Sunday, March 31, 2013
Birthdays: Rene' Descartes, Franz Josef Haydn, Serge Diagheliev, Richard Chamberlain, Cesar Chavez, Herb Alpert, Gordie Howe, Liz Claiborne, Gabe Kaplan, Rhea Perlman, Shirley Jones, Richard Kiley, Volker Schlondorf, William Daniels, Lucille Bliss the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Christopher Walken is 70, Colin Farrell is 37, Ewan McGregor is 41, Al Gore is 65 HAPPY EASTER 1836- Charles Dickens first work published "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. 1930 -Reacting to charges that the movies had become too naughty, Hollywood producers accept the MOTION PICTURE CODE. It was regulated by Will Hays, former Republican Party Chairman. The regulation wouldn't really start to have strength until 1935-36 when pressure groups like the Catholic League of Decency went after Mae West and the Tarzan pictures. The Hays Code forbade open sex and obscenity: - twin beds only in a bedroom, nightclothes buttoned to the neck. -if a couple were seated together on a bed they must have at least one foot touching the floor, -"kisses with a duration of no longer than 3 seconds, parting with lips closed." Lots of jokes were spawned like: "Give him the bird!" "If the Hays Commission would let me, I'd give him the bird!" One other little known clause was the forbidding of members of different races from kissing on camera. So Anna Mae Wong, the greatest Chinese actress of her time, could not play a Chinese heroine if her co-star was a Caucasian made up to look Asian. 1943- Rodger & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" debuts. Despite the opinion of producer Mike Todd -"No legs, No Laughs, No Chance", the musical becomes one of the great hits of American musical Theater. 1962- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened on Wilshire Blvd. No, it didn’t display customized surf boards or the ideal tuna melt with sprouts, but an exhibit of paintings by Bonnard. 1973- Comic strip hero Smilin' Jack gets married, the strip concludes next day.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Birthdays: Maimonides- Moses Ben Maimon, Anna Sewell (the author of Black Beauty), Vincent Van Gogh, Francisco Goya, John Astin, Peter Marshall, Warren Beatty is 75, Eric Clapton is 66, Arthur Lee Harrington the designer of the first Jeep, Tracey Chapman, Robby Coltrane, Paul Reiser, Celine Dion, Nora Jones is 35, 1853- The pencil eraser patented. 1913- Disney animator Marc Davis would be 100. 1918- Thomas Edison sold his studio and gets out of the movie business. He had earlier fired W.K.L. Dickson inventor of the movie studio set, Edwin Porter the inventor of the narrative film and closeup, and J. Stuart Blackton the inventor of cartoon animation for annoying him too much about filmmaking. Edison was more interested in finding a way to extract iron ore from rocks using magnets. 1968- In New York’s Bowery district two children find the body of a homeless drug addict. The John Doe is later identified as Bobby Driscoll, 31, Walt Disney child star and the voice of Peter Pan. 2000- Dreamworks animated feature the Road to El Dorado premiered.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Birthdays: President John Tyler, Sir William Walton, Eric Idle is 70 former English P.M. John Major, Bud Cort, LaToya Jackson, Eugene McCarthy, Jennifer Capriati, M.C. Hammer, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Cy Young, Christopher Lambert is 58, Disney animator Jack Kinney, Brendan Gleeson is 58, Lucy Lawless, Elle MacPherson, Amy Sedaris is 50 1936-Republic Pictures formed. 1939- Moviestars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard marry. They had a happy marriage until Lombard was killed in a plane crash in 1942. It’s been said the first California King Size mattress, slightly larger than normal king size, was ordered custom made for Gable and Lombard for their rather exuberant assignations at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. 1951- 'The King and I' debuts on Broadway with Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner, who shaved his head for the first time for the role. 1971- First day of shooting on the film the Godfather. Francis Coppola wanted young actor Al Pacino for the Michael Corleone role, but Pacino had signed with Fox to do a different film- The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight. Producer Robert Evans begged and pleaded with Fox exec James Aubrey "The Smiling Barracuda" to get Pacino released from his contract. Finally Aubrey replaced him with Jerry Ohrbach. He called Evans and said:" All right, you can have the midget." 1989- As part of one of the silliest Oscar telecasts in history, actor Rob Lowe (The West Wing) had to dance and sing 'Proud Mary" with a Las Vegas showgirl dressed as Disney’s Snow White. Lowe had just been embarrassed by the publication of a videotape shot in a hotel room of him having sex with two teenagers. The Disney Company immediately threatened a lawsuit and the Academy apologized and replaced director Alan Carr with Gilbert Cates.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Birthdays: Paul Whiteman, Pearl Bailey, Freddy Bartholemew, Dirk Bogarde, Confederate Gen.Wade Hampton, pianist Rudolph Serkin, Swifty Lazar, Marlin Perkins, Diane Weist is 65, Reba McEntire, Vince Vaughn is 43, Julia Stiles is 32, Lady Gaga is 27 1881- P.T. Barnum formed a partnership with his chief competitor James Bailey to create Barnum & Bailey’s Circus. He proclaimed it the Greatest Show on Earth! 1920- Silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks & Mary Pickford married. 1928- Via radio broadcast, the public heard the voice of Charlie Chaplin for the first time. 1935- Leni Reifenstahl’s hypnotic movie paean to Nazism- Triumph of the Will, premiered. 1942- Albert Hurter, brilliant Swiss designer for Walt Disney's "Snow White' and 'Pinnochio" died of rheumatic fever. 1999- Matt Groening’s cartoon series Futurama debuted.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Birthdays: French King Louis XVII –the boy during the Revolution who died in prison after his Royal parents were guillotined, Patty Smith Hill 1868- The composer of the song Happy Birthday to You, Edward Steichen, Gloria Swanson, Sarah Vaughn, Maria Schneider, Mies Van der Rohe, Snooky Lanson, Wilhelm Roentgen the discoverer of X-Rays, Nathaniel Currier of Currier & Ives, cellist Mtisislav Rostropovich, Michael York is 70, Quentin Tarantino is 49, Mariah Carey is 42 1866- Andrew Rankin received the first patent for the upright porcelain urinal. 1908- Bud Fisher's comic strip Mutt & Jeff born. 1940- “Rebecca,” the first Hollywood movie by Alfred Hitchcock opened. 1952-U.P.A.’s cartoon “Rooty-Toot-Toot” premiered. It’s music score was by jazzman Phil Monroe, the first African American to receive a screen credit for scoring a movie. 1952- “Singing in the Rain” starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor premiered. 1973- In one of the more celebrated stunts in Hollywood history, when Marlon Brando won an Oscar for his role in The Godfather, he sent a buckskin clad model named Sashin Littlefeather to refuse the award, and deliver a protest about treatment of Native Americans. 1978- The first draft script of the film Norma Rae completed. The film dramatized the life of Christa Lee Jordan, a mill worker who was blackballed by the J.P. Stevens millworks for wanting a union.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
