Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Frank Craven (1875, film and stage character actor/writer/director seen in such vehicles as State Fair, Barbary Coast, You’re Only Young Once, Our Town, City for Conquest, Dreaming Out Loud, In This Our Life, Keeper of the Flame and Son of Dracula)

Herbert J. Yates (1880, cigar-chomping head of Republic Pictures)

Earl Derr Biggers (1884, mystery novelist who created the inscrutable Charlie Chan)

Fred Rose (1897, country music songwriter who, along with singer Roy Acuff, created the legendary Acuff-Rose music publishing company in 1942)

Preston Foster (1900, film and television actor seen in such vehicles as I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, Elmer the Great, Heat Lightning, The Informer, Annie Oakley, etc.; played Detective Bill Crane in several Crime Club pictures and starred in TV’s Waterfront)

Jimmy Fidler (1900, Hollywood gossip columnist)

Durwood Kirby (1900, amiable second banana/announcer/sidekick to entertainer/M.C. Garry Moore and the only person in the world at the time who didn’t think the Rocky and Bullwinkle “Kirwood Derby” joke was funny [he threatened to sue])

Dorothy Comingore (1913, actress who appeared in films like Prison Train, Comet Over Broadway, Trade Winds and some Columbia two-reelers as Linda Winters—then changed her name and appeared as Susan Alexander Kane in Citizen Kane)

Hal Smith (1916, peerless character actor beloved by coach potatoes as the besotted Otis Campbell on TV’s The Andy Griffith Show; also a talented voice artist who worked such shows as Yogi Bear, Space Angel, Peter Potamus, The Flintstones, DuckTales, etc.)

Dennis James (1917, boxing-wrestling announcer and game show host [Judge for Yourself, The Name’s the Same, Name That Tune])

Connie Mason (1937, 73, former Playboy Playmate and film/TV actress whose fame—or notoriety, depending on your P.O.V.—stems from her starring roles in the cult films Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs!, directed by Herschel Gordon Lewis)

Mason Williams (1938, 72, Emmy Award-winning comedy scribe [The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour] and performer of the 1960s instrumental Classical Gas)

Ronee Blakley (1945, 65, film and television actress seen in such vehicles as Nashville, The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover, Renaldo and Clara, The Driver and A Nightmare on Elm Street)

Anne Archer (1947, 63, film and television actress glimpsed on such shows as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Falcon Crest and Privileged; her films include Fatal Attraction, Narrow Margin, Patriot Games and Short Cuts)

Joe Regalbuto (1949, 61, film and television actor who achieved fame as insecure reporter Frank Fontana on the TV sitcom Murphy Brown; also had roles on The Associates, Ace Crawford, Private Eye, Street Hawk and Knots Landing)

Stephen Fry (1957, 53, pictured with Hugh Laurie, British comic actor-writer who partnered with Laurie on such programs as Alfresco, Jeeves and Wooster and A Bit of Fry and Laurie; also appears in such films as Peter’s Friends, 1.Q., A Civil Action and V For Vendetta and solo TV efforts like Absolute Power and QI)

Steve Guttenberg (1958. 52, head-scratchingly popular leading man in such films as Diner, Police Academy, Cocoon, Short Circuit, The Bedroom Window and 3 Men and a Baby…until the movie audience finally wised up)

Craig Kilborn (1962, 48, smarmy host of The Daily Show [before John Stewart] and The Late, Late Show [before Craig Ferguson]; whereabouts unknown)

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C. Dianne Zweig said...

You have a great blog. i am working on an article about the Top ten Nostalgia blogs. I sure do like yours. Wondering if you have suggestions for others/ i can be reached at dianne@cdiannezweig.com

Also come by for a visit,
kitsch n Stuff

Brent McKee said...

Herbert Yates, the man who kept John Wayne out of the Army. Or at least so John Wayne would later say. There may have been at least some truth to Wayne's claims - the requests for deferments for Wayne apparently came from a third party, and although the records are long gone, Yates (who was making a lot of money off of Wayne from loan-outs) had the best motive for keeping the big stiff out of uniform.