On This Day

Famous People Who Died in 1978 (Part 2)

  • Sep 12 Frank Ferguson, American character actor (Gus Broeberg-My Friend Flicka, Eli Carson-Peyton Place), dies of cancer at 78
  • Sep 15 Willy Messerschmitt, German aircraft builder, dies at 80
  • Sep 15 Robert Cliche, French Canadian politician and judge (b. 1921)
  • Sep 19 Rolf Gunther, East German priest, self imolation
  • Sep 19 Étienne Gilson, French philosopher and historian, dies at 94
  • Sep 22 Lina Carstens, actress (Homeland, Broken Jug), dies at 85
  • Sep 23 Jay Adler, American actor (Macon County Line; Illegal, Big Combo), dies at 79
  • Sep 23 Lyman Bostock, MLB outfielder, 1975-78 (Minnesota Twins, California Angels), shot and killed by the estranged husband of the sister of a friend, at 27
  • Sep 24 Ruth Etting, American dancer/singer (Ziegfeld Follies), dies at 80
  • Sep 24 Hasso von Manteuffel, German WWII general (5th Panzer Army) and politician, dies at 81
  • Sep 24 Virginia Valli [McSweeney], American (mostly silent) film actress (Wild Oranges; Pleasure Garden), dies at 73
  • Sep 25 Claire Adams, actress (Legally Dead, End of the Road), dies at 80
  • Sep 26 Manne Siegbahn, Swedish physicist (Nobel 1924-discoveries and research in the field of X-ray spectroscopy), dies at 91
  • Sep 28 Pope John Paul I [Albino Luciani], 263rd Roman Catholic Pope, dies after 33 days as pope at 65
  • Sep 30 Edgar Bergen, ventriloquist (Charlie McCarthy), dies at 75
  • Sep 30 Beryl Booker, American swing and cool jazz pianist (Dinah Washington), dies at 56
  • Oct 3 Alfred Strange, English soccer right half (20 caps, 3 as captain; Sheffield Wednesday, 253 games), dies at 78
  • Oct 8 Jim Gilliam, American MLB player and coach (LA Dodgers), dies of a brain hemorrhage at 49
  • Oct 8 Karl Swenson, American actor (Lars Hanson-Little House on the Prairie), dies of a heart attack at 70
  • Oct 8 Tibor Serly, Hungarian violinist and composer (American Elegy), dies at 76
  • Oct 9 Jacques Brel, Belgian singer, songwriter, actor, director and composer (Le Far West, Pain in the A__), dies of a pulmonary embolism at 49
  • Oct 9 Pavel Antokolsky, Russian poet and theatre director (Syn), dies at 82
  • Oct 10 Gesina Van der Molen, Dutch WWII resistance fighter/lawyer, dies at 86
  • Oct 10 Ralph Metcalfe, American athlete, politician (Rep-D-Ill; joint world record 100m, Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1936), dies of a heart attack at 68
  • Oct 10 Ralph Marterie, American big band leader (b. 1914)
  • Oct 12 Nancy Spungen, killed by boyfriend Sid Vicious in NYC
  • Oct 16 Daniel "Dan" Dailey, American dancer and actor (You're My Everything, Governor & J.J.), dies of anemia at 62
  • Oct 18 Frank Woolley, English cricket all-rounder (64 Tests, 5 x 100, 23 x 50, HS 154, 83 wickets, BB 7/76; Kent CCC), dies at 91
  • Oct 18 Jacques Mornard [Ramon Mercader], murderer of Trotsky, dies at 64
  • Oct 19 Gig Young [Byron Elsworth Barr], American actor (They Shoot Horses Don't They), kills his bride of 3 weeks and commits suicide at 64
  • Oct 21 Anastas Mikoyan, Armenian revolutionary, politician (First Deputy Premier of Supreme Soviet, 1855-64), diplomat, and cookbook publisher (The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food), dies at 83
  • Oct 22 John Riley, English poet (murdered) (b. 1937)
  • Oct 26 George "Jackie" Grant, West Indian cricketer (West Indian captain 1930-35), dies at 71
  • Nov 5 Denis O'Dea, Irish actor (Niagara, Esther & the King, Treasure Island), dies at 73
  • Nov 6 Flora Campbell, actress (Faraway Hill, Date With Judy), dies at 67
  • Nov 6 Heiri Suter, Swiss cyclist, dies at 79
  • Nov 7 Gene Tunney, American boxer (world heavyweight champion 1926-28), dies at 80
  • Nov 7 Janet Flanner, American journalist (New Yorker), dies at 86
  • Nov 8 Norman Rockwell, American artist and illustrator (Saturday Evening Post covers), dies at 84
  • Nov 9 Joe Wong, actor (Ken Murray Show), dies at 75
  • Nov 9 Otto Siegl, Austrian composer, dies at 82
  • Nov 10 Theo Lingen, German director and actor (M, Charm of La Boheme), dies at 75
  • Nov 11 Bennie Borgmann, American Basketball Hall of Fame forward and coach (Kingston Colonials, Original Celtics; coach Syracuse Nationals), dies at 77
  • Nov 12 Howard Swanson, American composer known for his settings of poems of Langston Hughes, dies at 71
  • Nov 13 George Hearne, South African cricket batsman (3 Tests; Western Province), dies at 90

