Famous Deaths in 1959

Deaths 1 - 200 of 225

  • Jan 6 Jose Enrique Pedreira, composer, dies at 54
  • Jan 9 Paul Malengreau, composer, dies at 71
  • Jan 11 Mohammed Zakaria Ghonein, discoverer of 6,000 yr old pyramid, dies
  • Jan 14 G. D. H. Cole, English political theorist and socialist, dies at 69
  • Jan 17 Abdul Aziz, cricket, dies at 17 struck by ball in fc match for Karachi
  • Jan 21 Carl Switzer, American actor (Our Gang, Beginner's Luck, General Spanky), shot by an acquaintance at 31
  • Jan 21 Lamar Stringfield, American composer, dies at 61

Person of interestCecil B. DeMille

Jan 21 Cecil B. DeMille, American filmmaker (The Ten Commandments, Samson and Delilah), dies of heart failure at 77

Filmmaker and Director Cecil B. DeMille
Filmmaker and Director
Cecil B. DeMille
  • Jan 22 A J Else Mauhs, German/Dutch actress (Hamlet, Nora), dies at 73
  • Jan 22 Mike Hawthorn, English race car driver and one-time F1 world champion (b. 1929)
  • Jan 28 Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of Israel Knesset (1949-59), dies at 73
  • Jan 28 Viktor Joseph Keldorfer, composer, dies at 85
  • Feb 1 Madame Sul-To-Wan, [Conley], actress (Birth of a Nation), dies at 85
  • Feb 2 Frank DeCaires, cricketer (WI bat v Eng 1930, 3 Tests 232 runs), dies
  • Feb 3 The Big Bopper [Jiles Perry Richardson], American musician, dies in plane crash at 28

Person of interestBuddy Holly

Feb 3 Buddy Holly, American rock and roll musician (That'll be the Day), dies in a plane crash at 22

Singer-songwriter Buddy Holly
Singer-songwriter
Buddy Holly

  • Feb 3 Ritchie Valens, American rock vocalist (Donna, La Bamba), dies in plane crash at 17
  • Feb 4 Una O'Connor, actress (Banjo, Invisible Man), dies at 78
  • Feb 5 Gwili Andre, actress (No Other Woman, Roar of the Dragon), dies
  • Feb 5 Curt Sachs, German musicologist, dies at 77
  • Feb 7 Daniel François Malan, Prime Minister of South Africa (1948-54) who began the implementation of apartheid, dies at 84
  • Feb 7 Napoleon Lajorie, baseball player, dies at 83
  • Feb 7 Guitar Slim [Eddie Jones], American blues guitarist (The Things That I Used to Do) dies at 32
  • Feb 8 William J "Wild Bill" Donovan, Office Strategic Services, dies at 76
  • Feb 11 Marshall Teague, American race car driver (b. 1922)
  • Feb 13 William L Axt, composer, dies at 70
  • Feb 14 Baby Dodds, American jazz drummer (b. 1898)
  • Feb 15 Owen W Richardson, English physicist (Nobel 1928), dies at 69
  • Feb 17 Kathryn Adams, actress (Meet the Chump, 5th Avenue Girl), dies
  • Feb 17 Tim Mara, American founder and administrator (NFL NY Giants), dies at 59
  • Feb 18 Alfred Alessandrescu, composer, dies at 65
  • Feb 18 Eric Zeisl, Austrian American composer, dies at 53
  • Feb 18 Jaroslav Kvapil, composer, dies at 66
  • Feb 20 Ray McDonald, dancer, dies of barbituate overdose at 38
  • Feb 20 Laurence Housman, English author and playwright (Victoria Regina), dies at 93
  • Feb 22 Helen Parrish, American actress (Hour Glass, Three Smart Girls Grow Up), dies of cancer at 35
  • Feb 28 Maxwell Anderson, US dramatist (Key Largo, Bath Seed), dies at 70
  • Mar 2 Eric Blore, British actor (Great Gatsby, Bowery to Baghdad, Abie's Irish Rose, Love Happy), dies at 70

Person of interestLou Costello

Mar 3 Lou Costello, American comedian and actor (The Abbott and Costello Show), dies from a heart attack at 52

