On This Day

Actors and Actresses Who Died in 1979

  • Jan 11 Jack Soo [Goro Suzuki], Japanese-American actor (Flower Drum Song, Barney Miller), dies of esophageal cancer at 61

Ted Cassidy

Jan 16 Ted Cassidy, American actor (Lurch-Addams Family), dies at 46

  • Jan 16 Peter Butterworth, British actor and comedian (Carry On), dies of a heart attack at 63
  • Jan 18 Cyril Mockridge, British composer for film and television (Miracle On 34th Street; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), dies at 82
  • Jan 19 Paul Meurisse, actor (Diabolique, Truth, Suspects, Monocle), dies
  • Jan 24 Jerry Damon, comedian (That Was The Week That Was), dies at 51
  • Jan 24 Mabel Taliaferro, actress (My Love Come Back), dies at 91
  • Jan 25 J Robertson Hare, actor (Fighting Stock), dies at 87
  • Feb 1 Mort Marshall [Mortimer Haig Lichtenstein], American actor (Kiss Me Deadly, Dumplings), dies of coronary arrest at 60
  • Feb 2 Jim Burke, Australian cricket batsman (24 Tests; record for most innings in a complete career without scoring a duck [44]) and broadcaster (ABC), dies of self inflicted gunshot wounds at 48
  • Feb 3 Jody Gilbert, American actress (Willard, Shaggy, Blonde Dynamite), dies at 62
  • Feb 12 Jean Renoir, French film director (Madame Bovary, Nana, Grand Illusion) and actor (Rules of the Game), dies at 84
  • Feb 16 Louise Allbritton, American actress (The Egg and I, Stage Door, Got a Secret), dies of cancer at 58
  • Feb 17 Bill Gargan, American actor (The Bells of St. Mary's; You Only Live Once), dies from a heart attack at 73
  • Feb 21 Ray Whitley, American country and western singer-songwriter ("Back in the Saddle Again") and actor (Tim Holt films), dies at 77
  • Feb 28 Jane Hylton [Audrey Gwendolene Clark], British actress (Adv of Sir Lancelot, Daybreak), dies of a heart attack at 52
  • Mar 1 Dolores Costello, American actress (Noah's Ark, Expensive Women), dies at 73
  • Mar 2 Edith Craig, actress (Harmony Lane, Smashing Rackets), dies at 71
  • Mar 6 Charles Wagenheim, actor (Halligan-Gunsmoke), dies at 83
  • Mar 9 Barbara Mullen, American actress (Thunder Rock, Innocent Sinners), dies of a heart attack at 64
  • Mar 11 Victor Kilian, American actor (Gentleman's Agreement), dies at 88
  • Mar 19 Albert "Al" Hodge, American actor on radio (Green Hornet), and early television (Captain Video), dies of heart failure at 66
  • Mar 19 Richard Beckinsale, English actor (Doing Time, Porridge, Lovers), dies at 31
  • Mar 22 Ben Lyon, American actor (Hell's Angels, I Cover the Waterfront, Night Nurse), dies at 78
  • Mar 23 Philip Bourneuf, actor (Big Night, Frankenstein), dies at 71
  • Mar 27 Ronald Adam, actor (Phantom Shot), dies at 82
  • Apr 4 Edgar Buchanan, American actor (Petticoat Junction), dies at 76
  • Apr 9 Staats Cotsworth, American actor (Hamlet, Peyton Place), dies at 71
  • Apr 10 Henriette P "Hetty" Beck, Dutch actress (Dodendans), dies at 91
  • Apr 10 Nino Rota [Giovanni Rota Rinaldi], Italian classical and film score composer (Il cappello di paglia di Firenze; The Godfather (I & II; 16 Fellini films), dies from a coronary thrombosis at 67
  • Apr 20 Peter Donald, British-born American actor and radio host dubbed "one of radio's great dialecticians" (Masquerade Party), dies at 60
  • Apr 24 John Carroll [Julian LaFaye], American actor (Flying Tigers, Go West), dies from leukaemia at 72
  • Apr 29 Hardie Gramatky, American author and animator (Little Toot), dies at 72
  • May 3 Erin O'Brien-Moore, actress (Nurse Choate-Peyton Place), dies at 76
  • May 5 Shirley O'Hara, actress (Wild Party), dies at 68
  • May 11 Joan Chandler, American actress, dies at 55
  • May 24 Jan Arvan, actor (Red Skelton Show, Zorro), dies
  • May 26 George Brent, American actor (Baby Face, Dark Victory, 42nd St), dies at 75
  • May 28 William Edmonson, American bass harmony and gospel vocalist (Southernaires), radio, stage and screen actor (Thirty Years Later), dies at 76
  • May 30 Jack Raine, British actor (Quartet), dies at 82
  • Jun 1 Jack Mulhall, American actor and producer (The Three Musketeers, The Amazing Exploits of the Clutching Hand), dies at 91
  • Jun 2 Jim Hutton, actor (Ellery Queen), dies of liver cancer at 45
  • Jun 4 Herman Shumlin, American Broadway producer, director and actor (Watch on the Rhine), dies at 80

