Friday, August 31, 2012
Birthdays: Caligula 12AD, Amilcare Ponchielli, Buddy Hackett, James Coburn, Itshak Perleman is 67, Van Morrison, Arthur Godfrey, Richard Baseheart, Rocky Marciano. Alan J. Lerner, Hugh Harman,, Maria Montressori (of the Montressori Method of education), William Saroyan, Richard Gere is 63, Chris Tucker is 40. 1928- In Berlin the ThreePenny Opera premiered, music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Bertholdt Brecht with Lotte Lenya as Pirate Jenny. Mackie Messer or Mack the Knife is born 1935- Disney cartoon Plutos’ Judgement Day. 1938- Walt Disney puts ten thousand down to buy 51 acres on Buena Vista Street in Burbank. He will build his modern studio there. 1941 –The Great Gildersleeve, a spin-off of Fibber McGee & Molly debuts on NBC radio. 1946- Looney Toon short 'Walky Talky Hawky' the first Foghorn Leghorn. The character was based on a Fred Allen radio character Senator Clayton Langhorn, that poked fun at bombastic Southern conservative politicians. 1948- Disney's 'Melody Time' premiered. 1948- Movie star Robert Mitchum was busted for smoking pot with a blonde in the Hollywood Hills. This would have normally smoked his career but the new postwar outlaw, noir attitude was in vogue. So bad-boy Mitchum emerged from county jail more popular than ever.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Birthdays: Mary Shelley, Jacques Louis David, Fred MacMurray, Raymond Massey, John Blondell, Timothy Bottoms,Shirley Booth, John Landis, R. Crumb is 68, Lewis Black, Cameron Diaz is 39 1968- The first 7-11 store opened in Palmdale California. Have a Slurpee ! 1975- Ralph Bakshi's film "Coonskin". Bad boy Bakshi's portrayal of African-American urban violence was deemed so offensive that it caused the first riot ever at the Museum of Modern Art, and died at the boxoffice. The film was retitled on video "Streetfight". When Ralph resurfaced he turned his attention to Sword & Fantasy films.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Birthdays: Jean Dominique Ingres, Charlie Parker, Preston Sturges, Ingrid Bergman, French Connection director William Friedkin is 74, Dinah Washington, George Montgomery, Michael Jackson, Richard Attenborough is 89, Donald O’Connor, Elliot Gould is 74, Rebecca DeMornay, Joel Schumacher, choreographer Mark Morris, Charles Kettering inventor of the automobile ignition, Joyce Clyde Hall the founder of Hallmark greeting cards. 1953-Warner's "Cat Tails for Two" introduces Speedy Gonzales. Named for Warners animator Frank Gonzales.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Birthdays: Goethe, Leo Tolstoy,Donald O'Connor, Charles Boyer, Ben Gazzara, Marvel cartoonist Jack "King" Kirby, Janet Evans, Jason Preistley, Daniel Stern, Shania Twain, animation historian Charles Solomon, Jack Black is 44 1922- The first broadcast commercial. It was for a real estate firm Queensboro Realty lasting ten minutes and cost $100 dollars. The firm selling suburban homes in Queens NY immediately did $100,000 worth of business. The Business world took note of the new method of advertising. 1928- Galloping Gaucho, the second Mickey Mouse cartoon, and the last silent cartoon before SteamBoat Willie , was completed. 1963- Dr. Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the climax of the first ' Poor People's March 'on Washington”. Organizer A. Phillip Randolph conceived a poor people’s march taking weeks not unlike the Bonus Marchers of 1929. The sympathetic John F. Kennedy administration prevailed upon them to keep it to one day to reduce the chance of violence and maximize media exposure. They had planned for 100,000 but they got 400,000. Movie stars like Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando, even Charlton Heston attended.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Birthdays: Man Ray, Martha Ray, LBJ ( Lyndon Baines Johnson), Hegel, C.S. Forester, Hannibal Hamlin- Abe Lincolns first term vice president, Barbara Bach, Theodore Dreiser, Lady Antonia Fraser, Tommy Sands, Tuesday Weld is 69, Mangesuthu Buthelezi, Paul Rubens-aka Pee Wee Herman is 60 1912- Edgar Rice Burroughs published Tarzan of the Apes. 1917- Straight Shooting, the first film directed by John Ford released. 1930- Lon Chaney Sr. died of throat cancer. During filming of a remake of the Unholy Three a wind machine blew an artificial gypsum snowflake into Chaney's mouth - it caused an irritation that became a tumor. 1953- The film Roman Holiday introduced a new young actress from Holland named Audrey Hepburn. 1964- The movie version of Mary Poppins premiered. 1968- Former master animator Bill Tytla's request to return to Disney was turned down. The artist who animated Grumpy the Dwarf, Dumbo and the Devil on Bald Mountain even offered to do a free "trial animation test" to show he still had it. Disney exec W.H. Anderson wrote him:" We really have only enough animation for our present staff." Tytla died later that year. .
