On This Day

Famous Birthdays on December 15

Person of interestNero

37 Nero, 5th Emperor of Rome (54-68), born in Antium, Italy (d. 68)

Roman Emperor Nero
Roman Emperor
  • 1534 Lucas Osiander, German composer, born in Nuremberg (d. 1604)
  • 1567 Christoph Demantius, German composer, born in Reichenberg (d. 1643)
  • 1574 Samuel Besler, German-Polish composer, born in Brzeg (d. 1625)
  • 1610 David Teniers the Younger, Flemish court painter (Theatrum Pictorium), born in Antwerp (d. 1690)
  • 1648 Gregory King, English statistician (Natural & Political Observations), born in Lichfield, England (d. 1712)
  • 1657 Michel-Richard Delalande, French baroque composer, born in Paris (d. 1726)
  • 1667 Ludwig Ernst, German composer, born in Gotha (d. 1739)
  • 1765 Philippe-Jacques Pfeffinger, composer, born in Strasbourg, France (d. 1821)
  • 1778 Godert van der Capellen, Dutch governor-general (Dutch-Indies), born in Utrecht, Netherlands (d. 1848)
  • 1786 Edward Coles, American anti-slavery advocate and politician (Governor of Illinois, 1822-26), born in Albemarle County, Virginia (d. 1868)
  • 1787 Charles Cowden Clarke, English editor and Shakespearean critic, born in Enfield, Middlesex, England (d. 1877)
  • 1793 Henry Charles Carey, American economist (Principles of Poli Economy), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1879)
  • 1801 August Freyer, Polish musician and composer, born in Saxony (d. 1883)
  • 1802 Janos Bolyai, Hungarian mathematician (non-Euclidean geometry), born in Kolozsvár, Hungary (d. 1860)
  • 1812 Isidor Dannström, Swedish composer, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1897)

  • 1821 Auguste Vaucorbeil, French composer, born in Rouen, France (d. 1884)
  • 1822 Edward Stephen, Welsh musician and composer, born in Maentwrog, Merionethshire (d. 1885)
  • 1823 Friedrich Gottlieb Schwencke, German organist and composer, born in Hamburg, Germany (d. 1896)
  • 1830 Francesco D'Arcais, Italian composer, born in Cagliari, Italy (d. 1890)

Person of interestGustave Eiffel

1832 Gustave Eiffel, French engineer and architect who designed and built the Eiffel tower, born in Dijon, France (d. 1923)

Engineer and Architect Gustave Eiffel
Engineer and Architect
Gustave Eiffel
  • 1836 Edmond Picard, French-Belgian lawyer and writer (La forge Roussel), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1924)
  • 1842 Henry Gadsby, English musician and composer, born in Hackney, England (d. 1907)
  • 1848 Edwin Blashfield, American painter who decorated the dome of Library of Congress, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1936)

Person of interestHenri Becquerel

1852 Henri Becquerel, French physicist who discovered radioactivity (Nobel 1903), born in Paris, France (d. 1908)

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Henri Becquerel
Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Henri Becquerel
  • 1852 Muḥammad Tawfīq Pasha, Khedive of Egypt (1879-92), born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1892)
  • 1853 Jean Baptiste August Kessler, Dutch entrepreneur and director of oil on Dutch Indies, born in Batavia, Dutch East Indies (d. 1900)
  • 1857 Eugeniusz Pankiewicz, Polish composer, born in Siedlce, Poland (d. 1898)
  • 1859 L. L. Zamenhof, Polish physician and linguist (Esperanto), born in Białystok, Poland, Russian Empire (d. 1917)
  • 1860 Niels Ryberg Finsen, Danish physician and phototherapist (Nobel 1903), born in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands (d. 1904)
  • 1860 Abner Powell, American baseball player, born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania (d. 1953)
  • 1861 Charles Duryea, American inventor (Duryea Motor Wagon Company, first auto built in the US), born in Canton, Illinois (d. 1938)
  • 1862 Jack 'The Nonpareil' Dempsey, Irish boxer (first holder of World Middleweight Championship 1886-90), born in Curran, County Kildare (d. 1895)
  • 1863 Arthur Dehon Little, American chemist (patented rayon), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1935)
  • 1870 Josef Hoffmann, Austrian architect, born in Brtnice, Moravia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1956)
  • 1873 Kacsóh Pongrác, Hungarian composer, born in Budapest (d. 1923)