Jack Haley

Jun 6 (John Joseph) "Jack" Haley, American vaudevillle and screen actor, singer, and dancer (The Wizard of Oz - "Tin Man"; Higher and Higher), dies of a heart attack at 81

  • Jun 8 Louis Palange, American arranger, classical music and film score composer (Hollywood Panorama; King Dinosaur), and conductor, dies at 61
  • Jun 11 August Maes, Flemish actor and director (Farmer that Dies), dies at 85

John Wayne

Jun 11 John Wayne [Marion Mitchell Morrison], American actor (Green Berets, True Grit), dies of stomach cancer at 72

  • Jun 13 Darla Hood, American child actress (Little Rascals, The Bat), dies from acute hepatitis at 47
  • Jun 16 Nicholas Ray, American film director (Rebel Without a Cause), dies at 67
  • Jun 17 Lou Frizzell, American character actor (Summer of '42; Bonanza - "Dusty Rhodes"), dies at 59
  • Jun 21 Julian Orchard, English actor (Perfect Friday, Bless this House), dies at 49
  • Jun 22 Emory Parnell, American vaudeville performer and character actor (Life of RIley; County Fair; Falcon films; Ma and Pa Kettle movies), dies of a heat attack at 86
  • Jul 1 Richard Ward, African American actor (Death of a Salesman, Beacon Hill), dies of a heart attack at 64
  • Jul 5 Judson Laire, American stage and screen actor (I Remember Mama - "Papa"; Advise and Consent), dies at 76
  • Jul 8 Michael Wilding, British actor (Stage Fright, Courtney Affair, World of Suzie Wong), dies from a head injury at 66
  • Jul 14 George De Witt, American TV host (Name that Tune), dies at 56
  • Jul 22 Hope Summers, actress (Clara - "The Andy Griffith Show"), dies at 78
  • Jul 22 Tony "Two-Ton" Galento, American heavyweight boxer and actor (On the Waterfront), dies at 69
  • Jul 24 Archie Duncan, Scottish actor (The Adventures of Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes), dies at 65
  • Jul 27 Ettore Manni, Italian actor (Street People, Divine Nymph, Fatal Desire, Heroes in Hell), accidentally shoots himself at 52
  • Jul 27 Shirley Mason, actress (Let it Rain, Dark Skies), dies at 79
  • Jul 29 Bill Todman, American television producer (b. 1916)
  • Jul 30 Beppie Nooij, Dutch actress and director (Red Sien, Zeemansvrouwen), dies at 60
  • Jul 31 Beatrix Lehmann, British actress (Candles at Nine, Staircase), dies at 76
  • Aug 6 Kurt Kaszner [Serwicher], Austrian actor (Kiss Me Kate, Lili, Casino Royale), dies of cancer at 65
  • Aug 9 Allan Frank, American actor (Charade Quiz), dies at 64
  • Aug 10 John Nicholas "Dick" Foran, American actor (OK Crackerby, Fort Apache, Winners of the West), dies at 69
  • Aug 17 Vivian Vance [Jones], American stage and screen actress (I Love Lucy - "Ethel Mertz"; The Lucy Show - "Viv"), dies of cancer at 70
  • Aug 23 Richard Hearne, British actor (Tons of Trouble, The Time of His Life), dies at 71
  • Aug 29 Mary Marquet, French actress (Landru, Paris Canaille), dies at 84
  • Aug 30 Jean Seberg, American actress (Breathless, Airport), commits suicide at 40
  • Aug 31 Sally Rand, American burlesque dancer, vedette and actress known for her ostrich feather fan and balloon bubble dances, dies at 75
  • Sep 1 Doris Kenyon, American silent screen actress (Alexander Hamilton), dies at 81