Comedian and Actor Lou Costello
Comedian and Actor
Lou Costello
  • Mar 4 Maxey Long, American athlete (b. 1878)
  • Mar 6 Fred Stone, renowned American circus performer and broadway actor (Alice Adams), dies at 85

  • Mar 7 Arthur C Pigou, English economist (Economics of Welfare), dies
  • Mar 7 Hinsdale Smith, developer of roll-down auto windows, dies at 88
  • Mar 7 Ichirō Hatoyama, Japanese politician, Prime Minister (1954-56), dies at 76
  • Mar 8 Abdel Wahab Shawwaf, Iraqi colonel/putschist, murdered
  • Mar 11 Haydn Wood, English composer, dies at 76
  • Mar 11 Lester Dent, American writer (Doc Savage), dies at 54
  • Mar 15 Lester Young, American jazz musician, dies at 49
  • Mar 15 Duncan Hines, American restaurant guide writer (Out of Kentucky Kitchens), dies at 78
  • Mar 16 John Sailling, last documented Civil War veteran, dies at 111
  • Mar 17 Raffaele d' Alessandro, composer, dies on 48th birthday
  • Mar 25 Billy Mayerl, composer, dies at 56
  • Mar 26 Raymond Chandler, British-American mystery writer (Farewell My Lovely), dies at 71
  • Mar 27 Grant Withers, American actor (Rio Grande, Oklahoma, Annie), commits suicide with sleeping pills at 54
  • Mar 28 James Neblett, cricketer (one Test WI v England 1935), dies
  • Mar 29 Barthelemy Boganda, Central African Republic's 1st president, dies
  • Mar 29 Sara Wennerberg-Reuter, composer, dies at 84
  • Mar 30 Daniil Andreev, Russian writer, poet and Christian mystic, dies at 52
  • Mar 30 Riccardo Zanella, president of Free State of Fiume (b. 1875)
  • Mar 31 Peter Suhrkamp, German publisher (Suhrkamp Verlag), dies at 68
  • Apr 2 Benjamin Christensen, Danish actor (Barnet, Mockery) and film director (Häxan), dies at 79
  • Apr 4 Stanley Snooke, cricketer (bro of S J, duck in South African Test), dies
  • Apr 8 Gustave Charlier, Belgian literature historian, dies

Person of interestFrank Lloyd Wright

Apr 9 Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect (Guggenheim) recognized as "the greatest American architect of all time", dies at 89

  • Apr 12 Ernest Willem Mulder, composer, dies at 60
  • Apr 12 James Gleason, American writer and actor (Bishop's Wife, Flying Fool), dies at 76
  • Apr 13 Eduard van Beinum, Dutch musician and conductor, dies at 57
  • Apr 13 Rigardus "Rijn" Rijnhout, Giant of Rotterdam (2.375m), dies at 38
  • Apr 16 Charles Halton, British stage actor (Dr Cyclops, Tugboat Annie Sails Again), dies at 83
  • Apr 18 Irving Cummings Sr, American silent screen actor and director (In Old Ariz), dies at 70
  • Apr 24 Jef van Hoof, Flemish composer, dies at 72
  • Apr 27 Gordon Armstrong, inventor (baby incubator), dies
  • Apr 30 Armand Marsick, Belgian composer, dies at 81
  • May 1 Oscar Torp, Norwegian premier, dies

Person of interestCarlos Saavedra Lamas

May 5 Carlos Saavedra Lamas, Argentine politician (Nobel Peace Prize 1936), dies at 80

Nobel Peace Laureate Carlos Saavedra Lamas
Nobel Peace Laureate
Carlos Saavedra Lamas
  • May 8 Renato Caccioppoli, Italian mathematician/pianist, suicide at 55
  • May 14 Sidney Bechet, US jazz clarinetist/saxophonist/bandleader, dies at 62
  • May 16 Joe Cook, Stage comedian, dies at 69
  • May 16 Elisha Scott, Northern Irish footballer (b. 1894)
  • May 20 Alfred Schutz, Austrian/US architect/philosopher, dies at 60

