Famous People Born In 1917

Discover the most famous people born in 1917. The list includes people like Indira Gandhi, Louis Zamperini, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Ferdinand Marcos, Desi Arnaz and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, journalists, novelists and actresses born in 1917. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, Germany & France and many more countries.
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 1 
John F. Kennedy
(35th President of the United States (1961 - 1963))
John F. Kennedy
182
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 29th May
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, United States
Died: November 22, 1963

The 35th President of the United States, John F Kennedy was a charismatic leader who, during his tenure, ably dealt with Cuban missile crisis, proposed public service programmes and lent support to the growing civil rights movement. Before becoming one of the youngest Presidents of the country, he served in the navy, U.S. House of Representatives and the US Senate.

 2 
Dean Martin
(One of the Most Popular and Enduring American Entertainers of the Mid-20th Century)
Dean Martin
55
Birthdate: 7th June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Steubenville, Ohio, United States
Died: December 25, 1995

An actor, singer, and comedian, Dean Martin earned the nickname The King of Cool for his effortless self-assurance and charisma. One of the most popular entertainers of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, Dean performed in nightclubs and concert stages and appeared in film and TV productions. Such is his popularity that his songs continue to be featured across popular culture.

 3 
Desi Arnaz
(Actor, Producer and Bandleader Best Known for His TV Sitcom ‘I Love Lucy’)
Desi Arnaz
40
Birthdate: 2nd March
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Died: December 2, 1986

Desi Arnaz was born wealthy but lost everything in the 1933 Cuban Revolution. He paired up with his first wife, Lucille Ball, in I Love Lucy, thus inventing the modern sitcom/syndicated show format, with live audiences. He owned a production company and was the bandleader of the Desi Arnaz Orchestra.

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 4 
Zsa Zsa Gabor
(Actress & Socialite)
Zsa Zsa Gabor
24
Birthdate: 6th February
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: December 18, 2016
Zsa Zsa Gabor was a stage actor and also became Miss Hungary before she moved to the U.S. Fans loved her in Moulin Rouge and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3. She was known for her flamboyant lifestyle and her nine marriages, including one to hotelier Conrad Hilton. 
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 5 
Ella Fitzgerald
(Jazz Singer Who was Noted for Her Purity of Tone and Impeccable Diction)
Ella Fitzgerald
34
Listed In: Jazz Singers
Birthdate: 25th April
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Newport News, Virginia, United States
Died: June 15, 1996

Ella Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer. Referred to as the Queen of Jazz, First Lady of Song, and Lady Ella, Fitzgerald was renowned for her impeccable diction, purity of tone, timing, and intonation. The winner of Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts, Fitzgerald's legacy lives on several years after her death.

 6 
Robert Mitchum
(One of the Greatest Male Stars of Classic American Cinema)
Robert Mitchum
24
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 6th August
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
Died: July 1, 1997
Robert Mitchum is best known for his film noirs, such as Undercurrent, and for defining the antihero in movies of the 1950s and 1960s. Fans loved him in The Story of G.I. and Joe and as U.S. Navy Captain Victor Henry in The Winds of War and its sequel.
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 7 
Ernest Borgnine
(Actor Best Known for His Gruff Voice and Gap-Toothed Cheshire Cat Grin)
Ernest Borgnine
14
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 24th January
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hamden, Connecticut, United States
Died: July 8, 2012

Ernest Borgnine was an American actor well-known for his Cheshire cat grin and gruff but calm voice. An Academy Award winner, Borgnine's film career spanned over 60 years. Also known for his work on television, Ernest Borgnine voiced Mermaid Man, an important character in the popular series SpongeBob SquarePants. Ernest Borgnine's hometown Hamden, Connecticut named a street in his honor.

