Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Cecil B. DeMille (1881, legendary motion picture director who helmed both sound and silent versions of The Squaw Man and The Ten Commandments; also directed favorites such as Madam Satan, The Sign of the Cross, This Day and Age, Union Pacific, Samson and Delilah, The Greatest Show on Earth, etc.)

Marion Lorne (1883, venerable character actress seen in movies like Strangers on a Train and The Graduate; cemented her television immortality with substantial roles on the sitcoms Mister Peepers [as Mrs. Gurney] and Bewitched [as the wacky Aunt Clara])

Eric Snowden (1889, OTR actor famous for playing butler to the Ronald Colmans on The Jack Benny Program; also can be seen in films like Jungle Gents and on TV shows like The Lineup and Leave It to Beaver)

Al Goodman (1890, composer/bandleader whose orchestra provided the music for Fred Allen’s radio show during the 1940s; was also the orchestra leader on TV’s The Colgate Comedy Hour and composer of the theme to the TV version of The Abbott & Costello Show)

Oskar Homolka (1898, Austrian character actor seen in vehicles like Sabotage, The Invisible Woman, Ball of Fire, Mission to Moscow, I Remember Mama, The Seven Year Itch, War and Peace and Mr. Sardonicus)

Joe Besser (1907, comedian/second banana who worked with Abbott & Costello and The Three Stooges; later became a television fixture as the building superintendent on The Joey Bishop Show and as a voice artist for animated shows like Jeannie and Yogi’s Space Race)

Jane Wyatt (1910, film and television actress seen in movies like Lost Horizon, None But the Lonely Heart, Boomerang!, Gentleman’s Agreement and Pitfall; achieved TV immorality as Margaret Anderson on Father Knows Best, Spock’s mom on Star Trek and Mrs. Auschlander on St. Elsewhere)

Samuel Fuller (1912, TDOY director god who helmed cult favorites like The Steel Helmet, Park Row, Pickup on South Street, Forty Guns, The Crimson Kimono, Underworld U.S.A., Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss and The Big Red One)

Richard L. Bare (1913, 97, comedy film director renowned for helming the Joe McDoakes shorts; later turned to television to direct episodes of Broken Arrow, Maverick, 77 Sunset Strip, Cheyenne, Petticoat Junction…and of course, Green Acres)

Michael Kidd (1915, Broadway and Hollywood choreographer who acted in a few films, notably It’s Always Fair Weather, Smile and Movie Movie)

Ralph Nelson (1916, film and television director whose feature films include Requiem for a Heavyweight, Lillies of the Field, Soldier in the Rain, Father Goose, Duel at Diablo, Charly and The Wilby Conspiracy)

Marjorie Reynolds (1917, pictured with Ray Milland, leading lady of the 40s who appeared in such films as Holiday Inn, Ministry of Fear, The Time of Their Lives, Monsieur Beaucaire and His Kind of Woman; later achieved TV fame as the long-suffering Peg Riley on The Life of Riley)

Bob Carroll, Jr. (1918, radio/TV scribe who “hitched his gaggin’ to a star” and worked [with partner Madelyn Pugh Davis] on Lucille Ball’s classic sitcoms—I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show and Here’s Lucy; also created The Mothers-in-Law with Pugh and produced the sitcom Alice)

Joe Jones (1926, R&B singer [You Talk Too Much])

John Derek (1926, actor-director-Svengali who played snot-nosed punks early in his career in vehicles like Knock on Any Door, All the King’s Men and Saturday’s Hero; also spotted in Scandal Sheet and The Ten Commandments)

Porter Wagoner (1927, country music legend [A Satisfied Mind, Misery Loves Company, The Cold Hard Facts of Life, The Carroll County Accident] and one-time duet partner of country superstar Dolly Parton)

Dan Curtis (1927, television director-writer-producer whose boob tube contributions include Dark Shadows, The Night Stalker and The Winds of War/War and Remembrance)

Buck Owens (1929, country music legend [Act Naturally, My Heart Skips a Beat, Together Again, I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail] and longtime co-host of TV’s Hee Haw)

William Goldman (1931, 79, screenwriter/author who contributed to such films as Harper, No Way to Treat a Lady, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Hot Rock, The Stepford Wives, The Great Waldo Pepper and All the President’s Men)

John Cazale (1935, stage and film actor who struck gold with virtually every movie appearance in his tragically short career: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter)

Linda Day (1938, veteran sitcom director who worked on such shows as WKRP in Cincinnati, Archie Bunker’s Place, Gimme a Break, Kate & Allie, Married with Children, Unhappily Ever After and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)

George Hamilton (1939, 71, perpetually tanned leading man who’s appeared in such films as Home From the Hill, Where the Boys Are, Light in the Piazza, Your Cheatin’ Heart, The Power, The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, Love at First Bite, etc.)

Skip Carey (1939, longtime Atlanta Braves announcer; son of the legendary Harry and father of announcer Chip)

Jennifer Warren (1941, 69, actress-director who was in several popular 70s films including Night Moves, Slap Shot and Ice Castles; played the part of Rea Parkinson in the busted sitcom pilot Butterflies that was adapted from the hit Britcom of the same name)

Dana Ivey (1941, 69, TDOY actress fave seen in films like The Color Purple, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values and The Impostors)

Mark Knopfler (1949, 61, Dire Strait and music composer for films like Local Hero, The Princess Bride and Wag the Dog)

Jim Beaver (1950, 60, film and television actor, Usenet sage and Facebook compadre whose notable television work includes roles on Deadwood and Supernatural)

Bruce Greenwood (1956, 54, film and television actor whom I always remember for his stints on St. Elsewhere, Knots Landing and Nowhere Man until he did his JFK impression in Thirteen Days)

Valerie Landsburg (1958, 52, television actress whose roles have been on shows such as Fame, All is Forgiven, Hotel and Dream On)

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