B-Days: Harald von Braunhut 1926- the inventor of Sea Monkeys, Robert Frost, Chico Marx, Conde Nast, Tennessee Williams, Alfred Houseman, Joseph Cambell, General William Westmorland, Erica Jong,, Duncan Hines, Bob Woodward, Leonard Nimoy is 82 Alan Arkin, James Caan is 73, Diana Ross is 69, Justice Sandra Day-O¹Connor, Martin Short, Bob Elliot of Bob & Ray, Michael Imperioli is 47, Keira Knightley is 28 1900- The Happy Hooligan comic strip. 1959- Writer Dashell Hammett died. 1969- The western movie 100 Rifles premiered. It broke taboos, because it featured uber-sexy Raquel Welch making love to uber-sexy black hero Jim Brown. And Burt Reynolds as the bandito Yaqui Joe Herrerra. 1970- Peter Yarrow of the folk group Peter, Paul & Mary admitted to having sex with a 14 year old girl. ³ If I had a Hammer …² 1975 - The Who¹s rock opera "Tommy" premiered in London. 1976- USC sophmore Levar Burton screen tested for the role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark TV miniseries Roots. 1976 - Wings release "Wings at the Speed of Sound" album . 1977 - Elvis Costello releases his 1st record "Less Than Zero" 1990- The Little Mermaid soundtrack and song "Under the Sea" win Oscars. 1997- Turner Animation's film 'Cat's Don't Dance" featuring the last film work of Gene Kelly. He was a consultant on the dance sequences. 2008- Arnold Schwarzenegger fired Clint Eastwood. No, its’ not a movie plot line. The former actor, turned Republican Governor, objected to a position of the actor/director and former Republican mayor took on the California State Parks Commission. 2228 - According to Star Fleet records- James T. Kirk, captain of Federation Star Ship Enterprise (Star Trek) was born. -----------------------
B-Days: English King Henry II Plantagenet, Joachim Murat, Gudson Borglum, David Lean, Gloria Steinhem is 79, Mary Flannery-O’Connor, Arturo Toscanini, Aretha Franklin, Bela Bartok', Howard Cosell, Bonnie Bedelia, Anita Bryant, Simone Signoret, Elton John is 66, Sarah Jessica Parker is 48. Happy Passover. 1932- Motion Picture Academy President William DeMille, brother of Cecil B., started a 'Squawk Forum", inviting film industry workers to air their grievances with their studio heads. (and this way they won't ask for their own union ). The first boss on the hot seat was MGM's Louis B. Mayer. He was greeted with boos, insults and catcalls, mostly from writers. In a short time the forum devolved into a shouting free for all. Mayer furiously stormed out and proceeded to fire all those Metro employees he could remember were there. The Squawk Forum idea was abandoned. 1933- Nazis Minister of Propaganda Josef Goebbels offered famed director Fritz Lang a job. Fritz said he’d think about it, then immediately packed his bag for Hollywood. 1954- RCA began mass production and marketing of color television sets. At the time the set cost as much as an automobile -$1,000, 12 inch screen and there was very little programming in color. 1955- US Customs seize a shipment of 258 copies Alan Ginsburg’s poem Howl printed in the UK on the grounds it was obscene." I saw some of the finest minds of my generation destroyed by madness." Next year when Lawrence Ferlinghetti of San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore printed the poem he was arrested. 1960- Thirty five years after it was written and published in Europe an American judge rules that D.H. Lawrence's novel 'Lady Chatterley's Lover" was not pornography and could finally be sold in the U.S.. Not porn ? Whaddaya think of that, John-Thomas ? 1960- The Moulin Rouge Agreement. After a lot of agitation and arm twisting from Frank Sinatra the owners of the Las Vegas casinos agree to integrate. It was so named for the Moulin Rouge Casino, which up to then had been the only casino that allowed black and white patrons to mix freely. 1954- Walt Disney's Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom won the Oscar for animated short. 1967 -The Who & Cream make their US debut at Murray the K's Easter Show. 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono began their week-long "love-in" for peace in the bed of Room 902 of the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam. 1996- The music of the Disney film Pocahontas beat out Pixars Toy Story at the Oscars.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Birthdays: Steve McQueen, Lawrence Ferlingetti, Ub Iwerks (the first Disney animator), John Wesley Powell, Harry Houdini aka Eric Weiss, Edward Weston, Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle, Clyde Barrow of Bonnie & Clyde, Bob Mackie, Robert Carradine, Jesus Alou, Laura Flynn-Boyle, Alyson Hannigan, Joe Barbera, Sir Elton John is 67 1912- Sir Arthur Conan-Doyles adventure novel The Lost World, first published in magazine installments. It was the first of the Land-of-the-Dinosaurs type stories. 1934-The Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour debuted on radio. It became a national craze to see who could be a future star. Frank Sinatra was among their finds. The show eventually moved to television and later spawned the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, Chuck Barris the Gong Show, Star Search, American Idol and the Voice. 1939- The film the Hound of the Baskervilles premiered with actors Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson . They became the most famous interpreters of the characters and went on to make a dozen more films. 1943 - The first Japanese anime’ feature premiered "Momotaro's Sea Eagles". 1955- Tennessee William's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" debuts at Broadway's Marosco Theater. Barbera Bel-Geddes was the first Cat and Burl Ives was " Big Daddy".
