On This Day

Famous Birthdays on May 15

  • 1565 Henrick de Keyser, architect/master builder of Amsterdam
  • 1567 Claudio Monteverdi, Italian composer and pioneer in development of opera (L'Orfeo, espro della Beata Vergine), baptised in Cremona, Italy (d. 1643)
  • 1608 René Goupil, French Catholic missionary (Canadian Martyrs) (d. 1642)
  • 1689 Mary Wortley Montagu, English essayist, feminist, eccentric (baptism 26 May)
  • 1720 Maximilian Hell, Slovakian astronomer (d. 1792)
  • 1749 Levi Lincoln, Sr., American revolutionary, statesman, politician, and acting Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1820)
  • 1754 Pierre Dutillieu, composer
  • 1759 Maria Theresia von Paradis, composer
  • 1764 Johann Nepomuk Kalcher, composer
  • 1773 Clemens L Metternich, Austrian prince
  • 1786 General Dimitris Plapoutas, a Revolutionary in the Greek War of Independence (d. 1864)
  • 1791 Baron Floris A van Hall, Dutch minister of Justice/Finance
  • 1795 Adolf B Marx, German music theorist
  • 1802 Isaac Ridgeway Trimble, Major General (Confederate Army), (d. 1888)
  • 1807 Luigi Ferdinando Casamorata, composer
  • 1808 Gottfried Herrmann, composer
  • 1808 Michael William Balfe, Irish violinist and composer (The Bohemian Girl), born in Dublin (d. 1870)
  • 1810 Jacob Thompson, (Confederacy), (d. 1885)
  • 1813 Stephen Heller, Hungarian composer and pianist, born in Pest (d.1888)
  • 1817 Debendranath Tagore, Indian religious reformer (d. 1905)
  • 1819 Thomas Leonidas Crittenden, American lawyer, politician, and Major General (Union Army), born in Russellville, Kentucky (d. 1893)
  • 1830 Laurence Simmons Baker, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1907)
  • 1830 Martinus W van der Aa, author/Dutch head-editor (The Time)
  • 1841 Giovanni Bolzoni, composer
  • 1845 Ilya Mechnikov, Russian zoologist and bacteriologist known as the "father of natural immunity" (Nobel 1908), born in Ivanovka, Kharkov Governorate, Russian Empire
  • 1848 Viktor Vasnetsov, Russian painter (d. 1926)
  • 1851 Herbert Lawford, British tennis player (Wimbledon 1887; first exponent of topspin), born in Bayswater, England (d. 1925)
  • 1855 Eduard von Keyserling, Baltic German writer (Dritte Stiege)
  • 1856 (Lyman) L. Frank Baum, American children's book author (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), born in Chittenango, New York (d. 1919)
  • 1857 Williamina Fleming, Scottish-born astronomer (d. 1911)
  • 1859 Pierre Curie, French physicist (Nobel 1903) and husband of Marie Curie, born in Paris, France (d. 1906)
  • 1860 Ellen Louise Axson Wilson, 1st wife of US President Woodrow Wilson
  • 1862 Arthur Schnitzler, Austrian playwright/novelist (La Ronde)
  • 1865 Albert Verwey, Dutch poet/literature historian (Motion)
  • 1873 Nikolay Tcherepnin, Russian composer of ballets, born in St Petersburg, Russia [OS: 03/05]
  • 1878 Francisco Pujol, composer
  • 1880 Otto Dibelius, German theologist/bishop (Confessional Church)
  • 1883 Stanley Marchant, English composer, born in London (d. 1949)
  • 1888 Jean Wahl, French philosopher
  • 1889 Bessie Hillman, founder (Almalgamated Clothing Workers of America)
  • 1890 Katherine Anne Porter, American novelist (Ship of Fools)
  • 1891 Chief Nipo T Strongheart, US Native American actor (Pony Soldier), born in Yakima, Washington
  • 1891 David Vogel, Russian-born Hebrew writer (Huwelijksleven), born in Satanov, Russian Empire (d. 1944)
  • 1891 Fritz Feigl, Austrian Brazilian chemist (spot tests), born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 1971)
  • 1891 Mikhail Bulgakov, Russian playwright and novelist (The Master and Margarita, Black Snow), born in Kiev, Russian Empire (d. 1940)
  • 1892 Jimmy Wilde, boxer (d. 1969)
  • 1893 Michel Gusikoff, composer
  • 1893 Stanley Lupino, English comic (Cheer Up; Over She Goes), born in London (d. 1942)
  • 1895 Charles Lamont, director (Abbott & Costello Go to Mars), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1895 William D. Byron, U.S. Congressman (d. 1941)
  • 1898 "Arletty" Arlette-léonie Bathiat, French actress (Maxime), born in Courbevoie, France (d. 1992)
  • 1899 Jean-Etienne Valluy, French general (d. 1970)
  • 1901 Xavier Herbert, Australian author (d. 1984)
  • 1901 Luis Monti, Argentine-Italian footballer (d. 1983)
  • 1902 Richard J Daley, American politician (38th Mayor-Chicago-D:1955-76), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1976)