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Birthdays: Mother Theresa, Albert the Prince Consort, John Wilkes Booth, Guilliame Appollinaire who coined the term Surrealism, Christopher Isherwood, McCauley Culkin is 32, Geraldine Ferrarro, Dr. Lee DeForrest, Ben Bradlee, Barbet Schroeder, Branford Marsalis, Chris Pine is 32, Melissa McCarthy is 42 1498- Michelangelo gets a job. The big Florentine stone cutter was commissioned by Pope Alexander VI to carve the Pieta, a Mary lamenting over the body of Jesus. 1946 - George Orwell published "Animal Farm". Orwell said he conceived the idea for the novel while watching out his window a small boy driving a huge draft horse. The horse could have easily crushed the boy had it the free will but instead patiently endured the boys taunts and flicks with a small switch. 1946- First day of shooting on Jean Cocteau’s film Belle et le Bete, Beauty & the Beast. 1958-First day of shooting on the Alfred Hitchcock film North By Northwest. Conceived as a plot that ended in a chase across the stone faces of Mt. Rushmore. The original title of Ernst Lehman’s script was The Man Who Hung From Lincoln’s Nose. 1980- Fred "Tex" Avery died after collapsing in the parking lot of Hanna-Barbera. Two weeks before he was asked by a friend why he was working in Hanna & Barbera. Tex laughed:" Hey, Don’t you know? this is where all the elephants come to die!"
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Birthdays: King Ludwig II the Mad of Bavaria, Leonard Bernstein, Bret Hart, Lola Montez (flamenco dancing mistress of Ludwig I, King of Bavaria), Elvis Costello is 58, Clara Bow, Ruby Keeler, Monty Hall, Van Johnson, Dr. Bruno Bettleheim, Gene Simmons, Anne Archer, Tim Burton is 54, Sean Connery is 82, Claudia Schiffer is 42 1991- At the Emmy ceremony, comic Gilbert Gottfried (Iago in Aladdin) upset the audience by an endless stream of masturbation jokes about Pee Wee Herman. Fox Network apologized the next day. In 2011 he was fired as the Aflack Duck after making jokes about the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in Japan. 2011- Steve Jobs resigned from the leadership of Apple Computers because of ill health.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Birthdays: Joshua Lionel Cowan the inventor of Lionel toy electric trains, Kenny Baker-C3PO in Star Wars, Stephen Fry is 55, Durward Kirby- 1960s T.V. announcer, Duke Kahanamoku-1890- Olympic medalist who popularized the Hawaiian sport of Surfing. Dave Chappelle is 39, Steve Guttenberg is 54, Kirk Wise, co-director of Beauty and the Beast. 410AD Rome falls to the barbarians. 1814- British troops burn the White House. 1942- Walt Disney’s film Saludos Amigos received it’s world premiere in Rio De Janiero. 1951- Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. The film won the Grand Prize and first showed the world that Japanese Cinema was a new force in the film world. 1973- One month after Bruce Lee’s death his last film Enter The Dragon opened in the US to wild acclaim. It renewed interest in the late star and spawned the Chinese Martial Arts craze in the US. 1981- IBM introduces the Personal Computer, or the PC. 1997- According to the 1984 James Cameron film The Terminator this was the day the Skynet computer system became self aware, and began the War of the Day of Judgement.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Birthdays: Gene Kelly would be 100, Keith Moon, Alphonse Mucha, Vera Miles, River Phoenix, Kobe Bryant, Barbara Eden is 78, Shelley Long is 63, Dr. Stuart Sumida, Oscar Grillo, Ed Benedict the designer of the Flintstones, Yogi Bear and the Jetsons. 