Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Almira Sessions (1888, former vaudeville star whose appearances on Bob Hope’s radio show in the 1940s bolstered her presence in movies like Three Girls About Town, Sullivan’s Travels, Henry Aldrich’s Little Secret and Monsieur Verdoux)

Isabel Jeans (1891, British character actress whose vehicles include Downhill, Easy Virtue, Tovarich, Good Girls Go to Paris, Suspicion, Elizabeth of Ladymead and Gigi)

Alexander Korda (1893, motion picture director-producer whose oeuvre includes The Private Life of Henry VIII, Rembrandt, The Man Who Could Work Miracles, The Thief of Bagdad, That Hamilton Woman, The Fallen Idol and The Third Man)

Milt Franklyn (1897, legendary composer/conductor for the Warner Bros. cartoon studio)

Joe Venuti (1903, jazz musician/violinist who was a regular presence on Bing Crosby’s radio broadcasts during the 1950s)

Jerry Wald (1911, motion picture screenwriter-producer whose oeuvre includes The Roaring Twenties, They Drive By Night, Across the Pacific, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Destination Tokyo, Mildred Pierce, Johnny Belinda and Key Largo)

Paul Henning (1911, writer-director-producer who wrote for radio’s Fibber McGee & Molly and Burns & Allen in his salad days; later became a big name in TV with contributions to such shows as Love That Bob, The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres)

Howard Christie (1912, motion picture producer who oversaw many of Abbott & Costello’s vehicles including Meet the Invisible Man and Meet the Mummy; later became a producer of TV westerns like Wagon Train and Laredo)

Allen Funt (1914, writer-director-producer and host of radio’s Candid Microphone…which later became Candid Camera on TV; demonstrated that big laughs could be had at other people’s expense via hidden cameras)

Andy Russell (1916, pop music phenomenon of the 1940s who was a featured vocalist on shows like Your Hit Parade and Joan Davis’s program; also appears in the films The Stork Club, Breakfast in Hollywood and Copacabana)

Lawrence Dobkin (1918, TDOY OTR god who plied his talent on a gazillion radio programs—notably Ellery Queen and Gunsmoke—and later moved into television as both actor and director; his splendid voice can be oft-heard on Naked City: “There are eight million stories in the naked city…this has been one of them.”)

Janis Paige (1922, 88, multi-talented singer/thesp whose movie appearances include Hollywood Canteen, Two Guys from Milwaukee and Romance on the High Seas; also appeared on the TV shows It’s Always Jan, Lanigan’s Rabbi, Eight is Enough, Baby Makes Five and Trapper John, MD)

Guy Hamilton (1922, motion picture director whose oeuvre includes An Inspector Calls, The Colditz Story, The Devil’s Disciple, Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun)

Faith Hubley (1924, veteran animator who, along with husband John, received two Oscars for their groundbreaking cartoon shorts; also contributed many animated segments to PBS’ Sesame Street and The Electric Company)

Lauren Bacall (1924, 86, stage, screen and television actress best known for her cinematic collaborations with husband Humphrey Bogart: To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage and Key Largo)

Morgan Woodward (1925, 85, veteran film and television character actor who television roles include Shotgun Gibbs on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp and Marvin Anderson on Dallas; also played the memorable Boss Godfrey in the film Cool Hand Luke)

Riley Ben “B.B.” King (1925, 85, legendary jazz-blues guitarist)

John Knowles (1926, Fairmont, WV native and author of A Separate Peace)

Tommy “Butch” Bond (1926, Our Ganger who started out as a nondescript member before becoming the Little Rascals’ all-purpose villain in 1937; later originated the role of cub reporter Jimmy Olsen in the serials Superman and Atom Man vs. Superman)

Jack Kelly (1927, film and television actor whose boob tube immortality was cemented as Bart Maverick, brother to James Garner’s Bret on the TV western Maverick; also had roles on the TV series Get Christie Love! and The Hardy Boys-Nancy Drew Mysteries)

Peter Falk (1927, 83, peerless stage, screen and TV thesp best known as the rumpled, rain coated detective Columbo on the series of the same name; his other TV gigs include the rumpled, over coated attorney David O’Brien in The Trials of O’Brien)

Anne Francis (1930, 80, pictured, film and television actress whose boob tube immortality was cemented an private investigator Honey West on the series of the same name; also had roles on the TV series My Three Sons, Dallas and Riptide)

George Chakiris (1934, 76, Academy Award-winning actor whose film career nosedived after copping the trophy for his performance in West Side Story; later rebounded with appearances on Dallas and The Adventures of Superboy)