  • 1902 Anny Ondra, Czech actress (Blackmail, Manxman), born in Tarnów, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1987)
  • 1903 Maria Reiche, German-born mathematician and archaeologist (d. 1998)
  • 1904 Clifton Fadiman, American TV host (Information Please, Quiz Kids), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1904 Gustav-Adolf Boltenstein, Swedish equestrian dressage (Olympic gold 1952, 56)
  • 1905 Joseph Cotten, American actor (Citizen Kane, The Third Man, Airport 77, Hearse), born in Petersburg, Virginia (d. 1994)
  • 1907 Josef Alexander, composer
  • 1907 Phillip Piratin, communist
  • 1907 Sukhdev Thapar, Indian freedom fighter (d. 1931)
  • 1908 Lars-Eric Vilner Larsson, Akarp Sweden, composer (Linden)
  • 1909 James Mason, British actor (Lolita, North by Northwest, Bloodline, Boys From Brazil), born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire (d. 1984)
  • 1909 Rodolfo Cornejo, composer
  • 1910 Constance Cummings, American-British Tony Award-winning stage (Wings; Long Day's Journey Into Night), and screen (Blithe Spirit; Glamour) actress, born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2005)
  • 1911 Leo Fuchs, Polish-born Jewish American actor (The Six Million Dollar Man, Avalon), born in Lemberg, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1994)
  • 1911 Max Frisch, Swiss architect/writer (Stiller, Biedermann)
  • 1911 Herta Oberheuser, Nazi doctor (d. 1978)
  • 1912 Alexis Kagame, Rwanda, priest/writer
  • 1912 Alexis Nihon, Bahamas, wrestler (Olympics 1968)
  • 1912 Arthur Berger, American composer (Ideas of Order), music critic, and educator (Brandeis, 1953-80; New England Conservatory of Music, 1980-99), born in NYC, New York (d. 2003)
  • 1914 Jack Pepys, immunologist
  • 1914 Pierre Froidebise, composer
  • 1914 Walter "Turk" Broda, Canadian ice hockey goaltender, 5x Stanley Cup, 2x Vezina Trophy (Toronto Maple Leafs, 1935-51), born in Brandon, Manitoba (d. 1972)
  • 1915 Maurice B Latey, commentator (BBC World Service)
  • 1915 Paul A Samuelson, economist (1970 Nobel, 1947 John Bates Clark Medal)
  • 1915 Gus Viseur, French button accordionist (d. 1974)
  • 1916 Bill Williams, American actor (Starlit Time, Date With the Angels), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1917 Hugh Edward Lance Falkus, filmmaker/naturalist
  • 1918 Eddy Arnold, American country music singer ("Make The World Go Away"; "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye"), born in Henderson Tennessee (d. 2008)
  • 1918 Joseph Wiseman, Canadian actor (Dr No, Viva Zapata, Les Miserables), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2009)
  • 1919 Charles Palmer, cricketer (one Test 1955, later MCC president)
  • 1920 Hugh Henry Home Popham, aviator/writer/poet
  • 1922 Enrico Berlinguer, Italian communist/Secretary-General (CPI) [or May 25]
  • 1922 Jakucho Setouchi, Japanese writer and Buddhist nun
  • 1922 Selma Engel [Saartje Wijnberg], Dutch born Jew, the first to tell of Nazi Sobibor extermination camp, born in Groningen, the Netherlands (d. 2018)
  • 1923 Richard Avedon, American photographer (1957 ASMP award)
  • 1923 John Lanchbery, English composer (d. 2003)
  • 1923 Johnny Walker [Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi], Indian actor (Madhumati, Chachi 420), born in Indore, British India (d. 2003)
  • 1924 Andrea Gyarmati, Hungary water polo player (Olympics, 1948-60), (d. 2013)
  • 1924 Don Kenyon, cricketer (England batsman in 8 Tests 1951-55)
  • 1924 Jaime Garcia Terre, poet/essayist
  • 1924 Ursula Thiess [Schmidt], German actress (Monsoon, Bengal Brigade, Americano), born in Hamburg, Germany (d. 2010)
  • 1924 Maria Koepcke, German ornithologist (d. 1971)
  • 1925 Andrey Yakoulevich Eshpay, composer
  • 1925 Emmanuel Ghent, Canadian American electronic music composer (Phosphones), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2003)
  • 1925 Jos Jacobs, Flemish director (Madonna of Nedermunster)
  • 1925 Mary Lyon, English geneticist (X-chromosome inactivation), born in Norwich, Norfolk (d. 2014)
  • 1926 Anthony Shaffer, Engish playwright (Sleuth), twin brother to Peter, born in Liverpool (d. 2001)
  • 1926 [Jean-Josephat] Clermont Pépin, Canadian pianist and composer (Implosion Symphony), born in Saint-Georges, Quebec (d. 2006)

