List of Famous people who died in 1981
Robert Nesta Marley, was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, and musician. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by fusing elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as his distinctive vocal and songwriting style. Marley's contributions to music increased the visibility of Jamaican music worldwide, and made him a global figure in popular culture for over a decade. Over the course of his career Marley became known as a Rastafari icon, and he infused his music with a sense of spirituality. He is also considered a global symbol of Jamaican music and culture and identity, and was controversial in his outspoken support for the legalization of marijuana, while he also advocated for Pan-Africanism.
Natalie Wood was an American actress who began her career in film as a child actor and successfully transitioned to young adult roles. She was the recipient of four Golden Globes, and received three Academy Award nominations.
Savitri Ganesan was an Indian actress, playback singer, dancer, director and producer known for her works primarily in Telugu and Tamil cinema. She had also worked in Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam films. Reputed as the first female superstar of South Indian film history, In a career spanning 3 decades, she starred in more than 250 films. She was the one of the highest-paid and most popular Indian actresses of the 1950's and 60's. She is often referred as "Mahanati" and "Nadigaiyar Thilagam".
Georges Charles Brassens was a French singer-songwriter and poet.
Vera-Ellen was an American dancer and actress. She is remembered for her solo performances as well as her work with partners Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Danny Kaye, and Donald O'Connor. She is best known for her starring roles in On the Town (1949) with Kelly and White Christmas (1954) with Kaye.
Ken Rex McElroy was a resident of Skidmore, Missouri, United States. Known as "the town bully", McElroy's unsolved killing became the focus of international attention. Over the course of his life, McElroy was accused of dozens of felonies, including assault, child molestation, statutory rape, arson, animal cruelty, hog and cattle rustling, and burglary.
Adam John Walsh was an American boy who was abducted from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall in Hollywood, Florida, on July 27, 1981. His severed head was found two weeks later in a drainage canal alongside Highway 60 / Yeehaw Junction in rural Indian River County, Florida. His death garnered national interest and was made into the 1983 television film Adam, seen by 38 million people in its original airing. His father, John Walsh, became an advocate for victims of violent crimes and was the host of the television program America's Most Wanted and currently, In Pursuit with John Walsh. Convicted serial killer Ottis Toole confessed to Adam's murder but was never convicted for this specific crime due to loss of evidence and a recanted confession. Toole died in prison of liver failure on September 15, 1996. No new evidence has come to light since then, and police announced on December 16, 2008, that the Walsh case was closed, as they were satisfied that Toole was the killer.
Carl McCunn was an American wildlife photographer who became stranded in the Alaskan wilderness and eventually committed suicide when he ran out of supplies.
Gloria Grahame Hallward was an American actress and singer. She began her acting career in theatre, and in 1944 made her first film for MGM.
Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer served as the Minister of Armaments and War Production in Nazi Germany during most of World War II. A close ally of Adolf Hitler, he was convicted at the Nuremberg trials and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Terrance Stanley Fox was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated due to cancer, he embarked on an east to west cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$750 million has been raised in his name as of January 2018.
Nargis Dutt was an Indian film actress, who starred in classic films of Bollywood. Regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Hindi cinema, she made her screen debut in a minor role at the age of 5 with Talash-E-Haq (1935), but her acting career actually began with the film Tamanna (1942).
Valeri Borisovich Kharlamov was an ice hockey forward who played for CSKA Moscow in the Soviet League from 1967 until his death in 1981. Although small in stature, Kharlamov was speedy, intelligent and skilled and a dominant player, being named the Soviet Championship League most valuable player in 1972 and 1973. An offensive player, who was considered very creative and intelligent on the ice, he also led the league in scoring in 1972. He was also a gifted skater who was able to make plays at top speed. Kharlamov was considered one of the best players of his era, as well as one of the greatest players of all time.
Robert Moses was an American public official who worked mainly in the New York metropolitan area. Known as the "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City, Long Island, Rockland County, and Westchester County, he is sometimes compared to Baron Haussmann of Second Empire Paris, and was one of the most polarizing figures in the history of urban development in the United States. His decisions favoring highways over public transit helped create the modern suburbs of Long Island and influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners who spread his philosophies across the nation despite his not having been trained in those professions. Moses would call himself a "coordinator" and was referred to in the media as a "master builder".
Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat was an Egyptian politician who served as the third President of Egypt, from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981. Sadat was a senior member of the Free Officers who overthrew King Farouk in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and a close confidant of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, under whom he served as Vice President twice and whom he succeeded as president in 1970. In 1978, Sadat and Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, signed a peace treaty in cooperation with United States President Jimmy Carter, for which they were recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize.
Charlotte "Lotte" Reiniger was a German film director and the foremost pioneer of silhouette animation. Her best known films are The Adventures of Prince Achmed, from 1926—thought to be one of the oldest surviving feature-length animated films—and Papageno (1935). Reiniger is also noted for having devised the first form of a multiplane camera; she made more than 40 films, all using her invention.
Moshe Dayan was an Israeli military leader and politician. As commander of the Jerusalem front in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (1953–1958) during the 1956 Suez Crisis, but mainly as Defense Minister during the Six-Day War in 1967, he became a worldwide fighting symbol of the new state of Israel. In the 1930s, Dayan joined the Haganah, the pre-state Jewish defense force of Mandatory Palestine. He served in the Special Night Squads under Orde Wingate during the Arab revolt in Palestine and later lost an eye in a raid on Vichy forces in Lebanon during World War II. Dayan was close to David Ben-Gurion and joined him in leaving the Mapai party and setting up the Rafi party in 1965 with Shimon Peres. Dayan became Defence Minister just before the 1967 Six-Day War. After the Yom Kippur War of 1973, during which Dayan served as Defense Minister, he was blamed for the lack of preparedness; after some time he resigned. In 1977, following the election of Menachem Begin as Prime Minister, Dayan was expelled from the Labor Party because he joined the Likud-led government as Foreign Minister, playing an important part in negotiating the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
John S. McCain, Jr.
John Sidney "Jack" McCain Jr. was a United States Navy admiral who served in conflicts from the 1940s through the 1970s, including as the Commander, United States Pacific Command.
Werner Teske was an East German Hauptmann (Captain) of the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) who was executed for "planned treason" in June 1981.
Joseph Louis Barrow was an American professional boxer who competed from 1934 to 1951. Nicknamed the Brown Bomber, Louis is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential boxers of all time. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, during which he participated in 27 championship fights. The 27th fight, against Ezzard Charles in 1950, was a challenge for Charles' heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis' reign. He was victorious in 25 consecutive title defenses. In 2005, Louis was ranked as the best heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization, and was ranked number one on The Ring magazine's list of the "100 greatest punchers of all time". Louis had the longest single reign as champion of any heavyweight boxer in history. He has been ranked as the world's best heavyweight by BoxRec 11 times and has been placed within ten best 15 times. Six of his victorious fights were rated 5-Star by BoxRec.