Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Joseph Sweeney (1882, elderly film and television character actor seen in vehicles such as The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, The Fastest Gun Alive and 12 Angry Men)

Lars Hanson (1886, Swedish actor who acted in many silent film classics including The Scarlet Letter, Flesh and the Devil, The Divine Woman and The Wind)

Aldous Huxley (1894, English novelist who wrote the anti-Utopian Brave New World and whose mescaline experiments were chronicled in The Doors of Perception)

Gracie Allen (1895, immortal comedienne/actress who teamed with husband George Burns to form one of the best comedy duos in vaudeville, radio, movies and television)

Charles Butterworth (1896, befuddled character actor seen in films like Love Me Tonight, Penthouse, Baby Face Harrington, We Went to College and The Boys From Syracuse; the vocal inspiration for cereal pitchman Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch)

Hal Yates (1899, writer-director-producer who helmed many of Leon Errol and Edgar Kennedy’s classic comedy two-reelers at R-K-O; later directed most of the episodes of the TV sitcom My Little Margie)

Nat Levine (1899, independent film producer who founded Mascot Studios in 1927)

Leigh Jason (1904, motion picture writer-director who helmed the likes of The Mad Miss Manton, Three Girls About Town, Lady for a Night, Nine Girls and Dangerous Blondes)

Vivian Vance (1909, film and television character actress revered today as sidekick to television icon Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show)

Fred S. Fox (1915, television comedy scribe [The Joey Bishop Show, Mona McCluskey The Andy Griffith Show, The Mothers-in-Law])

Lorna Gray [aka Adrian Booth] (1917, 93, pictured, actress whose start in Columbia two-reelers alongside the Three Stooges led to her signature role as one of the greatest villainesses in serialdom: Vultura in Perils of Nyoka)

Jean Shepherd (1921, beloved author-humorist-radio personality whose childhood experiences were documented in the 1983 film classic A Christmas Story)

Jason Robards (1922, Academy Award-winning actor and TDOY fave [The Night They Raided Minsky’s, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, All the President’s Men, Melvin and Howard])

Blake Edwards (1922, 88, motion picture director [Operation Petticoat, Experiment in Terror, Days of Wine and Roses, A Shot in the Dark] and creator of radio’s Richard Diamond and The Lineup and TV’s Peter Gunn and Mr. Lucky)

James Best (1926, 84, TDOY actor fave who specialized in playing snot-nosed troublemakers in hundred of movie and TV westerns…but who achieved small screen immortality as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard)

Stanley Kubrick (1928, motion picture director highly praised by film geeks even though I personally thought his films went downhill after Dr. Strangelove)

Robert Colbert (1931, 79, television stalwart best remembered as Bret Maverick-wannabe Brent on Maverick and Dr. Doug Phillips in the cult classic The Time Tunnel)

Yale Summers (1933, 77, television character actor best remembered as Jack Dane on the series Daktari)

Darlene Love (1938, 72, actress-vocalist [Lethal Weapon] and one-time Crystal [He’s a Rebel])

Dobie Gray (1940, 70, R&B vocalist [The In Crowd, Drift Away, Weekend Friend])

Brenton Wood (1941, 69, R&B vocalist [The Oogum Boogum Song, Gimme Little Sign])

Bobby Hebb (1941, 69, one-hit wonder [Sunny])

Mick Jagger (1943, 67, actor and Rolling Stone)

Peter Hyams (1943, 67, motion picture director of films like Capricorn One, Outland, Running Scared and 2010)

Kiel Martin (1944, television stalwart best remembered as scumbag cop J.D. LaRue on Hill Street Blues)

Helen Mirren (1945, 65, Academy Award-winning actress seen in vehicles such as The Long Good Friday, 2010, The Mosquito Coast, Prime Suspect and The Queen)

Kevin Spacey (1959, 51, Academy Award-winning actor seen in vehicles such as Glengarry Glen Ross, The Ref, The Usual Suspects, L.A. Confidential, American Beauty and The Life of David Gale)

Tom McGowan (1959, 51, stage, film and television actor immortalized here at TDOY for his recurring roles on Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond)

Sandra Bullock (1964, 46, film and television actress [Speed, A Time to Kill, Crash] whom I cannot believe I’m older than)

Jeremy Piven (1965, 45, film and television stalwart [Ellen, Cupid, Entourage] who is required by federal law to be in every film that John Cusack is also in)

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1 comment:

Mike Doran said...

Back in the late '60s-early '70s,
Peter Hyams was a weekend news anchor on channel 2, the CBS station here in Chicago.He used to drive my dad crazy because of his eyes, which were huge and dark, like one of those schlocky kid paintings you used to see all the time in stores.
"Weekend news anchor" is sort of like the Vice-presidency in the local-station scheme of things:He's there for security more than anything else, someone to step in in case the main anchor gets sick at the last minute and misses the broadcast (ch 2's main anchor at that time was Bill Kurtis, whose main virtue was never missing a show,for illness or any other reason).
Hyams got tired of waiting for the phone to ring and got into filmmaking on the side, eventually finding success where he wouldn't have to look at a camera.