Person of interestJohn Foster Dulles

May 24 John Foster Dulles, US Secretary of State (1953-59), dies at 71

US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles
US Secretary of State
John Foster Dulles
  • May 26 Ed Walsh, baseball pitcher (1.82 ERA), dies at 78
  • May 26 Joe Kelly, TV host (Quiz Kids), dies at 57
  • May 28 Bert Collins, cricketer (19 Tests for Aust 1920-26), dies
  • May 30 Thomas Carl Whitmer, composer, dies at 85
  • Jun 1 Sax Rohmer [Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward], English author (Dr Fu Manchu novels), (b. 1883)
  • Jun 2 Max Rousié, French rugby footballer, dies in a car crash at 46
  • Jun 3 Ole Windingstad, composer, dies at 73
  • Jun 4 Charles Vidor, Hungarian director (Gilda, Farewell to Arms), dies at 58
  • Jun 10 Zoltán Meskó, Hungarian Nazi (b. 1883)

Person of interestGeorge Reeves

Jun 16 George Reeves, actor (Superman, Gone with the Wind), commits suicide by shooting himself in the head at 45

  • Jun 17 Abdul Mouse, Indonesian nationalist foreman/author, dies at about 68
  • Jun 18 Ethel Barrymore [Blythe], American actress (None but the Lonely Heart), dies at 79
  • Jun 20 Hitoshi Ashida, Japanese politician, dies at 71
  • Jun 22 Hermann Brill, German politician (b. 1895)
  • Jun 23 Jean Gallon, French composer, dies at 80
  • Jun 23 Boris Vian, French writer and musician (b. 1920)
  • Jun 24 Lou Bandy, Dutch revue-artist (Life Ain't Bad), commits suicide at 69
  • Jun 25 Charles Starkweather, spree killer (b. 1938)
  • Jun 26 Audley Miller, cricketer (Test for England 1896), dies
  • Jun 29 A. Cecil Snyder, American lawyer and Chief Justice of Puerto Rico, dies at 51
  • Jun 30 Lazare Saminsky, composer, dies at 76
  • Jun 30 José Vasconcelos, Mexican writer and politician (b. 1882)
  • Jul 6 George Grosz, German cartoonist and painter (Ecce Homo), dies at 65
  • Jul 8 Dale Buisand & Chester Ovnand killed in Viet Cong attack, becoming the second and third Americans killed in the Vietnam War
  • Jul 11 C W L Parker, cricketer (3,776 1st-class wickets, 2nd best ever), dies
  • Jul 11 Charlie Parker, English cricketer (legend Gloucs SLA, but 2-32 in only Test), dies at 76
  • Jul 14 Grock [Adrien Wettach], Swiss clown and circus director, dies at 79
  • Jul 15 Ernest Bloch, Swiss-born American composer (MacBeth, Schelomo, Israel), dies on cancer at 78
  • Jul 15 Peter A Egge, Norwegian writer (The Dream), dies
  • Jul 15 Vance Palmer, Australian author, dies at 73

Person of interestBillie Holiday

Jul 17 Billie Holiday, jazz singer, dies at Metropolitan Hospital in New York of cirrhosis of the liver at 44

