Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Jimmie Rodgers (1897, legendary “Singing Brakeman” and father of country music)

Queenie Smith (1898, peerless film and television character actress seen in such vehicles as Mississippi, Show Boat, Nocturne, The Snake Pit, The Legend of Lylah Clare and TV’s Little House on the Prairie)

Kenneth MacDonald (1901, sebaceously urbane villain of many Columbia two-reel comedies and B-westerns; later played the judge in quite a few Perry Mason episodes)

R.G. Springsteen (1904, veteran B-western director who later carved out a niche in television helming episodes of series like Trackdown, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Rawhide, Tales of Wells Fargo, Wagon Train, Bonanza and Laredo)

Henry Wilcoxon (1905, character great who appeared in many of Cecil B. DeMille’s films including Cleopatra, The Crusades, Unconquered, Samson and Delilah, The Greatest Show on Earth and The Ten Commandments)

Sid Tomack (1907, film and television character veteran whose forte was playing gangsters; played next-door neighbor Gillis on the Jackie Gleason version of TV’s The Life of Riley)

Joe Bolton (1910, legendary announcer-sportscaster and WPIX-TV kiddie show host)

Alexander Mackendrick (1912, underrated writer-director whose oeuvre includes Tight Little Island, The Man in the White Suit, The Ladykillers, Sweet Smell of Success, The Devil’s Disciple, A Boy Ten Feet Tall and Don’t Make Waves)

Patricia Wilder (1913, Macon, GA comedienne who appeared as “Honey Chile” on Bob Hope’s early radio broadcasts for Pepsodent; also appears alongside Hope in The Big Broadcast of 1938 and Thanks for the Memory)

Hillary Brooke (1914, Astoria, NY-born actress who many mistook for a Brit; appeared with Bud Abbott & Lou Costello on their syndicated TV series and played Vern Albright’s girlfriend on My Little Margie…also can be glimpsed in Sherlock Holmes Faces Death, The Woman in Green, Road to Utopia and Africa Screams)

Frank Cady (1915, 95, pictured with Rufe Davis and Smiley Burnette, veteran character thesp who turns up in scads of movies and TV shows but cemented his boob tube immortality as storekeeper Sam Drucker on both Petticoat Junction and Green Acres; also played Doc Williams on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet)

Harry Secombe (1921, beloved British entertainer who’s beloved here at TDOY for being one of the Goons; also portrayed Mr. Bumble in the 1968 musical Oliver!)

Sid Caesar (1922, 88, TDOY comedy god best remembered for his performing genius on TV’s Your Show of Shows and later Caesar’s Hour)

Hazel Brooks (1924, film actress who appeared in Body and Soul, Arch of Triumph and Sleep, My Love)

Peter Sellers (1925, actor-comic genius who worked alongside fellow birthday boy Harry Secombe on The Goon Show before becoming successful in movies with Lolita, the Pink Panther films, Dr. Strangelove, The World of Henry Orient and so many others)

Harlan Howard (1927, legendary country music songwriter who penned or co-wrote classics like Pick Me Up On Your Way Down, Heartaches By the Number, I Fall to Pieces, The Hurtin’s All Over, etc.)

Patsy Cline (1932, country music singing legend who scored a huge hit with Harlan’s I Fall to Pieces…not to mention Walking After Midnight, Crazy, She’s Got You, Leavin’ On Your Mind, Sweet Dreams, etc.; died in tragic plane crash on March 5, 1963)

Bill Parsons (1934, 76, pop music vocalist whose 1958 smash All American Boy was recorded by future country artist Bobby Bare to use as a demo…and when Bare got drafted, his version was used but Parsons got credit for the song)

Willie Tyler (1940, 70, ventriloquist)

Bernie Sanders (1941, 69, U.S. Senator from Vermont…and the only truly honest man in Congress)

Christopher Connelly (1941, film and television actor best remembered as Norman Harrington on the nighttime television soap Peyton Place)

Cathy Jean Giordano (1945, 65, lead singer of the Roommates [Please Love Me Forever])

Heather Thomas (1957, 53, film and television actress best remembered for her role as Jody Banks on the TV series The Fall Guy)

Aimee Mann (1960, 50, pop music vocalist whose first hit, Voices Carry, was as front woman for the band Til’ Tuesday; later became a soloist)

David Knell (1961, 49, film and television actor best remembered here at TDOY—and particularly on Encore Westerns on Saturday mornings—as photographer-gofer Rodney Catlow on Bret Maverick)

Kimberly Peirce (1967, 43, motion picture director whose films include Boys Don’t Cry and Stop-Loss)

David Arquette (1971, 39, film and television actor sib of Patricia and Rosanna glimpsed in such films as Beautiful Girls, Never Been Kissed, 3000 Miles to Graceland, Eight Legged Freaks and the Scream movies; aka Mr. Courtney Cox)

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Jeff Overturf said...

WOW! Peter Sellers, Sid Ceasar, Jimmie Rodgers AND Harlan Howard...I may need to take the day off and celebrate these birthdays!

Harlan Howard sidenote: Billy Joe Shaver once wrote a song called "You're As Young As the Woman You Feel" in which one verse is:
Ol' Harlan likes his women young
Says it helps him write great country songs
When they divorce him, he doesn't fight
He just keeps all those great copywrites...

Scott said...

MST3K fans will remember Hillary Brooke as Marla Stevens, the sultry MILF who spends the first ten minutes of Lost Continent avoiding having sex with Caesar Romero. She makes it look harder than it probably was.

I've had the pleasure of seeing Aimee Mann a number of times at Largo in LA, and she remains brilliant.

Java Bean Rush said...

I love MST3K. So that's who she is.

Toby O'B said...

Until Detective Munch came along, Sam Drucker was the king of the crossovers. He also appeared in about 11 episodes of 'The Beverly Hillbillies'.....