1926- Screen idol Rudolph Valentino died in a New York hospital of an infection due to a burst appendix and bleeding ulcer. Today this condition could be controlled by anti-biotics, but they weren’t invented yet.. Women around the world went mad with grief. From L.A. to Budapest women committed suicide before his picture. In Japan two women jumped into a volcano shouting his name. 1937- At the urging of the Stanford Dean of engineering Fred Teman, graduate Bill Hewlett had his first meeting with David Packard. They called their company started out of their Palo Alto garage the Engineering Service Company. Their first customer was Walt Disney. He bought oscilators for his Fantasound stereo system for Fantasia. The Hewlett-Packard Company would one day be one of the biggest names in computers and their garage hailed as the birthplace of Silicon Valley. 1994- Jeffrey Katzenburg announced he was leaving Disney.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Birthdays: George Herriman the creator of Krazy Kat, Dorothy Parker, Claude DeBussy, Johnny Lee Hooker, Leni Reifenstahl, Dyanna Nyad is 63,Henry Cartier Bresson, Valerie Harper, Cindy Williams, Ray Bradbury, Khristen Wiig is 39 1558- When Antonio Carafa became Pope Paul IV he blamed the loss of half of Europe to Protestantism to the corruption of the Catholic Church. He attacked the dry rot with zeal. He started with a warning to all monks away from their monasteries without permission to return at once. This day he ordered the gates of Rome closed. All deadbeat monks still remaining be rounded up and sentenced to be galley slaves. He’s the Pope who ordered pants and little bits of cloth painted on Michelangelo’s nude of Christ in the Last Judgement. 1715 – Handel’s "Watermusic" premiered on the Thames River to mark celebrations of the Peace ending the War of Spanish Succession. 1806- elderly French painter Jean Fragonard died of a cerebral seizure after eating a large fruit ice on a hot day. 1942- Tex Avery's first MGM cartoon debuted "Blitz Wolf".
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Birthdays: Christopher Robin Milne-1920, Wilt (Wilt the Stilt) Chamberlain, Friz Freleng, Matthew Broderick- the voice of Simba in The Lion King, Disney story artist Vance Gerry, Peter Weir is 68, Kim Catrall is 56, Carrie Anne Moss is 45 1887- Mighty (Dan) Casey struck out at his last at bat with the NY Giants. The poem was written many years later. 1929-Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo marry. 1930- Pardon Us, the first feature length film starring Laurel & Hardy. In 1926, Hal Roach director Leo McCarey noticed the Briton Stan Laurel and Georgia born singer Oliver Hardy looked funny together, and put them in a series of shorts. Laurel & Hardy became one of the greatest comedy teams in film history. 1944- Moviestar James Cagney, star of Yankee Doodle Dandy, cleared of charges of Communism. The accusations probably had less to do with Cagney's politics and more to do with his Actor’s union activism and his fighting in court the restrictive personal contracts studios put their stars under.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Birthdays: Ring Lardner, Ogden Nash, Alfred Lunt, George Enesco, Gene Roddenberry, Colleen Moore the It Girl, Jill St. John, Ginger Baker of Cream, Kyra Sedgwick is 47, Matthew Perry is 43, former President Bill Clinton is 66 1932- Betty Boop cartoon Stopping the Show, where Betty impersonates Fanny Brice and Maurice Chevalier.
