Saturday, September 4, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Roy William Neill (1887, journeyman motion picture director with a special talent for making B-pictures look like works of art; his oeuvre includes all but the first Universal Sherlock Holmes films, Black Moon, The Black Room, Black Angel, etc.)

Pete Smith (1892, Academy Award-winning writer-producer-director and narrator of one-reel short subjects for M-G-M that have found a permanent home on TCM)

Charlie Cantor (1898, OTR character great best known as amiable dunce Clifton Finnegan on Duffy’s Tavern; also played amiable dunce Socrates Mulligan on Fred Allen’s program and various amiable dunces on Jack Benny’s radio and television shows)

Reggie Nalder (1907, Austrian actor whose forte was villainous roles, particularly in such vehicles as The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Manchurian Candidate and the TV-movie of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot)

Edward Dmytryk (1908, motion picture director whose oeuvre includes Hitler’s Children, Murder, My Sweet, Cornered, Till the End of Time, Crossfire, The Sniper, The Caine Mutiny, Broken Lance, The Left Hand of God, Warlock, Mirage, etc.)

Paul Harvey (1918, legendary news commentator who often told his audiences “the rest of the story”)

Howard Morris (1919, multi-talented comedian-actor-director-voice artist who made such a tremendous impression in television including co-starring on Your Show of Shows, voicing cartoon characters like Atom Ant, Mr. Peebles, Breezly Bruin and Mushmouse, and playing demented hillbilly Ernest T. Bass on The Andy Griffith Show)

Stan Burns (1923, veteran television scribe who penned episodes of Mary Tyler Moore, Get Smart, F Troop and Gilligan’s Island; also wrote for the variety shows of Steve Allen, Carol Burnett, Flip Wilson, Dean Martin and the Smothers Brothers)

Dick York (1928, pictured, film and television actor whose career began as Billy Fairchild on radio’s Jack Armstrong but remembered by legions of couch potatoes as the first [and best] Darrin “Durwood” Stephens on the TV sitcom classic Bewitched)

Mitzi Gaynor (1931, 79, accomplished stage, film and television singer-dancer whose motion picture oeuvre includes We’re Not Married!, There’s No Business Like Show Business, The Joker is Wild, Les Girls and South Pacific)

Vince Dooley (1932, 78, legendary football coach of some university that’s located in my neck of the swamp)

Richard S. Castellano (1933, peerless stage, film and television character actor best remembered as Clemenza in The Godfather; also appears in Lovers and Other Strangers and on TV’s The Super and Joe and Sons)

Leonard Frey (1938, peerless stage, film and television character actor best remembered here at TDOY as comic villain Parker Tillman on TV’s Best of the West; can also be glimpsed in The Magic Christian, The Boys in the Band and Fiddler on the Roof)

Cynthia Pepper (1940, 70, film and television actress best known for her titular role on the short-lived sitcom Margie and as Jean Pearson on My Three Sons)

Sonny Charles (1940, 70, lead vocalist of Checkmates, Ltd. [Black Pearl])

Kenneth Kimmins (1941, 69, film and television character actor who’s best known as administrator Howard Burleigh on the TV sitcom Coach)

Merald “Bubba” Knight (1942, Pip)

Jennifer Salt (1944, 66, film and television actress seen in vehicles such as Midnight Cowboy, Hi, Mom!, Brewster McCloud, Play It Again, Sam and Sisters—but remembered here at TDOY for her role as Eunice Tate on TV’s Soap)

Michael Berryman (1948, 62, cult-horror movie icon best remembered as the terrifying Pluto in The Hills Have Eyes)

Scott Shaw! (1951, 59, cartoonist-animator who worked on such shows as The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, Camp Candy, What’s New, Scooby Doo?, etc.)

Judith Ivey (1951, 59, stage, film and television actress seen in such movies as The Lonely Guy, The Woman in Red and Hello Again; had regular roles on TV shows Down Home, Designing Women, The 5 Mrs. Buchanans, The Critic and Buddies)

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (1953, 57, film and television actor who achieved TV immortality as Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington on Welcome Back, Kotter; can also be seen in Claudine, Cooley High and TV’s Alien Nation)

Khandi Alexander (1957, 53, film and television actress best known to fans as Dr. Alexx Woods on CSI: Miami and Jackie Robbins on ER…but for me, she’ll always be revered as NewsRadio’s Catherine Duke)

Damon Wayans (1960, 50, stand-up comedian/actor who achieved much fame as one of the regulars of TV’s In Living Color after he was sent packing from Saturday Night Live; later achieved sitcom fame as the star of My Wife and Kids)

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