A look at the hippie girls who gave unswerving loyalty and love to their crazed guru, Charles Manson. The group includes Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkel, who followed Manson's orders to commit mass murder, and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who later tried to assassinate President Ford.
The story of Chevie O'Brien Kehoe, who was taught to be a white supremacist by his father and then went on a crime and murder spree.
Is Wayne Williams the monster responsible for killing 29 African Americans between 1979 and 1981? Or did the prosecution in Williams' trial withhold evidence that white supremacists were responsible? This in-depth probe explores the continuing controversy over the infamous Atlanta child murders that shocked the nation. We'll hear from the prosecutors, the defense attorney, a mother of one of the victims, and Williams, who keeps fighting for a new trial after nearly two decades in prison.
The 1980s and '90s were an era of leather and lace, larger-than-life hair, the sexy guitar solo, and men competing with the ladies in the cosmetics department. In conjunction with the release of Adam Shankman's musical film Rock of Ages, explore the group who "Built This City (on Rock 'n' Roll)," felt "Invincible" and were "Wanted Dead or Alive."
Explore our collection of famous Russians for more on some of the nation's most iconic citizens, from Yul Brynner to Vladimir Putin to Anna Kournikova, to legendary leaders Nicholas II, Catherine II, Joseph Stalin and Ivan the Terrible. View full biographies, photos, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
Learn more about the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa, including Deidra "Dee Dee" Roper, Cheryl "Salt" James and Sandra "Pepa" Denton. The trio released several successful albums in the late 1980s and '90s, including A Salt with a Deadly Pepa and Blacks' Magic, which provided such hits as "Let's Talk About Sex," "Shoop" and "Whatta Man."
Saxophonists have been an integral part of the American jazz scene, with the timbres of their chosen instrument often at the center of layered compositions. Coleman Hawkins was the first American jazz saxophonist to become famous during the 1920s-30s. Jimmy Dorsey and Johnny Hodges also had major success with big bands during jazz's heyday as a popular music juggernaut, while Lester Young popularized the West Coast, cool style. Later, soprano and tenor saxophonist John Coltrane created pioneering works that ranged from "sheets of sound" bebop to unbound, rhythmically complex free jazz. And Branford Marsalis has taken his sax to great heights in non-jazz arenas; he's toured with rock artist Sting and served as musical director for The Tonight Show.
Throughout history, the greatest scientific minds have not only demystified the world with their discoveries, but helped shape how we live in it with their ingenious inventions. From Sir Isaac Newton to Charles Darwin to Albert Einstein and many more brilliant minds, here is a group of famous scientists who have made major advances in the field of science.
Thanks to our unending fascination with all things terrifying, Hollywood is constantly churning out horror films for our enjoyment. With no end of gruesome combinations of stalking, murder and mutilation, these films hinge on the terrorizing of innocent victims by a sick, disturbed murderer. In the midst of all the bloodshed, actresses in the role of scream queen provide a dose of eye candy—and a killer set of lungs. Some of these women have made their name in horror flicks, while others have played one frighteningly convincing role. These are the women who have played some of the iconic scream queens of the big screen.
See our group of screen presidents, which includes actors who have played real-life American presidents as well as faux chief executives. Biography.com's Screen President group includes Frank Langella, Morgan Freeman, Josh Brolin, Dana Carvey, Will Ferrell, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, Daniel Day-Lewis and many more.
The American Dream is the notion that, with hard work, any individual can emerge from poor circumstances to a life of wealth and security. Despite the economic ups and downs of modern times, the notion of lifting one's self up is still ingrained in our mindset. Some of our most famous celebrities are, in fact, people who came from nothing. Talent, hard work, and good fortune aligned to make these individuals successful business leaders, actors, athletes and more.
In the early years of motion pictures, actors were recruited from the stage, resulting in larger-than-life performances that seemed jarring when blown up to the size of a movie screen. As the years went on, actors began to understand the subtleties of the medium, and used more natural expressions to connect with their audiences. They became movie stars, known for their glamorous looks and identifiable personalities. As Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard would say, they didn't need dialogue, they had faces.
