Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy birthday today to…

Since we don’t have anyone noteworthy becoming a nonagenarian or older today (unless you count the fourth name down, and you shouldn’t because he’s all fictional and the like)—and because I’m trying to get the Mayberry Mondays feature finished so I don’t have to make another lame excuse as to why it’s not done (“My mom got her arm caught in the microwave…”)—we’ll skip the usual biographical sketch and go right to the birthday list.  I do, however, want to point out that director Arthur Hiller turns 87 today and actor Robert Vaughn 78.  (If you want to leave a birthday message for Mr. V, they’ll take a message at 1-800-WIN-WIN1.  Okay, I’m joking about that.)

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) (1819-1880) – English novelist and journalist who, if she hadn’t written Silas Marner, would have put many high school English class curriculums in grave jeopardy

John Nance Garner (1868-1967) – 32nd Vice President of the United States under FDR who’s remembered for the observation that the Vice-Presidency wasn’t “worth a bucket of warm piss”—though “spit” is often substituted for that last part

Elizabeth Patterson (1875-1966) – Stage, screen and television actress best recognized as Mathilda Trumbull, the ever-present babysitter of Little Ricky on I Love Lucy

John Clayton (1888-?) – According to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel, this is the birth date of Lord Greystoke, aka Tarzan of the Apes

Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) – French general, statesman and first president of the French Fifth Republic…though it’s funnier when Woody Allen remarks that he was a famous television chef in Sleeper

Wiley Post (1898-1935) – Famed aviation pioneer and the first pilot to fly solo around the world; killed in a plane crash along with humorist Will Rogers during a vacation flight to Alaska

Hoagy Carmichael (1899-1981) – Composer-musician and actor whose vehicles include To Have and Have Not, Canyon Passage, The Best Years of Our Lives and TV’s Laramie

Lee Patrick (1901-1982) – Stage, screen and television character actress whose vehicles include Invisible Stripes, The Maltese Falcon, In This Our Life, Mildred Pierce and the TV sitcom Topper

Roland Winters (1904-1989) – Stage, screen and character actor best known as Sidney Toler’s replacement as Charlie Chan; also appeared in regular roles on such TV series as Meet Millie and The Smothers Brothers Show (the half-hour sitcom)

Howard Petrie (1906-1968) – Radio, movie and television actor-announcer who was often heard emoting on programs headlined by Judy Canova and Jimmy Durante; his film appearances include Rocky Mountain, Bend of the River and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Mary Jackson (1910-2005) – Stage, screen and television character actress best known as “bootlegger” Emily Baldwin on the TV series The Waltons

Doris Duke (1912-1993) – Tobacco heiress, philanthropist and eccentric

Norman Paul (1913-1979) – Veteran television writer-producer who contributed to the likes of Mister Ed, Get Smart, The Doris Day Show, One Day at a Time and Good Times

Frank Graham (1914-1950) – Radio actor-announcer and voiceover artist who was heard on such programs as Lum ‘n’ Abner and Jeff Regan, Investigator; also voiced the Fox character in the Columbia cartoon series Fox and Crow

Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004) – Standup comedian and actor whose vehicles include The Projectionist, Caddyshack, Easy Money, Back to School and Natural Born Killers

Lynne Roberts (1922-1978) – B-western and serial stalwart whose vehicles include The Lone Ranger, Dick Tracy Returns, Sioux City Sue and Eyes of Texas

Arthur Hiller (1923-     ) – Motion picture and television director whose oeuvre includes The Americanization of Emily, The Out-of-Towners, The Hospital and The In-Laws

Geraldine Page (1924-1987) – Academy Award-winning stage, screen and television actress whose films include Summer and Smoke, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Day of the Locust, Interiors and The Trip to Bountiful

Robert Vaughn (1932-     ) – Stage, screen and television actor/legal services shill best known as The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Michael Callan (1935-     ) – Actor, singer and dancer whose vehicles include They Came to Cordura, Mysterious Island, Cat Ballou and TV’s Occasional Wife

John Bird (1936-     ) – English comedian and satirist who’s best known as the third member of a trio featuring Rory Bremmer and John Fortune; Bird’s TV shows include A Series of Bird’s, Well Anyway, Chambers, El C.I.D. and Absolute Power

Allen Garfield (1939-     ) – TDOY character fave whose vehicles include Greetings, The Candidate, Slither, The Conversation and Nashville

Terry Gilliam (1940-     ) – Monty Python animator and motion picture director whose oeuvre includes Time Bandits, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King and Twelve Monkeys

Terry Stafford (1941-1996) – Singer-songwriter who wrote a number of country tunes including Big in Vegas (Stafford’s version is “Big in Dallas”) and Amarillo by Morning…but everyone remembers him for this little ditty

Tom Conti (1941-     ) – Scottish stage, screen and television actor whose vehicles include The Duellists, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Reuben, Reuben, American Dreamer and Shirley Valentine

Billie Jean King (1943-     ) – One-time professional tennis player who provided the inspiration for many little girls to want to hold a racket at one time in their lives

Tina Weymouth (1950-     ) – Talking Head

(Little) Steven Van Zandt (1950-     ) – Bandana-wearing E Street Band who earned critical raves and kudos for his portrayal of Silvio Dante on TV’s The Sopranos

Richard Kind (1956-     ) – Nasal and annoying film and television character actor best known as Mark on Mad About You and Paul Lassiter on Spin City

Jamie Lee Curtis (1958-     ) – Actress daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis/yogurt shill known for her quirky film roles…and bodacious ta-tas; her vehicles include Halloween, Trading Places, A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies and TV’s Anything But Love

Mariel Hemingway (1961-     ) – Actress sister of Margaux (and granddaughter of Ernest) whose vehicles include Lipstick, Manhattan, Personal Best, Deconstructing Harry and TV’s Civil Wars

Mark Ruffalo (1967-     ) – Film and television actor whose vehicles include There Goes My Baby, You Can Count on Me, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Zodiac; frequent target of barbs over at Rick Brooks’ Cultureshark

Scarlet Johansson (1984-     ) – Former moppet actress who was pretty good at hosting Saturday Night Live two weekends ago; her vehicles include The Horse Whisperer, Ghost World, Lost in Translation, The Black Dahlia and The Spirit

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quizshowbob said...

YAY! It's Jamie Lee's birthday. I think I'll go stab a killer with a knitting needle and then drop it...stab him with a knife and then drop it...stab him with a clothes hanger and then drop it...then amble cluelessly while he sneaks up behind me.

Peggy said...

Silas Marner was the bane of my existence in 10th grade English.

We've been enjoying Robert Vaughn recently in BBC's TV series HUSTLE.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Silas Marner was the bane of my existence in 10th grade English.

I think that book was the bane of everyone's existence in high school. If there's a person out there who can honestly say, "By jove, that Silas Marner is a ripping good read" I've not made their acquaintance.