31 May


1819

 Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. Whitman’s work breaks the boundaries of poetic form and is generally prose-like. He is often labeled as the father of free verse. Born Walter Whitman in West Hills, Huntington, Long Island, New York. (d. 1892)

1860

 Walter Sickert
Walter Sickert (31 May 1860 – 22 January 1942), was a painter and printmaker who was a member of the Camden Town Group in London. He was an important influence on distinctively British styles of avant-garde art in the 20th century. Born Walter Richard Sickert in Munich, Germany. (d. 1942)

1872

 W. Heath Robinson
William Heath Robinson (31 May 1872 – 13 September 1944) was an English cartoonist and illustrator best known for drawings of ridiculously complicated machines for achieving simple objectives. In the U.K., the term “Heath Robinson” entered the language as a description of any unnecessarily complex and implausible contrivance. Born in Stroud Green, Finsbury Park, north London. (d. 1944)

1894

 Fred Allen
Fred Allen (born May 31, 1894 – March 17, 1956) was an American comedian whose absurdist, topically pointed radio show (1932–1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the Golden Age of American radio. Born John Florence Sullivan in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (d. 1956)

1899

 Madge Blake
Madge Blake (May 31, 1899 – February 19, 1969) was an American character actress best remembered for her role as Aunt Harriet in the first two seasons of ABC’s Batman. Born Madge Cummings in Kinsley, Edwards County
Kansas. (d. 1969)

1905

 Florence Desmond
Florence Desmond (31 May 1905 – 16 January 1993) was an English actress, comedienne and impersonator.
She appeared extensively in radio, theatre and occasionally in the cinema. Born Florence Dawson in London, England. (d. 1993)

1908

 Don Ameche
Don Ameche (May 31, 1908 – December 6, 1993) was an American actor, voice artist, and comedian, with a career spanning almost 60 years. He appeared in such films as Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938), as the title character in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939). Born Dominic Felix Amici in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (d. 1993)

1921

 Edna Doré
Edna Doré (born 31 May 1921 – 11 April 2014) was a British actress. Doré was known for her bit-part roles in situation comedies and for playing the character of Mo Butcher in the EastEnders (1988–90). Born Edna Lillian Gorring in Bromley, Kent, England. (d. 2014)

1922

 Denholm Elliott
Denholm Elliott, CBE (31 May 1922 – 6 October 1992) was an English film, television and theatre actor with more than 120 film and television credits. In the 1980s, he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in three consecutive years, the only actor ever to have achieved this. He is perhaps best known for portraying Dr Marcus Brody in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Born Denholm Mitchell Elliott in Ealing, Middlesex, England. (d. 1992)

1923

 Rainier III
Rainier III (31 May 1923 – 6 April 2005) ruled the Principality of Monaco for almost 56 years, making him one of the longest ruling monarchs in European history. Internationally known due to his marriage to the American actress Grace Kelly. Born Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi in Monaco. (d. 2005)

1930

 Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood (born May 31, 1930) is an American actor, film director, producer, musician, and politician. He rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy of spaghetti Westerns during the 1960s, and as antihero cop Harry Callahan in the five Dirty Harry films throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These roles, among others, have made him an enduring cultural icon. For his work in the Western film Unforgiven (1992) and the sports drama Million Dollar Baby (2004), Eastwood won Academy Awards for Best Director and Producer of the Best Picture, as well as receiving nominations for Best Actor. Born Clinton Eastwood, Jr. in San Francisco, California.

1934

 Jim Hutton
Jim Hutton (May 31, 1934 – June 2, 1979) was an American actor in film and television best remembered for his role as Ellery Queen in the 1970s TV series of the same name and his screen partnership with Paula Prentiss in 5 films. Born Dana James Hutton in Binghamton, New York. (d. 1979)

1938

 John Prescott
John Prescott, Baron Prescott (born 31 May 1938) is a British politician who was the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. He represented Hull East as the Labour Member of Parliament from 1970 to 2010. In the 1994 leadership election, he stood for both Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, winning election to the latter office. He was appointed Deputy Prime Minister after Labour’s victory in the 1997 election. Born John Leslie Prescott in Prestatyn, Wales.
 June Ritchie
June Ritchie (born 31 May 1938) is a British actress. She is known for starring in the role of Ingrid Rothwell opposite Alan Bates in the 1962 film adaptation of A Kind of Loving. In 1963. Born in Manchester, Lancashire, England.

