17 August

1786

 Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett (August 17, 1786 – March 6, 1836) was a 19th-century American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier, and politician. He is commonly referred to in popular culture by the epithet “King of the Wild Frontier”. He represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives and served in the Texas Revolution. Born David Crockett in Limestone, Greene County. (d. 1836)

1879

 Samuel Goldwyn
Samuel Goldwyn (August 17, 1879 – January 31, 1974) was a Jewish Polish American film producer. He was most well known for being the founding contributor and executive of several motion picture studios in Hollywood. His awards include the 1973 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1947, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1958. Born Szmuel Gelbfisz in Warsaw, Kingdom of Poland, Russian Empire. (d. 1974)

1887

 Marcus Garvey
Marcus Garvey, Jr., ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940), was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). Born Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr in Saint Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. (d. 1940)

1888

 Monty Woolley
Monty Woolley (August 17, 1888 – May 6, 1963) was an American stage, film, radio, and television actor. At the age of 50, he achieved a measure of stardom for his best-known role in the stage play and 1942 film The Man Who Came to Dinner. Born Edgar Montillion Woolley in Manhattan, New York City. (d. 1963)

1893

 Mae West
Mae West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades. Known for her bawdy double entendres, West made a name for herself in vaudeville and on the stage in New York City before moving to Hollywood to become a comedienne, actress, and writer in the motion picture industry. For her contributions to American cinema, the American Film Institute named West 15th among the greatest female stars of classic American cinema. Born Mary Jane West in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. (d. 1980)

1918

 Evelyn Ankers
Evelyn Ankers (17 August 1918 – 29 August 1985) was a British actress born in Chile. She often played variations on the role of the cultured young leading lady in many American horror films during the 1940s, most notably The Wolf Man (1941). Known as “the Queen of the Screamers”, her other films include The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), Captive Wild Woman (1943), and Son of Dracula (1943). Born in Valparaíso, Chile. (d. 1985)

1920

 Maureen O’Hara
Maureen O’Hara (17 August 1920 – 24 October 2015) was an Irish-American actress and singer. The famously red-headed O’Hara was known for playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines, and often worked with director John Ford and longtime friend John Wayne. She was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, County Dublin, Ireland. (d. 2015)

1926

 George Melly
George Melly (17 August 1926 – 5 July 2007) was an English jazz and blues singer, critic, writer and lecturer. From 1965 to 1973 he was a film and television critic for The Observer and lectured on art history. Born Alan George Heywood Melly in Liverpool, England. (d. 2007)
 Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin (born 17 August 1926) is a retired Chinese politician who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2004, and as President of the People’s Republic of China from 1993 to 2003. Born in Yangzhou, Jiangsu.

1929

 Francis Gary Powers
Francis Gary Powers (August 17, 1929 – August 1, 1977) – often referred to as simply Gary Powers – was an American pilot whose Central Intelligence Agency U-2 spy plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over Soviet Union airspace, causing the 1960 U-2 incident. Born in Jenkins, Kentucky. (d. 1977)

1930

 Glenn Corbett
Glenn Corbett (August 17, 1933 – January 16, 1993) was an American actor, best known for his roles as the original Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of warp drive, on the original Star Trek series and co-starring as Lincoln Case on the CBS adventure drama Route 66. Born Glenn Edwin Rothenburg in El Monte, California. (d. 1993)
 Ted Hughes
Ted Hughes, OM (17 August 1930 – 28 October 1998) was an English poet and children’s writer. Critics routinely rank him as one of the best poets of his generation, and one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers. He served as Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death. Hughes was married to American poet Sylvia Plath from 1956 until her suicide in 1963. Born Edward James Hughes in Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire, England. (d. 1998)

1932

 V. S Naipaul
Sir V S Naipaul, TC (born 17 August 1932), is a Trinidadian Nobel Prize-winning British writer known for his comic early novels set in Trinidad and Tobago, his bleaker later novels of the wider world, and his autobiographical chronicles of life and travels. He has published more than 30 books, both of fiction and nonfiction, over some 50 years. Born Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago.

1939

 Anthony Valentine
Anthony Valentine (17 August 1939 – 2 December 2015) was an English actor known for his television roles: the ruthless Toby Meres in Callan, the sinister Major Mohn in Colditz, and the title character in Raffles. Born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. (d. 2015)

1943

 Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro (born August 17, 1943) is an American actor and producer who has starred in over 90 films. In 1974, after being turned down for the role of Sonny Corleone in the crime film The Godfather (1972), he was cast as the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He later earned an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in the 1980 film Raging Bull. He also earned nominations for the psychological thrillers Taxi Driver (1976) and Cape Fear (1991). De Niro received additional Academy Award nominations for Michael Cimino’s Vietnam war drama The Deer Hunter (1978), Penny Marshall’s drama Awakenings (1990), and David O. Russell’s romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook (2012). Born in Manhattan, New York.
 John Humphrys
John Humphrys (born 17 August 1943) is an award-winning Welsh broadcaster. From 1981 to 1987 he was the main presenter for the Nine O’Clock News, the flagship BBC news television programme, and since 1987 he has been a presenter on the award-winning BBC Radio 4 programme, Today. Since 2003 he has been the host of the BBC Two television quiz show Mastermind. Born Desmond John Humphrys in Splott, Cardiff, Wales.

