Posts Tagged ‘actors’

On May 3, 1903, Harry Lillis Crosby was born to Harry Lincoln and Catherine Helen Crosby in Tacoma, Washington, the fourth of seven children. At the age of six, he earned the nickname “Bingo from Bingville.”  Shortened to “Bing,” the name stayed with him throughout his career.  Crosby performed with several bands throughout the 1920s and made his radio debut in 1931. Within a year he had performed in 10 of the top 50 songs on the radio. Throughout the 1940s his acting career proved as successful as his musical career, and today he is widely regarded as one of the most popular and successful performers of the twentieth century.  Crosby continued to perform until his death at the age of 74 in 1977.

Bing Crosby with Phil Harris and Bob Littler listening to record player, Seattle, 1956. Image courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry via King County Snapshots.

You can find primary source documents relating to Bing Crosby and the history of film and radio broadcasting at Opening History.


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Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr. , better known as Charlie Chaplin, was born 120 years ago, on April 16, 1889.

portrait of Charles Chaplin

Autographed portrait of Charles Chaplin

Reproduction of an autographed portrait of Charlie Chaplin, dated July 2, 1915, originally shot by Witzel of Los Angeles. Courtesy of the University of Southern California, California Historical Society Digital Archive (learn more about this digital collection from Opening History aggregation)

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Famous magician, stunt performer, actor and film producer, “the genius of escape” Harry Houdini was born 135 years ago, on March 24, 1874.

Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini

Photograph of Harry Houdini performing escape stunt.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, George Grantham Bain Collection. More information from Opening History aggregation of digital collections.

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