1939

 Terry Waite
Terry Waite, CBE (born 31 May 1939) is an English humanitarian and author. Waite was the Assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs for the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, in the 1980s. As an envoy for the Church of England, he travelled to Lebanon to try to secure the release of four hostages, including the journalist John McCarthy. He was himself kidnapped and held captive from 1987 to 1991. Born Terence Hardy Waite in Bollington, Cheshire, England.
 Andrew Ray
Andrew Ray (31 May 1939 – 20 August 2003) was an English actor, the son of the famous radio comic Ted Ray, who was best known as a child star. At the age of 10 he was cast in the title part of The Mudlark starring Alec Guinness and Irene Dunne. The film was chosen as the Royal Command Performance in 1950 and catapulted Ray to child stardom. Born Andrew Olden in North London. (d. 2003)

1943

 Sharon Gless
Sharon Gless (born May 31, 1943) is an American character actress of stage, film and television, who is best known for her role as Sgt. Christine Cagney in the police procedural drama series Cagney & Lacey (1982–1988). Gless has won two Emmy Awards and has received 10 Emmy nominations. Born Sharon Marguerite Gless in Los Angeles, California.
 Joe Namath
Joe Namath (born May 31, 1943), nicknamed “Broadway Joe”, is a former American football quarterback and actor. He played professional football in the AFL and NFL during the 1960s and 1970s. Namath was an American Football League icon and played for New York Jets for most of his professional football career, and finished his career with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985. Born Joseph William Namath in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania,.

1945

 Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder (31 May 1945 – 10 June 1982) was a German film director, screenwriter, and actor. He is one of the most important figures in the New German Cinema. Born in Bad Wörishofen, Bavaria, Germany. (d. 1982)

1947

 Junior Campbell
Junior Campbell (born 31 May 1947) is a Scottish composer, songwriter and musician. He was a founding member, lead guitarist, piano player, and singer with the Scottish band Marmalade. Born William Campbell Jnr in Parkhead, Glasgow, Scotland.
 Diane Langton
Diane Langton (born 31 May 1947) is an English actress and singer. She has appeared in numerous TV shows like Only Fools and Horses, where she played Junie, an old girlfriend of Del Boy’s, in the 1980s. Born in Somerset, England.

1948

 John Bonham
John Bonham (31 May 1948 – 25 September 1980) was an English musician and songwriter, best known as the drummer of Led Zeppelin. Born John Henry Bonham in Redditch, Worcestershire. (d. 1980)
 Lynda Bellingham
Lynda Bellingham, OBE (born 31 May 1948 – 19 October 2014) was a Canadian-born English actress, broadcaster and author, who starred in the long-running series of “Oxo Family” British TV adverts between 1983 and 1999 and the drama series All Creatures Great and Small. Born Meredith Lee Hughes in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (d. 2014)

1965

 Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields (born May 31, 1965) is an American actress, model and former child star. She starred in several dramas in the 1980s, including The Blue Lagoon (1980) and starred in the titular role of the sitcom Suddenly Susan, which ran for four seasons. Born Brooke Christa Shields in New York City, New York.

1967

 Sandrine Bonnaire
Sandrine Bonnaire (born 31 May 1967) is a French actress and film director, who has appeared in more than 40 films. Born in Gannat, France.

1976

 Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell (born 31 May 1976) is an Irish actor. He first appeared on the BBC’s TV drama Ballykissangel. He starred in the psychological thriller Phone Booth (2002) and the American thrillers S.W.A.T. and The Recruit. Born Colin James Farrell in Baldoyle, Dublin, Ireland.

1977

 June Sarpong
June Sarpong, OBE (born 31 May 1977) is an English television presenter of Ghanaian descent. She was one of the female faces of Channel 4’s daytime teen-aimed strand T4. Born in London, England.

1983

 Reggie Yates
Reggie Yates (born 31 May 1983) is a British actor, television presenter and radio DJ, best known from his roles as Rastamouse, Leo Jones in Doctor Who, and for his work at the BBC in radio and television – presenting various shows for BBC Radio 1. Born in Archway, London, England.

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