Cloris Leachman was born in Iowa, on April 30, 1926. She grew up in Des Moines and lived there until she attended Illinois State to study drama, and then graduated from Northwestern University. She started her film career soon after, but not before winning Miss America in 1946. She is best known for her hilarious role as Phyllis Lindstrom on “The Mary Tyler Moore” show.
Leachman also appeared in the Mel Brooks film “Young Frankenstein” and continued to work with Brooks for many years. She set a record winning eight primetime Emmy Awards. Just a few days before 2022, she kicked the bucket. Her last role was performed in the 2020 movie “Jump, Darling”.
Chuck Yeager (born 1923)
Born in Myra, West Virginia, he was the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound. He served the military as a Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force. In WWII, Yeager shot down over a dozen German planes. He was shot down and injured in German-occupied France, but was lucky to be rescued by French resistance forces and then made his way back to his base in England.
In 1983, Sam Shepard played the role of Yeager, bringing to life his outstanding military career. In the opening scene, the fighter pilot breaks the sound barrier, starting "The Right Stuff" off with a bang. The beloved actor died in 2020, but he is still cherished and remembered by many.
Ali MacGraw (born 1939)
Ali MacGraw rose to stardom in the late sixties, hitting international fame in 1970 when she starred in "Love Story". Her first major award, though, was in 1969, when she won the Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer for her role in the film "Goodbye, Columbus".
Born in New York, MacGraw became a fashion model first, posing for Vogue and working as a stylist for the magazine. She also assisted fashion virtuoso and editor-in-chief, Diana Vreeland, at Harper’s Bazaar. MacGraw is also known for being married to pop culture icon Steve McQueen, although they divorced in 1978.
Dick Van Dyke (born 1925)
With a career that has spanned over 70 years, Dick Van Dyke is still hard at work. One of his most intriguing projects was a rap album for kids he produced with the drummer from Red Hot Chili Peppers! Born in Missouri during the Great Depression, he never knew his family was poor because everyone else was poor too.
He started his showbiz career on radio and Broadway and became a household name after starring in the acclaimed CBS sitcom, "The Dick Van Dyke Show". Apart from "Mary Poppins", Van Dyke has acted in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "Bye Bye Birdie", and many others. He's won five Emmys, a Tony and a Grammy, plus the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jackie Mason (born 1931)
Born Yacov Moshe Maza to an Orthodox Jewish family and a long string of rabbis, Mason grew up and became ordained too. But it didn’t last. He left the synagogue to become a comedian because, as he said, “Someone in the family had to make a living.” Mason likes to joke about politics and other controversial topics.
Mason is also an actor and appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and in "The Jerk" with Steve Martin. His own production, a one-man show called "The World According to Me", was an enormous hit and won several awards. The beloved comedian died in 2021.