Friday, May 31, 2013
Birthdays: King Manuel Ist of Portugal –1495, Walt Whitman, Fred Allen, Don Ameche, Prince Ranier, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Ranier Fassbinder, Brooke Shields, Joe Namath, Richie Valens, John Kemeny-the co-creator of BASIC, Tom Berenger, Denholm Elliot, Peter Yarrow, Lea Thompson, John Bonzo Bonham of Led Zepplin, Colin Ferrell is 37, Clint Eastwood is 83 1884-Happy Birthday Kellogg’s Corn Flakes! Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek Michigan patents "flaked cereal and the process for making same." He felt whole foods like Corn Flakes could help gentle Victorian people curb their urge to sexual excesses. 1928- The song “ Old Man River “sung by Pail Robeson came out as a single. 1969- John Lennon and Yoko Ono record "Give Peace a Chance." It became the theme song of the Anti-Vietnam War movement. Because of this song and Lennon’s support of the Hippie protesters the Nixon White House kept a file on him. Lennon spent most of 1972-73 under a constant threat of 60-day deportation from the US. 1984- Martial arts movie star Steven Segal married soap opera star Adrienne LaRussa. But what Adrienne didn’t know was he already had a wife named Miyako Fujetani and two kids waiting for him in Japan. A few months after this he fell for another actress named Kelly LeBrock. 1985- John Sculley was a former exec from Pepsi brought in by Apple Computer founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to help run the company. This day his solution to help the company run better was to fire Steve Jobs. Wozniak retired and Sculley eventually moved on. Before his death, Steve Jobs came back to run Apple as well as PIXAR and be on the board of the Walt Disney Company. 1989- "Skinhead Day at the Magic Kingdom" Disneyland refused to admit a rally of skinheads, Nazis and Klansmen. 1990- Television sitcom Seinfeld premiered based on a tv special about the standup comedian called the Seinfeld Chronicles. No Soup for You! 2000- The Survivor show premiered, shepherding in a new era of TV Reality shows.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Birthdays: Czar Peter the Great, Benny Goodman, Mel Blanc, Stepin Fetchit, Boris Pasternak, Irving Thalberg, Milt Neil, Howard Hawks, Gale Sayers, Michael J. Pollard, Wynonna, Keir Dullea is 77, Ceelo Green is 38. 1919- Hollywood entrepreneur Charles Tolman bought a natural declivity north of Hollywood Blvd called Daisy Dell. People had been picnicking in the grass there for years. Now Tollman wanted to build a concert amphitheatre. Conductor Hugo Kirchhofer remarked “ It looks like a big bowl!” So it became the Hollywood Bowl thereafter. 1972- Director choreographer Bob Fosse filmed a live performance of Liza Minelli’s one-woman show Liza with a Z. It was telecast in Sept. and became a sensation. 1994 - Death of Baron Marcel Bich, Italian-born French engineer and industrialist who created an empire through his disposable BIC pens, lighters and razors. 2003- Pixar’s Finding Nemo opened.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Birthdays: King Charles II (the "Merry Monarch"), John F. Kennedy, Bob Hope would be 110, J.G. Chesterton, Patrick Henry, Oswald Spengler, T.H.White, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Josef Von Sternberg, LaToya Jackson, John Hinckley Jr., Al Unser Jr., Beatrice Lilly, Danny Elfman, Annette Benning is 58, Melissa Etheridge is 52, Rupert Everett is 54, 1941-THE GREAT WALT DISNEY CARTOONISTS STRIKE.. The picket line and campsite went up across the street where St. Joseph's Hospital is today. Chef's from nearby Toluca Lake restaurants would cook for the strikers on their off time and the aircraft mechanics of Lockheed promised muscle if any ruffstuff was threatened. Picketers included Hank Ketcham (Dennis the Menace), Walt Kelly and Margaret Selby (later Kelly) (Pogo), Bill Melendez (A Charlie Brown Christmas), Steve Bosustow and John Hubley (Mr. Magoo), Maurice Noble and Chuck Jones (What's Opera Doc?), George Baker (Sad Sack), Dick Swift ("the Parent Trap") Frank Tashlin (Cinderfella) and four hundred others. Animators from Warner Bros. MGM and Walter Lantz marched with their Disney brothers and sisters, because they knew this was where the fate of their entire industry would be settled. Celebrities like Dorothy Parker and John Garfield gave speeches. The studio claimed no one of importance was on strike. The strike was eventually settled by Federal arbitration and a little arm twisting by the Bank of America. Many of the artists who left the studio afterward set up U.P.A. and pioneered the modern 1950's style. 1942- JOHN BARRYMORE- The great dramatic actor, the first American to dare to play Hamlet in England, died of his vices at age 60. Whether the infamous prank actually happened where Raoul Walsh, Bertholdt Brecht, Peter Lorre, W.C. Fields and some others (the"Bundy Drive Boys") kidnapped Barrymore's body from Pierce Brothers Funeral Home and propped it up at the poker table to scare the willys out of Errol Flynn is a matter of debate. Flynn and Paul Heinried said it was true, writer Gene Fowler said it was false. . John Barrymore's last words were to screenwriter Gene Fowler: "Say Gene, isn't it true you are an illegitimate son of Buffalo Bill?" 1942- Bing Crosby records "White Christmas," debatably the greatest selling record to date. 1952- Edmund Hillary and Sherpa guide Tenzing Norga become first men to reach the top of Mt. Everest. 1954- New York Police raid the studio of Irving Klaw, the photographer of the Betty Page kinky pin-up photos. Klaw tried to appeal to the Supreme Court but couldn’t get a hearing. 1956- Hollywood director James Whale (Frankenstein, The Invisible Man) drowned himself in his pool. His career was over and his health was deteriorating from a series of strokes. Bruises were found on his head and at first the police suspected foul play. It wasn’t until 1989 his gay lover made his suicide note public. His head had struck the pool’s bottom as he jumped in causing the bruise. 1978 - Bob Crane, (Hogan-Hogan's Heroes), died at 49 under mysterious circumstances. He was found in a Tucson hotel room surrounded by pornography bludgeoned to death by a camera tripod. The murder was never solved. 