  • 1875 Friedrich Niggli, Swiss composer, born in Aarburg, Switzerland (d. 1959)
  • 1875 Emilio Jacinto, Filipino poet and revolutionary, born in Tondo, Manila (d. 1899)
  • 1876 Ferdinand Hardekopf, German writer and journalist, born in Varel, Germany (d. 1954)
  • 1878 Hans Carossa, German writer, born in Tölz, Bavaria (d. 1956)
  • 1879 Hugo Willem Constantijn Bordewijk, Dutch lawyer, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1939)
  • 1879 Rudolf von Laban, Czech-German choreographer (modern dance), born in Bratislava, Austria-Hungary (d. 1958)
  • 1881 James Schneider, American actor (The Key to Yesterday, Keystone Kops), born in NYC, New York (d. 1967)
  • 1887 Pieter Geyl, Dutch historian (History of the Dutch Tribe), born in Dordrecht, Netherlands (d. 1966)
  • 1888 Artturi Leinonen, Finnish journalist and writer (Kati), born in Ylihärmä, Finland (d. 1963)

Person of interestMaxwell Anderson

1888 Maxwell Anderson, American dramatist (Winter Set, High Tor), born in Atlantic, Pennsylvania (d. 1959)

Playwright and Dramatist Maxwell Anderson
Playwright and Dramatist
Maxwell Anderson
  • 1891 A. P. Carter, American musician (Carter Family), born in Maces Spring, Virginia
  • 1892 David Guion, American composer (Home on the Range), born in Ballinger, Texas (d. 1981)

Person of interestJ. Paul Getty

1892 J. Paul Getty, American oil magnate and billionaire (Getty Oil), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 1976)

Industrialist J. Paul Getty
J. Paul Getty
  • 1892 José María Castro, Argentine composer, born in Avellaneda, Buenos Aires (d. 1964)
  • 1896 Carl Ferdinand Cori, Czech-American bio-chemist (Nobel 1947-discovery of how glycogen (animal starch) – a derivative of glucose – is broken down and resynthesized in the body, for use as a store and source of energy), born in Prague (d. 1984)
  • 1896 George Cressey, American geographer (Asia's Lands & Peoples), born in Tiffin, Ohio (d. 1963)
  • 1896 Margaret Bannerman, Canadian actress (Elopement), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 1976)
  • 1896 Paul Citroen, Dutch sculptor, born in Berlin (d. 1983)
  • 1896 Betty Smith, American novelist (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1972)