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Birthdays: US Vice President Schuyler Colfax, Akira Kurosawa, Joan Crawford, Dr Werner Von Braun, Juan Gris, Chaka Khan, Paul Grimault, Sidney Hillman Jack Ruby, Joan Collins, Eric Fromm, Fanny Farmer, Catherine Keener is 54, Hope Davis is 49 1936- Ollie Johnston got a job as Fred Moore’s assistant at the Walt Disney Studio. 1957- Art Clokey's "Gumby" Show. 2003- Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, Beating out Lilo & Stitch and Treasure Planet. 3D Mickey gave the shorts oscar to the Chubb-Chubbs.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Birthdays: Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Marcel Marceau, Stephen Sondheim, Karl Malden, Werner Klemperer- Colonel Klink in Hogan’s Heroes, George Benson, James Gavin, Allen Neuharth the founder of USA-Today, Milt Kahl, Fanny Ardant is 64, Lena Olin is 58, Bruno Ganz is 72, Reese Witherspoon is 37, William Shatner is 82! 1958- Hollywood producer Mike Todd was killed in a small plane crash. He produced hit movies like Around the World in 80 Days and romanced starlets like Gypsy Rose Lee and Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor and Todd had been married for one year and she was devastated by the accident. Years and many marriages later Taylor said Mike Todd was the only man she actually loved. 1960- Arthur Shawlow and Charles Townes patent the laser beam. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation or LASER. 1970- The Beatles break up. Paul McCartney filed papers in a London court for a formal dissolving of the Fab Fours partnership. 1995- First day of shooting on that utterly classic film- Dinosaur Valley Girls!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Birthdays: Plato, Johann Sebastian Bach, Benito Juarez, Modest Mussorgsky, Fats Waller, Josef Pulitzer, Florenz Zeigfield, Bronco Billy Anderson, Rev Ralph Abernathy, Armand Hammer, Harold Robbins, Matthew Broderick is 51, Gary Oldman is 55, James Coco, Timothy Dalton is 69, Rosie O’Donnell is 51 1617-Pocahontas, now called Lady Rebecca Rolfe, died at Gravesend, England after being taken off the homeward bound ship, too ill with smallpox to continue. She was 21. Her children with John Rolfe became the beginnings of one of the largest families in Virginia, with many scions of the Old Dominion tracing their ancestry to Pocahontas. 1951- HOLLYWOOD COMMIES- House UnAmerican Acitivities Commitee (HUAC) under Judge J. Parnell Thomas moves from Washington and sets up in Hollywood to continue rooting out Communist subversion in the movies. They began in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and later move to the federal building downtown. Their concerns weren’t total fantasy, actor Sterling Hayden confessed he was ordered by his communist operatives to try and influence the Screen Actor’s Guild. Still the point remains whether the authorities overreaction was justified and whether Congress could get more publicity looking for spies in Tinseltown than the Department of Games and Fisheries. Out of 15,000 people who made a living in the movies and television, only 295 were ever proven or confessed communists. It was an open secret that for $5,000 delivered to the right committee member your dossier would be moved to the bottom of the pile. The hearings stopped in 1956, the blacklist was broken in 1960 and Judge J. Parnell Thomas went to jail himself for embezzlement. 1952- DJ Alan Freed put on an event of new pop music in Cleveland Ohio. Called the MoonDog Coronation Ball, it was the very first Rock Concert. 1976- ASPEN MURDER- Jet setter Claudine Longet, a model who was formerly married to singer Andy Williams, shot and killed her lover Spider Sabich, a Olympic skiing champion. Even though their relationship was foundering she said it was an accident, that the Luger went off in his abdomen when he was showing her how to use it. In the bathroom. Uh Huh. Imagine being in the bathroom shaving and your girlfriend pops in “Honey, I’m having problems with the safety on my Luger.. Here darling I’ll just –oops!” She spent 30 days in jail for negligent manslaughter, then married her defense attorney. 1988- the Screen Actor's Guild hits the bricks for the fourth time in twenty years, this time striking Hollywood for residuals for cable and videocassette income.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Birthday: Roman poet Ovid 43BC., Napoleon’s son Napoleon II "l'Aiglon" The eaglet, Henryk Ibsen, Lauritz Melchior, Ray Goulding, Mr. Rogers, Bobby Orr, Sheldon "Spike" Lee is 56, B.F. Skinner, Pat Riley, Sir Michael Redgrave, Edgar Buchanan, Holly Hunter is 55, William Hurt is 63, Carl Reiner is 91, Chris Wedge is 55. 1841- Edgar Allen Poe's The Murder's in the Rue Morgue first published in Graham’s Magazine. Called the first true detective novel, Poe's detective C. Auguste Dupin was inspired by a real French sleuth named Jules Vinquoc who used disguises and science to solve crimes the Paris police could not handle. The character was also the inspirations for Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Inspector Poirot. 1903- Henri Matisse exhibits at the Salon des Independents in Paris. 1931- Cantors Kosher deli opened in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles. 1943-MGM's "Dumb Hounded" the first Droopy Cartoon. 