Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Emil Jannings (1884, German actor who starred in several classic silent films—The Last Laugh, Faust, The Last Command—and won the very first Academy Award for Best Actor; he later returned to his homeland and became a big-time Nazi supporter)

Raymond Chandler (1888, legendary detective novelist and creator of gumshoe Philip Marlowe; also dabbled in co-writing screenplays like Double Indemnity and Strangers On a Train)

Harry “White Fang” Cohn (1891, tyrannical head of Columbia Pictures and major dickhead formidable)

Arthur Treacher (1894, peerless stiff upper-lipped British character actor on stage, in films and on radio/television—usually cast as the archetypal butler; later went into the fish ‘n’ chips business)

Hank Worden (1901, peerless character actor primarily associated with westerns, notably those of the John Wayne variety [Fort Apache, 3 Godfathers, The Searchers, Big Jake])

Karl Swenson (1908, TDOY character acting god who had long-running gigs on radio [Our Gal Sunday, Lorenzo Jones, Mr. Chameleon] and television [Cimarron Strip, Little House on the Prairie])

Helen Martin (1909, character actress best remembered for her television gigs on That’s My Mama, Good Times, Baby I’m Back and 227; I glimpsed her on TCM Saturday in The Phenix City Story)

Jackson Beck (1912, TDOY voice acting god who supplied the menacing tones of Bluto in the Popeye cartoons, was The Cisco Kid, Philo Vance and Superman’s announcer on radio, and did voice-overs for the likes of Little Caesar’s Pizza, Brawny Paper Towels and Thompson’s Water Seal…and so many others)

Carl Foreman (1914, blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter who scripted such classics as Champion, The Men, High Noon, A Hatful of Rain and The Bridge on the River Kwai)

Sandra Gould (1916, pictured, fine comedy character actress from radio and television who had tough shoes to fill when she replaced the late Alice Pearce as nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz on the sitcom Bewitched)

Ray Rayner (1919, WGN’s legendary kiddie-show host)

Davis Grubb (1919, eccentric West Virginia-born author whose novels The Night of the Hunter, The Cheyenne Social Club and Fools’ Parade were later adapted for the silver screen)

Calvert DeForest (1921, cult television figure who played Larry “Bud” Melman on David Letterman’s NBC talk shows)

Sydney Lassick (1922, peerless stage, film and television actor seen in movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Carrie, Alligator and Lady in White)

Buzz Kulik (1922, veteran television director who occasionally dabbled in silver screen feature films such as Warning Shot and Shamus)

Gloria DeHaven (1925, 85, moppet actress who later became an accomplished adult thesp in films like The Yellow Cab Man, Summer Stock and Three Little Words)

Alan Rafkin (1928, veteran television director who helmed episodes of sitcoms like The Andy Griffith Show, The Governor and J.J., The Bob Newhart Show, One Day at a Time, etc.)

Bert Convy (1933, actor-game show icon [Tattletales, Win, Lose or Draw, Super Password])

Ronny Cox (1938, 72, fine film/television character actor seen in vehicles like Deliverance, Beverly Hills Cop, RoboCop and Total Recall…but here at TDOY, he gets props for his roles on TV’s St. Elsewhere and Waltons imitator Apple’s Way)

Don Imus (1940, 70, aged talk show racist who was a lot funnier when he was ordering 1200 hamburgers to go)

Tony Joe White (1943, 67, singer-songwriter who recorded the swamp-rock classic Polk Salad Annie)

Lucy Lee Flippin (1943, 67, beloved character actress adept at playing tight-assed old spinsters like on TV’s Flo and Little House on the Prairie)

Marianne Gordon (1946, 64, actress [Rosemary’s Baby] and Hee Haw regular who’s married to Kenny Rogers…and who gets mentioned here only because she’s a native of Athens, GA)

David Essex (1947, 63, British rock ‘n’ roller whose 1974 smash Rock On literally made my sixth-grade ears bleed…and then I had to hear that !@#%ing song again when the guy from The Young and the Restless covered it fifteen years later)

Belinda Montgomery (1950, 60, television icon [Man From Atlantis, Aaron’s Way, Doogie Howser, MD)

Edie McClurg (1951, 59, beloved comic character actress/voice artist seen in films like Carrie and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and on television in shows like WKRP in Cincinnati, Valerie’s Family, Drexell’s Class and 7th Heaven)

Nancy Savoca (1959, 51, motion picture director [True Love, Dogfight, Household Saints])

Woody Harrelson (1961. 49, stoner actor who’ll always be backup bartender Woody Boyd from Cheers here at TDOY)

Eriq La Salle (1962, 48, actor-director best known as ER’s Dr. Peter Benton)

Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967, 43, Academy Award-winning thesp who’s the closest thing we have today to a genuine character actor [Boogie Nights, Hard Eight, The Big Lebowski, Happiness, Almost Famous])

Charisma Carpenter (1970, 40, smokin’ hot television actress best known for her gigs Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel)

Alison Krauss (1971. 39, angelic-voiced bluegrass/country music vocalist [When You Say Nothing at All, Two Highways, Oh Atlanta])

Stephanie March (1974, 36, telegenic actress who is a favorite of my mom’s thanks to her role as assistant D.A. Alexandra Cabot on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; married to über chef Bobby Flay [that’s the part my mom can’t stand])

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