Birthdays: H.P. Lovecraft, Art Tatum, Issac Hayes, Connie Chung, Jacqueline Susanne, Rajiv Ghandi, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin- who co-wrote Stairway to Heaven, Joan Allen is 56, Fred Durst, Alan Reed -the original voice of Fred Flintstone, Amy Adams is 38 1971- THE ENEMIES LIST. FBI documents prove this day the Nixon White House began to covertly investigate journalist Daniel Schorr because of his anti-war editorials. President Richard Nixon kept an enemies list of people he imagined to be opponents to his administration. It began with obvious liberals like George McGovern and Ted Kennedy, then expanded as far as June Foray the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel. 1972- Star Hollywood directors Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich and William Freidkin announced a partnership in a new production company called "The Director's Company" Young punks Martin Scorcese, George Lucas and Steven Speilberg were also involved. The partnership lasted two years then collapsed. 1977- NASA launched the Voyager One probe towards the outer planets of our solar system. Among the things Voyager discovered was that Jupiter had many more moons than previously thought and had a ring like Saturn. Part of NASA's program was an explanatory simulation film done totally on computer by Jim Blinn. The animation was so smooth and the graphics so breathtaking it expanded the use of the CGI medium and inspired a new generation of digital artists. 1982- Ralph Bakshi's film Hey Good Lookin'. 1998- Pixar's A Bugs Life released.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Birthdays: Shelly Winters, Coco Channel, Roman Polanski is 79, Patrick Swayze, Madeleine Stowe, Christian Slater, Edward Norton is 42, Martin Mull, Denis Leary who did a voice in Finding Nemo, Ice Age and Bugs Life is 55, Robert Redford, born Charles Robert Redford Jr, is 76 1933 Mickey Mouse short " The Chain Gang", was one of the first cartoons to have the dog Pluto. 1939- The movie the Wizard of Oz released and made a star of Judy Garland. Frank Morgan, the actor playing the Wizard, needed to wear a shabby old coat so a studio costume designer went through some L.A. thrift stores until she found the good candidate. When Morgan looked in the lining he discovered the coat was previously owned by L.Frank Baum, writer of the Oz stories. Morgan was first president of the Screen Actor's Guild, but stepped down when he was considered 'too left'y to work with the Roosevelt administration. Lyricist Yip Harburg ( Somewhere over the Rainbow ) was later blacklisted as a communist. "And yer little dog ,too!!" 1947- Hewlett-Packard file papers to incorporate their electronics company. They began doing business in 1937, their first client was Walt Disney. Walt bought oscillators for his Fantasound sound system. 1974- The Xerox Company decided not to seriously market the Alto, the first personal computer that had a graphic window interface, ethernet and mouse, long before anyone else. Xerox decided to stick with copying machines and let go of many of their Palo Alto development team Xerox PARC. Most of their breakthroughs wound up in other computers like the Macintosh and the IBM PC.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Birthdays: Davy Crocket, Mae West, Marcus Garvey, Sam Goldwyn- original name Schmuel Gelbfisz, Monte Wooley, Maureen O’Hara is 92, Sean Penn is 53, Martha Coolidge is 67, Robert DeNiro is 69 1876- Richard Wagner’s 4 hour opera Gotterdamerung- the Twilight of the Gods, premiered. 1908- D.W. Griffith signed a contract to begin directing movies for Biograph Pictures. He was paid $50 dollars a week plus royalties. 1941- EL GRUPO- Walt Disney and his artists leave on a goodwill tour of South America, underwritten by a $70,000 government grant. President Franklin Roosevelt was worried that some South American countries might be sympathetic to the Nazis, forcing the U.S. to worry about her backdoor. So FDR sent Nelson Rockefeller to give the Latin American countries whatever they wanted to keep them out of the world war. Among other things they wanted Donald Duck. The name comes from hotel footmen in Buenos Aires paging the artists as El Grupo Disney! The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos result. 1984- The Walt Disney Company informed it’s chairman Ron Miller that they wanted his resignation. Disney had fallen to 14th in film box office by then. Miller had been Walt’s son-in-law and he was he was once a tight end for the LA Rams. Within two years of Michael Eisner taking power Disney was number one. 1986- John Lasseter’s award wining short Luxo Jr, premiered at Siggraph’86 Dallas. 1992- Famed film director Woody Allen admits he is having an affair with Soon Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his long time lover Mia Farrow. He is 60 and she is 21. But as the unrepentant Allen states: “The Heart wants what it wants.” They’ve been married ever since.