Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

James Edward Grant (1905, motion picture screenwriter [Sands of Iwo Jima, McLintock!] heavily associated with John Wayne; directed the Duke’s 1947 western Angel and the Badman)

Phil Karlson (1908, TDOY director god noted for his first-rate film noirs [Kansas City Confidential, 99 River Street, The Phenix City Story])

Jeff Alexander (1910, composer/conductor/arranger whose work was featured in films like Escape From Fort Bravo, Rogue Cop and Party Girl)

Ethelreda Leopold (1914, character actress often seen in Columbia two-reel comedies alongside Andy Clyde, the Three Stooges, etc.)

Ken Curtis (1916, pictured with James Arness, television icon [Ripcord, Gunsmoke, The Yellow Rose] who also appeared in many a John Ford film [The Searchers, The Horse Soldiers] and sang with the Sons of the Pioneers)

Abe Levitow (1922, animator-director who enjoyed a long association with animation kingpin Chuck Jones)

Marvin Rainwater (1925, 85, country-rockabilly vocalist [Gonna Find Me a Bluebird, Whole Lotta Woman])

Brock Peters (1927, peerless character actor [Carmen Jones, The L-Shaped Room] immortalized on film as defendant Tm Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird)

Sidney “Woim” Kilbrick (1928, 82, Little Rascal)

Robert Ito (1931, 79, character actor best-remembered as Sam Fujiyama on TV’s Quincy, M.E. and the voice of Henry Chan in the Saturday morning cartoon classic The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan)

Dave Thomas (1932, founder of Wendy’s)

Kenneth McMillan (1932, peerless character actor in films [Hide in Plain Sight, Whose Life is it Anyway?, Ragtime, Dune] and TV [Ryan’s Hope, Rhoda])

Richard Petty (1937, 73, still the king of ‘em all, y’all)

Polly Holiday (1937, 73, television icon famous for telling people to “kiss mah grits”)

Leapy Lee (1942. 68, one-hit wonder)

Ron Silver (1946, character actor best remembered for his portrayal as Alan Dershowitz in Reversal of Fortune and as a mad medico in the Chuck Norris flick Silent Rage)

Stephen Stucker (1947, comic actor immortalized as the zany “Johnny” in the riotous Airplane!)

Saul Rubinek (1948, 62, acclaimed character actor [Ticket to Heaven, Unforgiven, Frasier] and dead ringer for blogger Elisson)

Wendy Schaal (1954, 56, TDOY actress fave [Making a Living, Innerspace, Good Grief])

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Scott C. said...

MST3K fans will remember Ken Curtis as the cowardly, backstabbing, dipsomaniacal heel in episode 407, THE KILLER SHREWS. He also produced the Season 3 classic, THE GIANT GILA MONSTER.

Brent McKee said...

Didn't Ken Curtis sing with Tommy Dorsey's band for a little while after a certain skinny crooner departed for a solo career. That at least is a common story about him.