1987 –pop singer Michael Jackson attempted to buy the nineteenth century remains of Joseph Meredith a.k.a. the Elephant Man.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Birthdays: Solomon 970 BC, Noah Webster, Dr. Joseph Guillotine, William Pitt the Younger, General Pierre Beauregard, Ian Fleming, Jim Thorpe, The Dion Identical Quintuplets 1930, Gladys Knight, Jerry West, Dietrich Fisher-Deiskau, Sandra Locke, T-Bone Walker, Taffy Abel (one of the first professional hockey stars), John Fogarty is 68, Carey Mulligan is 28, Carol Baker is 82. 1929 - 1st all color talking picture, "On With the Show" exhibited (NYC). 1935- Tortilla Flat published. The first novel by John Steinbeck. 1941- THE WALT DISNEY STRIKE- Labor pressures had been building in the Magic Kingdom since promises made to artists over the success of Snow White were reneged on, and Walt Disney’s lawyer Gunther Lessing encouraged a hard line with his employees. On this day, in defiance of federal law, Walt Disney fired animator Art Babbitt ,the creator of Goofy, and thirteen other cartoonists for demanding a union. Babbitt had emerged as the union movements’ leader. Studio security officers escorted Babbitt off the lot. That night in an emergency meeting of the Cartoonists Guild, Art’s assistant on Fantasia, Bill Hurtz, made the motion to strike, and it was unanimously accepted. Bill Hurtz will later go on to direct award winning cartoons like UPA’s "Unicorn in the Garden". Picket lines go up next day in cartoon animation’s own version of the Civil War. Walt Disney nearly had a nervous breakdown over the strike and a federal mediator was sent by Washington to arbitrate. In later years, Uncle Walt blamed the studio’s labor ills on Communists. The studio unionized completely, but the hard feelings remained for their rest of their lives. 1954- Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder in 3D premiered. 1960- George Zucco 74, a character actor who specialized in horror movies like Blood from the Mummies Hand, one version says he died of fright in a mental hospital in San Gabriel California. He was convinced that H.P. Lovecraft's Great God Cthulu was after him. He actually died of natural causes in a nursing home. 1977- " MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU." George Lucas' space fantasy film STAR WARS opened (The premiere was May 25). This blockbuster was the first film where the filmmaker retained the licensing rights for merchandise instead of the distributor, known in Hollywood as the 'backend deal'. Several studios including Universal passed on the film because the prevailing wisdom was sci-fi films didn't make money. Twentieth Century Fox picked up the distribution but let the backend go to Lucas, because they didn't think the film would do any serious business. Even George Lucas didn’t expect the film to break even. Fox's market research department told studio head Alan Ladd, Jr.” a) don't make this movie; no one will go see a science fiction movie; and b) change the title; no one will go see a movie with "War" in the title. Fox executives had predicted the studios monster hit for that summer would be "Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry" with Peter Fonda and Susan George. Star Wars was a monster hit. It was like there were no other movies playing that summer. George Lucas became a seriously rich man and developed THX Dolby sound, digital animation and Industrial Light and Magic special effects. The film’s popularity ran so ahead of expectations, that at Christmas when you purchased a Star Wars Game you got a box with a pink IOU note in it pledging to get you the game when they printed more. 1998- Saturday Night Live comedian Phil Hartman was shot to death by his wife Brynne as he slept. She was a heavy drink and pill user. At 6:00am as the LAPD were knocking Brynne turned the gun on herself. 2005- Actress Lindsay Lohan was photographed passed out in her car shortly after a court hearing for a previous DUI.
Monday, May 27, 2013
Birthdays: James 'Wild Bill' Hickock, Julia Ward Howe, Aemelia Jenks-Bloomer, Dashell Hammett, Vincent Price, Henry Kissinger is 88, Leopold Goldowsky (the inventor of Kodachrome film), Hubert H. Humphrey, Herman Wouk, Harlan Ellison, Joseph Feinnes, Richard Schiff is 58, Peri Gilpin, Paul Bettany is 42, Sir Christopher Lee is 91 Memorial Day in the USA. 1895 - British inventor Burt Acres patented a film camera/projector 1933- Disney’s cartoon“The Three Little Pigs” premiered, whose song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” became a national anthem of recovery from the Depression. Director of the short Burt Gillette left Disney afterward to run the Van Beuren Studio in New York. He had a diminished career and several animators accused him of mental instability and alcoholism. 1935- The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Franklin Roosevelt’s National Recovery Act (The NRA) program. Roosevelt responds by trying to stack the court with judges more to his liking. He referred to them as 'The Nine Old Men', a sobriquet Walt Disney would borrow in 1949 for his animators. 1948- Walt Disney feature Melody Time released, featuring Pecos Bill. 1961 – The first black light is sold 1969 – Construction on Walt Disney World Florida began. 1995- Actor Christopher Reeve was left paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in an equestrian event in Charlottesville, Va. He became a spokesman for stem-cel research, but his effort in the US was frustrated by powerful religious lobbyists. Christopher Reeves died in 2004.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Birthdays: John Churchill the first Duke of Marlborough, Pope Clement VII the Medici Fox-1478, Mary Wollenstonecraft Godwin 1759- early feminist writer and mother of Mary Shelley, Alexander Pushkin, Isadora Duncan, Norma Talmadge, Paul Lukas, John Wesley Hardin the shootist, John Wayne, Al Jolson, Jay Silverheels (Tonto), Peter Cushing, Robert Morley, Peggy Lee ( He's a Tramp), Sally Ride, Pam Grier is 64, Helen Bonham Carter is 47, Bobcat Golthwaite, Matt Stone the co creator of South Park 1962- The Isley Brothers single “Twist & Shout” released. 