Having silver hair in Hollywood doesn't just equate to getting along in years and becoming omnipotently wise; rather, when you think of men like Andersoon Cooper, Sean Connery, and Richard Gere, as well as women like Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep—the words sexy, debonair, and sophisticated also come to mind. Oh, and did we mention sexy? Meet some of our favorite Silver Foxes...
Legendary folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel—comprised of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel—performed songs that spoke to the generation of the 1960s and '70s, including "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Sound of Silence" and The Graduate soundtrack hits "Scarborough Fair" and "Mrs. Robinson." Today, the duo is credited as one of the most popular and influential acts of the era.
They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
With the right wig, makeup, accent and mannerisms, these Saturday Night Live comedians have kept us ROFL as they've meticulously impersonated our most memorable U.S. presidents. Check out this politically incorrect bunch here, and while you're at it, explore our SNL Presidents Photo Gallery too.
Despite their fame and fortune, celebrities aren't immune to all the problems that afflict ordinary people. The problems of drug and alcohol addiction plagues many stars, particularly those who enjoy hard-partying lifestyles. Fortunately, many talented individuals have been able to kick their addictions and lead healthy lives. Here are some celebs who have sobered up.
To Americans, it is soccer. Elsewhere, it is called football, calcio or nogomet. Whatever your preference, with estimates of more than 250 million participants across 200-plus countries, it is a game of unmatched global reach and popularity. It's been noted that one doesn't need special size or skills to play, but of course the game's all-time greats displayed dazzling combinations of speed, smarts and athletic ability throughout their careers. Look through our roster of soccer legends, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Maradona, and you'll understand why this sport of many names is also known as "the beautiful game."
Cher met Sonny Bono when she was 16 and he was 27. The two began dating, and Sonny got his girlfriend gigs as a backup singer on songs like the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" and Darlene Love's "A Fine, Fine Boy." The two formed their own musical duo, and in 1965 they released their biggest hit, "I Got You Babe." The couple had their only child, Chaz Bono, in 1969. In 1971 Sonny and Cher launched their own TV show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. The variety show was a success, but the couple's marriage fell apart, ending in a bitter 1975 divorce. When Bono died in a ski accident in 1998, Cher delivered a tearful eulogy.
Most people get to know their co-workers well...and sometimes working together can even lead to romance. Just like in the office, many Hollywood stars find romance at work—or rather, on the set. Some of the most famous couples in Hollywood history met while making a film, including Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Here's a look at the famous actors and actresses whose chemistry set off sparks on the set.
The British all-female pop group the Spice Girls dominated the music charts in the 1990s with their catchy lyrics and fierce attitudes. The group began with five, young aspiring performers, and blew up into a '90s frenzy of platform shoes, choreographed dance numbers, and of course, "Girl Power." Under the personas of "Sporty," "Baby," "Scary," "Ginger" and "Posh," the five superstars sold 65 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling girl group of all time. To this day, their fan base still proves strong, as they reunited in 2007 for a sold out tour, the first since 1999. Explore this collection for full biographies, photos and videos, of the five girls who make up this iconic group.
Armed and ruthless, spree killers become infamous for turning a flash of anger and resentment into a deadly rampage. Columbine killer Dylan Klebold introduced America to the horrors of school shootings when he killed 13 students and teachers in 1999, and in 2007 Seung-Hui Cho made us relive the nightmare when he murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech. In the end killers like these often become their own victims, when they turn their weapons on themselves.
Learn more about the stars of the wildly popular Star Trek television and film franchise. Created by Gene Roddenberry in the early 1960s, this otherworldly series debuted on the small screen in '66 and has since seen dozens of installments, most recently the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), starring Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Chris Hemsworth and Zachary Quinto. Learn more about other cast members of the franchise, including William Shatner, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, George Takei, Kirstie Alley and Winona Ryder. Who knows, you might even discover your inner-Trekkie.
