The Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning British monarch in history. The first child of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother , she ascended to the throne in 1952. Despite the media criticism of the royal family, she continued to be a popular figure in the UK.
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.
Angela Lansbury played a key role in shaping the Golden Age of Hollywood. Recognized as one of the few stars still alive from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema, Angela Lansbury has received accolades, such as an Honorary Oscar. In 2014, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
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.
Harry Morgan was an American actor who appeared in over 100 films in a career that spanned six decades. Apart from contributing to the success of several films, Morgan also appeared in many TV series; for his performance in the series M*A*S*H, Morgan received an Emmy. In 2006, he was made an inductee of the Hall of Great Western Performers.
Rosalynn Carter, served as the U.S. First Lady from 1977 to 1981, as the wife of former U.S. president Jimmy Carter. She promoted human rights, peace, and mental health awareness. She was also an envoy to Latin America and launched Every Child By Two, a childhood immunization awareness program.
Jimmy Doolittle was an American aviation pioneer and military general. Apart from winning many flying races, Doolittle also helped develop instrument flying. He was the brains behind the Doolittle Raid, the air raid that served as retribution for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. His work during the raid earned him the prestigious Medal of Honor.
Michael I, the last King of Romania, ruled the country twice, of which the first-tenure was as a minor. During his second tenure, he removed Ion Antonescu’s government that aligned Romania with Nazi Germany. He declared alliance with Allies but was eventually forced to abdicate by Petru Groza’s government on December 30, 1947, as Romania officially became a People's Republic.
Australian-British author and Shakespearean actor Pamela Lyndon Travers, known by her pseudonym, P. L. Travers, soared to fame with her Mary Poppins series of children's books. Disney later bought the rights to her Mary Poppins series and released a film version. It was later made into a Broadway play, too.
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.
Although best remembered as the cheerful and friendly host of Let's Make a Deal, Molly Hall was also the co-creator and producer of this popular show. Born in Canada, he eventually moved to the USA, where he began producing and hosting number of television and radio shows, eventually being associated with a synonymous brain teaser called the Monty Hall Problem.
Martha Graham was a modern dancer and choreographer who revolutionized American dance. She developed what later became known as the Graham technique, a modern dance movement style and pedagogy. She had an extensive career spanning over 70 years. The Martha Graham School, founded in 1926, is the oldest school of dance in USA.
While his asthma attacks in childhood made him addicted to radio, it also made Alan Young host his own radio show by 17. He soared to fame with his Emmy-winning radio/TV comedy show The Alan Young Show. The Disney star later became popular as the voice of Scrooge McDuck.
Chinese politician, Jiang Zemin, served as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party from 1989 to 2002. Qualified as an engineer, he joined the Chinese Communist Party when he was in college. Rising through the ranks, he eventually became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Minister of Electronic Industries.
Momofuku Ando was a Taiwanese-Japanese businessman and inventor. He is credited with founding the popular Japanese food company, Nissin Food Products Co., Ltd. Credited with creating brands like Cup Noodles and Top Ramen, Momofuku Ando is widely regarded as the inventor of instant noodles. During his lifetime, Ando was honored with medals, such as the Order of the Rising Sun.
Irene Papas is a popular Greek actress and singer who has played powerful women in films and stage plays in an illustrious career spanning over five decades. Widely regarded as the quintessential Greek beauty, Papas has won many awards, including the Golden Arrow Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival.
Franco Zeffirelli went from being a budding architect to a director after watching Laurence Olivier’s Henry V. Starting as a costume/set designer, he gradually deviated to making Shakespearean adaptations, earning an Academy Award nomination with Romeo and Juliet. The openly gay filmmaker was later accused of sexual assaulting two actors.
C. Everett Koop was a pediatric surgeon and public health administrator who served as the 13th Surgeon General of the United States under President Ronald Reagan. Previously, he had been a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He was well-known for his support of the rights of children with disabilities and his work with AIDS patients.
Helmut Schmidt, who had once been the chancellor of Germany, was also an avid art connoisseur and a talented pianist. The SPD member had also been associated with the DIE ZEIT magazine and is remembered for his efficient management of the Hamburg storm flood as the police senator of Hamburg.
Dancer, choreographer, and social activist Katherine Dunham was also a qualified anthropologist. She experimented with various ritual dances, and her innovations included a ballet performance based on Caribbean dance. She also pioneered the Dunham Technique of dance pedagogy and used the pen-name Kaye Dunn to write several works.
Will Durant was an American writer, philosopher, and historian. He is credited with writing The Story of Philosophy which helped popularize philosophy in the USA. Will is also remembered for co-writing an 11-volume set of books titled The Story of Civilization along with his wife Ariel. Will and Ariel were awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Alfred Eisenstaedt was a German-born American photojournalist and photographer who achieved popularity as a photographer for Life magazine. Remembered for capturing memorable images, Eisenstaedt is credited with capturing the V-J Day in Times Square, which became one of his most popular cover photographs. In 1989, he was honored with the prestigious National Medal of Arts.
Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Studs Terkel is remembered for his contribution to American history and for his book The Good War. Initially aspiring to be a lawyer, he later became a radio actor. He also interviewed people for his show Studs’s Place and published bestselling oral histories such as Division Street.
Spanish cellist Pablo Casals got his first lessons in instruments such as the violin and the piano from his organist father. Known for his unique technique of using flexible left-hand positions, he later formed a celebrated trio with pianist Alfred Cortot and violinist Jacques Thibaud. He won a posthumous Grammy.
Denton Cooley was a heart and cardiothoracic surgeon. He is best known for performing the first implantation of a total artificial heart. He did his surgical training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and later worked at Baylor College of Medicine. He founded The Texas Heart Institute and was a consultant at Texas Children's Hospital.
American theoretical-physicist John Archibald Wheeler, who worked as professor of physics at Princeton University for most of his career, is best-known for co-developing the concept of Breit–Wheeler process, popularising the term black hole, and helping in designing and building the hydrogen bomb. He also invented several terms like quantum foam and wormhole, and hypothesized the one-electron universe.
Erwin Chargaff was a biochemist and writer who worked at the Columbia University medical school as a professor of biochemistry. He is credited with discovering the Chargaff's rules, which played an important role in the discovery of the DNA's double helix structure. Also a prolific writer, Erwin Chargaff authored several books, including an autobiography.