1995- Looney Tunes director Friz Freleng died at age 89. 1995- In a memo to Microsoft, founder Bill Gates declared the Internet the “most important single development” since the IBM personal computer.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Birthdays: Miles Davis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Josef Broz Tito, Igor Sikorsky, Pontormo, Bennett Cerf, Claude Akins, Leslie Uggams, Bill Bojangles Robinson, Beverly Sills, Anne Heche, Irwin Winkler, Mike Myers is 50, Ian McKellen is 74 1932-Mickey’s Revue, the first Disney cartoon that featured the character that would eventually be called Goofy. 1942- First day shooting on the film “ Casablanca”. 1957- Sid Caesar's Your Show of Show's canceled after nearly a decade. The show used future star writers like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Woody Allen and Neil Simon. The show pioneered the executive strategy of network programmer Pat Weaver to not let the show be owned by an entire sponsor but the network would produce the show and would sell the sponsor commercial time in 30 second chunks. Pat Weaver’s daughter is Sigorney Weaver. Your Show of Shows was bested in the ratings by The Lawrence Welk Show. 1968- The Rolling Stones release the song Jumping Jack Flash. 1969- John Schlesinger’s film Midnight Cowboy premiered. The first X-rated film to ever win the Oscar for Best Film. 1979- Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic Alien opened. It featured the exotic designs of Hungarian artist Giger, and John Hurt with a classic case of chest pains! 1980- Evangelist Oral Roberts sees a 900-foot Jesus over his bed. 1983- Return of the Jedi opened. It was originally Revenge of the Jedi, but George Lucas changed the name just a month before. 1986- Hands Across America stunt to help hunger has 7 million people at one time holding hands at noon. 1994- First International World Wide Web Conference. Tim Berners-Lee and CERN talked how to implement and unify the World Wide Web.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Birthdays: Jean Paul Marat, Queen Victoria, Walt Whitman, Emmanuel Leutze, Gary Burghoff, Priscilla Presley, Patti LaBelle, Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong, Frank Oz, Disney artist Peter Ellenshaw, Kristin Scott Thomas is 53, Alfred Molina is 60, Jim Broadbent is 64, John C. Reilly is 48, Bob Dylan is 72 1830 –The poem "Mary Had A Little Lamb," was written. 1929- The Marx Brothers first movie comedy” The Coconuts” premiered. 1954 - IBM announces vacuum tube "electronic" brain that could perform 10 million operations an hour. 1989- In Los Angeles, a spectacular fire destroyed the Art-Deco-Moderne all-wood landmark, the Pan Pacific Auditorium. 1991- Tri-Star Pictures 75 million-dollar mega-flop "Hudson Hawk" opened. Star Bruce Willis, whose own salary was $17 million, blamed the film’s costs on union filmworkers’ salaries. He would return to his car after a day’s shooting to find it covered with animal excrement. The film almost sank his career. Willis’ next two films, "Death Becomes Her" and 'Pulp Fiction", he did for scale. In 2000 he made a $100,000 dollar donation to the SAG/AFTRA strike fund.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Birthdays: Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Scatman Crowthers, Rosemary Clooney, Artie Shaw, Alicia de Larrocha, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Drew Carey is 55, Joan Collins is 80 1931- In Max Fleischer's Silly Scandals, the girl character first seen in Dizzy Dishes is now called Betty Boop.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Birthdays: Sir Lawrence Olivier, Mary Cassatt, Richard Wagner is 200, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, T. Bone Pickens, Judith Christ, Irene Pappas, Paul Winfield, Richard Benjamin, Susan Strassberg, Paul Winchell, Tommy John, Naomi Cambell, Dr. Robert Moog –inventor of the first Music Synthesizer ,Ginnifer Goodwin is 35 1925- First day of shooting on Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis. 1954- Bob Dylan’s Bar Mitzvah. Maseltov! 1955-The Golden Age of Radio ends when after 22 years the Jack Benny show was canceled. Once the top broadcast show in the nation, Benny went on to television. 1966- Bill Cosby became the first African-American to win an Emmy Award for starring in a television series- I-Spy. 1967- T.V. children's show Mr. Roger's Neighborhood debuted. 1973 Scientist Bob Metcalfe of Xerox PARC patented the Ethernet. 1985- Top Disney animation director Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman who directed the Jungle Book among other films, died in a car crash following lunch at the Smoke House in Burbank. 2001- Ted Turners divorce from actress Jane Fonda became official. 2002-Ayatollahs outlaw Barbie dolls from Iran. They denounce Barbie as "agents of subversive Zionist Western propaganda."
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Birthdays: Plato, Fats Waller, Albrecht Durer, Andre Sakharov, Armand Hammer, Raymond Burr, animator John Hubley, Dennis Day, Sen. Al Franken is 62, Harold Robbins, Judge Reinhold, Larry Terro called Mr. T. is 61 1908 - 1st horror movie “Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde” premiered in Chicago. 1922- On the Road to Moscow , the first political cartoon to win a Pulitzer prize. The cartoonist Rollin Kirby, was passionate about Prohibition. He had a regular character to extol temperance named Mr. Dry. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933 Kirby killed off Mr. Dry in print. 1927-LINDBERGH- Charles Lindbergh-Lucky Lindy, The Lone Eagle, etc. reaches a field outside Paris called Le Bourget after flying nonstop across the Atlantic. There was no such thing as an auto-pilot yet, so he had to stay awake and alert for 55 hours straight. His fatigue would have let him crash, if the gremlins he was hallucinating hadn’t kept him company. As soon as he was sighted over Paris, huge searchlights were beamed on his plane. The light temporarily blinded him so that he almost crashed. As he landed people swarmed around the whirring propeller, narrowly missing another tragedy. But Lindy was safe and history made. He said he had never been to Europe and had wanted to see the sights, but almost immediately he was whisked by battleship back to the U.S. for tumultuous ovations and parades. 