Jazz Musician Billie Holiday
Jazz Musician
Billie Holiday
  • Jul 17 Henri Pourrat, French writer (Le chasseur de la nuit), dies at 72
  • Jul 17 Eugene Meyer, American businessman and newspaper publisher (b. 1875)
  • Jul 20 Harry Fox [Arthur Carringford], American vaudeville dancer, comedian and actor (Talent Scout), dies at 77
  • Jul 25 Isaac Halevi Herzog, chief rabbi of Israel (1936-59), dies at 71
  • Jul 26 Manuel Altolaguirre, Spanish poet and publisher (Amor), dies at 54
  • Aug 2 Prospero Bisquertt, Chilean composer, dies at 78
  • Aug 5 Edgar Albert Guest, American poet and newspaperman, dies at 77
  • Aug 6 Preston Sturges [Edmund Biden], American director and screenwriter (Sullivan's Travels), dies at 60
  • Aug 7 Armas Emmanuel Launis, composer, dies at 75
  • Aug 9 Emil František Burian, Czech author and composer, dies at 55
  • Aug 12 Mike O'Neill, Irish-American baseball player, dies at 81 (b. 1877)
  • Aug 13 Henri Garat, French actor (Valse royale, Congress Dances), dies at 57
  • Aug 15 Blind Willie McTell, American ragtime singer and guitarist (b. 1901)
  • Aug 16 Pedro Humberto Allende Saron, Chilean composer (Tonados), dies at 74
  • Aug 16 William "Bull" F Halsey, US vice-admiral (WW II Pacific), dies
  • Aug 16 Wanda Landowska, Polish-French harpsichordist (Musique Ancienne), dies at 80
  • Aug 19 Jacob Epstein, American-English sculptor (Adam, Jacob & the Angel), dies at 78
  • Aug 20 Alfred Kubin, Austrian writer and illustrator, dies at 82
  • Aug 28 Bohuslav Jan Martinu, Czech composer (Hry o Marti), dies at 68
  • Aug 31 Charles Delaney, American actor (Air Police, Lonesome Trail), dies at 67
  • Sep 6 Edmund Gwenn, English actor (Miracle on 34th Street), dies at 81
  • Sep 6 Kay Kendall [Justine McCarthy], British actress (Genevieve, The Constant Husband, Les Girls), dies of leukaemia at 32
  • Sep 7 Maurice Duplessis, 16th Premier of Quebec, dies at 69
  • Sep 9 Max d'Ollone, French composer and writer (Le Ménestrel), dies at 84
  • Sep 9 O'Neil Gordon "Collie" Smith, West Indian cricket all-rounder, dies in a car crash at 26
  • Sep 11 Paul Douglas, American actor (Adventure Theater, Clash by Night), dies from a heart attack at 52
  • Sep 13 Gilbert Adrian, costume designer, dies of heart attack at 56
  • Sep 14 Wayne Morris, American actor and decorated WWII pilot (Paths of Glory, The Bushwackers), dies from a heart attack at 45
  • Sep 17 Bert Leysen, Belgian TV director (Belgian National TV), dies at 39
  • Sep 20 Olin Howlin, American actor (Gone with the Wind, Them!, Circus Boy), dies at 73
  • Sep 22 Benjamin Peret, French writer/poet (Le grand jeu), dies at 60
  • Sep 22 Jane Winton, actress (Hell's Angel, Patsy, Don Juan), dies at 53
  • Sep 22 Josef Matthias Hauer, composer, dies at 76
  • Sep 25 Ennio Porrino, composer, dies at 49
  • Sep 25 Helen Broderick, comedienne/actress (Swing Time, Top Hat), dies
  • Sep 26 S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, 4th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1956-59), assassinated by a Buddhist monk at 60
  • Sep 28 Gerard Hoffnung, German-born British artist/humorist/musician, dies at 34
  • Sep 28 Rudolf Caracciola, German race car driver (b. 1901)
  • Sep 29 Bruce Bairnsfather, cartoonist, dies

  • Sep 29 Harold Huber, actor (I Cover Times Square), dies at 49
  • Sep 30 John H Kliegl, developer of Klieg light, dies at 89
  • Sep 30 Taylor Holmes, American actor (Sleeping Beauty, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), dies at 81
  • Sep 30 Ross Granville Harrison, American Biologist and Zoologist (organ transplant pioneer), dies at 89
  • Oct 3 William Bishop, American actor (Black Eagle, Adventures in Silverado, It's a Great Life), dies of cancer at 42
  • Oct 6 Bernard Berenson, American art critic (Italian Painters of the Renaissance), dies at 94
  • Oct 7 Mario Lanza [Alfredo Arnold Cocozza], Italian-American actor and singer (Great Caruso, Toast of New Orleans), dies of a heart attack at 38
  • Oct 10 Prince Friedrich Aloys Johannes Maria, Prince of Liechtenstein, Romania, dies at 88
  • Oct 11 Bert Bell, NFL hall of famer, dies at 64
  • Oct 12 Arnoldt Bronnen, writer, dies at 63
  • Oct 13 Rudolf Mengelberg, Dutch composer and musicologist (Concert Amsterdam), dies at 67
  • Oct 14 Errol Flynn, Australian actor (Captain Blood, Robin Hood), dies of a heart attack at 50
  • Oct 15 Lipót Fejér, Hungarian mathematician (b. 1880)

