On This Day

Famous Birthdays on December 20

  • 1494 Oronce Finé, French mathematician & cartographer, born in Briançon, France (d. 1555)
  • 1537 John III, King of Sweden (1568-92), born in Östergötland, Sweden (d. 1592)
  • 1539 Paulus Melissus, humanist Neo-Latin writer, translator, and composer, born in Mellrichstadt, Germany (d. 1602)
  • 1566 Edward Wightman, English radical Anabaptist, born in Burton upon Trent (d. 1612)
  • 1579 John Fletcher, Jacobean playwright, born in Rye, United Kingdom
  • 1594 Giovanni Battista de Gagliano, Italian composer (d. 1651)
  • 1606 Christoph Schultze, German composer, born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1683)
  • 1626 Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff, German statesman, born in Herzogenaurach, Germany (d. 1692)
  • 1629 Pieter de Hoogh, Dutch Golden Age painter, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 1684)
  • 1659 Francois Fagel, Dutch lawyer & statesman, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1746)
  • 1717 Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, French statesman and diplomat, born in Dijon, France (d. 1787)
  • 1729 Franz Xaver Thomas Pokorny, Czech composer, born in Městec Králové (d. 1794)
  • 1758 Othon Joseph Vandenbroek, Flemish horn player and composer, born in Ypres, Austrian Netherlands (now Belgium) (d. 1832)
  • 1774 Guillaume-Perre-Antoine Gatayes, French composer & guitarist, born in Paris, France (d. 1846)
  • 1786 Pietro Raimondi, Italian composer, born in Rome, Italy (d. 1853)
  • 1792 Nicolas Charlet, French painter, born in Paris, France (d. 1845)

  • 1807 Richard Lucian Page, US Navy officer (Confederate Army), born in Clarke County, Virginia (d. 1901)
  • 1808 Thomas Tinsley Craven, Commander (Union Navy), (d. 1887)
  • 1809 Friedrich Karl Kuhmstedt, German composer, born in Oldisleben, Germany (d. 1858)
  • 1812 Achille Peri, Italian composer & conductor, born in Reggio Emilia, Italy (d. 1880)
  • 1813 Samuel Jordan Kirkwood, American politician (Gov-Iowa)/US Sect of Interior (1881-82), born in Harford Country, Maryland (d. 1894)
  • 1819 John Geary, American lawyer & politician (1st SF postmaster; 1st mayor), born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania (d. 1873)
  • 1825 Romeyn Beck Ayres, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Manheim, New York (d. 1888)
  • 1833 Samuel Mudd, American physician (imprisoned for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth), born in Charles Country, Maryland (d. 1883)
  • 1838 Edwin Abbott Abbott, English schoolmaster & theologian (Flatland), born in Marylebone, United Kingdom (d. 1926)
  • 1841 Ferdinand Buisson, French academic & pacifist (Nobel Peace Prize 1927), born in Paris, France (d. 1932)
  • 1858 Jan Toorop, Dutch-Indonesian painter (3 Brides), born in Purworejo Regency, Indonesia (d. 1928)
  • 1859 Antonius Derkinderen, Dutch painter & artist, born in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (d. 1925)
  • 1860 Dan Leno [George Wild Galvin], English comedian & stage actor, born in Somers Town, London (d. 1904)
  • 1861 Ivana Kobilca, Slovenian painter, born in Ljubljana, Slovenia (d. 1926)
  • 1865 Maud Gonne, English-born Irish revolutionary, born in Tongham, United Kingdom (d. 1953)
  • 1865 Elsie De Wolfe, American socialite and interior decorator, born in NYC, New York (d. 1950)
  • 1867 Pudge Heffelfinger, American College Football Hall of Fame guard (3 x All American, Yale; first professional player 1892) and coach (Cal, Lehigh, Minnesota), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 1954)

Person of interestHarvey Firestone

1868 Harvey Firestone, American industrialist and founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company ("where the rubber meets the road"), born in Columbiana, Ohio (d. 1938)

Tire Industrialist Harvey Firestone
Tire Industrialist
Harvey Firestone
  • 1869 Charley Grapewin, American actor (The Wizard of Oz, Libeled Lady), born in Xenia, Ohio (d. 1956)
  • 1870 Pieter Cornelis Boutens, Dutch poet, classicist, and mystic (Voices, Carmina), born in Middelburg, Netherlands