 8 
Jack Kirby
(Co-Creator of The Superhero 'Captain America' in 1940 with Joe Simon)
Jack Kirby
9
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 28th August
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 6, 1994
Jacob Kurtzberg, or Jack Kirby, initially published comics under various other pseudonyms, such as "Jack Curtiss" and "Curt Davis." He worked with Marvel, where he co-created characters such as The Fantastic Four and the X-Men, along with Stan Lee. He then joined DC, where he created the Fourth World Saga
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 9 
Ferdinand Marcos
(Former President of the Philippines)
Ferdinand Marcos
111
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 11th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, Philippine Islands
Died: September 28, 1989

Ferdinand Marcos served as the tenth president of the Philippines. Marcos' rule was marked by brutality, extravagance, and corruption, making him the most controversial leader of his generation. Deemed a kleptocrat, Marcos' dictatorship caused an economic collapse during which the country suffered greatly. He was removed from power in 1986 after a series of protests called the People Power Revolution.

 10 
Raymond Burr
(Actor)
Raymond Burr
11
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 21st May
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Westminster, Canada
Died: September 12, 1993
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 11 
Joan Fontaine
(One of the Leading Actresses of the Hollywood During the 'Golden Age')
Joan Fontaine
7
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 22nd October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Died: December 15, 2013

Joan Fontaine was a prominent Hollywood actress during the Golden Age. In a career that spanned more than 50 years, she won an Academy Award, becoming the only actor to win the award for a Hitchcock film - Suspicion. Apart from working as an actress, Joan Fontaine was also a licensed pilot, Cordon Bleu-level chef, and well-known interior decorator.

 12 
Lena Horne
(Actress and Dancer Known for Her One-Woman Show 'Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music')
Lena Horne
6
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 30th June
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, United States
Died: May 9, 2010

Lena Horne was an American singer, actress, dancer, and civil rights activist. Horne's 70-year acting career was embellished with several prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards. Her life and career were depicted in many stage shows, where she was portrayed by actresses like Leslie Uggams, Nikki Crawford, and Ryan Jillian.

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 13 
Allen Ludden
(Game Show Host)
Allen Ludden
27
Listed In: Game Show Hosts
Birthdate: 5th October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Died: June 9, 1981

TV personality, actor, emcee, and game show host Allen Ludden is best remembered for hosting various incarnations of the game show, Password, for almost two decades. He also hosted other game shows and wrote a series of books for young readers. A much-beloved personality, he was the recipient of the 1961 Horatio Alger Award.

 14 
Jane Wyman
(Actress)
Jane Wyman
12
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 5th January
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: St. Joseph
Died: September 10, 2007

Jane Wyman was an American actress, dancer, and singer. In an illustrious acting career spanning over 70 years, Wyman received three Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award for Best Actress. One of the leading ladies of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s, Jane Wyman is also credited with popularizing two-piece bathing suit, a predecessor to the bikini.

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 15 
Indira Gandhi
(3rd Prime Minister of India)
Indira Gandhi
77
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 19th November
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: October 31, 1984

The third Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi served as PM from 1966 till 1977 and then again from 1980 till her assassination in October 1984. She is considered one of India’s strongest PM and is hailed for leading India to victory over Pakistan in 1971, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. However, she is also categorised as authoritarian and is criticised for imposing Emergency in 1975.

 16 
Dizzy Gillespie
(One of the Greatest Jazz Trumpeters of All Time)
Dizzy Gillespie
7
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: 21st October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cheraw, South Carolina, United States
Died: January 6, 1993

Jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and singer Dizzy Gillespie developed the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge, modifying it with innovative harmony and rhythm. He popularized the bebop style of music and was famous for his signature horn-rimmed spectacles. His contribution to modern jazz earned him the title of the Ambassador of Jazz.

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 17 
Gene Rayburn
(American Popular Television and Radio Personality Known for Hosting Numerous Editions of 'Match Game' Shows)
Gene Rayburn
3
Listed In: Game Show Hosts
Birthdate: 22nd December
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Christopher, Illinois, United States
Died: November 29, 1999

TV and radio host Gene Rayburn gained fame as the host of Match Game for more than 20 years. He also played the lead in the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie and received the ATAS Lifetime Achievement Award. A prominent liberal, he supported Planned Parenthood and was concerned about overpopulation.

 18 
Susan Hayward
(American Film Actress, Best Known for her Film Portrayals of Women that were Based on True Stories)
Susan Hayward
16
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 30th June
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: March 14, 1975

Susan Hayward was an American model and actress best known for playing characters based on true stories. During her illustrious acting career, which spanned 35 years, Susan Hayward won several prestigious awards, such as Academy Award and Golden Globe Award. She was also one of the most bankable Hollywood actresses throughout the 1950s.

