Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Max Reinhardt (1873, legendary theatre impresario who directed a handful of feature films, notably 1935’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Tammany Young (1886, unsung character actor who frequently stooged for W.C. Fields in such films as Six of a Kind, You’re Telling Me!, The Old Fashioned Way, It’s a Gift and Man on the Flying Trapeze)

Raymond Walburn (1887, peerless comic character presence associated with many of Preston Sturges’ films, notably Christmas in July, Hail the Conquering Hero and The Sin of Harold Diddlebock)

“Colonel” Harland Sanders (1890, founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain or, as my sister-in-law so colorfully describes it, “the crack cocaine of fast food”)

Arthur Freed (1894, songwriter-producer and head of the legendary musicals unit at M-G-M)

Neil Hamilton (1899, film and television actor seen in both Tarzan the Ape Man and Tarzan and His Mate—but remembered by legions of couch potatoes as Commissioner Gordon on TV’s Batman)

Joseph E. Levine (1905, motion picture producer and head of the independent Embassy film studio; his productions include Godzilla, Two Women, Contempt, Zulu, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, The Graduate, The Producers and The Lion in Winter)

Ed Prentiss (1908, unsung character actor who appeared in many episodes of such TV hits as Laramie, Perry Mason, Bonanza and The Virginian)

Richard Webb (1915, film and television actor best remembered as TV’s Captain Midnight; also played Deputy Chief Don Jagger on the series Border Patrol)

Hoyt Curtin (1922, legendary musical director/composer who headed up the music department at the Hanna-Barbera cartoon studio)

Cliff Robertson (1923, 87, Academy Award-winning actor whose films include Picnic, Autumn Leaves, The Naked and the Dead, Underworld U.S.A., PT 109, The Best Man, Charly, J.W. Coop and Three Days of the Condor; also TV’s Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers)

Jimmy Perry (1923, 87, television writer and partner of David Croft, created and/or such classic Britcoms as Dad’s Army, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Hi-De-Hi! and You Rang, M’Lord?)

Jane Greer (1924, pictured with Lizbeth Scott, TDOY actress fave who appeared in such films as Two O’Clock Courage, Dick Tracy, The Falcon’s Alibi, Sinbad the Sailor, Out of the Past, They Won’t Believe Me, Station West, The Big Steal and The Company She Keeps)

Sylvia Miles (1932, 78, film and television actress whose vehicles include Murder, Inc., Parrish, Midnight Cowboy, Heat, Farewell, My Lovely, 92 in the Shade, The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday and Crossing Delancey)

Mitzi McCall (1932, 78, character actress and voice artist whom I remember fondly as Carol Leifer’s domineering mom on Alright Already, “Skeets” in You’re Never Too Young and the voice of “Penny” on Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm)

Otis Redding (1941, R&B singer-songwriter…he’s the king of ‘em all, y’all)

Dee Dee Sharp (1945, 65, pop music vocalist who scored a smash with Mashed Potato Time and whose follow-up, Gravy, is the unofficial anthem of Cliff Weimer at In the Balcony)

Inez Foxx (1946, 64, pop music vocalist [Mockingbird])

Billy Preston (1946, R&B singer-songwriter and “fifth Beatle”)

Tom Wopat (1951, 59, film and television actor who achieved boob tube immortality as Luke Duke on the series The Dukes of Hazzard; later played Jeff Robbins on the TV sitcom Cybil and enjoyed a brief career singing country music)

Jeffrey Coombs (1954, 56, geeky character thesp who appears in five films based on stories by H.P. Lovecraft: Re-Animator, From Beyond, Bride of Re-Animator, Necronomicon: Book of Dead and Lurking Fear; also worked on TV’s Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and The 4400)

John Kricfalusi (1955, 55, twisted creator of Ren & Stimpy and bane of Thad Komorowski’s existence…though I branded him a heretic when he did that god-awful Beany & Cecil reboot)

Edward Hibbert (1955, 65, film, television and stage character actor who gets a mention here because of his hilarious funny portrayal of food critic Gil Chesterston on the TV sitcom Frasier)

Hugh Grant (1960, 50, stammering British matinee idol whose films include White Mischief, The Lair of the White Worm, The Remains of the Day, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Sense and Sensibility, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’ Diary)

Adam Sandler (1966, 44, head-scratchingly popular film actor-comedian and former Not Ready for Prime Time Player whose oeuvre includes Airheads, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy)

Goran Visnjic (1972, 38, film and television actor best recognized as Dr. Luka Kovac on the TV series ER)

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