  • 1871 Henry Kimball Hadley, American composer and conductor, born in Somerville, Massachusetts (d. 1937)
  • 1872 Lorenzo Perosi, Italian priest and sacred oratorio composer, born in Tortona, Italy (d. 1956)
  • 1873 Kan'ichi Asakawa, Japanese historian, writer, and peace activist, born in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan (d. 1948)
  • 1875 T. F. Powys, British novelist & short-story writer (Captain Patch, Goat Green), born in Shirley, Derbyshire
  • 1876 J. Van Oudshoorn [Jan Koos Feylbrief], Dutch writer (Maze of Senses), born in the Hague, Netherlands
  • 1876 Walter Sydney Adams, American astronomer, born in Antioch, Turkey

Person of interestBranch Rickey

1881 Branch Rickey, American baseball player (St. Louis Browns), manager (St. Louis Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers) and sports executive, born in Stockdale, Ohio (d. 1965)

Baseball Player and Sports Executive Branch Rickey
Baseball Player and Sports Executive
Branch Rickey
  • 1884 Max Blokzijl, Dutch singer, journalist, and Nazi collaborator, born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands (d. 1946)
  • 1886 Domingo Julio Gómez Garcia, Spanish composer, born in Madrid, Spain (d. 1973)
  • 1886 Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1909-11, 19), born in Healdsburg, California (d. 1974)
  • 1888 Fred Merkle, American baseball figure, born in Watertown, Wisconsin (d. 1958)
  • 1889 Božidar Širola, Croatian composer, born in Žakanje, Croatia (d. 1956)
  • 1890 Yvonne Arnaud, French-born pianist, singer and actress (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre), born in Bordeaux, Gironde, Aquitaine, France (d. 1958)

Person of interestRobert Menzies

1894 Robert Menzies, 12th Prime Minister of Australia (United Australia Party: 1939-41, Liberal: 1949-66) and its longest-serving, born in Jeparit, Victoria (d. 1978)

12th Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies
12th Australian Prime Minister
Robert Menzies
  • 1895 Susanne Langer, American philosopher & educator (Philosophy in a New Key), born in Manhattan, New York City
  • 1898 Irene Dunne, American actress (Cimarron, Theodora Goes Wild), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 1990)
  • 1899 John Sparkman, American politician (Sen-D-Alabama 1946-79, Rep-D-Alabama 1937-46), born in Hartselle, Alabama (d. 1985)
  • 1900 Gabby Harnett, American baseball player and manager (NL MVP 1935), born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island (d. 1972)
  • 1900 Gabby Hartnett, American Baseball Hall of Fame catcher (MLB All Star 1933–38; NL MVP 1935; Chicago Cubs) and manager (Chicago Cubs), born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island (d. 1972)
  • 1901 Louis Kahn, US architect [or Feb 20], born in Pärnu, Estonia
  • 1901 Robert Van de Graaff, American engineer & physicist (Mobility of Gaseous Ions), born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • 1902 Max Lerner, American journalist & educator (NY Post), born in Minsk, Russia (d. 1992)
  • 1902 Sidney Hook, American philosopher (Paradoxes of Freedom), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1902 George Edward Alexander Windsor, Duke of Kent, born in York Cottage, United Kingdom (d. 1942)
  • 1904 Hans Burkhardt, Swiss-American abstract artist, born in Basel, Switzerland
  • 1905 Albert Dekker, American actor (Dr Cyclops, Beau Gesture), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1968)
  • 1905 "Tiger" Bill O'Reilly, Australian cricketer (mighty Australian leg-spinner), born in White Cliffs, Australia
  • 1906 Dick White, British intelligence officer (Director General of MI5 1953–1956; Head of the Secret Intelligence Service 1956–1968), born in Tonbridge, Kent
  • 1906 Irving Krick, American meteorologist & inventor, born in San Francisco, California
  • 1906 Lowell Gilmore, American actor (The Picture of Dorian Gray, Living Christ Series), born in St. Paul, Minnesota (d. 1960)
  • 1907 Paul Francis Webster, American lyricist ("Love Is A Many Splendored Thing"; "The Shadow Of Your Smile"; "I Got It Bad, And That Ain't Good"), born in NYC, New York (d. 1984)
  • 1908 Julio César Brero [or Giulio Cesare], Italian-born Argentine composer and lawyer (Novella), born in Milan, Italy (d. 1973)
  • 1908 Norman Hackforth, British musician and radio broadcaster (Noel Coward; Twenty Questions), born in Bihar, British India (d. 1996)
  • 1908 Dennis Morgan, American actor (Kitty Foyle), born in Prentice, Wisconsin (d. 1994)
  • 1908 Francis Turner, American civil engineer (oversaw the Interstate Highway System), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 1999)
  • 1909 Vagn Holmboe, Danish neo-classical composer (Sinfonia rustica), born in Horsens, Jutland (d. 1996)
  • 1909 Vakkom Majeed, Indian freedom fighter & politician, born in the Kingdom of Travancore (d. 2000)
  • 1911 Hortense Calisher, American novelist (Arts & Letters 1967), born in NYC, New York
  • 1915 Aziz Nesin, Turkish writer & humorist, born in Heybeliada, Ottoman Empire (d. 1995)
  • 1916 Michel Chartrand, French-Canadian union activist, born in Outremont, Quebec
  • 1917 Audrey Totter, American actress (Carpetbaggers, Set-Up, The Unsuspected), born in Joliet, Illinois (d. 2013)
  • 1917 David Bohm, American physicist, philosopher, and neuropsychologist, born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (d. 1992)
  • 1922 Charita Bauer, American actress (The Guiding Light, Aldrich Family), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 1985)
  • 1922 George Roy Hill, American film director (Slap Shot, Little Drummer Girl, Little Romance), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1922 Denny Vaughan, Canadian pianist, singer, arranger and orchestra leader (The Smothers Brothers Show; Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 1972) [1]
  • 1924 Errol John, Trinidadian actor & playwright (A Man from the Sun, The Nun's Story, Assault on a Queen), born in Port of Spain, Trinidad (d. 1988)
  • 1924 Judy LaMarsh, Canadian politician & broadcaster, born in Chatham-Kent, Canada (d. 1980)
  • 1925 Bob de Moor, Belgian comics creator & artist (Kuifje, Lion of Flanders), born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1992)
  • 1925 Vlastimir Nikolovski, Macedonian composer, born in Prileb, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (now North Macedonia) (d. 2001)
  • 1925 Benito Lorenzi, Italian footballer, born in Buggiano, Italy (d. 2007)
  • 1926 David Levine, American artist (New York Review of Books caricatures), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2009)
  • 1926 Otto Graf Lambsdorff, German politician (Free Democratic Party), born in Aachen, Germany
  • 1926 Geoffrey Howe, British politician (Chancellor and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher), born in Aberavon, Glamorganshire (d. 2015)
  • 1927 Jim Simpson, American sportscaster, (NBC, ESPN), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 2016)
  • 1927 Kim Young-sam, South Korean politician and democratic activist (President of South Korea 1993-98), born in Geojedo, Geoje, South Korea (d. 2015)