1944

 Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison (born August 17, 1944) is an American internet entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist. He serves as executive chairman and chief technology officer of Oracle Corporation, having previously been chief executive from its founding until September 2014. In 2014, he was listed by Forbes as the third-wealthiest man in America and as the fifth-wealthiest person in the world. Born Lawrence Joseph Ellison in Manhattan, New York.

1949

 Julian Fellowes
Julian Alexander Kitchener-Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford, DL (born 17 August 1949) is an English actor, novelist, film director and screenwriter, and a Conservative member of the House of Lords. Fellowes is primarily known as the author of several Sunday Times best-seller novels; for the screenplay for the film Gosford Park, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2002; and as the creator, writer and executive producer of the multiple award-winning British television series Downton Abbey (2010-2015). Born Julian Alexander Fellowes in Cairo, Egypt.

1951

 Alan Minter
Alan Minter (born 17 August 1951) is an English former professional boxer and a former Undisputed World Middleweight Champion. He won the bronze medal at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

1952

 Nelson Piquet
Nelson Piquet (born August 17, 1952) is a Brazilian former racing driver and businessman. He won the world championship three times. Born Nelson Piquet Souto Maior in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1953

 Kevin Rowland
Kevin Rowland (born 17 August 1953) is an English singer-songwriter and frontman for the pop band Dexys Midnight Runners (currently called Dexys), which had several hits in the early 1980s, the most notable being “Geno” and “Come On Eileen”. Born Kevin Antony Rowland in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton.

1957

 Robin Cousins
Robin Cousins (born 17 August 1957) is a British former competitive figure skater. He is the 1980 Olympic champion, the 1980 European champion, a three-time (1978, 1979 & 1980) World medalist and four-time (1977, 1978, 1979 & 1980) British national champion. Born in Bristol, England.

1958

 Belinda Carlisle
Belinda Carlisle (born August 17, 1958) is an American singer who gained worldwide fame as the lead vocalist of The Go-Go’s. She later went on to have a successful solo career with hits such as “Circle in the Sand”, “Leave a Light On” and “Heaven Is a Place on Earth”. Born Belinda Jo Carlisle in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
 Fred Goodwin
Fred Goodwin, FRSE FCIBS (born 17 August 1958) is a Scottish chartered accountant and former banker who was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) between 2001 and 2009. Born Frederick Anderson Goodwin in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
 Kirk Stevens
Kirk Stevens (born August 17, 1958) is a Canadian former professional snooker player.

1959

 Jonathan Franzen
Jonathan Franzen (born August 17, 1959) is an American novelist and essayist. His 2001 novel, The Corrections, a sprawling, satirical family drama, drew widespread critical acclaim, earned Franzen a National Book Award, was a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist, earned a James Tait Black Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Born Jonathan Earl Franzen in Western Springs, Illinois.
 David Koresh
David Koresh (born August 17, 1959 – April 19, 1993) was the American leader of the Branch Davidians religious sect, believing himself to be its final prophet. Born Vernon Wayne Howell in Houston, Texas. (d. 1993)

1960

 Sean Penn
Sean Penn (born August 17, 1960) is an American actor, film director and political activist. He has won two Academy Awards, for his roles in the mystery drama Mystic River (2003) and the biopic Milk (2008). Born Sean Justin Penn in Los Angeles County, California.

1964

 Maria McKee
Maria McKee (born August 17, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter. She is best known for her work with Lone Justice and her 1990 UK solo chart-topping hit, “Show Me Heaven”. Born Maria Luisa McKee in Los Angeles, California.

1968

 Helen McCrory
Helen McCrory (born 17 August 1968) is a British actress. She portrayed Cherie Blair in both The Queen (2006) and The Special Relationship (2010). She also portrayed Narcissa Malfoy in the final three Harry Potter films. Born Helen Elizabeth McCrory in London, England.

1969

 Donnie Wahlberg
Donnie Wahlberg (born August 17, 1969) is an American singer, actor, and film producer. He is a founding member of the boy band New Kids on the Block. Outside of music, he has had featured roles in the Saw films. Born Donald Edmond Wahlberg Jr in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

1977

 Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry (born 17 August 1977) is a retired French professional footballer who played as a forward. He played for Monaco, Juventus, Barcelona, New York Red Bulls and spent eight years at Arsenal where he is the club’s all-time record goalscorer. At international level he represented France and is his country’s record goalscorer. Born Thierry Daniel Henry in Les Ulis, Essonne, France.

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