as Jacqueline Kennedy's "Secretary of Style," though he contributed heavily to costume design on Broadway, television, and film.
Portrait of Ben Nicholson, by his mother Mabel Pryde
Ben Nicholson (April 10, 1894 - February 6, 1982) was an English painter and sculptor. He is known for his abstract still lifes and landscapes. His work was exhibited alongside that of Constantin Brancusi, Juan Miro, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso. He spent much of his life in England, but traveled to and lived for periods in California, Switzerland, Italy, and France.
Carl Perkins (April 9, 1932-January 19, 1998) was an American Rockabilly singer and songwriter from Tennessee. Alongside the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley, he became most famous for writing and singing the song "Blue Suede Shoes." He was the first white country artist to cross over onto the R&B charts. Though Perkins never quite felt like he deserved his fame, he was hugely influential in others' music, including that of George Harrison, Rick Nelson, and Patsy Cline.
Richard Neutra (April 8, 1892-April 16, 1970) was an Austrian-American architect. He is known as the creator of the California modern style, which melds the interior with the exterior. Some of his works include the Kaufmann House, the Los Angeles County Hall of Records, Palos Verdes High School, and the Jardinette Apartments. He is remembered as being especially open to his clients' preferences.
Happy birthday Billie Holiday!
Billie Holiday (April 7, 1915-July 17, 1959) was an American jazz vocalist and songwriter. She is commonly regarded as one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. Holiday had a difficult and impoverished childhood, born to a teen mother. Some of her biggest hits include "Easy Living," "Good Morning Heartache," and "Strange Fruit." Her voice, untrained and inspired by jazz instrumentalists, was iconic.
Merle Haggard (born April 6, 1937) is an American country and rock musician, as well as a multi-instrumentalist. He and his band the Strangers are known as the creators of the Bakersfield Sound, a form of country that originated around Bakersfield, California in the 1950s. Some of his biggest hits include "Okie from Muskogee," "The Fightin Side of Me," and "Carolyn."