Peter Shaffer

1926 Peter Shaffer, English playwright (Equus, Amadeus), twin brother to Anthony, born in Liverpool (d. 2016)

  • 1929 Jack Flavell, cricketer (England pace bowler in 4 Tests 1961-64)
  • 1929 David Healy, American-born actor (Supergirl, Doomsday Gun, Patton), born in NYC, New York (d. 1995)
  • 1929 Frank Evans Heart, American computer engineer (worked on first routing computer for ARPANET, the Internet's predecessor), born in the Bronx, New York (d. 2018)
  • 1930 Jasper Johns, painter/sculptor (Green Target), born in Augusta, Georgia
  • 1931 F Korthals Altes, Dutch minister of Justice (VVD)
  • 1931 Ken Venturi, American golfer, broadcaster (US Open 1964), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2013)
  • 1931 James Mitchell, American session baritone saxophone (The Memphis Horns; Stax Records), born in Memphis, Tennesee (d. 2000)
  • 1934 David Robin Francis Guy Greville, 8th Duke of Warwick
  • 1935 Ted Dexter, English cricket all-rounder and captain (62 Tests, 4,502 runs @ 47.89, 9 x 100s, 66 wickets; Sussex), born in Milan, Italy (d. 2021)
  • 1935 Gordon Mills, British songwriter (Tom Jones - "It's Not Unusual"), born in Madras, India (d. 1986)
  • 1935 Don Bragg, American pole vaulter (Olympic gold 1960), born in Penns Grove, New Jersey (d. 2019)
  • 1936 Anna Maria Alberghetti, Italian-American Tony Award-winning stage singer and actress (Carnival), and film star (Cinderfella), born in Pesaro, Italy
  • 1936 Donald [Anthony] Moffitt, American sci-fi author (Jupiter Theft)
  • 1936 Jean Balissat, Swiss composer pedagogue and conductor (Kaleidoscope for trumpet and percussion), born in Lausanne, Switzerland (d. 2007)
  • 1936 Paul Zindel, playwright (Effects of Gamma Rays on Marigolds)
  • 1936 Wavy Gravy, American clown and activist
  • 1936 Ralph Steadman, British cartoonist
  • 1936 Robert Smith, American baseball administrator (President International Baseball Federation 1981-93; IOC Olympic Order), born in Greenville, Illinois (d. 2021)
  • 1937 Trinidad "Trini" Lopez, American singer and guitarist ("If I Had A Hammer"; "Lemon Tree"), and actor (The Dirty Dozen), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 2020)
  • 1937 Madeleine Albright, American politician and diplomat and 1st female U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • 1937 Joe Tait, American sports broadcaster (Cleveland Cavaliers [radio], Cleveland Indians [TV & radio]), born in Evanston, Illinois (d. 2021)
  • 1938 Lenny Welch, American singer (Since I Fell for You), born in New York
  • 1938 Mireille Darc, French actress (Week End, Hurried Man), born in Toulon
  • 1939 Brian Hartley, British mathematician (group theory) (d. 1994)
  • 1939 Dudley Wysong, American golfer (PGA C'ship 1966 runner-up), born in McKinney, Texas (d. 1998)