Person of interestMiles Dempsey

1896 Miles Dempsey, British WWII general (XIII Corps, Second Army), born in New Brighton, Cheshire (d. 1969)

British WWII General Miles Dempsey
British WWII General
Miles Dempsey
  • 1898 Fernando Remacha, Spanish composer, born in Tudela, Navarre, Spain (d. 1984)
  • 1899 Frank Vosper, British actor (The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rome Express), born in London, England (d. 1937)
  • 1899 Harold Abrahams, British athlete (Olympic gold & silver 1924), born in Bedford, England (d. 1978)
  • 1900 Francesco Messina, Italian sculptor, born in Linguaglossa, Italy (d. 1995)
  • 1902 Robert F. Bradford, American politician (57th Governor of Massachusetts), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1983)
  • 1903 Tamanishiki San'emon, Japanese sumo wrestler (32nd yokozuna; winner 9 top division yūshō), born in Kōchi, Japan (d. 1938)
  • 1904 Kermit Bloomgarden, American producer (The Diary of Anne Frank, Music Man), born in NYC, New York (d. 1976)
  • 1904 William Hitzig, Austrian Maxwell physician, born in Austria (d. 1983)
  • 1905 Ferenc Farkas, Hungarian composer, born in Nagykanizsa, Hungary (d. 2000)
  • 1907 Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect (Brasilia), born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (d. 2012)
  • 1910 John H. Hammond, American music producer, critic and activist, discovered Billie Holiday, born in NYC, New York (d. 1987)
  • 1911 Stan Kenton, American musician, jazz pianist, arranger and bandleader (Artistry In Rhythm), born in Wichita, Kansas (d. 1979)
  • 1911 Nicholas P. Dallis, American psychiatrist and comic strip writer (Rex Morgan, M.D.), born in NYC, New York (d. 1991)
  • 1912 Ray Eames, American designer and filmmaker, born in Sacramento, California (d. 1988)
  • 1913 Muriel Rukeyser, American poet (The Book of the Dead), born in NYC, New York (d. 1980)
  • 1913 Rik Jacobs, Flemish stage manager, born in Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium (d. 1985)
  • 1915 José Toribio Merino, Chilean admiral (one of the principal leaders of the 1973 Chilean coup d'état), born in La Serena, Chile (d. 1996)
  • 1916 Maurice Wilkins, New Zealand-born English physicist (Nobel 1962-X-ray diffraction studies of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) proved crucial to the determination of DNA’s molecular structure by James D. Watson and Francis Crick), born in Pongaroa, New Zealand (d. 2004)
  • 1916 (Edwin) "Buddy" Cole, American jazz and session pianist, Hammond organist, orchestra leader, and composer ("Truth Or Consequences"), born in Irving, Illinois (d. 1964)
  • 1917 Shan-ul-Haq Haqqee, Pakistani Urdu linguist and writer, born in Delhi, British India (d. 2005)
  • 1918 Jeff Chandler [Ira Grossel], American actor (Broken Arrow), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1961)
  • 1920 Kurt Schaffenberger, American comics artist (Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane), born in Thuringian Forest, Germany (d. 2002)
  • 1920 Howard Cable, Canadian conductor, arranger, and composer, born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2016)
  • 1922 Alan Freed, American disc jockey who accepted payola and introduced term "rock-n-roll", born in Windber, Pennsylvania (d. 1965)
  • 1923 Freeman Dyson, American physicist (known for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering), born in Crowthorne, Berkshire, England (d. 2020)
  • 1923 Uziel Gal, Israeli firearm designer (Uzi submachine gun), born in Weimar, Germany (d. 2002)
  • 1923 Valentin Varennikov, Soviet-Russian general and statesman, born in Krasnodar, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (d. 2009)
  • 1925 Sam Pollock, Canadian ice hockey general manager (Montreal Canadiens), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2007)
  • 1925 Kasey Rogers, American actress (Bewitched), born in Morehouse, Missouri (d. 2006)
  • 1928 Jimmy Nelson, American ventriloquist (Nestles, Farfel), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1928 Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian-born New Zealand artist, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2000)
  • 1928 Jerry Wallace, American country and pop singer ("Primrose Lane"; "If You Leave Me Tonight I'll Cry"), born in Guilford, Missouri (d. 2008)
  • 1928 Ida Haendel, Polish-British-Canadian child prodigy violinist, teacher, and author (Woman with Violin), born in Chelm, Poland (d. 2020)
  • 1929 Keith Andrew, English cricketer (England wicket-keeper in 2 Tests 1954-63), born in Greenacres, Oldham, England (d. 2010)
  • 1930 Alimuddin, Pakistani cricketer (Pakistani batsman in 25 Tests 1954-62), born in Ajmer, British India (d. 2012)