  • 1928 Charles Donald Adams, English bass-baritone opera singer and actor, born in Bristol, United Kingdom (d. 1996)
  • 1928 Jack Christiansen, American football player and coach (Lions), born in Sublette, Kansas
  • 1929 Milan Panić, Serbian-American politician and humanitarian, born in Belgrade, Serbia
  • 1931 Mary Ellen "Mala" Powers, American actress (Cyrano de Bergerac, The Wild Wild West), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2007)
  • 1932 John Hillerman, American actor (Magnum PI, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles), born in Denison, Texas (d. 2017)
  • 1932 Neil Armstrong, Canadian ice hockey linesman (1,744 NHL games; Hockey Hall of Fame), born in Plympton, Ontario (d. 2020)
  • 1933 Gordon Getty, American composer, businessman and heir of J. Paul Getty, born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1933 Rik Van Looy, Belgian cyclist (world champion, 1961), born in Grobbendonk, Belgium
  • 1933 Jean Carnahan, US politician and writer (Missouri, Senator 2001–2002), born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1935 Khalid "Billy" Ibadulla, Pakistani cricketer (166 on debut Pakistan v Aust 1964), born in Lahore, Pakistan
  • 1938 John Harris Harbison, American composer (The Flight into Egypt), born in Orange, New Jersey
  • 1939 Kim Weston, American soul singer (with Marvin Gaye - "It Takes Two"), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1939 Dianne Arndt, artist/photographer
  • 1939 Klaus Schweizer, German composer, born in Albstadt, Germany
  • 1939 Kathryn Joosten, American actress (Desperate Housewives), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2012)
  • 1939 Bill Keith, American bluegrass and country banjoist, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2015)
  • 1940 Larry Willis, American jazz pianist & composer, born in NYC, New York
  • 1941 Frank Creton, Suriname/Neth painter
  • 1942 Bob Hayes, American athlete (2 x Olympic gold 100m, 4x100m relay 1964) and Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver (3-time Pro Bowl; Dallas Cowboys), born in Jacksonville, Florida (d. 2002)
  • 1943 Angel Tompkins, American actress (Gloria-Search), born in Albany, California
  • 1944 Gernot Wolfgruber, Austrian writer, born in Gmünd, Lower Austria
  • 1944 Robert "Bobby" Colomby, American rock drummer (Blood Sweat & Tears - "Spinning Wheel"), born in NYC, New York
  • 1944 Jean Fergusson, English actress, born in Wakefield, United Kingdom
  • 1945 Peter Criss [George Peter John Criscuola], American drummer and singer (Kiss), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1946 John Spencer, American actor (LA Law, West Wing), born in New York City (d. 2005)

