On This Day

Famous Deaths on May 29

  • 1259 Christopher I, King of Denmark (1252-59), dies at about 40 (b. 1219)
  • 1379 Henry II, King of Castile and León (1369-79), dies at 45
  • 1405 Philippe de Mézières, advisor to Charles V of France
  • 1425 Hongxi Emperor [Zhu Gaochi], fourth Emperor of Ming Dynasty of China, dies at 46
  • 1453 Constantine XI Dragases, last Byzantine Emperor, dies at 49

Bartolomeu Dias

1500 Bartolomeu Dias, Portuguese explorer (1st European to round Cape of Good Hope), drowns at 48 or 49

  • 1511 Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres, Spanish Governor of the Indies (1501-09), dies at 50 or 51
  • 1544 Jacobus Latomus [Jasques Masson], Belgian inquisitor, dies at about 68
  • 1546 Cardinal Beaton, English archbishop of St Andrews, murdered in St Andrews Castle at 52
  • 1593 John Penry, Welsh protestant martyr (Marprelate tracts), executed for sedition at about 30
  • 1629 Arnold Baert, Flemish lawyer and member of Great Council, dies at about 74
  • 1660 Gyorgy Rákóczi II, prince of Transylvania, dies in battle
  • 1660 Peter Scriverius, Dutch historian and writer, dies at 44
  • 1660 Frans van Schooten, Dutch mathematician (b. 1615)
  • 1680 Abraham Megerle, Austrian organist, composer, and Kapellmeister, dies at 73
  • 1691 Cornelis Tromp, Dutch naval officer and son of Maarten Tromp, dies at 61
  • 1750 Giuseppe Porsile, Neapolitan composer, dies at 70
  • 1788 Jacques Aliamet, French etcher and engraver, dies at 61
  • 1790 Israel Putnam, American Revolutionary War general (b. 1718)
  • 1796 Carl Fredrik Pechlin, Swedish politician (b. 1720)
  • 1814 Joséphine de Beauharnais, first wife of Napoleon I and first Empress of France (1804-14), dies of pneumonia aged 50
  • 1815 Cornelis de Gijselaar, Dutch politician and patriot during the Dutch Republic, dies at 64
  • 1816 Madame Louverture, widow of Haiti's leader Toussaint Louverture, dies
  • 1829 Humphry Davy, English chemist, studied electro-chemistry, invented the Davy lamp), dies at 50
  • 1833 William Marshall, Scottish fiddle composer (strathspeys The Marchioness of Huntly), dies at 84
  • 1847 Emmanuel, marquis de Grouchy, French general and marshal, dies at 80
  • 1862 Franciszek Wincenty Mirecki, Polish composer, conductor and pedagogue, dies at 71
  • 1866 Winfield Scott, American army general (Union) and presidential candidate, dies at 79
  • 1866 Henry Darwin Rogers, American Geologist (theory of mountain building, first geological mapping of Pennsylvania), dies at 57
  • 1868 Michael Obrenovich III, Prince of Serbia (b. 1823)
  • 1868 Levi Lincoln, Jr., American lawyer and 13th Governor of Massachusetts (1825-34), dies at 85
  • 1869 Philippe Vandermaelen, Flemish cartographer/publisher, dies at 73
  • 1872 John Gill Shorter, American politician (17th Governor of Alabama), dies at 54
  • 1877 John Lothrop Motley, American historian and author (The Rise of the Dutch Republic), dies at 63
  • 1882 Vasily Perov, Russian painter (b. 1833)
  • 1883 Albrecht of Prussia, mistress of John van Rossum, dies at 73
  • 1883 Princess Marianne of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau and daughter of King Willem I, dies at 73
  • 1885 Alfred Meissner, Austrian poet (Ziska), dies at 62
  • 1892 Baha'u'llah [Mirza HA Noeri], Persian founder (Baha'i), dies at 74
  • 1896 Gabriel Auguste Daubrée, French geologist, dies at 81
  • 1897 Julius von Sachs, German botanist and naturalist, dies at 64
  • 1899 Frantz Jehin-Prume, Canadian violinist and composer, dies at 60
  • 1903 Bruce Price, American architect (Château Frontenac), dies at 57
  • 1905 Leon Francis Victor Caron, French Australian composer, dies at 55
  • 1910 Mily Balakirev, Russian pianist and composer (Islamej; Tamara), dies at 73
  • 1914 Paul von Mauser, German weapon designer, dies at 75
  • 1919 Robert Bacon, American politician (39th United States Secretary of State), dies at 58
  • 1921 Horace Porter, American Brigadier General (Union Army), dies at 84
  • 1922 Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Armenian-Russian theatrical director of the Moscow Art Theatre (Vakhtangov Theatre), dies of cancer at 39
  • 1924 Pierre-Paul Cambon, French diplomat (Madrid/London), dies
  • 1933 Frank Sugg, English cricketer (batted in 2 Tests for England 1888) and footballer, dies at 71
  • 1934 Eugenie Besserer, American actress (Anna Christie, Madame X), dies at 65
  • 1935 Josef Suk, Czech violinist (Bohemian String Quartet, 1891-1933), composer (Asrael), and educator, dies at 61
  • 1939 Ursula Ledóchowska, Polish-Austrian Catholic saint and foundress of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, dies of a carcinoma at 74