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Birthdays: Grim Natwick,1890, who designed and animated Betty Boop, Snow White and Nellie Bly, Otto Mesmer the creator of Felix the Cat, Hal Foster the creator of Prince Valiant, Alex Raymond the creator of Flash Gordon, Leslie Ann Warren, Angela Bassett, Julie Numar, Robert Culp, James Cameron is 57, Bruce Beresford, Steve Carrell is 49, Madonna aka Louise Ciccone of Bay City Michigan is 54 1942- Happy Birthday Mighty Mouse. Terrytoon's short: "The Mouse of Tomorrow". 2005- Pixars Story Dept. lead Joe Ranft was killed in a car accident.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Birthdays: Napoleon Bonaparte, Leon Theremin- inventor of that weird electronic musical instrument that is in all those 1950s flying saucer movies, Samuel Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott, Lawrence of Arabia, Ethel Barrymore, Huntz Hall, Bill Baird, Julia Child, Edna Ferber, Sir Robert Bolt, Rose-Marie, Linda Ellerbee, Gene Upshaw, Oscar Peterson, Nicholas Roeg, Anthony Andrews, Ben Afleck is 39, Debra Messing is 43 1843- Tivoli Gardens opened in Copenhagen. One of the oldest amusement parks in the world. An influence on Walt Disney's Disneyland. 1885- Sir Richard Burton completed his translation from medieval Persian of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. There had been earlier attempts like a French edition in 1809, but Burton’s edition introduced the west to Aladdin and his magic lamp, Sinbad the sailor and Sherherazahde. 1946- Make Mine Music premiered, featuring Willie the Operatic Whale.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Birthdays: Steve Martin, Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson, Erwin "Magic" Johnson, Lina Wertmuller, David Crosby, Alice Ghostly, Buddy Greco, Nehemiah Persoff, The 20's Parisian nightclub singer Bricktop, James Horner, Wim Wenders, Emmanuele Beart, Animation director Dick Lundy, Halle Berry is 46 1457- The first printed Gutenburg Bible finished. One agent of Gutenberg's bringing the first shipment of bibles to Paris was arrested for witchcraft because locals thought it was humanly impossible for one person to make so many identical books without the aid of black magic. 1928 - Ben Hecht & Charles McArthur's play" The Front Page," premiered in NYC. They later went on to become top writers in Hollywood. McArthur is the one who sent Hecht the famous cable- "Hecht, some quick, fortunes to be made and the competition are idiots!" 1935- President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the National Social Security Act. Considered the most successful US Federal social program ever. 1956- The Marilyn Monroe movie "Bus Stop" premiered.
Monday, August 13, 2012
B-Dayz: Annie Oakley, Alfred Hitchcock, Don Ho, Buddy Rogers, Bert Lahr, Richard Baseheart, Saul Steinberg, Regis Toomey,Danny Bonaduce, John Logie Baird one of the inventors of television,Daniel Schorr, Bombay movie star Viyayanthimala, Fidel Castro is 86 1934- First Little Abner comic strip by Al Capp. Dogpatch, Mammy Yokum, Daisey Mae, Kickapoo Joy Juice, Jubilation T. Cornpone and the Schmoo are born. Al Capp was a hard drinking old curmudgeon of a cartoonist who lost one leg when as a child he fell off a streetcar. He used to bring young women into his office for "interviews" and would signal the boys in the copy room he had scored by letting his wooden leg drop loudly to the floor. In his old age he gloried in being a right wing chauvinist who got into arguments with radical pop stars like John Lennon. 1941- James Stuart Blackton certainly had an interesting career. The English born artist became a top newspaper cartoonist, a vaudevillian drag act as Mademoiselle Stuart, the first American animator, founder of the Vitagraph Company, the movie fanzine Motion Picture World. He even successfully faked a newsreel of the battle of Manila Bay in 1898 using toy boats, sparklers and cigar smoke. He made fortunes and lost them just as quickly. On this day, penniless, he was struck and killed by a bus on Pico Blvd. 1942 Disney's Bambi opened in theaters nationwide. Today the film looks quaint but in its time artists felt it was as realistic as artists could attain. Designer Rico LeBrun had a hunter friend bring in a real deer he shot in the Sierras. LeBrun set up drawing and anatomy sessions to study the dead animal. But LeBrun was so inspired by the opportunity he refused to dispose of the carcass even after several days it began to smell badly and attract flies. Finally the other animators waited until LeBrun had left for lunch and tossed the rancid thing. 1946- MGM cartoon Northwest Hounded Police, the short in which Tex Avery perfected the 'Tex Avery Take" - used since in films like Mask, Roger Rabbit and Casper. 1955- Shooting wrapped on Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. He was remaking the film he had done as a silent movie in 1925. One wag said: DeMille has done God one better, because he has now parted the Red Sea twice."
