Bing Crosby

Born May 3, 1903, in Tacoma, Wash., Harry Lillis Crosby adopted the nickname "Bing" from a comic-strip character. By 1931, the crooner had become a household name and inked a contract for the series of two-reel comedies that would launch his film career.

Crosby's star-making turn came in The Big Broadcast (1932), and his breezy style made him the first American pop singer to successfully jump to the big screen. In 1940, he teamed with Bob Hope for The Road to Singapore, the first of their seven "Road" pictures. The 1942 musical Holiday Inn produced Crosby's signature song, "White Christmas," and in 1945, he was cast in Going My Way, scoring an Oscar for his lead role as a laid-back priest.

Crosby's later movies include The Country Girl (1954), High Society (1956) and the 1966 remake of Stagecoach. He died of a heart attack Oct. 14, 1977, doing what he loved best: playing golf.