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 19 
Phyllis Diller
(Comedian, Actress)
Phyllis Diller
8
Birthdate: 17th July
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lima, Ohio, United States
Died: August 20, 2012
 20 
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke
(Science-Fiction Writer Known for His Novels: ‘Childhood's End’, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and ‘Rendezvous with Rama’)
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke
8
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 16th December
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Minehead, Somerset, England
Died: March 19, 2008
Sir Arthur C. Clarke is best known for his short story The Sentinel, which became the basis of the screenplay of Stanley Kubrick’s science-fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clarke spent the final years of his life in Sri Lanka and hosted shows such as Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World.
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 21 
Buddy Rich
(Musician)
Buddy Rich
4
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: 30th September
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died: April 2, 1987
 22 
Thelonious Monk
(Jazz Pianist & Composer)
Thelonious Monk
11
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: 10th October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rocky Mount, North Carolina, United States
Died: February 17, 1982

Thelonious Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer who was noted for his unorthodox approach and idiosyncrasy during his performance. Mentored by Mary Lou Williams, Thelonious Monk contributed to bebop and was associated with Columbia and Riverside labels. His run-in with the police affected his performance after his New York City Cabaret Card was confiscated following the discovery of narcotics in a car.

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 23 
Mel Ferrer
(Actor & Director Known for His Films: 'Scaramouche', 'Lili' and 'Knights of the Round Table')
Mel Ferrer
11
Birthdate: 25th August
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Long Branch, New Jersey, United States
Died: June 2, 2008

Mel Ferrer is best known for his role in War and Peace, in which he co-starred with his fourth wife, Audrey Hepburn. He had also delivered hits such as Scaramouche and Knights of the Round Table. He also produced and played the titular role in the biopic El Greco.

 24 
Henry Ford II
(Business Person)
Henry Ford II
10
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 4th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: September 29, 1987
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 25 
June Allyson
(Actress)
June Allyson
5
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 7th October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, USA
Died: July 8, 2006
 26 
I. M. Pei
(Architect)
I. M. Pei
21
Birthdate: 26th April
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Guangzhou, China
Died: May 16, 2019

I. M. Pei was a Chinese-American architect who drew inspiration from the garden villas at Suzhou when he was young. He is credited with founding I. M. Pei & Associates, an independent design firm, in 1955. Today, the award-winning firm is known by the name, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Pei is known for designing structures like the Mesa Laboratory.

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 27 
Richard Boone
(Actor)
Richard Boone
4
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 18th June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: January 10, 1981
 28 
Isabel Sanford
7
Birthdate: 29th August
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: July 9, 2004
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 29 
Ossie Davis
(Former actor who appeared in films with wife Ruby Dee)
Ossie Davis
9
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 18th December
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cogdell, Georgia, United States
Died: February 4, 2005
 30 
David Tomlinson
(Actor)
David Tomlinson
5
Birthdate: 7th May
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Died: June 24, 2000
 31 
Katharine Graham
(American Newspaper Publisher and Heiress Who Led 'The Washington Post' (1963 - 1991))
Katharine Graham
5
Birthdate: 16th June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: July 17, 2001

The daughter of American publisher and financier Eugene Meyer, Katharine Graham later carried forward her family’s newspaper, The Washington Post. While the newspaper was initially handed over to her husband, Philip Graham, by her father, she took over as the owner, following Philip’s suicide. She later penned a Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir.

 32 
John Lee Hooker
(Guitarist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Composer)
John Lee Hooker
5
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: 22nd August
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Coahoma County
Died: June 21, 2001
 33 
Dabbs Greer
6
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 2nd April
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fairview, Missouri, United States
Died: April 28, 2007
 34 
Jack Soo
(Actor)
Jack Soo
1
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 28th October
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oakland, California, USA
Died: January 11, 1979
 35 
June Foray
(Former Voice actress who Provided the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel in the animated series Rocky and Bullwinkle from 1959 to 1964)
June Foray
7
Birthdate: 18th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 25, 2017
 36 
Vera Lynn
(Legendary English Singer Known for Her Performances for the Troops During World War II)
Vera Lynn
10
Listed In: Pop Singers
Birthdate: 20th March
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: East Ham, Essex, England
Died: June 18, 2020

Iconic English singer Vera Lynn was a favorite of the masses during World War II and earned the nickname the Forces' Sweetheart, owing to her outdoor concerts for the army. Initially part of a singing troupe, she later became quite a sensation on both radio and TV.

