Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Sidney Blackmer (1895, peerless stage, film and television actor best-remembered here at TDOY as the diabolically sinister Roman Castevet in 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby)

Eric Portman (1901, English stage, film and television actor best-remembered here at TDOY as the ex-German U-boat commander who’s now sidekick to autocratic submarine commander Richard Widmark in 1965’s The Bedford Incident)

Phillips Lord (1902, legendary OTR actor-writer-director-producer who created such hit shows as Mr. District Attorney, Gangbusters, Seth Parker and Counterspy)

Bosley Crowther (1905, legendary New York Times film critic from 1940 to1967 [ousted, it is alleged, due to his negative reviews of Bonnie and Clyde])

Jack Chertok (1906, legendary film/television producer whose projects include the M-G-M Crime Does Not Pay shorts and the boob tube shows Sky King, The Lone Ranger, Private Secretary and My Favorite Martian)

Dave Garroway (1913, pictured, legendary radio/television pioneer and founding Today Show host [“Peace”])

Johnny Gilbert (1924, 86, consummate game show announcer, most notably for Jeopardy!)

Bob Crane (1928, DJ/comic actor revered for his work on TV’s The Donna Reed Show and Hogan’s Heroes [on which he was the star] and whose tragic death is recounted in the 2002 feature film Auto Focus)

Sudie Bond (1928, peerless stage, film and television character revered for her roles in Cold Turkey, Tomorrow, Silkwood and as Polly “Flo” Holliday’s feisty ma on the Alice spin-off Flo)

Phillip and Dennis Crosby (1934, twin acting/singing sons of crooner-actor Bing)

Patrick Stewart (1940, 70, British acting legend best recognized as Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the countless films that followed in its wake)

Paul Prudhomme (1940, 70, famous N’awlins chef and Dom DeLuise look-alike)

Robert Forster (1941, 69, peerless stage, film and television actor whose stalled career was revived by first-rate roles in films like Jackie Brown and Mulholland Dr …but who’s revered here at TDOY as the star of both Medium Cool and Alligator)

Roger McGuinn (1942, 68, Byrd and possessor of twelve-string guitar like nothing I’ve ever heard*)

Harrison Ford (1942, 68, actor of some sort)

Jay “Bird” Uzzell (1942, 68, Corsair)

Diane Renay (1945, 65, one-hit wonder [Navy Blue])

Richard “Cheech” Marin (1946, 64, actor-comedian and partner of Tommy Chong)

Daphne Reid (1948, foxy actress whose marriage to actor-comedian Tim Reid allowed her to land plum roles on WKRP in Cincinnati, Simon & Simon and Frank’s Place…but she got The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air gig on her own)

Didi Conn (1951, 59, cuddly character actress best-known as Frenchy in the movie musicals Grease and Grease 2 and for roles in TV shows The Practice [the Danny Thomas sitcom], Benson and Shining Time Station)

Danitra Vance (1954, comic actress who was woefully underutilized as a Not Ready for Prime Time Player on Saturday Night Live and who left us far too soon)

Louise Mandrell (1954, 56, country music vocalist and younger sister of country music superstar Barbara)

Tom Kenny (1962, 48, comic actor-writer [Mr. Show with Bob and David, Just Shoot Me} who’s making bucketfuls of money as a voice artist—particularly as SpongeBob SquarePants)

David X. Cohen (1966, 44, writer-producer who developed one of the finest animated half-hours on TV today: Futurama)

*According to David Allan Coe in “Willie, Waylon and Me”

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