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Birthdays: Cecil B. DeMille, The alien Alf- 1757, Cantinflas, Buck Owens, George Hamilton, screenwriter William Goldman, Mtsislav Rostropovitch, Xenia Sharpe (educator who invented the childrens reader Dick and Jane, See Dick Run...etc.) Kathy Lee Bates-the author of the song America the Beautiful, John Casale-I'm not Fredo! Casey Affleck is 37. 1877-THE BIRTH OF RECORDED SOUND. Thomas Edison announced his sound recording invention and demonstrates it by recording "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a tin cylinder. 1927- the William Wellman movie WINGS opened with Howard Arliss and Buddy Rogers, the only silent film to win best picture at the Academy Awards before the advent of sound. The second film was The Artist, only just last year. 1951- Bob McKimson’s Warner Bros short Hillbilly Hair. The short includes the long routine animated by Emery Hawkins when Bugs Bunny takes over calling a square dance and uses it to torture the two twin brother Hillbillies who are after him. 1981- IBM introduced its first PC- personal computer and PC-DOS I.. Unlike Apple, IBM shared the basic hardware design, so a myriad of cheaper competitor PC’s soon flooded the market.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Birthdays: Antonio Salieri, Frederick Ludwig Jahn 1778- founder of the Gymnastics Movement, Alex Haley, Jack Haley, Rev Jerry Falwell, Hulk Hogan- real name Terry Bollier-is 63, Dick Browne the creator of Hagar the Horrible, Steve Wozniak the co-founder of Apple Computers, Lloyd Nolan, Mike Douglas, Patti Duke Astin 1932- Rin Tin Tin died. The German shepherd dog was the first animal movie star. Before sound he was the mainstay of struggling little Warner Bros studio. Jack Warner called him “our little rent check.” 1934- Mickey Mouse cartoon Orphan’s Benefit. The first cartoon where they started calling Dippy Dog by his new name Goofy. 1949- Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone With the Wind" was hit by a taxicab and died 5 days later. 1956- Abstract Artist Jackson Pollack died when he drunkenly crashed his car into a tree near East Hampton Long Island. 1962- Actor Lawrence Olivier founded the National Theatre in London. 1972- San Antonio Texas holds it’s first Cheech & Chong Day. 2001-First day shooting on the film Hero, directed by Zhang Yimou.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Birthdays: Billie Holiday, Eddie Fisher, Leo Fender, Herbert Hoover, Norma Shearer, Rhonda Fleming, Jimmy Dean, Justin Theroux, Rosanna Arquette is 52, Antonio Banderas is 51 1948 – The Birth of Reality TV. Allen Funt's "Candid Camera" TV debut on ABC. 1987 - Clara Peller, the elderly actress who gained last minute advertising fame by saying Where's the Beef?, died at 86. The director and writer of the spots was the father of J.J. Sedelmier, who created the Ambiguously Gay Duo and other TV Funhouse animations for SNL. 2001- Warner Bros Osmosis Jones premiered.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
King Henry V of England, John Dryden, Sir Issac Walton-author of the Compleat Angler, Melanie Griffith, Whitney Houston, David Steinberg, Jill St. John, Robert Shaw, Robert Aldrich, Sam Elliot is 68, Gillian Anderson is 44, Pamela Lyndon Travers –the creator of Mary Poppins, Eric Bana is 45, Audrey Tautou is 34 1930- Max Fleischer's cartoon "Dizzy Dishes" introduces Betty Boop. A singing star named Helen Kane sued Fleischer claiming that they stole her distinctive Boop-Ooop-a-Doop from her, but the case was thrown out when it was revealed Kane had stolen it herself from another singer. Betty was supposed to be a dog character to match her male couterpart Bimbo. But Animator Grim Natwick had done a lot of drawing of girls in Paris and New York and turned the character into a saucy little flapper. 1944- Antoine Du Saint-Exupery, the author of the Little Prince, died when he crashed his fighter plane. He was not shot down by the Germans, he was just a terrible pilot. The main protagonist of the little prince is an aviator who crashes his plane. 1972- Woodstock made his debut in the film Snoopy Come Home!