1933- Woolie Reitherman’s first day at Walt Disney Studio. 1945- BOGEY LOVES BABY-Humphrey Bogart married Lauren Bacall on a friend’s farm in Ohio. He was 48 and she was 21. Her real name was Betty Persky, but she passed for WASP. So when the publicity photographers came, they were under strict instructions from Jack Warner to frame out of the shots Bacall’s more Jewish-looking relatives. 1980 – Star Wars “The Empire Strikes Back" premiered. 1983 - David Bowie's "Let's "Dance," single goes #1. The tracks featured a then little know guitarist named Stevie-Ray Vaughn. 1992- Tonight Show host Johnny Carson did his last show “I bid you a very heartfelt goodnight.” Johnny spent his remaining years in privacy, even ignoring an invitation to appear at the NBC 75th anniversary spectacular.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Birthdays: Honore Balzac, Jimmy Stewart, Leon Schlesinger, William Fargo of Wells Fargo, Moshe Dayan, Henri Rousseau, Dave Thomas, Ted Bessell (Donald to Marlo Thomas’ “That Girl”), Japanese baseball great Sadaharu Oh, Antony Zerbe, Bronson Pichot, Joe Cocker, Cher is 67, Busta Rhymes 1891- Thomas Edison demonstrated an early prototype of kinetoscope- a motion picture machine- to his wife's friends at a party. The footage was of engineer W.K.L. Dickson and his associates dancing. That night Edison wrote a letter about his movie machine to photographer Edweard Muybridge: " I doubt it will ever have any commercial value.." 1916- Artist Norman Rockwell sold his first painting for a Saturday Evening Post cover. 1926 - Thomas Edison says Americans prefer silent movies over talking pictures. He also thought the flat record disc could never replace the cylinder. 1937- Bob Clampett promoted to director at Leon Schlesinger’s Looney Tunes Studio. Clampett, whose mother hand sewed the first Mickey Mouse dolls for Walt Disney. After leaving Looney Tunes Clampett created the Beany & Cecil Show for early television. 1975- In a small warehouse in Van Nuys California, George Lucas assembled an effects crew to create the film Star Wars. It is the birth of Industrial Light & Magic, or ILM. 1979- The last Saturday Night Live show done by the original cast. Many of them had their 5 year contracts up and wanted to do something else. Plus producer Lorne Michaels was feuding with NBC chairman Fred Silverman and wanted to leave. So goodbye Lorne Michaels, Gilda Radner, Lorraine Newman, Garret Morris, Bill Murray and Al Franken, Hello Jean Doumainian and Joe Piscopo! Lorne Michaels came back to the show a few years later and has produced it ever since. 1984- Hanna Barbera’s “The Smurfic Games”. 1993 - Max Klein, the inventor of Paint by Numbers sets, died at 77. President Eisenhower once passed out paint-by-numbers sets to his senior cabinet so their paintings could adorn the West Wing offices. Imagine seeing on your wall an original artwork by Richard Nixon or Curtis LeMay! 1994- Walt Disney released Aladdin II, the Return of Jaffar directed by Tad Stone and Alan Zaslov. Done overseas at ¼ the budget of the original, it’s nevertheless success spawned the industry of Disney direct-to-video sequels, called “cheapquels” by some animators. 2003- In 1977, when Walt Disney's the Rescuers was being completed, the artists for a joke added a Playboy picture into a pan shot. Going by at 1/24th a second, they were confident nobody would ever spot it. Later in the 1990s, when Rescuers went to VHS video, they edited out the controversial frame. But when it was time in 2003 to rerelease on DVD, the Studio apparatchniks went back to the original 1977 negative, without ever bothering to consult any of us artists. We could have warned them. but no. So on May 20, 2003, nine million copies of the Rescuers DVD hit the stores, with the ensuing out cry, firestorm, and embarrassed apologies you can imagine. ===========================================================
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Birthdays: Malcolm X- real name Malcolm Little, Ho Chi Minh- real name Ngyun Tat Tanth- Ho Chi Minh means the Enlightener, Giovanni Della Robbia, John Hopkins, Lord Waldorf Astor, Dame Nelly Melba, Frank Capra, Wilson Mizner, Elena Poniatowska, Jim Lehrer, Nora Ephron, Grace Jones, Peter Mayhew, Nancy Kwan, Pete Townshend, Joey Ramone, Jimmy Hoffa Jr, Polly Walker, Tom Sito 1927- Sid Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood opened. Ushers and doorman were dressed in imported Mandarin silk robes and wall hangings were painted by young artist/actor Key Luke. Sid Grauman was the showman who also invented the Hollywood premiere with spotlights and limo's pulling up to red carpets, etc. 1934- Mickey Mouse short cartoon Gulliver Mickey. 1956- Cecil B. deMilles film " The Ten Commandments" premiered. Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter and Edward G, Robinson. 1997- Matthew Broderick married Sarah Jessica Parker. 1998- George Lucas much anticipated film Star Wars Episode One the Phantom Menace premiered, the first Star Wars sequel in 20 years. It featured Jarr Jarr Binks, a character so annoying that web sites like www.I Want Jarr-Jarr to Die-Die.Com soon racked up tens of thousands of hits. 2005- Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith premiered. 2006- Dreamworks animated film ‘Over the Hedge’ premiered.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Birthdays: Pope John Paul II, Grover Cleveland, Ezio Pinza, Tsar Nicholas II, Omar Khayam, Walter Gropius, Reggie Jackson, Margot Fonteyn, Robert Morse, Perry Como, Dwayne Hickman aka Dobie Gillis, Big Joe Turner, Richard Brooks, Miriam Margolyes, Chow Yung Fat is 58, Tina Fey is 43 1926- L.A. evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson shocked the nation when she mysteriously disappeared on a beach near Venice Cal. After an exhaustive search she turned up a month later with a lame story of being kidnapped. Truth was she ran off with a boyfriend to party in Monterrey. Haleileiuyah! 