Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy birthday today to...

Milton S. Hershey* (1857, philanthropist and confectioner who created one of the greatest inventions known to mankind…the Hershey bar)

Alma Kruger (1871, stage and screen character actress seen to good advantage as head nurse Molly Byrd in M-G-M’s Dr. Kildare films; other vehicles include These Three, One Hundred Men and a Girl, Marie Antoinette, His Girl Friday and Saboteur)

Lewis E. Lawes (1883, Sing Sing Prison administrator whose books were adapted for the films 20,000 Years in Sing Sing, Invisible Stripes, Castle on the Hudson and the radio shows Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing and The Crime Cases of Warden Lawes)

Ruth McDevitt (1895, stage, screen and television character actress best remembered here at TDOY as Miss Emily Cowles on The Night Stalker and Grandma Effie Hanks on the sitcom Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats)

David Rubinoff (1897, renowned violinist who often appeared on Eddie Cantor’s The Chase and Sanborn Hour radio program during the 30s [though his voice was supplied by Alan “Fred Flintstone” Reed, since Rubinoff was mike-shy]; also can be glimpsed in Thanks a Million and You Can’t Have Everything)

Gladys George (1900, peerless character actress best known as unfaithful wife Iva Archer in The Maltese Falcon; can also be seen in Marie Antoinette, The Roaring Twenties, The Hard Way, Christmas Holiday, The Best Years of Our Lives and Flamingo Road)

Leland Hayward (1902, Tony Award-winning theatre impresario whose hits included Mister Roberts, South Pacific and The Sound of Music)

Claudette Colbert (1903, pictured with Jimmy Stewart, Academy Award-winning actress whose films include The Sign of the Cross, It Happened One Night, Cleopatra, Midnight, Drums Along the Mohawk, Since You Went Away and The Egg and I)

Mae Questel (1908, beloved actress-voice artist who supplied the speaking/singing voices of Betty Boop, Olive Oyl, Little Lulu and Little Audrey; also shilled paper towels as “Aunt Bluebelle” and can be glimpsed in such films as It’$ Only Money and Funny Girl)

Leith Stevens (1909, composer/musician who arranged music for film, radio and television; some of his work includes the theme songs for TV’s Climax! and Custer, as well as music for The Abbott & Costello Show, Big Town, Escape, Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar)

Bill Monroe (1911, Father of Bluegrass)

Reta Shaw (1912, stage, screen and television character actress best remembered here at TDOY as housekeeper Martha Grant on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and for that wonderful dance number she does with Eddie Foy, Jr. in The Pajama Game)

Roy Engel (1913, stage, screen and television character actor glimpsed in tons of TV shows and who had recurring roles on My Favorite Martian, The Wild Wild West, Bonanza and The Virginian as various minor characters)

Dick Haymes (1918, popular male vocalist and actor who starred on radio’s I Fly Anything as pilot Dockery Crane; also appears in such films as Du Barry Was a Lady, Four Jills in a Jeep, State Fair, Diamond Horseshoe and Up in Central Park)

Roald Dahl (1916, renowned short story author and novelist whose Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was adapted into the 1971 cult film classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; also hosted CBS’ anthology series Way Out and was at one time married to actress Patricia Neal)

Ray Charles (1918, 92, not the legendary R&B singer-musician, but the Other Ray Charles—the composer and arranger whose “Ray Charles Singers” had a pop music smash with Love Me With All of Your Heart and who sang the Three’s Company theme with Julia Rinker)

Carole Matthews (1920, 90, stage, screen and television character actress whose extensive resume includes a supporting role as Wilma Fansler on the TV series The Californians)

Wally Boag (1920, 90, Disneyland’s “Balloon Man”—a popular entertainer so beloved by Uncle Walt that he made frequent appearances on the Mickey Mouse Club and can be seen in films like The AbsentMinded Professor and The Love Bug)

Charles Brown (1922, R&B musician best remembered for his Yuletide anthem Please Come Home for Christmas)

Maurice Jarre (1924, Academy Award-winning motion picture composer whose scores include Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, The Collector, Ryan’s Daughter and A Passage to India)

Scott Brady (1924, actor brother of Lawrence Tierney whose films include Canon City, He Walked by Night, The Model and the Marriage Broker, Johnny Guitar, $, The China Syndrome and Gremlins; also starred as TV’s Shotgun Slade)

Norman Alden (1924, 86, iconic film and television character thesp/voice actor [Aquaman] who’ll always be remembered here at TDOY as Captain Horton on the F Troop sitcom wannabe Rango, Frank Heflin on Electra Woman and Dyna Girl and Coach Fedders—the poor unfortunate who meets his demise in a bowl of soup—on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman)

