Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy birthday, Douglas Dick!

I’m very pleased to give today’s birthday celebrant a special shout out—because not only does he turn ninety today, he hails from my home state of West Virginia…in fact, we share the same birth place of Charleston, the state capital.  Described by the always reliable IMDb as an “earnest, soulful-looking ‘second lead’ of post-war filming,” Dick’s best known film role is that of milksop Kenneth Lawrence in the 1948 Alfred Hitchcock film Rope (that’s him in-between stars Farley Granger and John Dall).  He was also a regular on the syndicated television drama Waterfront, playing son Carl Herrick to star Preston Foster’s sea captain John Herrick.

Douglas’ film debut was in the 1946 The Searching Wind, and he appeared in quite a few noteworthy films after that: Saigon, Casbah, The Accused, Home of the Brave, The Red Badge of Courage and Flaming Star.  As the film roles started to dry up, however, he became more of a familiar face on television, guest-starring on the likes of The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Sea Hunt, 77 Sunset Strip and Perry Mason.  He retired from acting in 1971 and went into honest work, becoming a psychiatrist.  So happy 90th to Douglas and the merriest of natal anniversaries to these folks as well:

Zeffie Tilbury (1863-1950) – Stage and screen character actress whose films include The Single Standard, The Bohemian Girl, The Grapes of Wrath and Tobacco Road

Kenesaw Mountain Landis (1866-1944) – Federal judge who also became baseball’s first commissioner and who’s played in the film Eight Men Out by TDOY character actor god John Anderson

James Michael Curley (1874-1958) – Colorful Massachusetts governor (and mayor of Boston) said to have inspired the lead character in the novel (and 1958 film) The Last Hurrah

Norman Thomas (1884-1968) – Activist/pacifist and six-time Socialist Party of America presidential candidate

Robert Armstrong (1890-1973) – Stage, screen and television character great beloved by classic film buffs as Carl Denham in the classic King Kong; his other films include The Son of Kong, “G” Men, The Paleface and Mighty Joe Young

Reginald Denny (1891-1967) – British stage, screen and television character actor whose vehicles include Madam Satan, The Lost Patrol, the Bulldog Drummond movies and My Favorite Brunette

Rod La Rocque (1898-1969) – Stage and screen actor whose peak popularity occurred during the silent film era with such vehicles as The Ten Commandments, Resurrection and Our Modern Maidens

Chester Gould (1900-1985) – Creator of Dick Tracy

Henri-Georges Clouzot (1907-1977) – French motion picture director whose oeuvre includes Le corbeau, Quai des Orfèvres, The Wages of Fear and Diabolique

Fran Allison (1907-1989) – Singer who first achieved fame as “Aunt Fanny” on radio’s The Breakfast Club before cementing her television immortality as the non-puppet pal of Kukla and Ollie

Alistair Cooke (1908-2004) – British-American journalist and TV personality who was the long-time host of PBS’ Masterpiece Theater

Judy Canova (1913-1983) – Radio, television and movies’ “Jenny Lind of the Ozarks” whose celluloid ventures include Sis Hopkins, Joan of Ozark, Chatterbox, Louisiana Hayride and The WAC from Walla Walla

Russell Rouse (1913-1967) – Writer-director-producer whose film contributions include D.O.A., The Well, The Thief, New York Confidential and The Fastest Gun Alive; also created the TV series Tightrope

Kon Ichikawa (1915-2008) – Japanese motion picture director whose oeuvre includes The Burmese Harp, Fires on the Plain and Tokyo Olympiad

Richard Fiske (1915-1944) – Stage and screen character actor whose forte was serials, B-westerns and two-reel comedies; he plays the frustrated sergeant in the Three Stooges short Boobs in Arms

Evelyn Keyes (1916-2008) – TDOY actress fave best remembered by classic movie fans as Scarlett O’Hara’s young sister in Gone with the Wind…but she’s revered here for such films as The Face Behind the Mask, A Thousand and One Nights, The Killer That Stalked New York, The Prowler and 99 River Street