  • 1940 Paul Ryan Rudd, American stage and screen actor, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2010)
  • 1940 Roger Ailes, American TV executive and CEO of Fox News (1996-2016), born in Warren, Ohio (d. 2017)
  • 1940 Álvaro Mejía, Colombian athlete (Boston Marathon 1971 2:18:45), born in Medellín, Colombia (d. 2021)
  • 1941 Cyril Cooray, cricketer (Sri Lankan Test umpire on intl panel)
  • 1941 K. T. Oslin, American country singer (80's Ladies), born in Crossett, Arkansas (d. 2020)
  • 1941 Lainie Kazan, singer/actress (Lust in the Dust, Beaches), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1941 Richard Edward Wilson, composer
  • 1942 Anthony Wayne England, PhD/astronaut (STS 51-F), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1942 Doug Lowe, 35th Premier of Tasmania
  • 1943 Harve Brosten, American comedy writer (All In The Family, 1975-77), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1944 Gunilla Hutton, Goteborg Sweden, actress (Petticoat Junction)
  • 1944 Miruts Yifter 'Yifter the Shifter', Ethiopian runner (Olympic golds 1980), born in Adigrat (d. 2016)
  • 1944 Ian "Tich" Amey, British rock musician (Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich), born in Salisbury Wiltshire
  • 1944 Bill Alter, Missouri State Senator
  • 1945 Lasse Berghagen, Swedish pop singer-songwriter (Teddybjörnen Fredriksson), born in Enskede, Sweden
  • 1945 Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, heir to the Portuguese crown
  • 1945 Jerry Quarry, American boxer (famous bouts v world champions Floyd Patterson, Jimmy Ellis, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton), born in Bakersfield, California (d. 1999)
  • 1947 Graeham Goble, Australian rock guitarist (Little River Band - Reminiscing), born in Adelaide, Australia
  • 1948 Brian Eno, British rock and ambient musician, and record producer (Roxy Music, David Bowie, Talking Heads, U2, Coldplay, Paul Simon), born in Woodbridge, Sussex
  • 1949 Eric J Beekes, actor/singer (Hunk)
  • 1949 Frank L Culbertson Jr, Cmdr USN/astro (STS-38), born in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 1950 Nicholas Hammond, American actor (The Amazing Spider-Man), born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1951 Dennis Frederiksen, rocker (Toto-Roseanna, Africa), (d. 2014)
  • 1951 Frank Wilczek, American Physicist (2004 Nobel Prize), born in Mineola, New York
  • 1952 Chazz Palminteri, American actor (The Usual Suspects, Bronx Tale), born in The Bronx, New York
  • 1952 Rick Waits, baseball pitcher (Rangers, Indians, Twins)
  • 1952 David Brandon, American businessman (Toys "R" Us, Domino's Pizza), born in Dearborn, Michigan
  • 1952 Phil Seymour, American rock and power pop musician, singer, and songwriter (The Dwight Twilley Band), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (d. 1993)