1976- The filming of Francis Ford Coppolla's Apocalypse Now was disrupted when the Philippines was hit by a major typhoon. Francis rides out the storm cooking pasta, smoking pot and listening to records of La Boheme. 2001- Dreamworks animated SHREK opened. The voice of Shrek was originally planned to be Chris Farley but the obese comedian died of a drug overdose and was replaced by Mike Myers. I’m serving Waffles! 2003 Pixar’s Finding Nemo opened.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Birthdays: Sandro Botticelli, Eric Satie, Ayatollah Khomeni, Edmond Jenner, Archibald Cox, Sugar Ray Leonard, Maureen O'Sullivan, Howard Ashman, Craig Ferguson is 51, Bill Paxton is 58, Ralph Wright- the original voice of Eeyore, Alan Kay-inventor of the laptop computer, Dennis Hopper, Enya is 52- born Eithne Patricia Ni’ Bhraonain 1890 - Comic Cuts, 1st weekly comic newspaper, published in London. 1924- Marcus Loew of the Loew's theater chain buys Metro Pictures and combines them with Sam Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer’s studio to form Metro Goldwyn Mayer. 1931- Vaudeville dancer James Cagney became a tough guy movie star when the Howard Hawk’s film Public Enemy debuted. “I wish you wuz a wishing well… so I could tie a bucket to ya and sink ya!” 1941- The Looney Toon Lockout. Producer Leon Schlesinger tries to forestall the unionization of his Bugs Bunny cartoonists by locking them out. After a week he relents and recognizes the cartoonist guild. Chuck Jones called it “our own little six-day war.” 1965- Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke shake hands and agree to write a sci-fi movie, with accompanying novel. First called How the Solar System was Won, then Journey Beyond the Stars, the title was finally- 2001: A Space Odyssey. 1971 - Stephen Schwartz' musical "Godspell," premiered off-Broadway. 1978- Sony and Phillips Electronics introduce the Compact Disc, where the music is played by a laser instead of a needle.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Birthdays: Lily Pons, Richard Tauber, Henry Fonda, Liberace- real name Wladziu Valentine Liberace, Jan Kiepura, Edmund Kirby-Smith, Gabriela Sabbatini, Thurman Thomas, Margaret Sullivan, Olga Korbut- the original adorable underage Olympic Gold Medal gymnast, Debra Winger is 58, Tori Spelling, Janet Jackson, Woody Herman, Studs Terkel, Pierce Brosnan is 60. 1929- The First Academy Awards ceremony at the Rose Ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel. The best picture winner was William Wellman’s “Wings”. The name Oscar for the award supposedly came from joking that it’s butt looked like Betty Davis’ husband Oscar’s. The ceremony was originally a dinner party with some industry business conducted. During the Depression in 1933 the Oscars was the place to announce across the board wage rollbacks and salary cuts. Must have made for a swell party. 1965 – the birthday of Spaghetti-O's. 1975 - Wings release "Listen to What the Man Said" in UK 1979- Shooting wraps on 1941, Steven Spielbergs first flop. 1986 – the film "Top Gun," directed by Tony Scott and starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis premiered.. 1990- Jim Henson died of viral pneumonia at Bellevue Hospital in NYC. He was 58. 1996- One of the lamest moments in TV writing. On DALLAS Pam Ewing encounters her husband Bobby Ewing in the shower although he had been dead for one year. The incident meant the entire previous season’s events had only been a bad dream.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Birthdays: Lyman Frank Baum, Claudio Monteverdi, Richard Avedon, James Mason, Joseph Cotten, George Brett, Jasper Johns, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Jean Renoir, Richard Daley Sr., Trini Lopez, Charles Lamont, director of Abbott & Costello Go to Mars, country singer Eddy Arnold, Chaz Palmintieri is 60, Lainie Kazan is 72, Disney artist Joe Grant 1702- Charles Perrault died. Perrault 1628-1703 was a retired minister to French King Louis XIV, who wrote stories for children under the title Mother Goose. He created Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Puss in Boots. 1863- Edouard Manet first displayed his Dejeuner sur l’Herbe at the Salon des Refuses in Paris. The painting is of two modern clothed men having a picnic with two nude women by a river bank. The women aren’t mythical goddesses or muses but just naked ladies. This shocked Paris society and Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugene called it “Immodest and obscene”. It’s revolutionary simple subject matter heralded the rise of Impressionism. 1942- The U.S. initiated a program of wartime gas rationing. Slogans like “Is this Trip Really Necessary?” and a system of ratings vehicles with A,B & C cards pop up in a lot of gas stations for the duration. C meant a war-essential worker and you went to the head of the line to get gas. A cards was the lowest status. Lots of Looney tune jokes revolve around this condition. 1963 - Peter, Paul & Mary win their 1st Grammy for “ If I Had a Hammer”. 1967- Paul McCartney first met his first wife Linda Eastman. 1968 - Paul McCartney & John Lennon appear on the Johnny Carson Show to promote Apple records, Joe Garagiola is substitute host.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Birthdays: Thomas Gainsborough, George Lucas is 69, Thomas Wedgewood, Francesca Annis, David Byrne, Jack Bruce, Bobby Darin, Tim Roth is 52, Robert Zemeckis is 62, Kate Blanchett is 44 1942- Disney composer Frank Churchill, who wrote "Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf", shot himself at the piano. Another version of the story had him shooting himself in an onion field in Valencia that would one day be the site of Cal Arts. 1944- In the comic strip Dick Tracy, the longtime Tracy nemesis the gangster Flattop was killed. 1951 - Ernie Kovacs Show, TV Variety debut on NBC. Kovacs was a great pioneer in the video medium who loved creating surreal images and pantomime blackout skits. 1968 - Beatles announce formation of Apple Records. 1998 - Last episode of sitcom Seinfeld on NBC (commercial fees were $2M for 30 seconds) Elderly singer Frank Sinatra died shortly after watching it.
