On This Day

Deaths in Film & TV on January 21

  • 1766 James Quin, British actor (Covent Garden Theatre), dies at 72
  • 1851 (Gustav) Albert Lortzing, German Spieloper composer and actor (Zar und Zimmerman), dies at 49
  • 1937 Marie Prevost, Canadian actress (b. 1898)
  • 1938 George Méliès, French early filmmaker (A Trip to the Moon), dies at 76
  • 1959 Carl Switzer, American actor (Our Gang, Beginner's Luck, General Spanky), shot by an acquaintance at 31

Person of interestCecil B. DeMille

1959 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
  • 1963 Al St John, actor (Law & Order, Devil Riders), dies at 70
  • 1964 Joseph Schildkraut, Austrian actor (Cleopatra, Joseph Schildkraut Presents, Diary of Anne Frank), dies from a heart attack at 68
  • 1965 Harvey Zorbaugh, doctor/TV host (Play the Game), dies at 68
  • 1967 Ann Sheridan, American actress (They Drive by Night, Dodge City, Another World), dies of cancer at 51
  • 1975 Marie Lohr, actress (Pygmalion, Small Hotel, Escapade), dies at 84
  • 1981 Allyn Joslyn, American actor (They Won't Forget, Cafe Society), dies at 79
  • 1985 Eddie Graham, American professional wrestler and promoter (b. 1930)
  • 1988 Abraham Sofaer, Burmese born British actor (Naked Jungle, Elephant Walk), dies at 91
  • 1991 Frank Mitchell, actor (Music is Magic, Prairie Gunsmoke), dies
  • 1998 Jack Lord, American actor (Hawaii FIVE-O), dies at 77
  • 1999 Leslie French, British actor and singer (Death in Venice, More than a Miracle), dies at 94
  • 1999 Susan Strasberg, American actress (b. 1938)
  • 2002 Peggy Lee [Norma Delores Egstrom], American singer ("Fever"; "Is That All There Is?"), songwriter ("Mañana"), and actress (Pete Kelly's Blues; Lady and the Tramp), dies of a heart attack at 81
  • 2005 Parveen Babi, Indian actress (b. 1955)
  • 2010 Paul Quarrington, Canadian novelist, playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, musician and educator (b. 1953)
  • 2011 E. V. V. Satyanarayana, Indian Telugu Film Director, screenwriter and producer, dies at 54
  • 2013 Michael Winner, English film director and producer (Death Wish), dies at 77
  • 2015 Pauline Yates, British actress (The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin), dies at 85
  • 2018 Connie Sawyer [Rosie Cohen], American actress known as "The Clown Princess of Comedy" (Pineapple Express, Dumb and Dumber), dies at 105
  • 2019 Russell Baker, American columnist, author and humorist (NY Times) dies at 93
  • 2019 Kaye Ballard, American actress and comedienne (Kaye-Mothers-in-Law), dies at 93
  • 2020 Terry Jones, Welsh comedian (Monty Python), dies from complications of dementia at 77