Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Maria Ouspenkaya (1876, Russian character actress and acting coach best remembered as the mysterious gypsy lady who knows her lycanthropy in The Wolf Man and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man)

Theda Bara (1885, legendary silent screen vamp [A Fool There Was, Cleopatra, Salome])

William Powell (1892, suave motion picture leading man who appeared in scores of wonderful movies including One Way Passage, My Man Godfrey, Libeled Lady, Life With Father, The Senator Was Indiscreet, Mister Roberts…and of course, The Thin Man films)

William Cameron Menzies (1896, legendary art director-production designer on Gone With the Wind but who also dabbled in directing films like Things to Come, Invaders From Mars and The Maze)

Clara Bow (1905, silent/sound film actress and “It” girl seen in films like The Plastic Age, Mantrap, Kid Boots, Ladies of the Mob, Wings, The Saturday Night Kid, Hoop-La and Call Her Savage)

Thelma Todd (1906, pictured, TDOY actress goddess who worked with great comedians in Laurel & Hardy, Wheeler & Woolsey, Joe E. Brown, the Marx Brothers, Charley Chase, ZaSu Pitts, Patsy Kelly, Harry Langdon and Buster Keaton…and whose tragic death robbed us of her talents far too early)

Jerry Hopper (1907, journeyman film/television director who helmed episodes of TV classics like Bachelor Father, Wagon Train, The Fugitive, Gilligan’s Island and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)

Stephen McNally (1913, stage, film and television character actor who occasionally played good guys [No Way Out] but most of the time he was a real wanker in movies like Winchester ’73, Split Second and Violent Saturday)

“Professor” Irwin Corey (1914, 96, authoritative comedian who I am surprised to learn is still with us even though I never found his shtick particularly amusing)

Budd Boetticher (1916, TDOY director god who’s beloved among film buffs for his Randolph Scott westerns in the 1950s like Seven Men From Now, The Tall T, Buchanan Rides Alone and Ride Lonesome…and who taught me there are some things a man can’t ride around)

Eleanor Keaton (1918, former dancer whose marriage to legendary comedian Buster in 1940 was largely responsible for straightening out his tumultuous life)

Richard Egan (1921, bland beefcake actor seen in films like Split Second, Violent Saturday, Love Me Tender, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, These Thousand Hills and TV series like Empire, Redigo and the soap opera Capitol)

Robert Horton (1924, 86, film/television stalwart best remembered for his roles in the TV westerns Wagon Train and A Man Called Shenandoah)

Lloyd Bochner (1924, ubiquitous film/television character actor seen in scads of TV series but is probably best recognized as Cecil Colby on Dynasty)

Robert Fuller (1933, 77, television icon [Laramie, Wagon Train, Emergency!])

Joan Gerber (1935, 75, talented voice actress heard on series such as H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, The Bugaloos, These are the Days and Wait Till Your Father Gets Home)

Bill Forsyth (1946, 64, Scottish born film director who helmed a true masterpiece in Local Hero but who also directed That Sinking Feeling, Gregory’s Girl, Comfort and Joy and Housekeeping)

Leslie Easterbrook (1949, 61, blonde bimbette actress whom I remember mostly as Laverne & Shirley’s next door neighbor when they moved to Hollywood and the Police Academy movies)

Mike Starr (1950, 60, modern-day character actor seen in vehicles like Goodfellas, Mad Dog and Glory, The Hudsucker Proxy, Ed Wood…and that hilarious Frasier episode where he and John C. McGinley played the plumber brothers who bullied Frasier and Niles in high school)

Patti Scialfa (1953, 57, Mrs. Boss)

Geddy Lee (1953, 57, lead singer of Rush)

Ken Burns (1953. 57, award-winning documentarian whose films have spotlighted baseball, the Civil War, Huey Long, jazz, national parks, etc.)

Rodney Allen Rippy (1968, 42, cloyingly cute moppet actor who was everywhere in the 1970s, from Jack-in-the-Box commercials to The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine)

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2 comments:

Rick29 said...

I always loved Maria's recitation of the "even a man who is pure in heart" verse in the Universal monster flicks.

Oh Crap said...

Oh dear, Rodney. Every Black wannabe stage parent thought *their* brat would be the next Rodney. Ask me, I know.

And Geddy, oh, I love me some Rush. Them's my boyz.