1999- Legoland opened in Carlsbad Cal.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Birthdays: George De La Tour, Wyatt Earp, Dr. David Livingston, William Jennings Bryan, Sir Richard Burton (The African explorer, not Liz Taylor's ex), Charles M. Russell, Jacky Moms Mabley, Adolf Eichmann, Phillip Roth, Adolf Galland, Ursula Andress, Patrick McGoohan, Ornette Coleman, Harvey Weinstein, Bruce Willis is 58, Glenn Close is 66, animator Richard Williams is 80 1611- Moscow Burns- again. During the period called the Time of Troubles a Polish army had captured the Kremlin and tried to get the son of the Polish King Wladyswav IV or Ladislas made Czar. The Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow Hermogenes forbade any good Russian from swearing allegiance to the Roman Catholic Ladislas. So the Poles threw the Patriarch in a dungeon where he soon died. This day a rebel army organized by a Prince Troubetskoy and peasant butcher Kosma Minin attacked the foreign occupiers and in the ensuing conflict, the city caught fire. Prince Troubetoy's descendant Eugene Troubetskoy today is chief scientist for Blue Sky Studio (Ice Age) 1847- THE MORMON BATALLION reached Los Angeles. Brigham Young, in order to quiet Federal suspicions that his Utah commune didn't want to be part of the U.S., forms a volunteer battalion to help in the War with Mexico. This troop makes one of the longest infantry marches in U.S. history across the arid desert and arrives in El Pueblo de Los Angeles in time to interrupt a fiesta. They tell the startled locals that they were now Americans. 1875- Mark Twain admits in a letter that he now likes to use a typewriter, a new technology accused of ruining the art of writing. 1895- The Lumiere Brothers shot their first movie, employees leaving their dad’s factory. 1914- A fire in the negative vaults of the Eclair Studios in New Jersey destroyed forever all the American work of pioneer French animator Emile Cohl. He had come to the U.S. to animate the first cartoon series, George McManus’ "The Newlyweds" later to be renamed in comic strip form "Life With Father". 1953- First T.V. broadcast of the Oscar ceremony. That utterly memorable circus film "The Greatest Show on Earth" won top honors. Ironically it was Cecil B. DeMille’s only Oscar of his career. Before TV, the Oscars ceremony included a dinner and an hour of dancing before the awards were presented. 1954- Singer Sammy Davis Jr. lost an eye in an auto accident in the California desert. He was left lying bleeding unattended in a hallway in Riverside County Hospital. This was because he was black and it was a segregated facility. Finally actor Jeff Chandler found him and forced the doctors to treat him. Friend Frank Sinatra urged Davis out of his depression and got him out on stage again. That first night at Ciro’s nightclub the entire Ratpack- Sinatra, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford each preformed on stage wearing a black eye patch similar to Davis’. 1957- Elvis Presley purchased an estate outside Memphis Tennessee called Graceland from Ruth Moore for $100,000. 1957- Skiing aficionado Pete Seibert was wounded in both legs during World War Two and was feared he would never walk again. He not only walked but he got back on skis and by 1950 made the US Olympic skiing team. This day he hiked with a friend up to an isolated Valley in Colorado named Vail:" My God Earl, we’ve climbed all the way to Heaven!" he exclaimed. Pete Seibert built Vail into a world class ski resort and town. 1962- The first Pillsbury Doughboy commercial. 1964- IBM gives the greenlight to plans for the 360 series. The first compatible computers. 1984- I’LL BE BACK- James Cameron began shooting the film the Terminator. He first considered casting O.J. Simpson for the cyborg killer before settling on Austrian weightlifter Arnold Swarzenegger. 1987- Reverend Jim Baker resigned as head of the PTL Ministries. The Televangelist had been accused of hanky-panky with secretary Jessica Hahn and defrauding his parishioners of millions to put air conditioning in his dog’s house, and build a Christian Theme Park named Heritage USA. Evangelist turned comedian Sam Kinison joked: "I imagine up in Heaven Jesus must be flipping through the New Testament saying "Hey, where did I say anything about a Water Slide?!" 1993- Monkey-cam debuted on the David Letterman Show.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Birthdays: Amerigo Vespucci, John Calhoun, Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov, Neville Chamberlain, Wilson Picket, Edgar Cayce, John Updike, Grover Cleveland, Edward Everett Horton, Vanessa Williams, F. W. DeKlerk, George Plympton, Peter Graves, Irene Cara, Luc Besson, Queen Latifah is 45 1902- BIRTHDAY OF THE RECORDING INDUSTRY. The RCA Victrola company sends it's engineers to Milan to record ten discs of the young tenor Enrico Caruso. He becomes a world celebrity and the phonograph moves from being a scientific curiosity to something every home had to have. 1924-The film “Thief of Baghdad” starring Douglas Fairbanks and designs by William Cameron Menzies premiered. It is considered the first great special effects blockbuster. 1942- Paramounts “The Lost Dream” the first Little Audrey cartoon. 