Person of interestUri Geller

1946 Uri Geller, Israeli magician and psychic known for bending forks, born in Tel Aviv, Israel

Psychic, illusionist Uri Geller
Psychic, illusionist
Uri Geller

Person of interestDick Wolf

1946 Dick Wolf, American television series creator (Miami Vice, Law & Order), born in NYC, New York

Crime Drama TV Producer Dick Wolf
Crime Drama TV Producer
Dick Wolf
  • 1946 Douglass Lubahn, psychedelic rock and jazz rock bassist (d. 2019)
  • 1947 Gigliola Cinquetti, Italian pop singer, born in Verona, Italy
  • 1948 Stevie Wright, Australian singer with the Easybeats (Friday on my Mind), born in Leeds, West Yorkshire (d. 2015)

  • 1948 Alan Parsons, British music producer (The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot) and recording engineer (The Dark Side of the Moon; Let it Be), born in London, England
  • 1949 Claudia Jennings [Mary Ellen Chestrerton], American actress and Playboy playmate (Nov 1969, Playmate of the year 1970), born in Saint Paul, Minnesota (d. 1979)
  • 1949 Soumaïla Cissé, Malian politician, born in Timbuktu, Mali
  • 1949 Cecil Cooper, American baseball player, born in Brenham, Texas
  • 1951 Gilbert Montagné, French pop piano player and singer ("The Fool"), born in Paris, France
  • 1951 Peter May, Scottish novelist and scriptwriter, born in Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 1952 Jenny Agutter, English actress (Logan's Run, Equus, Amy), born in Taunton England
  • 1952 Sergio Vastano, Italian actor (Nightclub, Prete Bello), born in Rome, Italy
  • 1954 Michael Badalucco, American actor, born in Brooklyn, New York City
  • 1954 Sandra Cisneros, American writer, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1955 Ed Kuepper, Australian guitarist and singer-songwriter (The Saints), born in Bremen, Germany
  • 1955 Pierre Bokma, Dutch actor (Avonden, Leedvermaak), born in Paris, France
  • 1955 Sammy Mitchell, US programmer (Qedit/TSE/Semware)
  • 1956 Guy Babylon, American keyboard player (Elton John) and arranger, born in New Windsor, Maryland (d. 2009|)
  • 1956 Blanche Baker, American actress, Carroll Baker's Daughter (French Postcard), born in NYC, New York
  • 1956 Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Mauritanian 8th President of Mauritania (2009-present), born in Akjoujt, French West Africa
  • 1957 (Stephen William) "Billy" Bragg, English singer-songwriter ("Greetings To The New Brunette"; "Sexuality"; "California Stars"), born in Barking, Essex, England
  • 1957 Mike Watt, American rock bassist (Firehose), born in Portsmouth, Virginia
  • 1957 Joyce Hyser, American actress, born in NYC, New York
  • 1957 Anna Vissi, Greek-Cypriot singer, born in Pyla, Cyprus
  • 1957 Arturs Maskats, Latvian classical composer and music director (Rainis Dailes Theatre; Latvian National Opera), born in Valmiera, Latvia
  • 1958 Steve Sailer, American political commentator
  • 1959 David Lutz, NFL guard/tackle (Detroit Lions), born in Polkton, North Carolina
  • 1959 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Prime Minister of Poland, born in Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland
  • 1960 Carolyn Seaward, Miss United Kingdom (1979), born in Devonshire, England
  • 1960 Piet Keur, Dutch soccer player and trainer (SC Heerenveen, AZ), born in Zandvoort, Netherlands
  • 1960 Nalo Hopkinson, Jamaican-born Canadian writer, born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • 1961 Gale Gilbert, NFL quarterback (San Diego Chargers), born in Red Bluff, California
  • 1961 Nate Newton, NFL guard (Dallas Cowboys), born in Orlando, Florida
  • 1961 Mohammad Fouad, Arab singer and actor, born in Ismailia Governorate, Egypt