Monday, May 13, 2013
B-Days: Sir Arthur Sullivan, Cyrus McCormick, Stevie Wonder, George Braque, Daphne DuMaurier, Joe Louis, Richie Valens, Gil Evans, Beatrice Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Harvey Keitel is 73, Dennis Rodman, Clive Barnes, Disney artist Bernie Mattinson, Steven Colbert is 48 1956- Actor Montgomery Clift was disfigured in a car crash. He had to have his jaw wired until it could heal. 1965 - Rolling Stones record "Satisfaction" 1992- Police arrest the manager of Comic Book Heaven in Sarasota Florida on seven counts of "displaying materiel harmful to minors", i.e. comic books.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Birthdays: Dolly Madison, Dante Rossetti, Frank Stella, Florence Nightingale, Tom Snyder, George Carlin, Wilfred Hyde-White, Emilio Estevez, Ron Zeigler, Farley Mowatt, Ving Rhames, Bruce Boxleitner, Katherine Hepburn, Yogi Berra is 88 1938- “The Adventures of Robin Hood” starring Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, Olivia DeHaviland, Claude Rains and Eugene Paulette premiered. The swashbuckling film then cost a whopping $2 million dollars to make! The light brown horse Maid Marion rode in the movie was later bought by singing cowboy Roy Rogers and renamed Trigger. 1962- First day shooting on Frederigo Fellini’s film 8 1/2. When screened for American Producer Joe Levine, Levine took the cigar from his mouth and growled-” Frederigo, what da hell did that movie mean? ” Fellini shrugged –“I dunno”. 1971- Tor Johnson died of a heart attack at age 68. Swedish wrestler turned actor Tor’s preferred role was the bald eyeless zombie in classics like Plan Nine from Outer Space and Bride of the Monster. 1977- A small Westchester radio station WENW hired a thin, gawky, college grad as a DJ- Howard Stern. US radio would never be the same. 1982- The comic strip 'Marvin' debuted.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Birthdays: Salvador Dali', Jean Jerome, Chang and Eng Bunker-the original Siamese Twins-1811, Baron Munchausen, Irving Berlin, King Oliver, Martha Graham, Dr Richard Fenyman, Mort Sahl, Foster Brooks, Denver Pyle, Henry Morgenthau, Doug McClure, Randy Quaid, Natasha Richardson, Margaret Kerry the model for Disney's Tinker Bell. 1956 - Pinky Lee Show last airs on NBC-TV 1972 -On the Dick Cavett talk show Beatle and peace activist John Lennon said his phone had been tapped by FBI. It turns out it was, but at the time we all thought he was just paranoid from too many drugs. 1981- The musical play CATS opened in London. 1992- Elizabeth McDonald, inventor of the detergent cleanser Spic & Span, died at 98. 1997- Deep Blue, a computer developed at IBM, defeated top world chess champion Gennady Kasparov.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Birthdays: Fred Astaire, Nancy Walker, French royal minister Turgot, Marshal Jean Lannes, Marshal Nicolas Davout, John Wilkes Booth (assassin of Lincoln) Mark David Chapman (assassin of John Lennon), David O. Selznick, Ariel Durant, Jim Abrahams, Donovan, Homer Simpson, Bono, Wreck-it Ralph director Rich Moore. 1928- General Electric starts up WG4 Schenectady, the first T.V. Station. 1963- On the advice of George Harrison and Little Richard, Decca Records signed a new teen band called the Rolling Stones to a recording contract.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Birthdays: John Brown, James M. Barrie the creator of Peter Pan, Henry J. Kaiser of Kaiser Aluminum, Glenda Jackson is 77, Billy Joel, Candice Bergen is 67, Mike Wallace, Pancho Gonzales, James L. Brooks, Rosairo Dawson, John Corbett, Albert Finney is 77 1754- THE FIRST NEWSPAPER CARTOON- Ben Franklin in his Pennsylvania Gazette prints a drawing of a segmented snake with each piece named for a colony with the inscription: Join or Die. ( Okay, it's not Calvin and Hobbs but it's a start). 1937- Burne Hogarth began drawing the Tarzan comic strip. Hal Foster had been in contract negotiations with the syndicate over money and the right to his originals. He had created Prince Valiant as a bargaining chip when the syndicate called his bluff by giving the Tarzan job to Hogarth. Foster went on to greater glory with Valiant but never forgave Burne. 1955- HAPPY BIRTHDAY KERMIT THE FROG! Washington D.C. station puts on a young Univ of Maryland grad named Jim Henson as filler before the TODAY Show. He antics with his green frog called Kermit, fashioned from fabric from one of his mothers old green coats. The Muppets are born. 1961- John F. Kennedy's newly appointed head of the FCC, Newton Minow, did his first major address to a luncheon of top television executives. In his speech he blasted them for TV’s mindless content and violence. He called television: " A Vast Wasteland." What makes it historic is it's the first time anybody had noticed just how lousy TV is and how badly we are all addicted to it. In the show Gilligan’s Island, the boat they were on was named the Minnow for Newton Minnow.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Birthdays: Harry Truman, Roberto Rossellini, Leopold Bakhunin, Louis Gottschalk, Oscar Hammerstein, Ted Sorenson, Sonny Liston, Toni Tennille, Ricky Nelson, Peter Benchley, Thomas Pinchon, David Attenborough, Keith Jarrett, Alex Van Halen, Melissa Gilbert, French illustrator Jean Giraud aka Moebius, Enrique Inglesias, Don Rickles is 87, Bob Clampett would be 100! 1912- movie studio Famous Players Lasky born. In 1914 they changed their name to Paramount Pictures. 1933- When the Rockefellers were building their huge office complex Rockefeller Center in New York City they decided to get one of the greatest living Mexican painter Diego Rivera to design the murals for the interior of the atrium ’Man at the Crossroads". This despite the fact that Rivera was well known as a radical communist. Soon Nelson Rockefeller noticed Rivera was painting in the center of the mural a huge heroic portrait of Lenin stepping on John D. Rockefeller’s face! Over Rivera’s protests Rockefeller ordered the mural painted over and no record of it’s existence ever kept. But on the night before the painting was to be destroyed Swiss art student Lucienne Bloch slipped a camera into her shirt. While Frida Kahlo distracted the guards she took the only photos of the mural for posterity. 1943-Tex Avery's "Red Hot Riding Hood"- Ooohh Wolfy ! 1962-"A Funny thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Forum" opened on Broadway. 1962- Director Joe Mankiewicz shot the climactic spectacle scene of Cleopatra –Elizabeth Taylor, entering Rome through the Arch of Titus on a mobile sphinx surrounded by thousands of extras. The shot had been delayed six months after a stunt woman fell off an elephant and then the light in the Forum had not been right. When she appeared in the scene the thousands of Italian extras were supposed to shout "Hail Cleopatra!" but instead they shouted "Liz! Liz!"