John Barrymore

1942 John Barrymore, American actor (Beloved Rogue, Dinner at 8), dies from cirrhosis of the liver and kidney failure at 60

  • 1942 Akiko Yosano, Japanese poet (Tangled Hair), dies at 63
  • 1943 Hermann Hans Wetzler, German-American composer, dies at 72
  • 1946 Martin Gottfried Weiss, Commandant of Dachau concentration camp (b. 1905)
  • 1948 May Whitty, English actress (Gaslight, Mrs Miniver, Suspicion), dies at 82
  • 1951 Dimitrios Levidis, Greek composer, dies at 66
  • 1951 Fanny Brice, American Zeigfield Girl and commedienne (Baby Snooks Show), dies at 59
  • 1951 Josef Bohuslav Foerster, Czech organist and composer, dies at 91
  • 1951 Robert Kahn, German composer, dies at 85
  • 1953 Man Mountain Dean [Frank Simmons Leavitt], American professional wrestler, dies at 61
  • 1955 Daniel G van Beuningen, Dutch art collector, dies at 78
  • 1956 Albert H. Edelkoort, Dutch theologist (Christusverwachting), dies at 65
  • 1956 Hermann Abendroth, German conductor (Gewandhausorkest), dies at 73
  • 1957 George Bacovia [Vasiliu], Romanian poet and composer (Plumb), dies at 75
  • 1957 James Whale, English film director (Frankenstein, Show Boat), commits suicide by drowning at 67
  • 1958 Juan Ramon Jiménez, Spanish poet (Nobel 1956), dies at 76
  • 1961 Uuno Klami, Finnish composer (Psalmus; Kalevala Suite), dies of a heart attack while sailing at 60
  • 1967 Geronimo Baqueiro Foster, Mexican composer, dies at 69
  • 1970 John Gunther, American author and host (John Gunther's High Road), dies at 68
  • 1970 Eve Hesse, German born Jewish American sculptor dies of a brain tumour aged 34
  • 1971 Max Trapp, German composer, dies at 83
  • 1972 Moe Berg, American baseball player and spy (b. 1902)
  • 1972 Stephen Timoshenko, Ukrainian-born mechanical engineer (b. 1878)
  • 1972 Margaret Ruthven Lang, American composer (Irish Love Song), dies at 104
  • 1973 Eric Applewhite, American actor (Dial M for Murder,) dies at 76
  • 1973 P. Ramlee, Malaysian film actor, director, singer and songwriter, dies of a heart attack at 44
  • 1973 Voltaire "Volly" De Faut; American jazz reed player (New Orleans Rhythm Kings; Jean Goldkette), dies at 69
  • 1977 Goddard Lieberson, English composer and President of Columbia Records, dies at 66
  • 1977 Ba Maw, Burmese politician (b. 1893)
  • 1978 Carl Reynolds, American baseball outfielder (2nd player in MLB history to hit home runs in 3 consecutive innings 1930; Chicago WS), dies at 75
  • 1979 John H. Wood, Jr., American federal judge (b. 1916)
  • 1982 Romy Schneider, actress (Cardinal), dies of cardiac arrest at 43
  • 1983 Arvīds Pelše, Soviet Latvian statesman (b. 1899)
  • 1985 39 people die in a confrontation at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium when Juventus and Italian fans are crushed against a wall escaping a breach by Liverpool fans
  • 1985 Madge West, American actress (McLean Stevenson Show), dies at 93
  • 1987 Alain Vincx, Belgian stuntman, dies in an accident at 40
  • 1987 Charan Singh, Indian politician, 5th Prime Minister of India (1979-80), dies at 84
