Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy birthday, Georgia Carroll!

The individual in today’s Thrilling Days of Yesteryear spotlight was born in Blooming Grove, Texas on this date ninety-one years ago…and bless her heart, is celebrating that birthday with us still.  Georgia Carroll—actress, model and singer—appeared in quite a few noteworthy motion pictures during the early 1940s but she would become better known when she joined bandleader Kay Kyser’s “Kollege of Musical Knowledge” in 1943 as featured vocalist…a gig that turned out pretty swell for her, as she ended up marrying the boss a year later and remained Mrs. Kyser until his death in 1985.

Carroll’s brush with show business fame began early on in life when she modeled for a statue entitled “The Spirit of the Centennial” for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas—a statue that can now be seen in front of what is now known as The Women’s Museum.  By 1941, Georgia was in the motion picture bidness—with small roles in such films as Maisie Was a Lady and Ziegfeld Girl (showing on TCM at 6 am on November 20), and working her way up to high-profile roles in musical comedies like Navy Blues and You’re in the Army Now (in both as a member of the “Navy Blues” sextette).  If you’ve ever seen the 1942 biopic Yankee Doodle Dandy, you’ll no doubt recognize Ms. Carroll as the woman who plays Betsy Ross.

Joining Kyser’s band, she became known as “Gorgeous Georgia Carroll”—a little play on the famous billing of grappler “Gorgeous George” Wagner.  Carroll was featured in two of her future husband’s R-K-O vehicles, Around the World (1943) and Carolina Fever (1944), and also appeared with the Ol’ Perfessor in the Technicolor musical Thousands Cheer (1943), in which she performed the Arthur Freed-Nacio Herb Brown hit, Should I?

But once Georgia and Kay tied the knot, the new Mrs. K retired from show business in 1946, with Mr. K doing the same in 1951.  The couple lived out their golden years in Chapel Hill, NC and because TDOY has a soft spot for nonagenarians, we wish Miss Georgia the happiest of natal anniversaries today…as well as these fellow celebrants:

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851) – French artist and chemist who invented the daguerreotype photography process

Dorothy Dix (1861-1951) – Newspaper advice columnist; pseudonym of journalist Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer

Clarence Shepard Day (1974-1935) – Author whose book Life with Father became a long-running stage play, a 1947 film and a 1953-55 TV series

Frances Marion (1888-1973) – Academy Award-winning screenwriter (as well as an author and journalist) whose movie contributions include The Poor Little Rich Girl, Pollyanna, The Big House and The Champ

Eugene Ormandy (1899-1985) – Hungarian-born violinist and conductor best known for his stints with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (1931-36) and the Philadelphia Orchestra (1936-80)

Don Quinn (1900-1967) - :Old-time radio scribe whose long association with Jim and Marian Jordan resulted in the classic comedy program Fibber McGee & Molly; also created radio’s The Halls of Ivy

Don Hartman (1900-1958) – Motion picture screenwriter who collaborated on many of Bob Hope’s films including Never Say Die, Nothing But the Truth and My Favorite Blonde; also dabbled in directing with movies like Every Girl Should Be Married and Holiday Affair

H. Bruce Humberstone (1901-1984) – Film and television director best known for helming many of the Charlie Chan movies; also directed such flicks as Tall, Dark and Handsome, I Wake Up Screaming and Wonder Man

George Gallup (1901-1984) – Nosy individual who pioneered methods of survey sampling in order to gauge public opinion

Franklin Adreon (1902-1979) – Film and television writer-director-producer who started out authoring cliffhanger serials before getting the chance to direct a few like Man with the Steel Whip and Panther Girl of the Kongo

Imogene Coca (1908-2001) – TDOY comic actress fave who’s best remembered as the first of Sid Caesar’s “leading ladies” on the TV classic Your Show of Shows

Johnny Mercer (1909-1976) – Academy Award-winning lyricist and songwriter, founder of Capitol Records, and Savannah, GA’s favorite son

Arthur Peterson (1912-1996) – Stage, screen and television character actor whose films include Targets and The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid but who’s best known as the doddering Major on the TV sitcom Soap

Jocelyn Brando (1919-2005) – Actress sister of Marlon whose vehicles include The Big Heat, Nightfall, The Ugly American and Movie Movie

Alan B. Shepard, Jr. (1923-1998) – First American in space

Dorothy Collins (1926-1994) – Singer-actress best-remembered as one of the regulars on the radio and television versions of Your Hit Parade; also a one-time Candid Camera co-host

Hank Ballard (1927-2003) – Midnighter

Mickey Mouse (1928-     ) – Beloved six-foot cartoon rodent created by animation pioneer Walt Disney

Joey Forman (1929-1982) – Actor-comedian who was a regular on Mickey Rooney’s 1954 sitcom Hey Mulligan! but best remembered here at TDOY as the inscrutable agent Harry Hoo in a pair of classic Get Smart episodes

Brenda Vaccaro (1939-     ) – Stage, screen and television actress whose vehicles include Midnight Cowboy, Capricorn One, The First Deadly Sin and TV’s Dear Detective and Paper Dolls

Margaret Atwood (1939-     ) – Canadian novelist-poet and activist whose works include The Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye

David Hemmings (1941-2003) – British stage, screen and television actor whose films include Blow-up, Unman, Wittering and Zigo, Thirst, Gladiator and Gangs of New York

Susan Sullivan (1942-     ) – Stage, screen and television actress known for her roles on varied series as Falcon Crest, Dharma & Greg and Castle

Linda Evans (1942-     ) – Stage, screen and television actress known for her roles as Audra Barkley on The Big Valley and Krystle Carrington on Dynasty

Jameson Parker (1947-     ) – Film and television actor who started out on soap operas (Somerset, One Life to Live) but is best known as Andrew Jackson “A.J.” Simon from TV’s Simon & Simon; currently married to She Blogged by Night fave Darleen Carr

Andrea Marcovicci (1948-     ) – Film and television actress whom I fondly remember from the 1976 film The Front who now works as a cabaret singer; her TV roles include Hill Street Blues, Trapper John, MD and Berrenger’s

Delroy Lindo (1952-     ) – Badass film and television character actor whose vehicles include Get Shorty, Clockers, Ransom and TV’s Kidnapped

Kevin Nealon (1953-     ) – Actor-comedian and former SNL regular who’s sort of a litmus test as to whether or not you think he’s funny

Carter Burwell (1955-     ) – Motion picture score composer who’s worked on all of the movies cranked out by Joel and Ethan Coen

Kim Wilde (1960-     ) – Pop music vocalist

Elizabeth Perkins (1960-     ) – Stage, screen and television actress whose vehicles include Big, Enid is Sleeping, The Doctor, Indian Summer and TV’s Weeds

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quizshowbob said...

I love Susan Sullivan on 'Castle'.

Brent McKee said...

Alan B. Shepard Jr. - First American in space, fifth American on the Moon, and the only person (so far) to hit a golf shot on the surface of the Moon.