Person of interestGeorge Marshall

Oct 16 George Marshall, US army general, dies at 78

Military Leader George Marshall
Military Leader
George Marshall
  • Oct 18 Boughera El Ouafi, Algerian athlete (Olympic gold 1928), dies at 61
  • Oct 19 Boughera El Quafi, marathoner (Olympic gold 1928), shot to death at 60
  • Oct 19 Stanley Bate, composer, dies at 45
  • Oct 20 Werner Krauss, German actor (Joyless Street), dies at 75 (b. 1884)
  • Oct 23 Gerda Lundequist, Swedish actress (b. 1871)
  • Oct 25 Bob Murphy, TV host (RFD America), dies at 42
  • Oct 28 Abe Waddington, cricketer (Yorks left-arm quick, Test avg 119), dies
  • Oct 28 Egon Kornauth, composer, dies at 68
  • Oct 28 Camilo Cienfuegos, Cuban revolutionary (b. 1932)
  • Oct 30 Blonde Dolly [Sybille A J Niemans], Dutch prostitute, murdered at 33
  • Oct 31 Jean Cabannes, French physicist (b. 1885)
  • Nov 1 Gershon Agron, mayor of Jerusalem, dies at 66
  • Nov 3 Friedrich Niggli, composer, dies at 83

Person of interestJosé P. Laurel

Nov 6 Jose P. Laurel, Philippine president, dies of heart attack at 68

3rd President of the Philippines José P. Laurel
3rd President of the Philippines
José P. Laurel

Person of interestVictor McLaglen

Nov 7 Victor McLaglen, actor (Gunga Din), dies of heart attack at 72

  • Nov 8 Frank Sherman Land, founder of the Order of DeMolay, dies at 69
  • Nov 9 Frederick Preston Search, composer, dies at 70
  • Nov 10 Lupino Lane, English actor (Deputy Drummer), dies at 67
  • Nov 14 Thomas W Ross, American actor (Without Limit, Kings Row, 17, Mortal Storm), dies at 84
  • Nov 15 Alex Kennedy, cricketer (31 wkts in 5 Tests for England 1922-23), dies
  • Nov 17 Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer/pianist/conductor, dies at 72
  • Nov 18 Arthur Q Bryan, American voice actor, comedian and radio personality (Beulah, The Devil Bat), dies from a heart attack at 60
  • Nov 18 Aleksandr Yakovlevich Khinchin, Russian mathematician, dies at 65
  • Nov 19 Edward C Tolman, US psychologist (behaviorism), dies
  • Nov 19 Gerard J Arbous, actor/publicist (Bohemian Amsterdam), dies at 83
  • Nov 19 Joseph Charbonneau, French-Canadian Roman Catholic archbishop of Montreal, dies at 67
  • Nov 20 Alfonso López Pumarejo, 16th President of Colombia (Liberal: 1934-38 and 1942-46) and statesman (President of UN security council 1948), dies at 73
  • Nov 21 Max Baer, American heavyweight boxing champion (1934-35), dies at 50

Person of interestMolla Mallory

Nov 22 Molla Mallory, eight-time U.S. Open tennis champion, dies at 75

Tennis Player and Eight-Time U.S. Open Champion Molla Mallory
Tennis Player and Eight-Time U.S. Open Champion
Molla Mallory
  • Nov 24 Lyman Bryson, educator (UN Casebook), dies at 71
  • Nov 24 Yuri Nikolayevich Libedinski, Ukrainen writer (Commissioners), dies at 60
  • Nov 24 Dally Messenger, Australian rugby league footballer, dies at 76
  • Nov 25 Jean Grémillon, French film director, dies at 58
  • Nov 26 Albert Ketèlbey, British composer (In a Monastery Garden), dies at 84
  • Nov 27 Gérard Philipe, French actor (Caligula, Devil in the Flesh), dies of cancer at 36