Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

James Finlayson (1887, bald and mustachioed character great who was in a bazillion Laurel & Hardy feature films and shorts…and who inspired Homer Simpson’s “D’oh!”)
Morris Ankrum (1897, B-western and television oater character veteran whose movies include I Wake Up Screaming, Ride ‘Em Cowboy, Best Foot Forward, The Thin Man Goes Home, Lady in the Lake, High Wall, In a Lonely Place and My Favorite Spy)
Byron Foulger (1899, ubiquitous film and television character actor whose movies include serials like The Spider’s Web, Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, The Master Key and The Mysterious Mr. M)
Roger Pryor (1901, popular 1930s leading man in films such as Belle of the Nineties, Lady by Choice, To Beat the Band, The Return of Jimmy Valentine, The Man They Could Not Hang and The Man With Nine Lives)
Vicki Vola (1916, OTR radio veteran whose best known role is that of secretary Edith Miller on Mr. District Attorney; was also a regular on the TV soap Love is a Many Splendored Thing)
Larry Thor (1916, OTR actor-announcer who worked on such series as Rocky Jordan, The Green Lama, Escape and Suspense—and starred as Detective Danny Clover on Broadway’s My Beat)
Martha Raye (1916, pictured with Joe E. Brown, singer-comedienne who headlined her own variety show in the 1950s and appears in such films as Waikiki Wedding, College Swing, Never Say Die, Hellzapoppin’, Keep ‘Em Flying and Monsieur Verdoux; also played Benita Bizarre on The Bugaloos)
Hoke Howell (1929, ubiquitous film and television actor best remembered as Ben on Here Come the Brides…and as the guy who marries Charlene Darling, the object of Ernest T. Bass’ affections on The Andy Griffith Show)
Anne Whitfield (1936, 74, OTR/television actress who played Little Phyllis on The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show and who also appears in films such as The Gunfighter, White Christmas, Juvenile Jungle and Senior Prom)
Tommy Sands (1937, 73, actor-singer who scored a major pop hit in 1957 with Teenage Crush, then married and divorced Nancy Sinatra—it is rumored his career hit the skids largely due to intervention on behalf of his former father-in-law)
Harrison Page (1941, 69, film and television character actor seen on such boob tube offerings as C.P.O. Sharkey, Supertrain, Gimme a Break!, Sledge Hammer!, Ally McBeal and JAG)
Daryl Dragon (1942, 68, composer-songwriter who’s the son of orchestra leader of Carmen and the “Captain” of Captain and Tennille)
Tuesday Weld (1943, 67, film and television actress seen in such vehicles as Rock! Rock! Rock!, Wild in the Country, Soldier in the Rain, Lord Love a Duck, Pretty Poison, Who’’ Stop the Rain, Serial, Thief and Heartbreak Hotel—and who lives on in TV immortality as the greedy, grasping Thalia Menninger on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis)
Barbara Bach (1947, 63, Playmate-actress seen in such movies as Street Law, The Spy Who Loved Me, Force 10 from Navarone, Screamers and Caveman; spends most of her time these days being Mrs. Ringo Starr)
Charles Fleischer (1950, 60, actor and stand-up comedian who’s the answer to the trivia question “Who was the voice of Roger Rabbit?”)
Paul Reubens (1952, 58, Pee-wee Herman)
Peter Stormare (1953, 57, Swedish character actor who can be glimpsed two of Joel and Ethan Coen’s films, Fargo and The Big Lebowski; also featured on such television shows as Watching Ellie and Prison Break)
Diana Scarwid (1955, 55, Savannah, GA native seen in such films as Inside Moves, Mommie Dearest, Strange Invaders, Silkwood, Psycho II, Bastard Out of Carolina and What Lies Beneath and on TV’s Wonderfalls)
Chandra Wilson (1969, 41, film and television actress best known as Dr. Miranda Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy; also has roles in Philadelphia, Lone Star and Strangers With Candy)
Sarah Chalke (1976, 34, television actress best known as Dr. Elliot Reid on the sitcom Scrubs; also played the second-string Becky Conner on Roseanne and Gloria Hobson on Nothing Too Good For a Cowboy)

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1 comment:

Scott said...

MST3K fans will fondly recall Morris Ankrum from the Season 2 classic, Rocketship X-M and the Season 6 episode The Beginning of the End. Personally, I always think of him in connection with the film I most wish they'd done on the show -- The Giant Claw -- in which Ankrum essayed yet another of his many uniformed roles. Despite his sometimes gruff voice, Ankrum's generals blended unusually well with the scientist-heroes of '50s sci-fi, seeming more intelligent and less bloodthirsty than the usual run of military movie men -- perhaps because, before he turned to acting, he was an economics professor at Berkeley).

MST fans will recognize Byron Foulger as the dope-dealing warehouse owner in High School Big Shot, but he also -- of course -- deserves a spot in television history for his recurring role on Laredo.

And finally devotees of Mystery Science will recall Hoke Howell as "Crapout," the amiable, joke-telling killer hired by a revenge-minded Ross Hagen in Sidehackers.