  • 1930 Edna O'Brien, Irish novelist and short story writer (Girl with Green Eyes, Casualties of Peace), born in Tuamgraney, County Clare, Ireland
  • 1931 Evald Schorm, Czech film director (Courage for Every Day), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 1988)
  • 1932 Elaine Barkin, American composer, born in The Bronx, New York
  • 1932 Igor Stuhec, Slovenian composer, born in Kremberk
  • 1932 Curtis Fuller, American jazz trombonist (Yusef Lateef; John Coltrane; Farmer/Golson Jazztet), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2021)
  • 1933 Jesse Belvin, American rock vocalist (Mr Easy), born in San Antonio, Texas (d. 1960)
  • 1933 Tim Conway, American comedian (McHale's Navy; The Carol Burnett Show), born in Willoughby, Ohio
  • 1933 Donald Woods, South African journalist, anti-apartheid activist and author (Biko, Asking for Trouble), born in Elliotdale, South Africa (d. 2001)
  • 1936 Eddie Palmieri, American Latin jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer (La Perfecta), born in New York City
  • 1936 Krzysztof Sadowski, Polish jazz pianist, Hammond organ player, and composer, born in Warsaw
  • 1937 John Sladek, American sci-fi author (Tik-Tok, Bugs), born in Waverly, Iowa (d. 2000)
  • 1937 Karen Morrow, American actress (The Boy in the Plastic bubble, Ladies' Man), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1938 Dennis RB Madide, South African Internal minister of Transkei
  • 1938 Bob Foster, American boxer (world light-heavyweight champion 1968-74), born in Borger, Texas (d. 2015)
  • 1939 Cindy Birdsong, American rock vocalist (Labelle-Rainbow, Supremes), born in Camden, New Jersey
  • 1939 Nicolaus A. Huber, German composer, born in Passau, Germany
  • 1940 Nick Buoniconti, American NFL linebacker (Miami Dolphins) and sportscaster (NBC), born in Springfield, Massachusetts (d. 2019)
  • 1941 Geoffrey Davies, English actor (Doctor at Sea, Doctor on the Go), born in Leeds, England
  • 1942 Dave Clark, English rock drummer (Dave Clark 5-Glad All Over), born in Tottenham, Middlesex, England
  • 1943 Mihály Hesz, Hungarian 1K kayaker (Olympic gold 1968)
  • 1943 Kathleen Blanco, American politician, 1st female Governor of Louisiana (2004-08), born in New Iberia, Louisiana (d. 2019)
  • 1943 Lucien den Arend, Dutch geometric abstract sculptor, born in Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • 1944 Stan Bahnsen, American baseball pitcher (NY Yankee, 1968 AL Rookie-of-year), born in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Person of interestChico Mendes

1944 Chico Mendes, Brazilian environmental activist and rubber tapper, born in Xapuri, Brazil (d. 1988)

Environmentalist Chico Mendes
Chico Mendes
  • 1945 Thaao Penghlis, Australian actor (Mission Impossible, Tony-Days of Our Life), born in Sydney, Australia

Person of interestMichael King

1945 Michael King, New Zealand historian and author (Penguin History of New Zealand), born in Wellington, New Zealand

Historian and Author Michael King
Historian and Author
Michael King
  • 1946 Carmine Appice, American musician (Have You Heard, Keep on Rolling), born in NYC, New York
  • 1946 Harry Ray, American soul singer (Ray, Goodman, Brown - "Special Lady"), born in Long Branch, New Jersey (d. 1992)
  • 1946 Art Howe, American MLB baseball player (Pittsburgh Pirates) and manager, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1947 Rodney Bingenheimer, American disc jockey, born in Mountain View, California

  • 1948 David Gwillim, English actor (Island at Top of the World), born in Plymouth, Devon, England
  • 1948 Melanie Chartoff, American actress (Fridays, Parker Lewis) and director, born in New Haven, Connecticut
  • 1948 Cassandra Harris, Australian actress (For Your Eyes Only), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 1991)
  • 1949 Don Johnson, American actor (Miami Vice, Nash Bridges), born in Flatt Creek, Missouri
  • 1949 Ton Sijbrands, Dutch world checkers champion, born in Amsterdam
  • 1950 Stjepko Gut, Serbian jazz trumpeter, flügelhorn player, and teacher, born in Ruma, Yugoslavia (now Serbia)
  • 1951 Joe Jordan, Scottish football player (Manchester United), born in Cleland, North Lanarkshire, Scotland
  • 1951 Ken Knox, rock vocalist (Chairmen of the Board)
  • 1952 Allan Simonsen, Danish footballer (Borussia Mönchengladbach), born in Vejle, Denmark
  • 1952 Julie Taymor, American director
  • 1953 J. M. DeMatteis, American comic book writer
  • 1954 Alex Cox, director (Repo Man)
  • 1954 Justin Ross, American actor (Sinatra, Chorus Line, Fan, Quick Change), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1955 Paul Simonon, English pop bassist (Clash-Havana 3 AM)
  • 1957 Mario Marois, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1957 Mike McAlary, American journalist (d. 1998)
  • 1957 Yuuichi Nagashima, Japanese voice actor
  • 1957 Tim Reynolds, German guitarist (Dave Matthews Band), born in Wiesbaden, Germany
  • 1958 Eddy Annys, Belgian high jumper
  • 1959 Greg Matthews, cricketer (NSW & Aust off-spin all rounder Yeah yeah)
  • 1959 Heidi Bohay, Somerset NJ, actress (Megan-Hotel)
  • 1959 Rashid Khan, cricketer (4 Tests for Pakistan 1982-85)
  • 1960 Don Franklin, actor (Seaquest 2032, Noah Dixon-The Young Riders)
  • 1960 Doug Phelps, American singer (Ky Headhunters - Davy Crockett), born in Leachville, Arkansas
  • 1960 Walter Werzowa, Austrian composer
  • 1961 Annie Pujol, Perpignan, French TV hostess (Roue de la Fortune)
  • 1961 Reginald Hudlin, director (House Party)
  • 1961 Karin Resetarits, Austrian journalist
  • 1963 David Wingate, NBA guard/forward (Seattle Supersonics)
  • 1963 Helen Slater, American actress (Supergirl, Billie Jean, Ruthless People), born in NYC, New York

