Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Sidney Drew (1863, early silent film-vaudeville comedian/director who appeared frequently in short comedies with his wife [billed as “Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew”])

E.E. Clive (1879, British character actor whose films include The Invisible Man, One More River, Charlie Chan in London, Bride of Frankenstein, Little Lord Fauntleroy and Dracula’s Daughter; also played “Tenny” Tennison in several of the Johns Howard-Barrymore Bulldog Drummond films)

John T. Murray (1886, character stalwart who appeared in tons of Columbia two-reel comedies—notably the Charley Chase shorts The Wrong Miss Wright and Many Sappy Returns and Andy Clyde’s Caught in the Act)

Stanley Andrews (1891, character thesp whose best-known gig was as The Old Ranger on TV’s Death Valley Days; also can glimpsed in such films and serials as The Lone Ranger, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, The Green Hornet and The Princess and the Pirate)

James Wong Howe (1899, Academy Award-winning cinematographer whose films include Laugh, Clown, Laugh, The Power and the Glory, City for Conquest, Body and Soul, Sweet Smell of Success, Seconds, etc.)

Charles Boyer (1899, French leading man who made women swoon in such films as Algiers, Hold Back the Dawn, Gaslight, Confidential Agent, A Woman’s Vengeance, The Earrings of Madame de…, Fanny, etc.)

Sam Levene (1905, TDOY character fave who can seen in such classics as After the Thin Man, Whistling in Brooklyn, The Killers, Boomerang!, Brute Force, Crossfire, Sweet Smell of Success, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, …And Justice for All, etc.)

Simon Oakland (1915, heavyset character thesp whose films include I Want to Live!, Psycho, West Side Story, The Satan Bug and Bullitt; holds a special place in the heart of TDOY for his portrayal of hardcase editor Tony Vincenzo in The Night Stalker movies and TV series)

Tol Avery (1915, veteran film and television character great whose can be glimpsed in such films as All That Heaven Allows, Buchanan Rides Alone, WUSA…and more TV programs than you’ve had hot dinners)

Nancy Kulp (1921, veteran film and television character actress who achieved boob tube immortality as long-suffering secretary Jane Hathaway on The Beverly Hillbillies; also played obsessed bird-watcher Pamela Livingston on Love That Bob)

Peggy Ryan (1924, effervescent singer-dancer who co-starred with Donald O’Connor in a slew of musicals cranked out at Universal in the 1940s; later achieved TV fame as Steve McGarrett’s gal Friday Jenny Sherman on Hawaii Five-O)

Donald O’Connor (1925, effervescent singer-dancer who co-starred with Peggy Ryan in a slew of musicals cranked out at Universal in the 1940s; later co-starred with Francis the Talking Mule and of course, appears with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in the greatest movie musical of all time)

Billy Grammer (1925, 85, country music vocalist-guitarist [Gotta Travel On, I Wanna Go Home])

Roxie Roker (1929, film and television veteran best remembered for playing Helen Willis, George Jefferson’s in-law on TV’s The Jeffersons; mother of songwriter-musician Lenny Kravitz)

Ben Gazzara (1930, 80, TDOY actor fave seen in such films as The Strange One, Anatomy of a Murder, Convicts 4, Husbands, Saint Jack, Road House and The Big Lebowski; also starred on TV’s Arrest and Trial and Run For Your Life)

Windsor Davies (1930, 80, pictured with Donald Sinden, British actor best known here at TDOY for two enduring Britcom creations: the maniacally authoritative Battery Sergeant Major Williams of It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and rascally antiques dealer Oliver Smallbridge of Never the Twain)

Harold Snoad (1935, 75, Britcom writer-producer-director whose shows include Dad’s Army, Are You Being Served?, Don’t Wait Up, Ever Decreasing Circles, Brush Stokes and Keeping Up Appearances)

Sonny Shroyer (1935, 75, film and television character actor who, despite impressively serious turns in vehicles like The Rainmaker and TV’s I’ll Fly Away and American Gothic, is going to be known as Deputy Enos Strate from The Dukes of Hazzard [and its spin-off, Enos] until they lay him to rest)

David Soul (1943, 67, one-hit wonder [Don’t Give Up on Us] and television icon [Here Come the Brides, Starsky and Hutch, The Yellow Rose])

Robert Greenwald (1945, 65, former motion picture/television director-producer turned progressive documentarian whose films are as varied as Xanadu and Sweet Hearts Dance to Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism and Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices)

Alice Playten (1947, 63, veteran actress/voice artist whose film debut was Ladybug, Ladybug and who worked in both National Lampoon’s stage shows and on the Sid & Marty Krofft show The Lost Saucer…which is where I always remember her from)

Charles Rocket (1949, film and television actor whose dropping of an F-bomb as a Not Ready for Prime Time Player on Saturday Night Live only slowed his career momentarily; later turned up on such shows as Moonlighting and Touched By an Angel)

Lindsay Bloom (1950, 60, smokin’ hot TDOY cult actress fave whose films include Six Pack Annie, French Quarter and H.O.T.S.; achieved TV immortality as Mike Hammer’s secretary Velda on the Stacy Keach version of TV’s Mike Hammer*)

Wayne Osmond (1951, 59, Osmond brother)

Luis Guzmán (1956, 54, Latino character actor seen on TV’s Oz, Luis, John from Cincinnati and How to Make it in America; Greendale Community College on the sitcom Community erected a statue of Guzmán on its campus in tribute)

Daniel Stern (1957, 53, goofy film and television vet seen in such films as Breaking Away, Diner [as “Shrevie”], Get Crazy, Daniel, Hannah and Her Sisters, City Slickers and Rookie of the Year; also narrated the TV sitcom The Wonder Years and provided the voice of the animated Dilbert)

Rick Rossovich (1957, 53, bland beefcake actor recently seen in The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw but remembered for his roles as Lt. Anthony Palermo on Pacific Blue and Dante “Pig” Pignetti in my paisan Jeff Lane’s movie fave The Lords of Discipline [scripted by Lloyd of mardecortesbaja fame])

Emma Samms (1960, 50, lovely British bit o’crumpet remembered for her roles as Holly Sutton Scorpio on General Hospital and second-string Fallon Carrington Colby on Dynasty and The Colbys)

Jennifer Coolidge (1961, 49, actress-comedienne known for her role as Bobbi Morganstern on the Friends spin-off Joey and for her appearances in Christopher Guest’s films [Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration])

David Fincher (1962, 48, motion picture director whose oeuvre includes Alien 3, Se7en, The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)

Shania Twain (1965, 45, staggeringly successful country-pop vocalist whose appeal has always eluded me…though I do like the song that follows)

*Bloom also co-starred as Goober Pyle’s sister—along with Leigh French and Audrey Landers (as his niece)—in a busted pilot entitled Goober and the Trucker’s Paradisewhich suggests that it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be Goober.

Bookmark and Share

1 comment:

Matthew Coniam said...

Sorry to keep banging on about this, but it brightens my day to open TDOY and find casually-tossed phrases like "the rascally Oliver Smallbridge..."
Happy birthday Windsor, and keep it up Ivan!