  • 1962 Thomas Newberry, NFL guard (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Onalaska, Wisconsin
  • 1963 Karen Moncrieff, American actress (Xtro 3, Days of Our Lives), born in Sacramento, California
  • 1963 Pam Casale, American tennis player (Marco Island finals 1985), born in Camden, New Jersey
  • 1963 Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, born in Madrid, Spain
  • 1965 Robert Cavanah, Scottish actor, born in Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 1966 Chris Robinson, American rocker (Black Crowes-Shake Your Money Maker), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1966 Ed de Goey, Dutch soccer goalie (Feyenoord), born in Gouda, South Holland
  • 1966 Tim Hauck, NFL safety and coach (Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks), born in Butte, Montana
  • 1966 Matt Neal, British motor racing driver, born in Stourbridge, United Kingdom
  • 1966 Myrra Malmberg, Swedish singer, born in Farsta, Stockholm
  • 1967 Duncan Kennedy, American luger (Olympics 1994), born in Burlington, California
  • 1968 Joe Cornish, British comedian, born in Westminster, United Kingdom
  • 1969 Bobby Phills, NBA guard (Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Hornets), born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • 1970 Grant Flower, Zimbabwean cricketer, born in Harare, Zimbabwe
  • 1970 Tony Semple, NFL guard (Detroit Lions), born in Springfield, Illinois
  • 1970 Travis Green, Canadian NHL center (NY Islanders; Toronto Maple Leafs; World C'ship gold 1997) and coach (Vancouver Canucks), born in Castlegar, Canada
  • 1970 Nicole DeBoer, Canadian actress, born in Toronto, Ontario

Person of interestTodd Phillips

1970 Todd Phillips, American filmmaker (Road Trip, Joker), born in Brooklyn, New York

Filmmaker Todd Phillips
Todd Phillips
  • 1971 Jerry Ellison, American NFL running back (Tampa Bay Bucs), born in Augusta, Georgia
  • 1972 Scott Slutzker, American football tight end (Indianapolis Colts), born in Oakland, California
  • 1972 Jan Caloun, Czech hockey forward (Team Czech Olympic gold 1998), born in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
  • 1972 Anders Odden, Norwegian musician, born in Stavanger, Norway
  • 1973 Cory Stillman, Canadian NHL center (Calgary Flames), born in Peterborough, Canada
  • 1973 Jenny Boucek, WNBA guard (Cleveland Rockers), born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • 1973 Muadianvita Kazadi, American football linebacker (St Louis Rams), born in Zaire
  • 1974 Augie Ojeda, American baseball infielder (Olympic bronze 1996), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1974 Die, Japanese rock guitarist (Dir en grey), born in Mie, Japan
  • 1975 Bartosz Bosacki, Polish footballer, born in Poznań, Poland
  • 1975 Jaydy Michel, Mexican model, born in Guadalajara, Mexico
  • 1976 Jang Hyuk, Korean actor, born in Busan, South Korea

  • 1976 Aubrey Huff, American baseball player, born in Marion, Ohio
  • 1976 Adam Powell, Welsh computer programmer and game designer (Neopets), born in Newport, Wales
  • 1976 Ramon Stoppelenburg, Dutch traveler and author, born in Leiden, Netherlands
  • 1978 Geremi Njitap, Cameroon footballer, born in Bafoussam, Cameroon
  • 1978 Andrei Markov, Russian ice hockey player, born in Voskresensk, Moscow Oblast, Russia
  • 1979 David DeJesus, American baseball player, born in Brooklyn, New York City
  • 1979 Michael Rogers, Australian cyclist, born in Barham, Australia
  • 1980 Ashley Cole, English footballer, born in Stepney, London
  • 1980 Fitz Hall, English footballer, born in Leytonstone, London
  • 1980 Tony [Anthony da Silva], French-born Portuguese footballer, born in Le Creusot, France
  • 1981 Roy Williams, American football player (Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys), born in Odessa, Texas
  • 1981 James Shields, American baseball player, born in Santa Clarita, California
  • 1981 Chris Edwards, British rock bassist (Kasabian), born in England
  • 1982 Mohammed Asif, Pakistani cricket player, born in Sheikhupura, Pakistan
  • 1982 Kasper Klausen, Danish footballer, born in Denmark
  • 1982 David Wright, American baseball player (New York Mets), born in Norfolk, Virginia
  • 1982 David Cook, American singer and American Idol winner, born in Houston, Texas

Person of interestJonah Hill

1983 Jonah Hill, American actor (Superbad, Moneyball, The Wolf of Wall Street), born in Los Angeles, California

Actor Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill
  • 1983 Lucy Pinder, English model and actress, born in Hampshire, England