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Birthdays: Emiliano Zapata. Esther Williams, UPA animator Gene Deitch, Dino DeLaurentis, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, Keith Carradine is 62, Rory Calhoun, Peter Weir, Patricia Arquette, Dustin Hoffman is 74, anime director Mamoru Oshii is 61 1944 - Smokey the Bear, named after NYC fireman Smokey Joe Martin born . 1960 – Brian Hyland’s song "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-dot Bikini" hits #1. 1978- The character of Odie the dog first met Garfield in Jim Davis’ comic strip.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Constantius II,Mata Hari, Rassan Rolling Kirk, Nicholas Ray, Grandma Moses, skeptic James Randi, David Duchovny is 52, Billy Burke aka Glenda the Good Witch, Garrison Keillor is 70, animation and radio star Stan Freeberg is 86, Animator Rudy Ising, Charlize Theron is 37 1834 -Death of Joseph Jacquard, French silk weaver who invented the first loom capable of weaving patterns. The cards used in the looms were the inspiration for the computer punch card, a way of transmitting data, whether pulses of light or lengths of wool 1919- the First Actor’s Equity Strike. 1933-The first "Alley-Oop" comic strip. 1979- THE RUNAWAY WARS.-Hollywood Cartoonist’s Union strike against studios sending animation work overseas.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Birthdays: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Dutch Schultz (real name Arthur Fleigenheimer), Louella Parsons, Lucille Ball, Robert Mitchum, Andy Warhol, Hoot Gibson, M. Night Shyamalan, Melissa George, Soliel Moon-Frye 1926- Warner Brothers Studio premiered it’s motion picture sound on disk system. The film was Don Juan with John Barrymore the Great Profile. It didn’t really have much impact until they made the "Jazz Singer"with Al Jolson two years later. 1991- The world wide web announced, www. 1999- Brad Bird’s classic animated film the Iron Giant premiered.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Birthdays: Guy de Maupassant,John Huston, Robert Taylor, Conrad Aiken, Roman Gabriel, Selma Diamond, John Merrick the Elephant Man, Loni Anderson is 67, 1924 Arf, Arf ! the first Little Orphan Annie comic strip drawn by Harold Gray. 1962- 50 Years ago. GOODBYE, NORMA JEAN. Marilyn Monroe found nude in bed, dead of barbiturate overdose. She was 36. Whether you think the starlet overdosed by accident, suicide, or was done in by the Mafia, the Kennedys, a Svengali like personal physician, lesbian physical therapist or space aliens is still a mystery. She made a call to Attorney General Bobby Kennedy’s office in Washington several hours earlier but was rebuffed. Her last call was to her hairdresser Mr. Guilaroff. She left the bulk of her belongings to her drama teacher Lee Strassberg and her funeral was organized by ex-husband Joe Dimaggio. Her Westwood cottage suite had a tile over the doorway which read :"All my troubles end Here." 1986 - It's revealed painter Andrew Wyeth had secretly created 240 drawings & paintings of his neighbor Helga Testorf, in Chadds Ford, Pa 1995- The infamous Siggraph party at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. Titled Nailed: an Evening on the Cultural Frontier. When the very conservative Nixon Library was approached about the party, they heard it was a limited invitation event sponsored by ILM and Silicon Graphics. What could go wrong? What they got was 3,000 drunken, pot smoking hippies and computer nerds. The grounds were festooned with scantily clad Brazilian Carnevale dancers, sword swallowers, Japanese Taiko drummers, and the bands Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone. LSD guru Timothy Leary held a mock exorcism over Nixon’s birthplace. One Siggraph chapter president said” It was wonderful! I doubt Richard Nixon would have appreciated any of this!”
