June Carter Cash
Birth: Jun. 23, 1929
Death: May 15, 2003
Country Singer, producer, author, actress. Born in Maces Springs, Virginia, on June 23, 1929, as Valerie June Carter, she was a member of the famous singing Carter Family. The Carter Family began recording country music in 1927 and continued until Maybelle's death in 1978. The Carter Family Singers included members like 'Mother' Maybelle Carter, Anita Carter, and Alvin Pleasant 'A.P.' Carter, and of course June who would go onto a successful singing career herself. In the 1950s she moved to New York to study acting at the request of Elia Kazan who discovered her while scouting movie locations in Tennessee. Also about this time she attended the premiere of "A Streetcar Named Desire" in the company of Elvis Presley, and sat with Elia Kazan and Tennessee Williams. In 1961 she turned down an offer to work on a variety show that had Woody Allen as one of the writers, but instead agreed to tour with the Man In Black, Johnny Cash, for $500 a week. On March 1, 1968, she married Johnny Cash, after he proposed on stage during a concert in London, Ontario, and remained married to him for 35 years until her death. She was previously married to country singer Carl Smith, who gave her a daughter, country singer Carlene Carter. In 1963 with Merle Kilgour, she co-wrote Johnny Cash's hit song "Ring Of Fire." A talented singer, songwriter, and musician, she recorded hits with her husband like "Jackson" and "If I Were A Carpenter" which both won Grammy Awards in 1967 and 1970. In 1972 they recorded duets like "It Ain't Me Babe" in 1964, and "If I Had A Hammer" in 1972. In 1979 she wrote her autobiography, "Among My Klediments" and released her memoir, "From The Heart" in 1987. In his 1997 autobiography, Johnny Cash described how his wife stuck with him through his years and abuse. In 1999 she released the album, "Press On" which followed in her musical autobiography, which told of her 31 year marriage and collaboration with Cash, which later won a Grammy, and was her first release in over a quarter-century. Also an actress she appeared in the films and television specials, "All My Friends Are Cowboys" (1998), "The Apostle" (1997), "Stagecoach" (1986), "The Last Days Of Frank And Jesse James" (1986), "The Baron And The Kid" (1984), "Murder In Coweta County" (1983), "Johnny Cash: Cowboy Heroes" (1982), "Johnny Cash: Christmas In Scotland" (1981), "The Unbroken Circle: A Tribute To 'Mother' Maybelle Carter" (1979), "Thaddeus Rose And Eddie" (1978), "The Gospel Road" (1973), and "The Country Music Holiday" (1958). On television she appeared in, "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman" "Little House On The Prairie" "This Is Tom Jones," "Hee-Haw," "The Adventures Of Jim Bowie," "Gunsmoke," and "Hollywood Squares," as a guest panelist in 1978. Also was in "Johnny Cash And Friends" in 1976, played 'Elaine "Cookie" Pollock Thomas Christopher' in 1962 on "The Edge Of Night" and played 'Amy Ames Britton Kincaid' in 1960 on "The Secret Storm." She was the mother of Carlene Carter, John Carter Cash, step-mother to Roseanne Cash, and god-mother to Hank Williams Jr. June Carter Cash passed away on May 15, 2003, at the age of 73, after suffering from heart problems at the Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, where she had been admitted on May 7. Her husband and family were at her side.
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