Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, was known for her many portraits and self-portraits. Her work is said to have been inspired by the nature, artifacts and popular culture of Mexico. Her work was not much known until the late 1970s, when it was rediscovered by art historians and political activists. By early 1990s, she became a recognized figure in art history.
Famous for his roles in Western films in the mid-20th century, actor John Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades. In a career spanning over half a century, he starred in 142 motion pictures. Upon his death, he came to be recognized as “an enduring icon who symbolized and communicated American values and ideals.”
Katharine Hepburn served as the leading American actress for over six decades. She is regarded as an influential cultural figure and was included in the popular book Women Who Changed The World. Katharine Hepburn is also named in lists like 300 Women Who Changed the World, 100 Icons of the Century, and 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons of All Time.
Barbara Stanwyck went on to become one of the greatest actresses of Classical Hollywood cinema after being orphaned at age four. One of the favorite actresses of directors like Cecil B. DeMille, Barbara had become the highest-paid actress in America by 1944. Known for her realistic screen presence, Barbara won several prestigious honorary lifetime awards for her contribution to cinema.
Cesar Romero was an American actor, dancer, singer, and vocal artist. He is best known for playing Joker in the television series Batman and his portrayal was included in TV Guide's 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time list in 2013. Cesar Romero's contribution to the TV and film industry was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Jazz singer and dancer, Cab Calloway, was a famous vocalist of the swing era. From the early 1930s to the late 1940s, he led a very popular band that included musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Jonah Jones, and Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham. A man of color, he became the first African-American musician to sell a million records from a single song.
Bhagat Singh is one of the most revered freedom fighters of Indian Independence movement. His execution by the British rulers at a young age of 23 inspired many young people to join the freedom struggle. His life’s mission was to free India from colonial rule and his legacy as a symbol of bravery and patriotism continues to live on.
Rachel Carson was a conservationist, marine biologist, and author. She is credited with authoring an influential book titled Silent Spring, which played a significant role in advancing the global environmental movement. Carson is also remembered for her book, The Sea Around Us, which earned her a U.S. National Book Award. She was posthumously honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Jack Albertson was an eminent American actor having presence in films and plays alike, as evident from his successful performances in The Subject Was Roses both on the stage and on the big screen. The winner of Tony, Oscar and Emmy awards had such a passion for his career that he continued his acting despite being diagnosed for colorectal cancer.
Rosalind Russell is remembered as Hildy Johnson from the film His Girl Friday and as Mame Dennis from Auntie Mame. She won five Golden Globes and was nominated for several Academy Awards. Mostly seen playing professional women, she also won a Tony for her role in the musical Wonderful Town.
Robert A. Heinlein was an American author, naval officer, and aeronautical engineer. Heinlein is credited with pioneering a literary subgenre called hard science fiction as he was among the first to stress the importance of scientific accuracy in fiction. Robert A. Heinlein is one of the most influential science-fiction writers of all time.
German army officer Claus von Stauffenberg, a significant figure of the German Resistance Movement within the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany, attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944, but failed. He was executed by a firing squad soon after Operation Valkyrie. He had earlier actively participated in World War II.
W. H. Auden was an Anglo-American poet. His poetry was noted for its technical achievement and versatility. He wrote poems on love, political and social themes, and cultural and psychological themes. Throughout his career, Auden was both influential and controversial. His personal life also attracted attention as he had sexual relationships with men, which was unusual at the time.
Born to an artisan father, Ramon Magsaysay was initially a schoolteacher. He served as the president of the Philippines and successfully subdued the Huk movement of the local communist guerrillas. The Ramon Magsaysay Award, named after him, celebrates excellence of Asians in various fields such as journalism and government service.
One of the original “scream queens” of Hollywood, Fay Wray is best remembered as Ann Darrow, the woman picked up by King Kong like a doll while he went on a rampage, in the 1933 film about the fabled monster. She declined a cameo in a King Kong remake later.