  • 1987 Phyllis Tate, English composer, dies at 76
  • 1989 John Cipollina, American rock guitarist (Quicksilver Messenger Service), dies from a longterm lung disease at 45
  • 1991 Coral Browne, Australian actress (Ruling Class, Time Express), dies of cancer at 77
  • 1992 Bill Beyers, actor (Wally-Capitol), dies of AIDS at 37
  • 1992 Peter "Ollie" Halsall, British rock guitarist and vibraphone player (Patto; The Rutles; Kevin Ayers), dies of a heart attack at 43
  • 1992 Pippa Steele, actress (Vampire Lovers), dies of cancer at 44
  • 1992 Ruby Middleton Forsythe, African-American teacher (50 years in 1 room school in SC), dies at 86
  • 1993 Billy Conn, American boxer, dies of pneumonia at 75
  • 1993 Tiny Hofman, Amsterdam activist (Nieuwmarkt), dies at 68
  • 1994 Erich Honecker, German politician, Head of State of East Germany (1971-89), dies in Chile at 81
  • 1994 Harry Levin, American literary scholar, dies at 81
  • 1994 Jose Bohr, actor (El Traidor, Sueno de Amor), dies at 92
  • 1994 Joseph Janni, producer, dies at 78
  • 1994 Oliver "Bops Junior" Jackson, American jazz drummer, dies at 61
  • 1995 Margaret Chase Smith, American politician (U.S. Senator from Maine), dies at 97
  • 1996 Jeremy Sinden, English actor (Chariots of Fire, Ascendancy, Harem), dies at 45
  • 1996 Tamara Toumanova, Georgian-American prima ballerina, dies at 77
  • 1997 George Fenneman, American radio and TV announcer (You Bet Your Life), dies at 77
  • 1997 Jeff Buckley, American musician and singer ("Hallelujah"), drowns at 30
  • 1997 John Sengstacke, publisher (Defender), dies at 84
  • 1998 Barry M. Goldwater, American politician (U.S. Senator from Arizona, 1953-65, 1969-87; Republican presidential candidate, 1964), dies at 89
  • 1998 Eric St Eval Atkinson, West Indian cricketer (bro of Denis WI pace bowler 1958-59), dies at 70
  • 2002 Mildred Benson, American writer (b. 1905)
  • 2003 David Jefferies, British motorcycle racer, dies at 30
  • 2004 Archibald Cox, American lawyer and special prosecutor (Watergate), dies at 92
  • 2004 Samuel Dash, American Congressional counsel (b. 1925)
  • 2005 George Rochberg, American composer (Concord Quartet), dies at 86
  • 2005 María de los Ángeles Alvariño González, Spanish marine biologist and oceanographer, dies at 88
  • 2005 Oscar Brown, American singer, songwriter ("Brown Baby"; "Forbidden Fruit"), playwright, and poet, dies from complications of osteomyelitis at 78
  • 2006 Steve Mizerak, American pool player (b. 1944)
  • 2006 Jacques Bouchard, Canadian advertising executive, dies at 75
  • 2007 Dave Balon, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1938)
  • 2007 Lois Browne-Evans, Bermudian Politician (stroke) (b. 1927)
  • 2007 Posteal Laskey, American convicted murderer widely believed to be the Cincinnati Strangler, dies of natural causes (b. 1938)
  • 2008 Harvey Korman, American actor (The Carol Burnett Show; Blazing Saddles; High Anxiety), dies at 81
  • 2008 Dianne Odell, American medical figure (b. 1947)
  • 2009 Karine Ruby, French snowboarder and Olympic champion (b. 1978)

