During the 1950s, Elvis Presley rose to worldwide fame, and two rock and roll originators named Charles emerged: Charles "Buddy Holly" Holley and Charles "Chuck" Berry. Other notable musicians during this decade include Francis "Frank" Sinatra, Thelonious Monk, Ellas "Bo Diddley" Bates, William "Bill" Haley, Alfredo "Mario Lanza" Cocozza, Ella Fitzgerald, "Little" Richard Penniman and Miles Davis.
The 1950's were part of the (tail end) of Hollywood's Golden Age. Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, William Holden, Marlon Brando, Yul Brynner, Judy Holliday, Vivien Leigh, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Joanne Woodward and Susan Hayward all won Oscars this decade. Other notable stars of the big screen include James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. Meanwhile, Alfred Hitchcock was directing his first horror movies, and on millions of televisions nationwide one could find actors like Desiderio "Desi" Arnaz and Lucille Ball (I Love Lucy), Norman "Clint" Walker (Cheyenne) and Ernest "Ernie" Kovacs.
The Beat Generation came of age during the 1950s; some of the most notable Beats include Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. This was also the decade Lorraine Hansberry saw her play A Raisin in the Sun produced on Broadway and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot premiered. In terms of novels, the '50s gave us John "J.R.R." Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, William Golding's Lord of the Flies, Saul Bellow's Augie March, Jerome "J.D." Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Ayn Rand's Altas Shrugged and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.