  • 1963 Andrew Luster, Max Factor heir
  • 1964 Carlton Bailey, NFL linebacker (Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers)
  • 1964 Jerry Ball, NFL defensive tackle (Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings)
  • 1965 Walter Reeves, NFL tight end (Cleveland Browns)
  • 1966 Carl Hooper, cricketer (WI off-spin all-rounder)
  • 1966 Manos Papayiannis, Greek fashion model and actor
  • 1967 Christine Larsen, synchronized swimmer (Olympic silver 1996), born in New Westminster, British Columbia
  • 1967 Frank Hartley, NFL tight end (Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers)
  • 1967 Keith Askins, NBA guard/forward (Miami Heat)
  • 1967 Mo Vaughn, American baseball first baseman (MLB All-Star 1995, 96, 98; AL MVP 1995; Boston Red Sox), born in Norwalk, Connecticut
  • 1967 David Howells, English footballer, born in Guildford, Surrey
  • 1968 Garrett Wang, actor (Star Trek Voyager)
  • 1968 Javid Hussain, Indian film producer
  • 1968 Osama Ali Maher, Swedish politician
  • 1969 Dan Williams, NFL defensive end (Denver Broncos, KC Chiefs)
  • 1969 Wayne Simmons, linebacker (KC Chiefs)
  • 1969 Chantal Petitclerc, Canadian wheelchair athlete
  • 1970 Damon Thomas, American NFL wide receiver (Buffalo Bills), born in Clovis, California
  • 1970 Lawrence Funderburke, NBA forward (Sacramento Kings)
  • 1970 Mitchell Butler, NBA guard (Washington Bullets, Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • 1970 Frankie Dettori, Italian jockey, born in Milan, Italy
  • 1970 Michael Shanks, Canadian actor and director (Stargate), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1971 Boudewijk Pahlplatz, soccer player (FC Twente, PSV)
  • 1971 Chris Maumalanga, NFL defensive tackle (Chicago Bears, Az Cardinals)
  • 1971 Eric Bjornson, NFL tight end (Dallas Cowboys)
  • 1972 Rodney Harrison, American NFL safety (San Diego Chargers), born in Markham, Illinois
  • 1972 Stuart Townsend, Irish actor
  • 1973 Mike Cherry, quarterback (NY Giants)
  • 1973 Mirko Ludemann, Weiwasser GER, NHL defenseman (Team Germany, Colorado)
  • 1973 Ryu Seung-wan, South Korean actor and director

  • 1974 Jeffrey van der Stone, soccer player (RKC)
  • 1976 Baichung Bhutia, Indian footballer
  • 1976 Aaron Miles, American baseball player
  • 1976 Elix Skipper, American professional wrestler
  • 1977 Catherine Fox, 400m freestyle relay (Olympic gold 1996)
  • 1978 Henrietta Nagyova, Nove Zamky Slovakia, tennis star (ITF/Cali-COL)
  • 1978 Mark Jansen, Dutch guitarist (Epica)
  • 1978 Jerome McDougle, American football player
  • 1979 Adam Brody, American actor
  • 1979 Eric Young, Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1980 Sergio Pizzorno, English guitarist (Kasabian)
  • 1981 Andy González, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1981 Roman Pavlyuchenko, Russian football player
  • 1981 Najoua Belyzel, French singer
  • 1981 Brendan Fletcher, Canadian actor
  • 1981 Thomas Herrion, American football player (d. 2005)
  • 1981 Creighton Lovelace, American Baptist minister
  • 1981 Michelle Dockery, English actress (Downton Abbey), born in London, England
  • 1982 Charlie Cox, English actor