1965-The Rolling Stones are fined 5 English pence for urinating on a wall in Stratford at ABC recording studio Romford. 1967- The Pirates of the Caribbean ride opened at Disneyland, designed by master animator Marc Davis. In recent years rampant political correctness has disturbed the pirates fun. One diorama that portrayed a lusty buccaneer chasing a wench around a table while she giggles. It was changed to show he was only interested in her sandwich tray. 1968- Mel Brooks first film “The Producers” premiered with Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Dick Shawn. His screenplay beat out Kubricks 2001 for a Best Screenplay Oscar. In the late 1990s Brooks reworked the screenplay into a hit Broadway musical.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Birthdays: Jim Bridger the mountainman, Nat King Cole, film composer Alfred Newman, Mercedes McCambridge, Leslie Ann Down, Patrick Duffy, Rudolph Nureyev, Gary Sinise, Kate Greenaway, John Sebastian, Ben Washam (warner bros. animator), Ken Anderson (Disney animator), John Wayne Gacy, Kurt Russell is 62, Rob Lowe is 49 Happy St Patricks Day! 1845- Rubber Bands invented. 1901- At a grand exhibition of his paintings at Bernheim-Jeune Palace in Paris, the world discovered the brilliance of a poor Dutch lunatic who had shot himself a few years back- Vincent Van Gogh. 1941- The National Gallery of Art opens in Washington D.C. 1982- Politically conservative Hollywood actors led by Charlton Heston broke with the Screen Actor’s Guild and form a rival group called AWAG ( American Working Actor’s Guild). They were angered by SAG president Ed Asner’s taking their union into national politics by condemning Pres. Ronald Reagan’s policies in Central America, capped by the SAG board refusing Reagan (their former president) the Guild lifetime achievement award. As a result Ed Asner’s hit t.v. show “Lou Grant” lost sponsors and was canceled and Heston’s career cooled as well, beyond heading the NRA and writing cranky letters to the L.A. Times calendar section that Ben Hur wasn’t gay.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Birthdays: James Madison, Conrad Nagel, Dr. Josef Mengele the Angel of Death, Teresa Berganza, Christa Ludwig, Pat Nixon, Alice Bonheur, Gore Verbinsky, Jerry Lewis is 87, Bernardo Bertolucci is 73, Eric Estrada, Kate Nelligan, Isabelle Huppert is 60, Lauren Graham is 46 1830- DULLEST DAY IN HISTORY OF STOCK MARKET- only 31 shares traded for a grand total of $ 3,740 dollars. 1850- Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter published. 1913- Artist Aubrey Beardsley died of tuberculosis at 25. Having a religious conversion at the end of his life, but still the stickler for detail, his last words were :"Destroy all my erotic drawings...all the bad ones too...." Happily his friends did neither. 2007- Author Michael Crichton was the author of classics like The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park. He had been called the H.G. Wells of modern times. But today he shocked the scientific community by denouncing the concept of Global Warming.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Birthdays: Andrew Jackson, Lee Schubert-one of Broadways Shubert Brothers, Ry Cooder, Sly Stone, Harry James, Lightnin' Hopkins, Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, Judd Hirsch, Norm Van Brocklin, Sabu, Fabio, Reni Harlin, David Cronenburg is 70, Eva Longoria is 38, David Silverman 1915- Universal Studios formed. Carl Laemmele bought a huge track of Burbank farmland and set up his studio. Laemmele had wooden bleachers built next to the movie sets where he charged people a nickel to come watch the filming. Universal actually had been operating as a film company since 1912 but the company counts today as it’s birthday. 1933- Young animator Chuck Jones first hired at Leon Schlesingers Looney Tunes cartoon studio. 1950- Walt Disney’s "Cinderella" opens. Their first animated fairy tale hit since 1942. 1956- Lerner & Lowe’s musical "My Fair Lady" premiered. 1977- Television sitcom Threes Company debuted. 1985- Symbolic.com is assigned the first registered private domain site on the Internet. 2002- Blue Sky’s hit animated film Ice Age premiered.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Birthdays: Georg Phillip Telemann, Johann Strauss Sr., Albert Einstein, Casey Jones, Quincy Jones is 80, astronaut Frank Borman, Les Brown, Hank Ketcham, Wolfgang Petersen, Diane Arbus, Chris Klein, Michael Cain born Maurice Mickelwhite is 80, Billy Crystal is 65 1885- Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Mikado premiered in London. 1932-Inventor GEORGE EASTMAN shot himself- The inventor of the Roll-film camera, who named his celluloid strips 'film' and founded Eastman/Kodak. He had been suffering from a long illness and left the note: " To my friends: The End is near, why wait? " 1986- The IPO or initial public offering of stock of a new company called Microsoft. Twenty-seven dollars a share. 1991- Lyricist Howard Ashman ( Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) died of HIV/AIDS. 1998- The epic disaster movie Titanic surpassed Star Wars and Jurassic Park as the greatest money earning film (until Avatar). It cost over $200 million to make but it earned at least $1 billion in box office alone. Quote director James Cameron: I’m King of the World!!