Mel Tormé (1925, “The Velvet Fog”—scat singer-actor whose was an idol to Judge Harry Stone on TV’s Night Court; also can be seen in Higher and Higher, Ghost Catchers, Junior Miss, Good News and Girls Town)

Barbara Bain (1931, 79, smokin’ hot actress who romped through my adolescent fantasies as Cinnamon Carter on Mission: Impossible; her other TV gigs include Space: 1999 and Richard Diamond, Private Detective)

Eileen Fulton (1933, 77, soap opera icon who played one of my mother’s favorite bitches-on-wheels, Lisa Hughes, on As the World Turns [and in the brief primetime spin-off, Our Private World])

Fred Silverman (1937, 73, television programming wunderkind who programmed CBS and ABC to #1 in the ratings…but couldn’t complete the hat trick with NBC; later became a TV producer with top shows like In the Heat of the Night, Matlock, Jake and the Fatman and Diagnosis Murder)

Don Bluth (1937, Disney wannabe whose animated films include The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Rock-a-Doodle and Anastasia)

Judith Martin (1938, 72, oh-so-proper etiquette columnist who writes under the nom de plume of “Miss Manners” even though she really lives in a trailer park, scarfs up pork rinds and can cannonball a can of beer in a way that would put a frat brother to shame**)

Richard Kiel (1939, 71***, gargantuan character actor best known as “Jaws” in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, the Kanamit in the Twilight Zone classic “To Serve Man” and Moose Moran on the short-lived Rap Sheet fave Barbary Coast)

David Clayton-Thomas (1941, 69, former lead singer of Blood, Sweat and Tears)

Peter Cetera (1944, 66, former lead singer of Chicago)

Jacqueline Bisset (1944, 66, smokin’ hot actress seen in such vehicles as Cul-de-sac, Casino Royale, Two for the Road, Bullitt, The Grasshopper, Airport, The Mephisto Waltz, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and Day for Night)

Frank Marshall (1946, 64, Steven Spielberg crony who’s executive-produced many of his films; has also dabbled in directing such movies as Arachnophobia, Alive, Congo and Eight Below)

Clyde Kusatsu (1948, 62, peerless character actor best known for his roles on TV shows like Bring ‘Em Back Alive, All-American Girl and The Young and the Restless)

Nell Carter (1948, actress-singer stage phenom who starred in one of the most head-scratchingly popular 1980s sitcoms, Gimme a Break; we should have known what was coming when they added her to the cast of The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo in its second season)

Jean Smart (1951, 59, television icon [Teachers Only, Designing Women, High Society, Style & Substance, In-Laws, The District, 24, Samantha Who?])

Christine Estabrook (1952, 58, film and television actress best known for her roles on Hometown, The Crew, Nikki and Desperate Housewives)

Geri Jewell (1956, 54, actress-comedienne best known for her roles on The Facts of Life, The Young and the Restless and Deadwood)

Ben Savage (1980, 30, insufferably precocious moppet actor who starred in the head-scratchingly popular sitcom Boy Meets World; brother to moppet actor Fred)

*The “S” stands for “Snavely”—isn’t that a hoot?

**I made this up. Please don’t sue me.

***I’ll bet he’d scare the snot out of the other people in the old folks’ home. Oh, and I didn’t mention that one movie he was in ‘cause I’m sure Scott C. will do it for me.

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Jeff Overturf said...

Wow...what a fantasy...Claudette Colbert AND Hershey bars...mmmmm

Scott said...

Oh, and I didn’t mention that one movie he was in ‘cause I’m sure Scott C. will do it for me.

Well, if you insist...

MST3K fans will remember Richard Kiel from the immortal classic Season 5 episode Eegah. More fanatic fans will remember him from his starring role as "Dr. Kolos" in the Season 4 ep The Human Duplicators, and really fanaticky fans will remember his man-in-an-alien-dog-suit performance from the Sci-Fi Channel episode The Phantom Planet (in both of which latter films he got to tote the elfin Dolores Faith around the set like a depilated Kong).

Scott said...

And just to be thorough...

MST3K fans will remember Scott Brady as "Forehead, the voice of Mission Control" in the Season 4 episode Space Travelers (which was, as Dr. Forrester concedes, "actually Marooned, with the Film Ventures International treatment: new credit sequence in other words..." It remains the only Oscar®-winning movie they ever riffed on the show).

MSTies will also remember Mel Tormé as the middle-aged, Jaguar-driving delinquent in the Mamie Van Doren vehicle, Girls Town, which Mike and the bots riffed in Season 6.

And finally, Barbara Bain will be familiar to the more disturbingly obsessive MST fans from her appearance in the first, beta, season of the show on Minneapolis UHF station KTMA, where she starred, along with then-hubby Martin Landau in Cosmic Princess, a movie stitched together from several episodes of Space: 1999.