Betty & Coretta (2013), a Lifetime original movie, explores the stories of Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., and Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X. When their husbands were assassinated, these two women inherited the mantle of the Civil Rights movement and were both forced to find a way, as single mothers, to raise and support their children. Through their struggles and triumphs, King and Shabazz forged a deep friendship and a stronger commitment to improving the lives of African Americans, ultimately becoming role models for millions of women nationwide. Explore this group to learn more about these pioneering women and the actresses who portray them in Betty & Coretta: Angela Bassett (Coretta Scott King), the recipient of several NAACP Image Awards, and nine-time Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige (Betty Shabazz).
With Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony began working to establish women's right to vote in the mid-1800s. Unfortunately, Anthony never got to see the impact of her efforts—the 19th Amendment, granting women the righ to vote, was passed on August 26, 1920, more than a decade after Anthony's death—but hers remains one of the most important stories in women's history. Explpre this group to learn more about Anthony and other leading suffragettes, including Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Louisa May Alcott, Alice Paul, Dorothy Day, Amelia Bloomer and Jeannette Rankin.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women.
Since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, the world's best athletes have wowed us with their phenomenal athleticism and fierce determination. From boxing and track and field, to gymnastics and swimming, athletes from around the world have taken their sports to record-breaking levels, both individually and as teams, and the best of them have taken home the gold. Biography celebrates the inspiring athletes who have created some of our most favorite moments from the Summer Olympic Games.
Explore our collection of some of the most famous performers of the highly anticipated Super Bowl from the 1970s through today, including Ella Fitzgerald, Chubby Checker, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones, the Black Eyed Peas, No Doubt, Madonna, Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj, Usher and Beyoncé.
The Supreme Court has presided over landmark cases that have changed the history of the United States. At times, the judges themselves have been the history makers, as in the case of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Justice; Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court; and Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Here’s a look at the famous judges who have served on the United States' highest court.
The 1960s were a time of significant cultural and social change in London. The post-World War II era, coined "Swinging London," saw a youth-driven shift in culture, from old to new. Symbolized by famous faces like English supermodels Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy to "British Invasion" rock bands like the Beatles and Cream, the era created a fresh and modern approach to everything from fashion to music to cultural attitudes. Biography.com looks at the inspirational forces behind the "Swinging London" revolution.
Learn more about the incredibly popular British boy band Take That, whose members have included Robbie Williams, Mark Owen and Jason Orange. Explore full biographies and photos of the members of the group—which has garnered several No. 1 singles as well as No. 1 albums—only at Biography.com.
Since the early days of television, talk show hosts have been among the most popular personalities in the medium. From TV pioneers like Jack Paar and Johnny Carson to daytime legends like Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey to late night talkers like Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel, here is a look at the famous hosts who have talked the talk on TV.
These actors, musicians, business leaders and entrepreneurs all have two things in common: They're filthy rich and have famously tried to dodge the IRS. Unfortunately for them, they've all gotten caught at one point or another and have made headlines for ripping off Uncle Sam. From Nicholas Cage to Leona Helmsley to Wesley Snipes, check our list of epic tax evaders.
Examine some of the world's greatest tech-savvy minds, who have bolstered industries like computer science, space exploration and mass communications through their ingenious works. These individuals are responsible for shaping the world we live in today, and have affected how we complete some of our most basic daily tasks. Delevop your own theories about these famous pioneers of technology by exploring Biography.com's Tech Giants group, including Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Bill Gates, Aristotle, Stephen Hawking and several other brilliant minds in the field of technology.
Throughout the history of tennis, there have been champs who have captivated fans with their achievements. From the history-making record of Arthur Ashe, the first African-American to win at Wimbledon, to the Olympic medal-winning athleticism of players like Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal to the colorful on and off-court personalities of players like Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, these tennis players have made history acing their sport.