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Birthdays: Hugh Walpole, Earl Charles Grey 1764-English Prime Minister whom the tea blend 'Earl Grey Tea " is named for, Hugo Wolf, Sammy Kaye, Danny Kaye, Neil Sedaka, L. Ron Hubbard, Dana Delaney, William Macy is 63, Dick Katz, Annabeth Gish 1639- Richard Burbage died. Burbage was the famed Elizabethan actor and friend of William Shakespeare. On his tombstone was a simple epitaph- EXIT BURBAGE. 1758- BATTLE ON THE SNOWSHOES-Col. Robert Rogers with "Roger's Rangers" American colonial frontiersmen in British service, got ambushed by a large French Huron Indian warparty. The leathershirts scatter and Rogers eludes his pursuers by walking with his snowshoes turned backwards from the edge of a cliff. When the Indians see his tracks ending into thin air and then spot his figure running in the valley below they decided the Hipi-Manitou Spirit was with him, so they let him go. 1939-Hollywood recognizes the Screen Director’s Guild later called he DGA. After a nasty battle lasting several years Guild President Frank Capra signs the contracts representing 80% of movie directors. They also contractually ensure the custom of the directors credit being the last one seen at the opening title sequence of a film. 1943- Radio station WNYC goes on the air. 1944- Abbot & Costello copyrighted their baseball routine ‘Who’s on First?" 1969- Disney’s comedy about a Volkswagen beetle "The Love Bug" premiered.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Birthdays: Jack Kerouac, Billy "Buckwheat "Thomas, Darryl Strawberry, Edward Albee, Andrew Young, Joan Kennedy, Eugene Ormandy, Gordon McCrae, Liza Minelli is 67, Courtenay Vance, James Taylor, Frank Welker, Al Jareau, Maurice Evans, Barbara Feldon- agent 99 in Get Smart, DeWitt Bodeen- writer of the 1942 film Cat People. Aaron Eckart is 45 1932-Disney short "Mickey’s Revue" featuring Dippy Dog, now turned into a new character named "the Goof" or Goofy. 1945-THE WAR OF HOLLYWOOD BEGAN-Throughout the 1930’s and 40’s several national unions battled studios and each other to represent Hollywood film workers. The Teamsters, the FWPC, the Brotherhood of Electricians. By 1945 only two remained, the IATSE and the CSU.(International Alliance of Theater and Screen Engineers and the Conference of Studio Unions) IATSE had a reputation of gangsterism and making cozy deals with the studio heads. The CSU, a much more militant group with past ties to communist organizations, was headed by a charismatic scenery painter named Herb Sorrell who had helped win the Disney strike for the cartoonists in 1941. Sorrel called several citywide strikes that paralyzed Hollywood in 1945, 46,and 47. President Richard Walsh of IATSE fought them and rioting in front of the studios was commonplace. 1951- Former Disney assistant animator Hank Ketcham was trying his hand as a print cartoonist. He had some success selling gags to the New Yorker Magazine. His baby son Dennis was a precocious infant. One day after smearing the contents of his diaper around the house his mother exclaimed to Hank-“ Your son is a Menace!” That gave Ketcham an idea. Today the first Dennis the Menace comic strip was published. 1969- Mrs. Robinson –a song written by two young folk singers named Simon & Garfunkel, won a Grammy award. 1969- Paul and Linda McCartney married. 1992- Warren Beatty married Annette Benning.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Birthdays: Torquato Tasso, Marius Pretipa, Raoul Walsh. Rupert Murdoch is 82, Charlie Ruggles, Lawrence Welk, former British PM Harold Wilson, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Bobby McFerrin, Sam Donaldson, Justice Antonin Scalia, Jerry Zucker, Vannevar Bush- MIT scientist who in 1945 predicted personal computer workstations. Joey Buttafuco, Jules Engel, Douglas Adams would be 61, Rob Paulsen is 56, Terence Howard is 43 1927- The first Roxy Theater opens at 50th st. & Seventh Ave. in New York. Roxy was a nickname of theater owner Samuel L. Rothaphel who pioneered the movie palace and is called the father of De-Luxe presentation. 1943- The Broadway musical team of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein opened their first collaboration “Away We Go!” 1971- Philo Farnsworth died of pneumonia at 64. As a young man in 1922 he had invented the television set, but by the 1960’s he was forgotten, broke and addicted to painkillers. The only recognition he got was as a contestant on the quiz show I Got a Secret. He won an $80 check and a carton of Winston Cigarettes. Today Farnsworth is considered one of the true inventors of Television, along with John Logie-Baird, Lee DeForrest and Vladimir Zworkin. 1977- Film director Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown) was arrested for having sex with a 13 year old girl in Jack Nicholson’s home after he got her stoned on quaaludes. Polanski was charged with statutory rape. He jumped bail and fled Hollywood for exile in Paris. LA tried unsuccessfully to get him extradited in 2009.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Birthdays: Lorenzo da Ponte -libretist of Mozart's operas, Barry Fitzgerald, Claire Booth Luce, Heywoud Hale Broun, James Herriot, Pablo de Sarrasate, Osama Ben Laden, Chuck Norris is 73, Shannon Tweed, Sharon Stone is 55, John Hamm is 42 1933- The LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE. There had not been a serious quake in LA since 1857, so everyone thought it a thing of the past. Today the buildings swayed and brick walls collapsed. It was the last big shift in the San Andreas Fault. 200 people were killed, and if the schools had not been empty, the casualties could have been much worse. Actors convening SAG union meetings in the El Capitan Theater moved out into a parking lot because of the aftershocks. The quake sparked the first serious earthquake building codes. 1935- The First Smokey Stover comic strip ( notary sojac). 1947- Ronald Reagan becomes President of the Screen Actor's Guild after President George Montgomery and V.P. Franchot Tone resign to become independent producers. In the violent gangster-ridden atmosphere of Hollywood unions in those days Reagan took to wearing a .32 Smith & Wesson in a shoulder holster under his coat. 1954- In a letter to studio heads director Elias Kazan worried that young actor James Dean was “too odd” and unpredictable to star in his movie “Rebel Without a Cause”.