  • Sep 2 Felix Aylmer, British actor (Anastasia, Hamlet, Iron Duke, Macbeth, St Joan), dies at 90
  • Sep 15 Tommy Leonetti [Tomaso Lionetti], American singer ("Free"), songwriter ("My City of Sydney"), and actor (Gomer Pyle, USMC), dies of cancer at 50
  • Sep 15 Caro van Eyck [Gerarda Taytelbaum], Dutch actress (De stille Kracht, Medea), dies at 63
  • Sep 21 John McQuade, actor (Charlie Wild Private Detective), dies at 73
  • Sep 23 Catherine Lacey, actress (October Man, Carnival), dies at 75
  • Sep 25 Tapio Rautavaara, Finnish athlete, actor, and singer (Me tulemme taas, Rion yö), dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 64
  • Sep 26 Arthur Hunnicutt, American actor (El Dorado, Big Sky, Apache Uprising), dies from mouth cancer at 69
  • Sep 26 John Cromwell, American actor and director (Spitfire, Of Human Bondage), dies at 91
  • Sep 27 Gracie Fields, English music hall/vaudeville performer and actress (Queen of Hearts), dies at 81
  • Oct 3 Claudia Jennings [Mary Ellen Chestrerton],, American actress and Playboy playmate (Nov, 1969, Playmate of the Year 1970), dies in car crash at 29
  • Oct 8 June Nash, American actress (Strange Cargo, Dynamite), dies at 68
  • Oct 12 Celia Lovsky, Austrian-American actress (Man of a Thousand Faces), dies from natural causes at 82
  • Oct 13 Clarence Muse, American actor, screenwriter and director (Casablanca, Black Stallion), dies at 89
  • Oct 17 John Stuart, Scottish actor (Kittie, Superman, Number Seventeen), dies at 81
  • Oct 17 S J Perelman, American author, humorist and screenwriter (The New Yorker, Around the World in 80 Days), dies at 75
  • Nov 5 Amedeo Nazzari [Buffa], Italian actor (Nights of Cabiria; Chains; Caravaggio), dies from cardiac arrest at 71
  • Nov 7 Paolo Carlini, Italian actor (It Started in Naples), dies at 53
  • Nov 8 Sydney Tafler, English actor (Too Many Crooks), dies at 63
  • Nov 9 Lewis Charles [Cholost], American actor (Topaz, Feather & Father Gang), dies of cancer at 59
  • Nov 11 Dimitri Tiomkin, Russian-American film score composer and conductor (Academy Award 1954-High & Mighty), dies at 85
  • Nov 23 Merle Oberon, British actress (That Uncertain Feeling, Wuthering Heights), dies from a stroke at 68
  • Nov 26 Marcel L'Herbier, French director and screenwriter (El Dorado), dies at 91
  • Nov 30 Joyce Grenfell (Adventure for Two), actress, dies at 69
  • Nov 30 Zeppo Marx [Herbert Manfred Marx], American comedian and actor (Marx Brothers), dies at 78
  • Dec 4 Robert Karnes, actor (Max-The Lawless Years), dies at 62
  • Dec 9 Fulton J. Sheen, American archbishop and religious broadcaster (Life is Worth Living), dies in NYC at 84
  • Dec 10 Ann Dvorak [McKim], American actress (G Men, Life of Her Own, Scarface), dies at 67
  • Dec 11 Claire Carleton, American actress (Alice-Cimarron City), dies at 66
  • Dec 13 Jon Hall, American actor (Ramar of the Jungle), dies at 64
  • Dec 15 Bern Hoffman, American actor (Major Dell Conway), dies at 66
  • Dec 22 Darryl F. Zanuck, American film producer and President (20th Century Fox), dies at 77
  • Dec 25 Joan Blondell, American actress (Real McCoys), dies of leukemia at 73
  • Dec 25 Lee Bowman, American actor (Ellery Queen, Miami Undercover, The Impatient Years), dies from a heart attack at 64