Monday, May 6, 2013
Birthday: Johannes Brahms, Peter Ilyich Tschaikowsky, Gary Cooper, Gabby Hayes, Robert Browning, Marcus Loew of Loews Theater chain, Darin McGavin, Edward Land (inventor of the Polaroid lens and camera), Amy Heckerling, Traci Lords 1937-Nobel Prize winning writer William Faulkner hired by MGM Studios, earning $500 a week. He celebrated by going on a two week long drinking binge. When MGM's Head of Writing Sam Marx had him tracked down to an Oakie migrant camp in the Imperial Valley, he was dragged off boozily whining: " Ah wanna write for Mickey Mouse !!" 1941-Glen Miller records the "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" for RCA. the first gold record million seller. 1942- Battle of the Coral Sea-The U.S. Navy, suffering only defeats up till then, stops a Japanese task force. This is the first engagement in which the two fleets never saw each other, but fought long distance with carrier launched airplanes. Veterans commented that one of the sadder losses was when the aircraft carrier USS Lexington went down, she took the fleet's supply of 6 Bugs Bunny cartoons with her. War is Hell. 1966- “Monday Monday” by the Mammas and the Poppas becomes #1 in the pop charts. 1996- Comedian Martin Lawrence went berserk and ran down a main intersection in Van Nuys Cal. raving and waving a pistol. When asked to explain himself, Lawrence blamed it on “Dehydration.” 1998- Apple Computers introduced the iMac.
Birthdays: Maximillien Robespierre, Sigmund Freud, Rudolph Valentino, Orson Welles, Robert Peary, Willie Mays, Stewart Granger*, Bob Seger, Toots Schoor, Weeb Ewbank, Andriana Caselotti- the voice of Snow White, Ruben Hurricane Carter, Christian Clavier, Tony Blair, George Clooney is 53. 1919- Wizard of Oz creator L.Frank Baum died of heart disease at 62. He was trying at the time to buy real estate in Los Angeles for an Oz- theme amusement park. 1937- THE FLEISCHER STRIKE-Cartoonists vote to strike Max Fleischers Studio after Max fires 13 animators for union activity and complaining about the 6 day work week. The strike was settled several weeks later when parent company Paramount forced Max to concede. Strikers sang "We're Popeye the Union Man! We're Popeye the Union Man! We'll Fight to the Finish, Cause We Can't Live on Spinach ! We're Popeye...etc." 1937- The Society of Motion Picture Art Directors formed. 1941- A friend of Bob Hope who was now in the military suggested the comedian come and entertain troops on their army post. Hope takes the suggestion and it becomes his signature event. Into his eighties he entertained servicemen around the world in five wars. 1946- Curly Howard, was the most outrageous of the comedy troupe The Three Stooges. While people laughed at his antics, he lived a wild Hollywood life, lots of clubs, drinking, smoking and girls. This day while filming the short Halfwits Holiday, he suffered a massive stroke. He was 42. He survived 6 more years in deteriorating health, moved from hospital to hospital by his brothers. He died in 1952 at age 48. 1949-EDSAC did its’ first calculations in England. The first computer that could store data in it’s memory. 2001- Variety reported that the Walt Disney Company in promoting their upcoming summer film Pearl Harbor, had canceled plans for Pearl Harbor Happy Meals at McDonalds, as being in bad taste. …..Hmmm…do ya think..? 2003- A giant tornado destroyed the factory in Jackson, Tennessee that produced most of the world’s supply of Pringles Potato Chips. 2005- Disney animation artist Joe Grant died peacefully at his drawing board, just shy of his 97th birthday. He had influenced every Disney film from Snow White to the Incredibles.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Birthdays: Tyrone Power, Karl Marx, Elizabeth Cochrane called Nellie Bly, Soren Kierkegard, Alice Faye, James Beard, Michael Palin is 70, Pat Carroll the voice of Ursula in Little Mermaid, John Rhys Davies is 69, Lance Henriksen is 73, Brian Williams, Floyd Gottfredson National Cartoonist's Day. 1889- THE PARIS WORLD EXHIBITION opened. This exposition was what the Eiffel Tower was built for: it was the centerpiece of this World's Fair. At the time, it was the world's tallest free-standing metal structure, and hailed as a marvel - and now as an enduring symbol - of the Industrial Revolution. Americans remembered it as the event where American painting first stood out on the world stage, despite being given a small gallery space between Bosnia and Denmark. The judging of the artwork was controversial. Here they are trying to show the world the uniqueness of American painting yet with not a single Copley, Bierstadt, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer or Mary Cassatt was accepted. James McNeill Whistler considered himself American although he lived most of the time in London. When the show was announced, he patriotically entered a dozen paintings but the American judges rejected them all. He angrily re-submitted them as a British artist and won a gold medal. 1953- Broadway Director Jerome Robbins was riding high after directing hits like On the Town and King & I, when he was labeled a Communist. To save his career, this day he testified before Joseph MacCarthy’s House UnAmerican Activities Committee and named names. One actress he finked on, Margaret Lee said” I’ve just been stabbed by a wicked fairy”. Ironically Robbins went on to direct two of his biggest 1960s hits “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and the Fiddler on the Roof using blacklisted actors like Zero Mostel, Beatrice Arthur and Jack Gilford, who all hated him. 1968- Albert Dekker, star of monster movies like Dr. Cyclops, was found hanged in his bathroom, handcuffed, and wearing ladies lingerie. A narcotics needle was sticking in his arm. The police declared it an “ auto-erotic episode that had gone wrong." 1975- Anne Rice’s novel The Interview With The Vampire first published.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Birthdays: Bartolomeo Christofori'-inventor of the piano, Alice Liddel 1852- the inspiration of Alice in Wonderland, Audrey Hepburn –real name Edda van Heemstra Hepburn-Rusten, Roberta Peters, Maynard Ferguson, Pia Zadora is 59, Howard Da Silva , Tammy Wynette, Randy Travis, Hosni Mubarak, George Will, Richard Jenkins is 66 1891 –THE DEATH OF SHERLOCK HOLMES According to Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, this was the day Sherlock Holmes perished at the Reichenback Falls grappling with sinister Prof. Moriarity- The Napoleon of Crime. Conan Doyle had tired of his eccentric detective and wanted to get on to other types of novels. But readers were horrified he had killed off the great sleuth. Conan-Doyle couldn’t take a walk down the street without someone stopping him:” Sir, How could you?!” When touring the US he wanted to lecture about historical subjects, but people only wanted know more about Holmes & Watson. After a while Arthur Conan-Doyle gave in and began a new series of the Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. 