Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy birthday, Ann Rutherford and Warren Stevens!

The actress moviegoers know as Polly Benedict, girlfriend to the irrepressible Andy Hardy (Mickey Rooney) in the popular M-G-M The Hardy Family film series was born on this date in Vancouver, British Columbia back in 1920—which means (although I’m always a bit hesitant to reveal a lady’s age) that she’s celebrating her ninetieth natal anniversary today.  Faithful TDOY perusers know that Mickey Rooney is usually welcomed around these parts with the same enthusiasm as rubella but I make an exception for the Hardy films, and Ms. Rutherford is one of the main reasons (I also liked her as Red Skelton’s long-suffering fiancée in the Whistling films, as you might have guessed from the photo).

Ann’s not the only celeb to become a nonagenarian today—character great Warren Stevens (born in 1919 in Clark’s Summit, PA) turns ninety-one, an actor whose films include Deadline U.S.A., The Barefoot Contessa and Forbidden Planet.  (He also landed regular TV gigs on Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers and Bracken’s World…the latter show featuring just his voice.)  Thrilling Days of Yesteryear extends hearty birthday greetings to both of these veteran performers…and here’s who else has a birthday today!

Daniel Boone (1754-1820) – Frontiersman-explorer whose exploits live on in reruns on the Retro Television Network

Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) – Queen of France and proponent of cake eating

James K. Polk (1795-1849) – Eleventh President of the United States

Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) – Twenty-ninth President of the United States

Jerry Giesler (1886-1962) – Legal eagle whose specialty was getting celebrities out of messy entanglements and scrapes

Alice Brady (1892-1939) – Academy Award-winning actress whose vehicles include My Man Godfrey and In Old Chicago

Tim Whelan (1893-1957) – Motion picture writer-director whose films include The Murder Man, The Divorce of Lady X and Clouds over Europe

Walter Woolf King (1899-1964) – Actor-singer best remembered as the disagreeable opera singer Rudolf Lassparri in A Night in the Opera

Paul Ford (1901-1976) – Stage, film and television character great who achieved TV immortality as Colonel John T. Hall on The Phil Silvers Show

James Dunn (1901-1967) – Academy Award-winning actor whose vehicles include A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Killer McCoy

Sydney Zelinka (1906-1981) – Old-time radio and television scriptwriter who enjoyed a long association writing for The Honeymooners and The Jackie Gleason Show

Luchino Visconti (1906-1976) – Italian motion picture director whose works include The Leopard, The Damned and Death in Venice

Sydney Guilaroff (1907-1997) – Longtime M-G-M hair stylist (and the guy who says “damn good actress” in the beginning of those TCM Word of Mouth segments)

Bunny Berigan (1908-1942) – Jazz trumpeter/musician

Reginald Beckwith (1908-1966) – British stage, screen and film actor whose vehicles include Genevieve, The Titfield Thunderbolt and Night of the Demon

Burt Lancaster (1913-1994) – Academy Award-winning actor whose films include The Killers, Sweet Smell of Success and Elmer Gantry

Harry Babbitt (1913-2004) – Vocalist with Kay Kyser’s band

Ray Walston (1914-2001) – My favorite Martian

Sidney Luft (1915-2005) – Film and television producer better remembered as one-time husband to Judy Garland, whose Oscar for The Wizard of Oz he repeatedly tried to sell until a court told him to cut it out

Janette Davis (1917-2005) – Longtime featured female vocalist on Arthur Godfrey’s radio and television show and hawker of Carolina Rice

Shepard Menken (1921-1999) – OTR, film and television actor who did a great deal of voice work, including channeling character actor Richard Haydn for the voice of Clyde Crashcup on The Alvin Show

Howard Post (1926-2010) – Animator and comic strip-book artist who created the strip The Dropouts

Steve Ditko (1927-     ) – Marvel comic book artist who co-created Doctor Strange and The Amazing Spider-Man

Earl Carroll (1937-     ) – They often call him Speedo but his real name is Mr. Earl

Jay Black (1938-     ) – American

Pat Buchanan (1938-     ) – Conservative columnist-pundit, former Nixon/Reagan speechwriter, one-time Presidential candidate…and a man whom I’ve long suspected kicks back in the evening with a martini…dressed in an SS uniform

Stefanie Powers (1942-     ) – Film and television actress best known for her TV roles on The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. and Hart to Hart

J.D. Souther (1945-     ) – Country/rock singer-songwriter

Maxine Nightingale (1952-     ) – R&B/Soul singer

k.d. lang (1961-     ) – Country/pop singer-songwriter

David Brock (1962-     ) – Former conservative turned liberal journalist-pundit and founder of Media Matters for America

David Schwimmer (1966-     ) – Ross

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quizshowbob said...

Two presidential birthdays. YAY!

Peggy said...

At first I thought..."Jay Black....& he is an American??" Then I listened to the clip and thought "DOH! I shoulda known that."

Birthdays again!!!!!! Thank you!!!!