Dennis Hopper

2010 Dennis Hopper, American actor and director (True Grit, Blue Velvet, Easy Rider), dies at 74

  • 2011 Ferenc Mádl, Hungarian politician, President of Hungary (b. 1931)
  • 2011 Bill Clements, American politician, Governor of Texas (1987-91), dies at 94
  • 2011 Sergei Bagapsh, Abkhazian president (b. 1949)
  • 2011 William "Bill" Roycroft, Australian equestrian 3 day (Olympic bronze 1976), dies at 96
  • 2011 Simon Brint, British comic actor, musician, and television composer (French and Saunders; A Bit of Fry & Laurie; Monarch of the Glen), takes his own life at 60
  • 2012 Doc Watson, American bluegrass musician, dies from complications following surgery at 89
  • 2012 Mark Minkov, Russian/Soviet theater and film score composer, dies at 67
  • 2013 Françoise Blanchard, French actress, dies at 58
  • 2013 Marvin Junior, American singer (The Dells - Oh What a Nite), dies at 77
  • 2013 Mulgrew Miller, American jazz pianist (Duke Ellington; Betty Carter; Artie Shaw; Art Blakely), composer, and educator (William Patterson University), dies of a stroke at 57
  • 2014 Karlheinz Böhm, Austrian actor, dies at 86
  • 2014 Stefans Grové, South African composer (Nonyana, The Ceremonial Dancer; Cyclops; Glimpses), dies at 91
  • 2015 Doris Hart, American tennis player (6 Grand Slam singles titles), dies at 89
  • 2015 Henry Carr, American athlete (2 Olympic gold 200m, 4x400m relay 1964), dies at 72
  • 2015 Betsy Palmer [Patricia Betsy Hrunek], American actress (Mr Roberts, Friday the 13th), dies at 88
  • 2015 Peter Cropper, British violinist (Lindsay Quartet, 1965-2005), dies of a heart attack at 59
  • 2017 Constantine Mitsotakis [Konstantinos Mitsotakis], Prime Minister of Greece (1990 –1993), dies at 98
  • 2018 Rosa Briceño, Venezuelan conductor, and educator, dies of leukemia at 61
  • 2020 Curtis Cokes, American boxer (WBA/WBC world welterweight champion 1966-69), dies of heart failure at 82
  • 2020 Roosevelt Taylor, American NFL safety (Pro Bowl 1963, 68; First Team All-Pro 1963; Chicago Bears, SF 49ers, Washington Redskins), dies at 82
  • 2020 Célio Taveira, Brazilian soccer striker (3 caps; Vasco da Gama, Nacional, Corinthians), dies from COVID-19 at 79
  • 2020 Ron Johnston, English geographer (electoral geography), dies at 79
  • 2021 Gavin MacLeod [Allan See], American actor (Mary Tyler Moore Show -"Murray"; The Love Boat - "Captain Stubing"), dies at 90
  • 2021 B.J. Thomas, American singer ("Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head"; "Hooked On A Feeling"; "Growing Pains Theme"), dies of lung cancer at 78
  • 2021 Keith Mullings, American boxer (WBC and lineal light middleweight titles 1998), dies at 53
May 29 Highlights