George Brett

1953 George Brett, American Baseball Hall of Fame 3rd baseman (13 x MLB All Star; World Series 1985; AL MVP 1980; KC Royals), born in Glen Dale, West Virginia

  • 1953 Mike Oldfield, British musician and composer (Tubular Bells), born in Reading, Berkshire
  • 1954 Robert P. Harrison, American thinker
  • 1955 Lee Horsley, American actor (Nero Wolfe, Matt Houston), born in Muleshoe, Texas
  • 1956 Alice Miller, American golfer (Nabisco Dinah Shore 1985), born in Marysville, CA
  • 1956 Dan Patrick, American sportscaster
  • 1957 Juan José Ibarretxe, Basque Lehendakari (Prime Minister)
  • 1957 Kevin Von Erich, American professional wrestler
  • 1958 Ron Simmons, American professional wrestler
  • 1959 Andrew Eldritch, rocker (Sisters of Mercy-Walk Away, Black Planet)
  • 1959 Kaokor Galaxy, Thai boxer
  • 1960 Rob Bowman, American film director
  • 1961 Katrin Cartlidge, British actress (d. 2002)
  • 1961 Melle Mel [Melvin Glover], American rapper (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five), born in The Bronx, New York
  • 1963 George Heidweiler, Suriname, Dutch painter
  • 1963 Grant Herslov, actor (Wayne-Spencer, Under One Roof), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1964 Pierre Trentin, French 1K time trials (Olympic gold 1968)
  • 1965 Dan Stryzinski, NFL punter (Atlanta Falcons)
  • 1965 Jeff Rochlin, American actor (Cutting Class, Splitz, Taps), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1965 Raí, Brazilian footballer
  • 1966 Paul Ysebaert, Sarnia, NHL left wing (Tampa Bay Lightning)
  • 1967 John Smoltz, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (8 × MLB All-Star; World Series 1995; NL Cy Young Award 1996; Atlanta Braves), born in Warren, Michigan
  • 1967 Madhuri Dixit, Indian actress
  • 1968 Leroy Hoard, NFL running back (Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings)
  • 1968 Todd Porter, NJ, actor (Hamilton-Whiz Kids)
  • 1968 Cecilia Malmström, Swedish politician
  • 1968 Seth Putnam, American musician

Emmitt Smith

1969 Emmitt Smith, American NFL Running Back (Dallas Cowboys, 3-time NFL rushing leader), born in Pensacola, Florida

  • 1969 Hideki Irabu, Japanese-American NPB and MLB baseball pitcher, 1988-2004 (New York Yankees, 1997-2002), born in Okinawa, Japan (d. 2011)
  • 1969 Asalah Nasri, Syrian singer
  • 1970 Artie Smith, NFL defensive end (Cin Bengals)
  • 1970 Desmond Howard, College Football Hall of Fame wide receiver (Heisman Trophy 1991, U of Michigan; Super Bowl MVP 1996, Green Bay Packers), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1970 Frank de Boer, Dutch soccer star (Ajax)
  • 1970 Keith Tower, NBA center (LA Clippers)
  • 1970 Prince Be [Attrell Cordes], American rapper (PM Dawn), born in Jersey City (d. 2016)
  • 1970 Rod Smith, Texarkana, Arkansas, American NFL wide receiver (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl 32)
  • 1970 Ronald de Boer, Dutch soccer player (Ajax)
  • 1970 Tony Brown, NFL cornerback (Seattle Seahawks)
  • 1970 Nicola Walker, English actress (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Last Tango in Halifax), born in London
  • 1970 Martin Rossiter, Welsh Musician
  • 1971 Scott Shipley, Bremerton Wash, slalom single kayaker (Olympic 6th 1996)
  • 1971 Phil Pfister, American strength athlete
  • 1972 David Charvet, actor (Melrose Place)
  • 1972 Patrick Pothuizen, soccer player (Vitesse)