Robert C. Byrd (1917-2010) – The late, great Senior U.S. Senator from West Virginia and perhaps the last true statesman of our time

Phyllis Thaxter (1921-     ) – Stage, screen and character actress whose vehicles include Bewitched, The Sign of the Ram, Blood on the Moon, The Breaking Point and Women’s Prison

Earling Carothers “Jim” Garrison (1921-1992) – Orleans Parish, LA district attorney from 1962-73 known for his investigations into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; also has small roles in the films The Big Easy and JFK

Danny Dayton (1923-1999) – Stage, screen and television character actor who reprised his successful Guys and Dolls role in the 1955 film adaptation but is best known as Archie Bunker’s pal Hank Pivnik in the sitcoms All in the Family and Archie Bunker’s Place

Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968) – Former Attorney General (under his brother, JFK) and New York U.S. Senator who was assassinated in 1968 while campaigning in the Democratic presidential primaries

June Christy (1925-1990) – Big-band/jazz vocalist who both soloed and sang with Stan Kenton’s orchestra

Kaye Ballard (1925-     ) – Stage, screen and television singer-actress best remembered by legions of couch potatoes as Kaye Buell on The Mothers-In-Law (and Angie Palluci on The Doris Day Show)

Estelle Parsons (1927-     ) – Academy Award-winning character actress whose vehicles include Bonnie and Clyde, Rachel, Rachel, I Never Sang for My Father and TV’s All in the Family and Roseanne

Franklin Cover (1928-2006) – Stage, screen and television actor best remembered as the clueless Tom Willis, in-law of George Jefferson on the TV sitcom The Jeffersons

Jerry Hardin (1929-     ) – TDOY character fave whose vehicles include Missing, Big Trouble in Little China, The Milagro Beanfield War, The Firm, Ghosts of Mississippi and TV’s The X-Files

Claude “Curly” Putnam, Jr. (1930-     ) – Country music songwriter who’d be remembered even if the only tune he ever wrote was He Stopped Loving Her Today—but fortunately he also contributed such songs as Green, Green Grass of Home, My Elusive Dreams and D-I-V-O-R-C-E; his spread inspired the Paul McCartney tune Junior’s Farm

Don Durant (1932-2005) – Stage, screen and television actor best remembered as the titular gunfighter-turned-sheriff of the TV western Johnny Ringo, überproducer Aaron Spelling’s first series

Richard Dawson (1932-     ) – Actor-comedian who achieved TV recognition as Corporal Peter Newkirk on the sitcom Hogan’s Heroes but whose true boob tube immortality came as a panelist on the revived version of Match Game and the host of the game show Family Feud

Brian Hall (1937-1997) – British stage, screen and television actor seen on such shows as Softly Softly and You Must Be the Husband but immortalized at Terry, the chef at Fawlty Towers

Dick Smothers (1939-     ) – One-half of the comedy duo the Smothers Brothers…you know, the one that Mom always liked best

Bob Einstein (1940-     ) – Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and actor brother of comedian-filmmaker Albert Brooks who played “Officer Judy” on Dick and his brother’s comedy-variety show…and later became famous as comic stuntman Super Dave Osborne

Norman Greenbaum (1942-     ) – Pop music singer-songwriter

Joe Biden (1942-     ) – Former U.S. Senator from Delaware and current Vice President of the United States

Veronica Hamel (1943-     ) – Actress-model best known as Joyce Davenport on TV’s Hill Street Blues

Mie Hama (1943-     ) – Japanese actress best known as “Bond girl” Kissy Suzuki in the 007 flick You Only Live Twice

Samuel E. Wright (1946-     ) – Stage, screen and television character actor who overcame the indignity of appearing on The Dukes of Hazzard spin-off Enos by lending his voice to a singing crab in Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Judy Woodruff (1946-     ) – Television news anchor who worked at NBC, then PBS, then CNN, and then back at PBS…and who often drove my mother crazy because she never seemed to do anything with her hair