1897- In Paris during a charity cinematograph show the nitrate film catches fire and 200 die. Movie film before the 1940’s was made from a very unstable Nitrate mixture and could explode from the slightest contact with flame. 1927-The Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences formed. Studio heads Irving Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer originally conceived the Academy as an arbiter and ombudsman where studio artists could air grievances without fear of retaliation, thereby sidetracking the call for unions. It didn't work, because of the nature of it's founders. Writer Dorothy Parker commented: "Going to the Academy with your problems is like trying to get laid in your mother's house, someone's always peeking through the curtains" After the stock market crash the Academy supported the studio heads enforced employee salary cuts. Soon all pretense as a human resources ombudsman was abandoned and AMPAS focused on being the arbiter of artistic achievement. 1948- Norman Mailor's first novel published: "the Naked and the Dead". 1953 - Pulitzer prize awarded to Ernest Hemingway for The Old Man & The Sea. 1967- The Big Mac hamburger is invented in a MacDonald's restaurant in Pittsburgh. 1975- Moe Howard died, last of the original Three Stooges. 2000- The Love Bug Computer virus ravaged the worlds commerce through Microsoft Outlook causing $10 billion dollars in damage and shutting down temporarily the e-commerce of large firms like Reebok. It was launched by a Philipino AMA Computer College graduate student as part of his thesis. 2001- Bonnie Lee Blakely, the wife of actor Robert Blake, was found in her car dead of a gunshot wound to the head outside of Vitello’s Restaurant in Studio City, Ca. They had just had dinner, and Mr. Blake had returned into the restaurant to retrieve a gun he had left at his table. In 2005 the actor was acquitted of his wife’s murder, but lost a wrongful death suit to Blakely’s family. No other suspect was ever identified.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Birthdays: Niccolo Macchiavelli, Golda Meir, Sir Richard D'Oly-Carte, Peter Gabriel, James Brown, Pete Seeger, Betty Comden, Doug Henning, Beaulah Bondi, Mary Astor, Sugar Ray Robinson, Alex Cord, 70’s singer Englebert Humperdinck, Dule Hill, Christina Hendricks is 38 1948-THE PARAMOUNT DECISION- In 1938 the independent theater chains had brought suit in Federal court against the major Hollywood Studios over their monopolistic practices. Ten years later the Supreme Court ruled the Motion Picture Studios did constitute a monopoly and under the Sherman AntiTrust Act ordered them to sell their theater chains. One casualty of this rule was the short cartoon. Because theater managers no longer were forced to run a cartoon, newsreel and short with a feature (block-booking), they opted for the time to run more showings of the main feature. 1978- THE FIRST SPAM E-MAIL- Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager for Digital Equipment Corp wanted to invite all the scientists and professors on the ARPANET system to an event for the new DECSYSTEM-20 computer. It was too much work to do one e-mail at a time, so he devised a way to mail 600 people at once. Today spam e-mail accounts for 90% of all e-mail. So thank Gary that you get endless messages like "Nigerian Bank Trustee offers you $10 million."
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Birthdays: Czarina Catherine the Great, Domenico Scarlatti, Manfred Von Richtofen the Red Baron, Bing Crosby, Dr. Benjamin Spock the Baby Doctor, Vernon Castle, Lorenzo Music the voice of Garfield, Theodore Bikel, Lesley Gore, Roscoe Lee Browne, Satyajit Ray, Pinky Lee, Link Wray of the Wraymen, Christine Baranski is 61, Dwayne Johnson- The Rock is 41 1932- Jack Benny's Radio Show on radio debuts. Oh Rochester! Mel Blanc the voice of Bugs Bunny did many characters and voices on the show, including the engine of Jacks’ old Maxwell automobile. 1964- Disney’s audio- animatronic Ask Mr Lincoln opened at the NY World’s Fair. 1972- First day shooting on Steven Speilbergs film JAWS. The giant mechanical shark used as a prop was nicknamed "Bruce" after Speilberg’s lawyer. 1982- The 24 hour Weather Channel started. 1983- Microsoft introduced the three-button mouse. 1997- Movie star Eddie Murphy was busted for picking up transvestite hooker Artisone Seiuli at 4:45 in the morning on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Murphy said he was just being a good Samaritan and giving the young He/She a ride home.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Birthdays: Mary Harris a.k.a. Mother Jones, Marshal Vauban 1633, Benjamin Latrobe, Calamity Jane, Joseph Addison, Kate Smith, Jack Paar, Joseph Heller, Rita Coolidge, Steve Cauthen, Judy Collins, Glen Ford, Ray Parker Jr., Maurice Noble, Russian animator Fyodor Khytruk, Louis Nye, John Woo, Wes Anderson is 44, Joanna Lumley is 67, Disney Animator Eric Goldberg is 58 1902- Richard Outcault's comic strip Buster Brown and Tige first appeared. Outcault, the creator of the first hit cartoon the Yellow Kid was so famous that as part of his deal to do this strip he negotiated the first back-end deal for a percentage of the merchandise sales. 1939- The first Batman comics created by Bob Kane appear on newsstands. 1941- Orson Welles film "Citizen Kane" debuted at the Paramount theater (the El Capitan) in Hollywood. At the last minute William Randolph Hearst's friend Louis B. Mayer tried to buy and destroy every print of the film and the Hearst press went crazy attacking it. Hearst spokesperson Louella Parsons threatened "A Beautiful Lawsuit" if the film was not pulled. Despite winning some Oscars the film didn't do well in it's initial release, but it remains one of the greatest films of all time. Welles said later:" The problem I've always had is my movies become classics ten years later." 1967- Elvis Presley marries Priscilla Beaulieu at the Aladdin Casino in Las Vegas. 1989- Walt Disney Feature Animation in Orlando Florida opens. It closed in 2006. 1993- The Florida Animation Union Local 843 chartered. 1997- Bebe, the dolphin who played Flipper on the television show, died at age 40.