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Birthdays: Amerigo Vespucci, Eddie Foy Sr., Yuri Gargarin, Samuel Barber, chess master Bobby Fischer, Mickey Spillane, Vita Sackville-West, Raul Julia, Vacheslav Molotov, Juliet Binoche is 49, Linda Fiorentino is 55, Lil’ Bow-Wow is 26 1888- While strolling through his garden, writer Jules Verne was shot twice by a demented nephew. He recovered, but walked with a limp from then on. 1907-Former Edison animator J. Stuart Blackton starts "Moving Picture World" an early movie fanzine. 1935- The Looney Tune Cartoon "I haven’t Got a Hat" premiered. This cartoon gave birth to the first permanent Warner Bros. Cartoon star- Porky Pig. 1954- Edgar R. Murrow does a "See It Now" television broadcast detailing the life of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the commie-chaser. The obvious contradictions and gross opportunism in McCarthy's record when laid out before a nationwide audience, destroyed his career and took the steam out of the "Red Scare" of the 50's. It is probably television journalism's finest moment. For the lowest? Well, what's on tonight ? 1955- Actor James Dean’s film East of Eden premiered today,. 1959-The first "Clutch Cargo" show. 1984- Roy E. Disney Jr. resigned from the central board of the Walt Disney Company, setting in motion a series of takeover bids and maneuvering, that by August would leave him in control of the company. 1989- Artist-photographer Robert Maplethorpe died of AIDS.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Birthdays: Maurice Ravel, Piet Mondrian, Roman Emperor Geta, Luther Burbank, Tammy Fae Baker, Willard Scott, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, Daniel D. Travanti, Rachel Weisz is 42, Michael Eisner is 71, Wanda Sykes is 49, Peter Saarsgard is 42, Bryan Cranston is 57 1936- Disney short Mickey's Grand Opera. 1988- 300 pound female impersonator Harry Milstead, better known as Divine in the John Waters films, died of sleep apnea. 1999- Film director Stanley Kubrick died just five days after completing his final film Eyes Wide Shut.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Birthdays: Michaelangelo Buonnarotti, Cyrano De Bergerac, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Phil Sheridan, Lou Costello, Ivan Boesky, Ring Lardner, Gabriele Garcia-Marquez, Valentina Tereschkova the first woman in space, Tom Arnold, Kiri Te Kanawa, Rob Reiner is 66, Alan Greenspan, DC Mayor Marion Barry, Stephen Schwartz is 65, Ed McMahon, Will Eisner, Shaquille O’Neal is 41 1921- The film Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse premiered. The first Hollywood film to earn over one million dollars, and it made a major star out of Rudolf Valentino.. 1927- Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis opened in the US. 1978- Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt was shot and crippled by a lunatic. 1979- The film The China Syndrome premiered. It was about an accident at an American nuclear power plant.. Three weeks later the real Three Mile Island accident occurred, boosting the box office. " It's spooky, it's enough to make you religious" said star Michael Douglas. 1981- CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite retired. Dan Rather succeeded him after CBS learned ABC was offering Rather big bux to jump networks. Roger Mudd, who was thought to be the real successor to Cronkite, left the network to anchor the History Channel. Dan Rather was the CBS anchor until 2004. 1989- Time Inc. merged with Warner Communications to become Time Warner, the largest media conglomerate in the world. They were bought by AOL in 2000 but AOL proved to be dead weight and they resumed control as TimeWarner in 2003. In 2013, Time Warner announced they were spinning off Time Inc. as a separate company. 1998- The Big Lebowski opened in theaters. The Dude Abides…
Monday, March 4, 2013
Birthdays: Henry III of England, Gionanni Batista Tiepolo, Explorer Le Sieur de Cadillac the founder of Detroit, Hector Villa-Lobos, Howard Pyle, William Oughtred 1574- inventor of the Slide Rule," Red Rosa" Luxemburg, Rex Harrison, Dean Stockwell is 77, Paolo Pasolini, Andy Gibb, Samantha Eggar, Andrej Wajda, Fred Williamson, Penn Gillette is 58, Eva Mendes is 39, Kevin Connolly is 39 1534- Renaissance painter Correggio died when after an argument in the cathedral of Parma with his patrons paid him with sacks of pennies. He grew overheated carrying them all home and died of a fever at age 45. 1717- Giovanni Tiepolo joined the Guild of Saint Lawrence, the artists union in Rome. 1759- Francois Voltaire’s most famous satire on religion and hypocrisy- Candide- was published. It was immediately ordered publicly burned by the regional parliaments of Geneva and Paris. This only increased its popularity. To stay out of trouble Voltaire first refused to admit he was the author:" People must have lost their senses to attribute to me that pack of nonsense! I have, Thanks God, better occupations." 1868- Englishman C.H. Gould patented the first stapler. 1922- F.W. Murnau’s eerie film Nosferatu premiered in Berlin. 1963- Country star Patsy Cline died in plane crash near Camden Tenn. Also killed were singers Cowboy Copas and Hacksaw Hawkins. 1973, New York Yankee pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson make a stunning declaration. The left-handers announce that they have traded each others wives, children, houses, even their family dogs. 1982 - John Belushi died of drug overdose at Chateau Marmont hotel on Sunset Strip. He had done twenty heroin-cocaine speedballs in just 24 hours. A woman named Cathy Smith was charged with administering to him the fatal dose. Robin Williams was with him that night partying also but left early. Belushi was 31. Someone scrawled on Belushi’s tombstone:" You could have given us more laughs.....But NNNOOOO! 1995- Vivian Stanstall, lead singer for the Bonzo Dog Band, died in a fire in his London flat. He had been smoking in bed.