Margaret Mead

Nov 15 Margaret Mead, American anthropologist (Coming of Age in Samoa, Thoughts & Female), dies of pancreatic cancer at 76

  • Nov 15 Dick Chapman, American golfer (1940 US amateur, 1951 British amateur), dies of a stroke at 67
  • Nov 16 Claude Dauphin, French actor (Barbarella, April in Paris, Deported), dies at 75

Jim Jones

Nov 18 Jim Jones, US pastor, leader of Jonestown Cult, commits suicide at 47

  • Nov 18 Lennie Tristano, American jazz pianist (The New Tristano), dies of a heart attack at 59
  • Nov 18 Leo Ryan, American teacher and politician (U.S. House of Representatives from California, 1973-78), assassinated at 53 in Jonestown, Guyana
  • Nov 20 Vasilisk Gnedov, Russian poet (b. 1890)
  • Nov 20 Giorgio De Chirico, Italian painter (founded the scuola metafisica art movement), dies at 90
  • Nov 25 Elaine Esposito, American woman who held record for longest coma (37 years), dies in a coma at 43
  • Nov 26 Frank Rosolino, American jazz trombonist (The Frank Rosolino Sextet), kills himself after shooting his sons at 52
  • Nov 27 George Moscone, Mayor of San Francisco (1976-78) shot and killed by Dan White aged 49

AssassinationHarvey Milk

Nov 27 Harvey Milk, first openly gay person to be elected to public office, assassinated by Dan White at 48

  • Nov 28 André Morell [Cecil André Mesritz], British actor (Ben-Hur, The Message, Hound of the Baskervilles), dies from a heart attack at 69
  • Nov 28 Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Argentine football executive (b. 1902)
  • Nov 29 Alan Richardson, Scottish pianist and composer, dies at 74
  • Dec 3 William Grant Still, American composer ("Afro-American" Symphony), dies at 83
  • Dec 4 Samuel Abraham Goldsmith, Neth/US phycists, dies at 76
  • Dec 7 Alexander Wetmore, American ornithologist (b. 1886)

Golda Meir

Dec 8 Golda Meir [Mabovitch], Israeli teacher, stateswoman and 4th Prime Minister of Israel (1969-74) known as the "Iron Lady" of Israeli politics, dies in of lymphatic cancer at 80

  • Dec 10 Ed Wood, American filmmaker and director (Plan 9 from Outer Space), dies of heart failure at 54
  • Dec 10 Miura Isshu, Zen teacher, Hakuin Rinzai line, dies at 75
  • Dec 11 Vincent du Vigneaud, American chemist and (1955 Nobel Prize for Chemistry - for work on sulphur compounds), dies at 77
  • Dec 11 Paul O'Dea, American baseball player (b. 1920)
  • Dec 12 Clifton Chenier, American blues singer (Bayou Blues), dies at 53
  • Dec 12 Fay Compton, actress (Othello), dies at 74
  • Dec 14 Salvador de Madariaga y Rojo, Spanish writer (Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards) & diplomat, dies at 92
  • Dec 15 Chill Wills, American actor (Frontier Circus, Rounders), dies at 75
  • Dec 16 Blanche Calloway, American jazz vocalist, band leader (Twelve Clouds of Joy), civil rights activist, and broadcaster, dies of breast cancer at 76
  • Dec 17 Don Ellis, American jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader, dies of a heart attack at 44
  • Dec 27 Bob de Lange [Jacob Bernard de Lange], Dutch actor and director (Daniel), dies at 62
  • Dec 27 Chris Bell, American rock guitarist (Big Star - "In The Street"), dies in a car crash at 27
  • Dec 27 Houari Boumédiènne, President of Algeria (1965-78), dies at 51
  • Dec 28 Harry Winston, US jeweler for the "rich & famous", dies at 82