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Bel Geddes, Barbara (31 October 1922–08 August 2005), actress, children's book author-illustrator, and painter, was born in New York City, the daughter of Norman Bel Geddes, a noted architect and stage designer, and Helen Belle Sneider, an English teacher. Educated at a series of private schools in and around New England, she also spent time in the company of her illustrious father, who was involved in hundreds of theater productions in many capacities. Once after a school play, the drama teacher at the Putney School in Vermont regretfully informed her father that Barbara had “no talent” (...

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Mostel, Zero (28 February 1915–08 September 1977), actor and painter, was born Samuel Joel Mostel in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Israel Mostel and Celia (originally Zina) Druchs, Orthodox Jewish immigrants who ran a kosher vineyard and slaughterhouse. Although Mostel was raised in a religious household and later displayed a special affinity for Jewish characters, his father was not a rabbi as has often been reported; Mostel’s penchant for improvisation extended to his autobiography, and he creatively refashioned his past in interviews throughout his life. Most notably, he sometimes attributed his numeric nickname to his “financial standing in the community” (as he testified to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1955), but he more regularly credited the label to his supposedly undistinguished schoolwork. Despite these suggested derivations, his stage name may simply have been the innovation of an early publicist. In 1939 he married Clara Sverd; they were divorced in 1941....

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Price, Vincent (27 May 1911–25 October 1993), actor and art collector, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Vincent Leonard Price, a candy company president, and Marguerite Cobb Willcox. Price studied art history and English at Yale University and toured Europe as a member of the Yale Glee Club. After graduating in 1933, he made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain work as an actor in New York, then took a teaching job with the Riverdale (N.Y.) Country Day School. In 1934 Price began graduate study in fine arts at London University’s Courtald Institute. He wrote his master’s thesis on “Dürer and the School of the Danube” and auditioned for roles on the London stage....