Jules Bass (1935, 75, animation director-producer who formed successful studio with partner Arthur Rankin, Jr. cranking out Christmas specials and Saturday morning fodder like The Smokey the Bear Show, Tomfoolery and The Reluctant Dragon & Mr. Toad Show)

Jim McBride (1941, 69, motion picture director whose oeuvre includes David Holzman’s Diary, Glen and Randa, Breathless, The Big Easy, Great Balls of Fire! and The Informant)

Linda Henning (1944, 66, actress daughter of birthday boy Paul Henning who played Betty Jo Bradley on the Henning-created Petticoat Junction; also provided the speaking voice for “Jethrine” Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies)

Russ Abbot (1947, 63, British television comedian who starred on such shows as Madhouse, The Russ Abbot Show, Married for Life and Last of the Summer Wine)

Oz Scott (1949, 61, film and television director whose movies include Bustin’ Loose and Dreamland; his TV work includes episodes of The Jeffersons, The Practice, Soul Food, Family Law, The District and CSI: NY)

Ed Begley, Jr. (1949, 61, film and television actor son of Ed, Sr. best known for playing Dr. Victor Ehrlich on St. Elsewhere; has also appeared on Roll Out, Parenthood, 7th Heaven, Kingdom Hospital and Gary Unmarried)

Susan Ruttan (1950, 60, film and television actress best known as devoted gal Friday Roxanne Melman on TV’s L.A. Law)

David Bellamy (1950, 60, Bellamy Brother [Let Your Love Flow, If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body {Would You Hold It Against Me)])

Mickey Rourke (1952, 58, film and television actor whose vehicles include Body Heat, Diner, Rumble Fish, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Year of the Dragon, Nine ½ Weeks, Angel Heart, Barfly, Desperate Hours, The Rainmaker and The Wrestler)

Christopher Rich (1953, 57, film and television actor best known as Dr. Brock Hart on the sitcom Reba…though those of us with longer memories will remember his funny turn on Murphy Brown as egotistical talking head Miller Redfield and as “Prince Charming” on the short-lived sitcom The Charmings)

Kurt Fuller (1953, 57. modern-day character great whose films include Ghostbusters II, Wayne’s World and Auto Focus; expertly impersonated un dickhead formidable Karl Rove on the sitcom That’s My Bush!)

Lenny Clarke (1953, 57, actor/stand-up known for his work on Denis Leary’s The Job and Rescue Me; also starred in a 1990-91 self-titled sitcom and played terminally lazy cop Adam Hampton on the late, lamented The John Larroquette Show)

David Copperfield (1956, 54, magic dude)

Jennifer Tilly (1958, 52, smokin’ hot film and television actress whose vehicles include Bullets Over Broadway, Bound, Liar Liar, Bride of Chucky, The Cat’s Meow and Seed of Chucky)

Terry McBride (1958, 52, front man for country music group McBride and the Ride)

Jayne Brook (1960, 50, film and television actress whom I dearly loved as Dr. Diane Grad on TV’s Chicago Hope; also had roles on the series WIOU, Sirens, The District and John Doe)

Richard Marx (1963, 47, popular 80s pop tunesmith whose anthem, Right Here Waiting, is my sister Debbie and her husband’s “song”)

Molly Shannon (1964, 46, former SNL Not Ready for Prime Time player, one-time star of TV’s Kath & Kim…and personal role model of my sister Kat [“Superstar!”])

Amy Poehler (1971, 39, former SNL Not Ready for Prime Time player and star of the on-hiatus-honest-we-plan-to-bring-it-back-if-the-show-that-replaced-it-tanks sitcom, Parks and Recreation)

Bookmark and Share


Scott said...

whose anthem, Right Here Waiting, is my sister Debbie and her husband’s “song”)

Fate, rather than taste, so often selects and cements a couple's "song," condolences to them.

And as for Anne Francis, I have but one word: Rowr.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Fate, rather than taste, so often selects and cements a couple's "song," condolences to them.

Yea and verily, you are wise in the ways of music, Mr. C. In fact, at their wedding reception, my other sister and I were so filled with revulsion at having to hear it that we were forced to ask the DJ to play Love Shack in their honor just to cleanse our palates.

The record-spinner also played Floyd Cramer's Last Date, which is my parents' "song" and My Girl, which was my brother-in-law's parents tune of choice. Sister Kat turned to me and said: "His parents are hipper than ours."