Astrid Lindgren was a Swedish writer remembered for authoring children's book series and children's fantasy novels. In 1967, the Astrid Lindgren Prize was established in her honor. Lindgren was honored with the Right Livelihood Award in 1994 for her work as a children's writer. In 2017, it was revealed that Lindgren is the 18th most translated author in the world.
Welsh-American actor-director Ray Milland is best remembered for his Oscar-winning role of Don Birnam in The Lost Weekend. Fans also loved him in films such as Dial M for Murder and The Jungle Princess. He was previously part of the British Army’s Household Cavalry, as a marksman, pilot, and horseman.
Daphne du Maurier was an English playwright and author. Many of her works, which have been praised for narrative craft, have been adapted into films, including three of Alfred Hitchcock's movies. Such was her popularity that she was selected along with four other Women of Achievement to be featured on a set of British stamps, which were issued in 1996.
Better known by his pseudonym, Hergé, Belgian cartoonist Georges Prosper Remi was the man behind Tintin, a cartoon series that several generations of kids and young adults have grown up reading. He was a self-taught artist and wrote Destination Moon, featuring Tintin, 15 years before Neil Armstrong’s feat.
Emilie Schindler is best remembered as the wife of Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who saved over a thousand Jews from the Nazis by employing them at his factory and later inspired the iconic Steven Spielberg movie Schindler's List. She later fled to Argentina with Oskar but was abandoned by him.
Dan Duryea was an American actor best remembered for portraying negative roles. However, he was also renowned for his versatility as he played a wide variety of leading roles as well. He also became famous as a TV actor and played important roles in series like China Smith and The New Adventures of China Smith.
François Duvalier was a Haitian politician. From 1957 to 1971, he served as the president of Haiti. Over the course of his political career, Duvalier's regime became despotic and totalitarian. In 1964, Duvalier declared himself President for Life and remained in power until his death. Since his demise, several books have been written about his rule in Haiti.
Better known as former U.S. president Donald Trump’s uncle, John G. Trump was an MIT physicist and engineer. Though he had initially aspired to be an architect and join his brother Fred’s real-estate business, John later concentrated on his research that led to the invention of high-voltage generators.
Aviation engineer Frank Whittle entered the Royal Air Force as an apprentice and rose through the ranks to become a pilot. He invented the jet engine, though his idea of a plane that could fly at a phenomenal speed was initially laughed at. He was later knighted for his achievements.
Gustav Schwarzenegger was better known as actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s father than as the police chief of Austria. He was a master sergeant in Wehrmacht after his country was annexed by Nazi Germany. He was made a postal inspector after injuries he suffered in Russia ruled him out of the armed forces. He returned to the Austrian police force in 1947.
Sergei Korolev was a Soviet spacecraft designer and rocket engineer who played an important role during the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States of America in the 1950s and 1960s. He was largely responsible for developing the R-7 Rocket and launching Yuri Gagarin into space. Sergei Korolev also launched Belka, Strelka, and Laika into space.
Born to a French mother and a Croatian father, Dora Maar spent her childhood in Argentina and later studied art in Paris. The renowned surrealist artist and photographer later gained fame as Pablo Picasso’s lover and muse, and was featured in his paintings such as Weeping Woman.
George W. Romney was a Republican Party politician who served as the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969. He was a front runner for the Republican nomination for president of US in the 1968 election, but he lost to Richard Nixon. Also a businessman, he was chairman and president of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962.
Leon Askin was a prominent actor of Austrian origin. Born in Vienna to a Jewish family, he fled to the United States in 1940 to escape the Nazis. Already trained in acting, he was able to get work in Hollywood. He ventured into television as well and became widely popular with his role in the sitcom Hogan's Heroes.
A pioneer of Hindi romantic poetry and the Chhayavaad movement, Harivanshrai Bachchan is best remembered for his book of 135 quatrains, Madhushala. He was the first Indian to earn a PhD in English literature from Cambridge University. He was also the father of legendary Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan.
Four-time Academy Award-winning director Fred Zinnemann had started off as an extra. He later directed/produced masterpieces such as A Man for All Seasons and was one of the first to use non-professional actors along with stars. He was shattered when his ambitious project Man's Fate was shelved.