The 27 club is a group of artists who died tragically at the young age of 27. They were some of the most talented minds of their generation, and in their short lives each made an enormous impact. Sadly, many led hard-partying lifestyles, abusing drugs and alcohol. These are the musicians and artists who make up the 27 club.
Few families in American history have sustained a place for so long in the public eye as the Astors have. For more than 200 years, the Astor name has been synonymous with New York high society. The family's fortune began to grow after John Jacob Astor, a German immigrant, founded the American Fur Company in 1808. Learn more about John Jacob and his descendants, including William Backhouse, William Waldorf, John Jacob IV and John Jacob V, as well as Brooke and Madeleine Force Astor—who scored their own fortunes by marrying into the Astor family—only at Biography.com.
The Beatles were a legendary rock group that formed in Liverpool, England, in 1960, and went on to transform popular music as a creative, highly commercial art form over the next decade. The Beatles were one of the most popular bands of all time, producing songs like "Yesterday, "Hey Jude," "Penny Lane, "With A Little Help From My Friends," "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)," "Day Tripper" and "Come Together." Learn more about the "Fab Four"—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr—by exploring our Beatles collection.
After over 40 years of recording and over 220 million in album sales, the original trio of brothers—Barry, Robin (1949-2012), and Maurice Gibb (1949-2003)—has sadly been reduced to one, yet the Bee Gees' music will live forever on dance floors with unforgettable hits such as "Jive Talkin,'" "How Deep Is Your Love," and "Stayin' Alive."
They rule the Royal House of Windsor, and they can trace their bloodlines back through thousands of years of monarchy and leadership. The British Royal Family, with Queen Elizabeth II at the head of the throne, lead Britain's constitutional monarchy. As the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and is honored for 60 years on the throne, the Royal Family has never been more popular. They go by the terms "His and Her Royal Highness," yet they are admired for their style, down-to-earth personalities, media savvy, and their devotion to humanitarian causes. All eyes are on Princes William and Harry as they carry on their family legacy into the 21st century.
Whether they provide care, advice or entertainment, the term "doctor" elevates the people who bear the title in our eyes and implies competence, if not a mastery of their craft. For one reason or another, these doctors stand out above the rest and are worthy of the honorary title.
Originally called Toast of the Town, The Ed Sullivan Show ran from 1948-1971 on CBS and was an American staple in the 50s and 60s. The American variety show featured the Who's Who of celebritydom over the decades, including Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Tony Bennett, Carol Channing, Lucille Ball, The Jackson 5, and The Doors.
Of the storied Five Families of New York City's mafia, the Genovese family is one of the most powerful. It's believed the Genovese family provided some of the inspiration for Mario Puzo's The Godfather—both had roots in Corleone, Sicily. "Lucky" Luciano of the Genovese family first organized the Five Families in New York City, and those who came after him maintained the Genovese family status as mafia royalty.
Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael were five brothers from Gary, Indiana, who became one of the biggest pop groups in music history. One of Motown's most successful acts in the 1970s, The Jackson 5 had four of their first singles hit the top of the Billboard chart, but the group's appeal was more than just musical - they were among the first black teen idols to appeal to a white audience. The Jackson 5's mix of mind-blowing musical talent and sheer charisma earned the family the status of pop royalty in the music business and later helped launch Michael's legendary solo career.
The Jackson family is arguably one of the most famous families in entertainment. Originating from Gary, Indiana, this iconic group influenced musical genres from R&B and soul, to pop. The nine Jackson children Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Michael, Randy, and Janet have all made their mark on the music industry. From the early success of "The Jackson 5" to Michael's reign as the "King of Pop," the siblings became important figures in popular culture, however not without controversy. Here we look at the members of this unforgettable family and their rise to fame.
