Loni Anderson played the hilarious Jennifer Marlow on the sitcom ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ from 1978 to 1982. She won three Golden Globes for the role. She was offered the breakout part after the producers saw a poster of her posing in a red swimsuit. She won plenty of beauty contests, but she didn’t start working in showbiz until after college. She was married, divorced, and with a daughter to take care of before she was 21.
Born brunette, Anderson went blonde in 1975, which helped her getting typical bombshell roles in TV shows like ‘Three’s Company’, ‘S.W.A.T.’, and ‘The Bob Newhart Show’. This led straight into the WKRP role which she’s still promoting today.
Jerry Lee Lewis (born 1935)
Legendary singer-songwriter Jerry Lee Lewis pioneered rock and roll and played a mean piano. With tunes like 'Great Balls of Fire', Lewis became a household name worldwide. His career was burning hot, until his third marriage, to his 13-year-old cousin, doused the flames. The marriage lasted 13 years, with one son who drowned at age three.
In 1968, Lewis made a comeback as a country singer. It didn’t help his alcohol-induced health issues. His last album was released in 2014, called 'Rock and Roll Time'. And, in 2010 he released 'Mean Old Man'. He sadly passes away in October 2022.
Beverly Cleary (born 1916)
American author Beverly Cleary created the beloved character, Ramona Quimby. 'Ramona and Beezus' is a film adaptation featuring the character that fills so many of Cleary’s books. The movie adaptation came out in 2010. The author was born in a small Oregon town more than a century ago! As a child, she struggled with reading, but when a librarian directed her toward books she liked, she embarked on a life as a book lover.
Cleary aspired to be, and became, a children’s librarian. She later began to write stories that resonate better with average kids who aren’t perfect and are sometimes mischievous. Her children’s books won many awards, including the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award. She ended up sadly passing away in 2021.
Richard Dean Anderson (born 1950)
In the 1980s MacGyver was the coolest guy on television. A government spy and a genius of all trades, the TV character became a household name. Richard Dean Anderson played the original MacGyver. The TV series of the same name hit the airwaves on ABC in 1985 and ran until 1992.
Anderson began his career on the daytime soap "General Hospital", and starred on the show from 1976 to 1981. In other work, he joined the Stargate franchise and played on three of its films. His charity work has focused on environmental causes like clean water. He’s also been an active supporter of Challengers Boys and Girls Club. He received an award for his help with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Betty White (born 1922)
Betty White has charmed audiences her whole life. Her sweet and innocent demeanor is inevitably sliced by a laser-tongue remark that leaves people in hysterics. With a career spanning over 80 years, White has been recognized by many awards, but she is also part of television history. In the early 1950s, she became one of the first women producers.
The smash-hit "Golden Girls" became the most successful show White has starred in. Known for saying, “Retirement is not in my vocabulary,” she sure lives up to it. In 2010, at 88 years old, she hosted "SNL" and brought in the best ratings of the season as the oldest person ever to host the show. Yet, in December of 2021, she took her last breath. She's the type of person we will never forget.