Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Doris Kenyon (1897, silent/sound film actress whose vehicles include Monsieur Beaucaire, Alexander Hamilton, The Ruling Voice, Counsellor at Law, Whom the Gods Destroy, Girls’ School and The Man in the Iron Mask)

Morris Carnovsky (1897, film, stage and television character great who can be glimpsed in The Life of Emile Zola, The Master Race, Rhapsody in Blue, Cornered, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, Dead Reckoning, Thieves’ Highway, etc.)

Arthur C. Nielsen (1897, market researcher who lends his name to the service that measures television audiences—aka the Nielsen ratings)

Florence Eldridge (1901, film, stage and television actress seen in such films as The Divorcee, Thirteen Women, The Story of Temple Drake, Les Miserables, Mary of Scotland, Another Part of the Forest and An Act of Murder; wife of actor Fredric March)

Darryl F. Zanuck (1902, motion picture producer and head of 20th Century-Fox beginning in 1935; one of the last studio kingpins to go down, deposed in 1971)

Gloria Holden (1908, British actress who has a cult following due to her titular role as Dracula’s Daughter; also appeared in The Life of Emile Zola, Test Pilot, Dodge City, Miracles for Sale, A Child is Born, Undercover Maisie, The Hucksters, etc.)

Kenny Delmar (1910, pictured, OTR actor-announcer whose voice is easily recognizable in many animated cartoon segments such as King Leonardo, Underdog, Tennessee Tuxedo, The Hunter and Go-Go Gophers; also played Senator, I say, Senator Beauregard Claghorn on Fred Allen’s radio show and in the 1947 film comedy It’s a Joke, Son!)

Frank Thomas (1912, legendary Walt Disney animator and one of the subjects of the 1995 documentary Frank and Ollie)

Sally Payne (1912, B-movie and television character actress glimpsed in such vehicles as The Big Show, The Higgins Family, When the Daltons Rode, Robin Hood of the Pecos, Bad Man of Deadwood, etc.)

Jack Buetel (1915, western actor who generated much hoopla for his role as Billy the Kid in the 1943 oater The Outlaw; had a fairly undistinguished career afterwards though he did play the deputy on TV’s Judge Roy Bean)

Frank Shuster (1916, Canadian comedian and partner of Johnny Wayne)

Jack “Boom Boom” Valenti (1921, former LBJ administration hack who became president of the Motion Picture Association of America, the organization that arbitrarily decides which ratings should be assigned to which films)

Bob Newhart (1929, 81, stand-up comedian/actor who headlined three of the greatest sitcoms in the history of television: The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart and Bob; also can be seen in such films as Hell is for Heroes, Catch-22 and Cold Turkey)

Carol Lawrence (1932, 78, singer-actress whom I regrettably only remember from those General Foods International Coffee commercials but she’s done a great deal of stage and television work [West Side Story, General Hospital])

Eddie Carroll (1933, peerless impersonator of comedian Jack Benny and voice of Jiminy Cricket)

Dick Clement (1937, writer-producer-director who, along with partner Ian Le Frenais, created and/or wrote such classic Britcoms as The Likely Lads, Thick as Thieves, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Porridge and Going Straight)

John Stewart (1939, singer-songwriter [Daydream Believer] and one-time member of The Kingston Trio)

George Lazenby (1939, 71, faux James Bond [On Her Majesty’s Secret Service] who’s also appeared in such films as The Kentucky Fried Movie, Saint Jack, Gettysburg and The Evil Inside Me)

William Devane (1939, 71, suave, polished character thesp seen in such films as The Pursuit of Happiness, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Marathon Man and Family Plot—but a more familiar television face due to his long-running role as Gregory Sumner on Knots Landing)

Raquel Welch (1940, 70, sexpot actress who appears in such films as Fantastic Voyage, One Million Years B.C., Fathom, Bedazzled, Myra Breckinridge and The Last of Sheila; now hawking sunglasses and hypocritically scolding people about “moral standards”)

Werner Herzog (1942, 68, German motion picture director whose oeuvre includes Even Dwarfs Started Small, Aguirre: The Wrath of God, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Heart of Glass, Stroszek, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Fitzcarraldo, Grizzly Man, etc.)

Al Stewart (1945, 65, singer-songwriter [Year of the Cat])

Loudon Wainwright III (1946, 64, actor-singer-songwriter once considered “the new Dylan”; best remembered for his novelty hit Dead Skunk)

Freddie Mercury (1946, front man for rock group Queen)

Dennis Dugan (1946, 64, boyish actor best remembered for his titular role as TV’s Richie Brockelman, Private Eye but turned to the other side of the camera and has directed such Adam Sandler “classics” as Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy and You Don’t Mess With the Zohan)

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy (1947, cult singer-songwriter whose record Paralyzed is probably the yardstick by which terrible music is measured)

Cathy Guisewite (1950, 60, creator of comic strip Cathy—which she will soon be putting out of its and our misery, thank heaven)

Michael Keaton (1951, 59, popular 80s/90s leading man seen in such films as Night Shift, Mr. Mom, Gung Ho, Beetle Juice, Clean and Sober, Batman, My Life, The Paper, Speechless, Jackie Brown, Jack Frost, etc.)

Rose McGowan (1973, 37, film and television actress best known as Paige Matthews on TV’s Charmed; also appears in such films as Bio-Dome, Scream, Monkeybone, The Black Dahlia and Grindhouse)

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