Birthdays: King Henry II Plantagenet, Antonio Vivaldi, Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal, Count Pulaski, Miriam Makeba, Nancy Wilson, Bernard Haittink, John Garfield, Knute Rockne, Chastity Bono, prizefighter Ray Boom-Boom Mancini, Patsy Kensit. Katherine O’Hara is 59, James Ellroy, Mykleti Williamson. 1924- The song “Happy Birthday to You” copyrighted by Claydon Sunny. 1936- Screenwriter Dudley Nichols publicly refuses the Best Screenplay Oscar for John Ford’s “The Informer” as protest in support of the struggling Writer’s Guild. 1946- Alex Raymond's comic strip 'Rip Kirby" premiered. 1952- Ronald Reagan married Nancy Davis at the Little Red Church on Coldwater Canyon blvd. in L.A. William Holden was best man. 1952- Ernest Hemingway wrote a letter to his publisher:" I've completed a new novel. I think it's my best one to date." The Old Man and the Sea. 1956- Burger King introduced their signature hamburger the Whopper. 1961- In the early stages of filming Cleopatra in London, actress Elizabeth Taylor developed pneumonia and slipped into a coma. She would have died, had not doctors at a convention at London’s Dorchester Hotel performed and emergency tracheotomy. When you seen the film today you can still see the tracheotomy scar at the base of her throat. 1994- 375 pound comedian John Candy died of heart failure in his sleep. He was 43. 2000- The Japanese launch of Sony Playstation 2. The most anticipated videogame launch in history. 600,000 units were sold. One store in Tokyo’s Ginza had 4,000 people lined up at their door.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
B-Dayz: George Pullman of Pullman Railroad cars, General Matthew Ridgeway, Jean Harlow, Diana Barrymore, Akira Ifukube the composer of the music scores to movies like Godzilla, Tone Loc, Jacky Joyner-Kersee, James Doohan, Ronald Searle, Bruno Bozzetto, Will Eisner, Herschel Walker, George Miller, Miranda Richardson is 55 1950-Paramount's "Quack-a-Doodle-Doo" The first Baby Huey cartoon. 1950-Don Herbert teaches millions of kids about science as televisions Mr.Wizard. 1952- The Supreme Court ruled that school teachers could be fired if they were Communists. 1966- William Frawley, the bald, gravel-voiced neighbor Fred Murtz on I Love Lucy, had just seen the movie Inside Daisy Clover on Hollywood Blvd. He was outside the Knickerbocker Hotel when he lit a cigar, then dropped dead of a heart attack. He was 79. When his TV partner Vivian Vance heard the news, she said “ Champagne for Everyone!” They never liked each other much. She died in 1979.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Birthdays: Sam Houston, Alexander Graham Bell, Kurt Weill, Desi Arnaz ( Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III ), Ted Geisel aka Dr.Suess, Mikhail Gorbachov, Willis O'Brian, Moe Berg, Karen Carpenter, Lou Reed, Jennifer Jones, John Cullum is 83, John Irving, Tom Wolfe, Jon Bon Jovi is 51, Daniel Craig is 45 1922- A 21 year old veteran named Walt Disney after getting out of the army began studying in the public library Edwin Lutz's book "Motion Picture Animation and How it is Made". In Kansas City he and his brother Roy persuaded the owner of a small chain of vaudeville theaters to fund some cartoons. Today the Newman's Laff-O-Grams Company was formed. A year later the Disney brothers would move to Hollywood and start a new enterprise called the Walt Disney Company. 1933- Movie "KING KONG" premiered at the new Radio City Music Hall in New York and the Roxy. Twas Beauty killed the Beast. No CGI around. 1944- A cartoon other than a Disney cartoon finally won best animated short at the Oscars. Yankee Doodle Mouse from MGM> 1973- The Women in Film organization founded. 1976- Francis Ford Coppola began shooting his epic film“ Apocalypse Now” in the Philippines. The film was plagued by cost overruns, a typhoon and his Philippine Army helicopters frequently flying off to fight real guerrillas in the middle of shooting, but somehow it all got done. 1982- Science Fiction writer Phiilip K. Dick died of a stroke in Santa Ana California. The author of stories the movies Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall were based. Dick said he was at times possessed by a superalien who appeared in his mind in a beam of pink light. His autobiography was titled “ I am alive and you are dead.”
Friday, March 1, 2013
Birthdays: Frederic Chopin, Glen Miller, Harry Belafonte is 86, David Niven, Robert Clary, Oskar Kokoschka, Roger Daltry, Robert Conrad, Deke Slayton, Yitschak Rabin. Catherine Bach, Timothy Daly, Ron Howard is 58 Javier Bardem is 44. 1930-Disney animator Ub Iwerks, the animator/designer of Mickey Mouse, quits the studio to set up his own place. Walt was stunned by the defection of one of his first employees and closest friends. Iwerks studio producing Flip the Frog Cartoons, will eventually fail and he'll return to Disney to invent the xerox process. Iwerks partner was Pat Powers, who’s PowersCinephone was the process used to put sound on “Steamboat Willie”.Powers engineered the break when Disney refused to let him buy in to a co-partnership in Disney Studio. 1936- Max Fleischer's short cartoon"Snow White" (starring Betty Boop). Cab Calloway singing the "St. James Infirmary Blues" is a highlight. 1946-The National Cartoonists Society formed. 1961-The Ken Doll introduced. 1978- Unemployed auto mechanics Gatchko Ganas and Roman Wardas broke into the tomb of Charlie Chaplin in Vevey Switzerland and stole his remains. They tried to hold it for ransom. The body was recovered and the two losers were soon arrested. They were trying to make enough money to open a car repair garage in France.