It was on this day, September 2, 1973, English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien died. He was 82.
Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature there from 1945 to 1959. A close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.
After his death, Tolkien’s son Christopher published a series of works based on his father’s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings.
While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the “father” of modern fantasy literature —or, more precisely, of high fantasy. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning dead celebrity in 2009
1919 – Marge Champion (Marjorie Belcher) (dancer, actress: Give a Girl a Break, Jupiter’s Darling, Lovely to Look At, Mr. Music, The Party, The Swimmer; choreographer [w/Gower Champion]; model for animated Snow White)
1951 – Mark Harmon (actor: Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Wyatt Earp, Till There Was You, Reasonable Doubts, Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years, St. Elsewhere, Centennial, Flamingo Road, Moonlighting, Sam, 240-Robert; People magazine�s Sexiest Man Alive )
1955 – Linda Purl (actress: Happy Days, Matlock, Beacon Hill, Robin’s Hoods, Under Cover)
1964 – Keanu Reeves (actor: Chain Reaction, A Walk in the Clouds, Johnny Mnemonic, Speed, Little Buddha, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, My Own Private Idaho, Parenthood, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Dangerous Liaisons, River’s Edge, Youngblood, Brotherhood of Justice, Babes in Toyland, Act of Vengeance, Dream to Believe)
1966 – Salma Hayek (actress: The Pirates! Band of Misfits . As Luck Would Have It , Puss in Boots , Americano, Grown Ups , Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant , Across the Universe,. Lonely Hearts
Ask the Dust, Bandidas, After the Sunset. Once Upon a Time in Mexico , Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, Frida, Hotel, Traffic,
Living It Up, Chain of Fools, Timecode, Wild Wild West)
1968 – Cynthia Watros (actress: Grey’s Anatomy (TV series) , Electrick Children, A Smile as Big as the Moon (TV movie), Desperate Housewives (TV series), House M.D. (TV series), Lost (TV series), Mars, The Secret Life of the American Teenager (TV series), Men of a Certain Age (TV series) , Calvin Marshall, Criminal Minds (TV series), The Closer (TV series), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV series), Gossip Girl (TV series), In Plain Sight (TV series), Family Guy (TV series), The Bill Engvall Show (TV series), Fear Itself (TV series) , American Crude, Duane Incarnate)
1968 – Kristen Cloke (actress: Pretty Little Liars (TV series) , Magnificat (short), Men of a Certain Age (TV series), Black Christmas, Willard, Felicit (TV series) , The Others (TV series))
1973 – Katt Williams (actor: The Obama Effect, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Young American Gangstas, Lonely Street, Internet Dating (video),
Bigg Snoop Dogg Presents: The Adventures of Tha Blue, The Boondocks (TV series), First Sunday, The Perfect Holiday, Larry the Cable Guy’s Christmas Spectacular (TV movie), Norbit, Epic Movie, Behind the Smile, Cuts (TV series), Girlfriends (TV series), Rebound, Ganked (video), My Wife and Kids (TV series), Treasure n tha Hood, The Tracy Morgan Show (TV series), Choices 2 (video), Friday After Next, NYPD Blue (TV series)