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Hope to see you at the Siggraph 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center this week. Monday Dreamworks is hosting a conference of animation educators at the USC campus. Tuesday the AEF will hold a roundtable discussion ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Educators Forum Asks: How Do We Maintain Excellent Animation Programs and Teach the Latest Technology at the Same Time? Time: 2:00 3:00 PM Room Name: 402A The event is free. August 4, Birthdays- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Nicholas Conte' 1777-inventor of the modern pencil and the conte'-crayon, Louis Armstrong, Dr Alexander Schure-computer animation pioneer and founder of NYIT, Richard Belzer, Elizabeth-England's late Queen Mum, Billy-Bob Thornton is 58, President Barack Obama is 51 1776-The nice printed up Declaration of Independence we all recognize was officially signed. The declaration approved on July 2nd and published on July 4th was the rough draft. Today John Hancock signed that big flowing signature "So old King George won't need his spectacles". Today a nickname for a signature is a John Hancock. It was a gutsy thing to do, the signatures would be their death warrants if the rebellion was crushed. British commander Lord Howe was given a list of ringleaders to be round up. Ironically if you asked Hancock for a pinch of snuff his snuffbox was an engraved gift from King George III he received during a visit to London ten years earlier. During the War of 1812 when the British burned Washington D.C. the Declaration was hidden under a doorstep in Baltimore. It later hung in a sunlit window for 30 years which bleached it’s print almost to invisibility. Today millions are being spent on restoration efforts, like encasing it in pure helium. 1782- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart married Constanze Weber, the aunt of composer Karl Maria Von Weber. Mozart had first proposed to Constanze's sister but she chose another.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Birthdays: Perre L’Enfant the designer of Washington DC, Jack Warner, Myrna Loy, Sir Arthur Bliss, James Baldwin, Carrol O'Connor, Joanna Cassidy of Roger Rabbit fame is 52, Pete Sampras, Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster ), Bill Scott the voice of Bullwinkle, Wes Craven, Edward Furlong, Kevin Smith is 42, Peter O'Toole is 80, Marie Louise Parker is 48 1589- French King Henri III de Valois is stabbed in the guts by a demented Dominican, Brother Jacques Clement. He thought the King wasn't doing enough to stamp out Heresy. The kings last words were: "That little bastard has killed me. Kill him!" Henry IV de Bourbon became one of Frances most beloved rulers. The children's song "Frere' Jacques" is about this assassin "Brother Jacques, Why are you sleeping?" another bad King needs stabbing, in other words. If you're an Animation Educator attending the SIGGRAPH 2012 in LA next week, hope to see you at the Dreamworks meeting on Monday at the USC campus, or the Birds of a Feather conference on Tuesday the 7th at 2:00PM. Meet educators from all over the world and compare your Squash and Stretch!
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Claudius, Herman Melville, Geoffrey Holder, Yves St. Laurent, Giancarlo Giannini is 70, Dom Deluise- the animation voice on American Tale and All Dogs Go to Heaven, Jerry Garcia, Coolio, Sam Mendes 1933- The WPA Arts Project set up to employ starving artists on large public works projects like murals for libraries and bridges, etc. Artists like Grant Wood, Andrew Wyeth, Dorothea Lang , Orson Welles and Bernice Abbott got commissions. 1936- The opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games in Berlin. The first Olympic torch lighting ceremony. United States was the only nation to refuse to dip their flag in salute to the host head of state- Adolf Hitler. Filmmaker Leni Reifenstahl was given unlimited access to document the Games. She pioneered the use of slow motion, tracking shots and closeups to revolutionize the way sports is filmed. 1971- PBS started a new television series called Masterpiece Theater hosted by Alastair Cooke. It’s first presentation was a the Six Wives of Henry VIII. The high quality BBC and Thames Television programs became so popular in the USA, that people said PBS stood for Preferably British Shows. 1973- With the tag line “Where were you in ’62?” the film American Graffiti opened in theaters. The hit made skinny young director George Lucas a player in Hollywood, and made stars of kids like Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfus and Susanne Somers.