 37 
Pedro Infante
(Actor, Singer, Film actor, Carpenter)
Pedro Infante
6
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 18th November
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mazatlán
Died: April 15, 1957

Once a matinee idol in Mexico, Pedro Infante is remembered for his blockbuster hits such as Nosotros los pobres and Los tres García. He loved flying planes, using the pseudonym Captain Cruz and eventually died in a plane crash. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Bear for his performance in Tizoc.

 38 
Red Auerbach
(Basketball coach)
Red Auerbach
12
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: 20th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: October 28, 2006
 39 
Byron White
(American Football Player and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1962 - 1993))
Byron White
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: 8th June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
Died: April 15, 2002

Byron White was an American lawyer and football player. He served as an associate justice of the US Supreme Court from 1962 to 1993. Before beginning his legal career, White was part of the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National Football League. He also played a crucial role during World War II, serving as an intelligence officer in the US Navy.

 40 
Andrew Wyeth
(American Visual Artist)
Andrew Wyeth
2
Birthdate: 12th July
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania,, United States
Died: January 16, 2009

Andrew Wyeth was a visual artist and one of the best-known American artists of the mid-20th century. Primarily a realist painter, Wyeth worked predominantly in a regionalist style. Andrew Wyeth was the recipient of several prestigious awards, such as the National Medal of Arts and the Congressional Gold Medal.

 41 
Edith Bouvier Beale
(Former Model and socialite best known for her participation in the 1975 documentary film Grey Gardens by Albert and David Maysles)
Edith Bouvier Beale
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 7th November
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: January 14, 2002
 42 
Sidney Sheldon
(Writer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Playwright, Film director, Actor, Television producer, Author)
Sidney Sheldon
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 11th February
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: January 30, 2007
 43 
Celeste Holm
(Actress)
Celeste Holm
6
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 29th April
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: July 15, 2012
 44 
Valerie Hobson
(Actress)
Valerie Hobson
4
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 14th April
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Larne, County Antrim, Ireland
Died: November 13, 1998
 45 
Kenneth Erwin Hagin
21
Listed In: Preachers
Birthdate: 20th August
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: McKinney, Texas, United States
Died: September 19, 2003

Christian preacher Kenneth Erwin Hagin is widely remembered as the father of the modern faith movement. He had an almost-70-year stint with the Christian ministry. The founder of The Word of Faith movement, he popularized it through magazines, CDs, and books of the Faith Library Publications.

 46 
Herbert Lom
(Czech Actor Renowned For His Versatility)
Herbert Lom
4
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 11th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: September 27, 2012

Herbert Lom was a Czech actor best remembered for his versatility as he portrayed suave villains during his younger days and then moved on to playing professional men as he aged. He also proved his comedy skills in The Pink Panther franchise. Lom worked well into his 80s before retiring in 2002. He died 10 years later in his sleep.

 47 
George Gaynes
(Actor and Singer Known for His Roles in the TV Series ‘Police Academy’ and the Comedy Film ‘Tootsie’)
George Gaynes
5
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 16th May
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland
Died: February 15, 2016

Finnish-born American singer, actor, voice artist and Second World War veteran George Gaynes served the Royal Netherlands Navy during the war. He later immigrated to the US and became a US citizen before commencing his career in acting on Broadway. He is most noted for his performances in the Police Academy series and in the satirical romantic comedy film Tootsie.

 48 
John Connally
(Politician)
John Connally
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 27th February
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Floresville, Texas, United States
Died: June 15, 1993
 49 
Gwendolyn Brooks
7
Listed In: Poets
Birthdate: 7th June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Topeka, Kansas
Died: December 3, 2000
 50 
Leo Gorcey
(Actor)
Leo Gorcey
6
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 3rd June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 2, 1969