The Jonas Brothers became an instant hit after receiving airplay on Radio Disney and the Disney Channel. The trio's self-titled album, released in 2007, reached the Top 5 on the Billboard charts and went double platinum, and the album's single, "S.O.S.," took the No. 1 spot on iTunes. The Jonas Brothers' follow-up album, A Little Bit Longer, marked an industry first: The group became the first artists to have three albums on the Billboard Top 10 at once. In 2009, the group released their fourth studio project, Lines, Vines and Trying Times. Learn more about teen idols Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas, at Biography.com.
There's no such thing as royalty in the United States, but if anyone has ever come close to that level, it's the Kennedy family. For 64 years, Washington had at least one Kennedy in public office. Descended from Irish Catholics who fled the potato famine, the family has a strong tradition in the Democratic party, the most prominent member being President John F. Kennedy. In addition to fame and political power, the Kennedy clan has had more than its fair share of tragedy—several members of the family have died in accidents and assassinations, in what's been called the "Kennedy curse."
Find out more about the Marx Brothers, the immensely popular family act known for their stage and film performances from the early 1920s to the late '60s, including Animal Crackers, Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera. Explore full biographies, and view photos and videos, of Groucho, Gummo, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo.
Learn more about Erik and Lyle Menendez, the notorious brothers convicted of brutally murdering their rich parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, in their Beverly Hills home in 1989. It was later proven that the Menendez brothers had planned the killings for weeks. At trial, Erik and Lyle unsuccessfully claimed self-defense and abuse, and were sentenced to life in prison in 1996. Get the details of the case, and peruse our biographies and videos, only at Biography.com.
In 1965, over 400 people responded to an ad seeking young men for a new television show about a rock group called The Monkees. The Monkees, starring Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork premiered on September 12, 1966, and audiences adored the humorous antics of the band. Though made for TV, The Monkees had real-life hits and struggled against their "Pre-Fab Four" image. Some of their best-loved and number one hits included Neil Diamond's "I'm a Believer" and "Last Train to Clarksville." More successful singles followed, including another Neil Diamond song, "Little Bit Me, Little Bit You," Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "Pleasant Valley Sunday", and "Daydream Believer" by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio.
Tap-dancing brothers Harold and Fayard Nicholas broke through the color barrier to become one of the most popular show business acts of the 1930s and '40s. The duo began performing intricate, high-flying song-and-dance routines in New York City in the early 1930s, and went on to appear in such films as Kid Millions (1934), The Big Broadcast (1936) and Black Network. By the start of the 1940s, they were international celebrities. Explore full biographies, photos and video of the Nicholas Brothers, only at Biography.com.
While the term "American dynasty" might technically be an oxymoron, it's hard not to notice the similarities between the Rockefeller family and noble lineages that have spanned the globe for centuries. Like royal families have done in other nations, the Rockefellers have had a profound and irrevocable impact on the United States—from the oil and banking industries to property development, to politics and philanthropy—which will continue to resound for generations to come. Beginning with John D. Rockefeller Sr., who founded the Standard Oil Company and became one of the world's richest men, the Rockefeller troupe also includes John D. Rockefeller III, Winthrop Rockefeller, Nelson Rockefeller, Laurance Rockefeller and David Rockefeller.
In 1962, one of the most successful and critically acclaimed rock bands of all time, the Rolling Stones was started in London. Named after the Muddy Waters song "Rollin' Stone," the original band included frontman Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Brian Jones, bassist Bill Wyman, drummer Charlie Watts and pianist Ian Stewart. Guitarist Ron Wood joined Jagger, Richards and Watts in 1975. The Stones, in their various incarnations, have rocked on for more than 50 years, selling more than 200 million albums worldwide. Here's a look at the musicians who critics and fans alike have dubbed the "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band."
Get more on the members of the English-Irish boy band the Wanted, including Siva Kaneswaran, Max George, Nathan Sykes, Jay McGuiness and Tom Parker. The group's debut single, "All Time Low," hit the No. 1 spot on the U.K. singles chart. Their self-titled debut album was also a success, reaching No. 4 in the United Kingdom and generating three U.K. Top 20 singles.