Duane Allman (1946-1971) – Rock ‘n’ roll musician/guitarist

Joe Walsh (1947-     ) – Ex-Eagle and actor-musician…life’s been good to him so far

Richard Masur (1948-     ) – TDOY character actor fave whose vehicles include Who’ll Stop the Rain, Risky Business, Under Fire, Heartburn and TV’s Hot L Baltimore and One Day at a Time

Rodger Bumpass (1951-     ) – Writer-comedian and National Lampoon personage who’s best known today as the voice of Squidward in the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoons

Bo Derek (1956-     ) – Film and television actress/former model whose celebrated appearance in the movie 10 really was much ado about nothing…and things haven’t changed much since

Sean Young (1959-     ) – Stage, screen and television actress whose off-screen nuttiness is often more interesting than her roles in such films as Blade Runner, No Way Out, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me and Fatal Instinct

Ming-Na (Wen) (1963-     ) – Stage, screen and television actress best known for her role as Dr. Jing-Mei Chen on TV’s ER…but don’t think for a moment that we’ve forgotten The Single Guy

Callie Thorne (1969-     ) – Stage, screen and television actress fondly remembered here at TDOY as Detective Laura Ballard on Homicide: Life on the Street but she’s gone on to high profile gigs on The Wire and Rescue Me

Joel McHale (1971-     ) – Actor-comedian and host of TV’s The Soup who landed a sweet second gig as Jeff Winger on the NBC sitcom Community

Dierks Bentley (1975-     ) – Country music vocalist

Josh Turner (1977-     ) – Country music vocalist

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anagramsci said...


Douglas played a massive dick in The Accused--and expertly, I might add!

quizshowbob said...

I remember Richard Masur in that made for TV movie, "Fallen Angel", with Dana Hill.

Ruby Mae Niedlmeyer said...

Speaking of Fran Allison, The Burr Tillstrom Trust just put out the first official DVD of the Kukla, Fran and Ollie shows from the '40s and '50s! It's called Kukla, Fran and Ollie: The First Episodes and it's being sold at and The Chicago History Museum's store. A great present for Fran's 103rd birthday, I think!

Peggy said...

Aha, Norman Greenbaum's birthday! A
perfect reason to listen to "Spirit in the Sky", one of my all time favorites. Thanks!

Brent McKee said...

And of course Sean Young will be one of the featured personalities on the new ABC show Skating With The Stars on ABC this Monday night. Not to be confused with the old FOX show Skating With Celebrities even though just about everything about the ABC show seems to be a carbon copy of the FOX series. Because the ABC one has the word "Stars" in it and everyone knows that people prefer "Stars" to "Celebrities." They both got the idea from the British of course (as show called Dancing On Ice.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

the new ABC show Skating With The Stars on ABC this Monday night. Not to be confused with the old FOX show Skating With Celebrities even though just about everything about the ABC show seems to be a carbon copy of the FOX series. Because the ABC one has the word "Stars" in it and everyone knows that people prefer "Stars" to "Celebrities." They both got the idea from the British of course (as show called Dancing On Ice.

Brother Brent...if they ever give out medals to individuals who know more about "reality" shows than any person should--I'm ready to co-sign your application as a character reference.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Douglas played a massive dick in The Accused--and expertly, I might add!

I can't remember the last time I saw this movie--it would have to have been on AMC, before they got involved with that modern movie cult. I'd really like to get the opportunity to see it again.

Stacia said...

Oh my goodness, Jerry Hardin is still alive! I was so sure he passed on, and I was just thinking about it the other day while watching "X-Files".

I saw an entertainment show a few years ago saying Dawson doesn't go out in public anymore because he's scared that he looks so awful. However, there are photos of him online from less than a year ago and he looks great, so THBPT to that entertainment show.