Thursday, June 30, 2016


Birthdays: Buddy Rich, Lena Horne, Czeslaw Milosz, Susan Hayward, Deanna Durbin, Howard Hawks, William Goldman, Martin Landau, Essa-Pekka Salonen, David Alan Grier, Vincent D’Onofrio, Monica Potter, Mike Tyson is 50, Michael Phelps, Rupert Graves is 53

1933- A group of actors meet in secret at Frank (the Wizard of Oz) Morgan and form the Screen Actors Guild. The secrecy was because studios threatened to blacklist anyone who so much as breathed the word union. Among the founding members that night are James Cagney, Groucho Marx, Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Frederic March, Robert Montgomery and Boris Karloff.

1936- Margaret Mitchell's bestseller “Gone With the Wind" first published.

1936- the 40 hour work week was made a federal law. It was standard in animation studios until 1941.

1937- Congress voted to shut down the Federal Theater Program, the division of the government funded WPA that produced plays for Depression wracked poor people. The FTP produced cutting edge works of Orson Welles, Clifford Odets and Eugene O’Neill and at it’s height reached 25 million people. But conservative senators thought it had become too radicalized by lefties. Theater actors working in L.A. on a hit production of Pinocchio held a mock funeral for the puppet. Over it’s casket was the headstone FTP: Born 1934, Killed by an Act of Congress, June 30th 1937.

1940- Female Cartoonist Dale Messick takes over the Brenda Star comic strip and adds the trademark sparkles.

1948- Bell Laboratories announced the Transistor, a possible substitute for radio-vacuum tubes. So early computers can shrink from the size of a building to the size of a bus. In 1980 the silicon chip reduced the same computing power to the size of your fingernail.

1950- The Goofy short Motor Mania released.

1975- Just 4 days after divorcing Sonny Bono, Cher married rocker Gregg Allman.

1989- Spike Lee’s movie Do The Right Thing opened.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for June 29, 2016

Birthdays: Bernard Hermann, Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle, Slim Pickens, Nelson Eddy, Gary Busey, John Hench, Little Eva, Harmon Killabrew, Antoine de Saint Exupery, Anna Sophie-Mutter, Leroy Anderson, Maria Conchita Alonso, Robert Evans, Matthew Weiner, Brett McKenzie, Roger Allers, Ray Harryhausen

1801- Composer Ludwig van Beethoven confessed to a friend that he was going deaf.

1935- Disney short Who Killed Cock Robin? Directed by Dave Hand. Disney artists considered it one of the first big breakthroughs in achieving good character animation.

1940 – ROBIN THE BOY WONDER- According to Batman Comics, this day mobsters rubbed out a circus highwire team known as the Flying Graysons, leaving their son Dick an orphan. He was taken in by millionaire Bruce Wayne so Batman could have his Robin.

1940- First day shooting on the film Citizen Kane.

1950- The Hollywood Ten are given jail sentences for contempt of Congress.

1956- Marilyn Monroe married author Arthur Miller.

1967-Actress Jane Mansfield and her dog were killed in a car crash when their car slammed into a parked tractor-trailer. Her children including Marisa Hargitay were in the back seat.

1968 - "Tip-Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me" by Tiny Tim peaks at #17.

1978- Actor Bob Crane, best known as the star in the television series Hogan’s Heroes, was found beaten to death with an electric cord wrapped around his neck in a Scottsdale Arizona hotel room. Around his body were pornographic literature and a large library of home made porn tapes.

2007- Pixar’s Ratatouille premiered, directed by Brad Bird.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for June 28, 2016

Birthdays: King Henry VIII, Luigi Pirandello, Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Dillinger, Richard Rogers, Gilda Radner,  Leon Panetta, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kathy Bates is 68, John Cusack is 50, Mel Brooks is 90, Cartoonist George Booth is 90

1868- Artist Claude Monet was so broke and depressed he jumped in the Seine River. After splashing around for a while, he decided its silly to drown himself so he swam to the riverbank and went for a drink. He outlived all the Impressionist painters of his generation, dying in 1926.

1928- Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines recorded West End Blues.

1955- Walt Disney sends a memo to his studio employees to please come to the grand opening day of Disneyland Park on July 17. He was concerned not enough people would show up the first day and it would look bad on the TV cameras. He shouldn’t have worried.

1975- Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling died during open heart surgery. He was 50. His last movie script was called The Man, about resistance of the Washington powerful to the first black president of the United States.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for June 27, 2016

Birthdays: Swedish King Charles XII "the Madman of the North", Helen Keller, Norma Kamali, Charles Stuart Parnell, Bob" Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan, Emma Goldman,  Marine General Chesty Puller, Walter Johnson, Ross Perot, Isabella Adjani is 61, Lauren Hill, Alice McDermott, J.J. Abrams is 50, Tony Leung ChuWai is 54, Toby McGuire is 41. Katherine Beaumont the voice of Alice in Alice in Wonderland and Wendy in Peter Pan is 78.

1949 - "Captain Video & His Video Rangers," debut on DUMONT-TV.

1962- Daryl F. Zanuck showed up at the quarterly meeting of the exec board of 20th Century Fox, and in a celebrated corporate showdown, he wrested back control of the company he founded in 1935, but had lost control of.

50 Years Ago- 1966- TV soap opera Dark Shadows premiered. Barnabas Collins was the first vampire to have issues with his job, and so became the ancestor of the modern romantic vampires of Anne Rice stories, True Blood and Twilight.

1973- Senior White House Counsel John Dean testified to the Watergate committee that President Richard Nixon maintained an Enemies List. The list ran from Senator Ted Kennedy and journalist Daniel Shore, to June Foray and Bill Scott, who did the cartoon voices of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle the Moose.

1984- Hollywood introduced the PG-13 rating to indicate graphic violence, invented for the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

1995- Boyishly proper British actor Hugh Grant is busted for soliciting sex from a Sunset Blvd. street hooker named Divine Brown. Grant had just released a film called “ The Englishman Who went up a Hill and Came down a Mountain". Pundits had fun changing the title to "The Englishman who went to L.A. a Hugh, and Came Back a John."

2007- British Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped down after ten years. His security police  nickname in office was Bambi.

2008- Pixar’s WALL-E opened in theaters.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Animation History for June 26, 2016

Birthdays: Peter Lorre- born Laszlo Lowenstein, Pearl Buck, Abner Doubleday, Babe Deidrickson-Zacharias, Willy Messerschmidt, Claudio Abbado, Woolie Reitherman, Gregg LeMond, Vittorio Storaro, Colonel Tom Parker, Pat Morita, Chris Isaak, Derek Jeter, Chris O’Donnell, Sean Hayes is 46

1922- Montgomery’s Country House opened in the Los Feliz Area of LA. In the 1930s it was the nearest bar to Walt Disney’s Hyperion Studio, so artists nicknamed it “ the commissary”. Today it is called the Tam O’ Shanter, and is still in business.

1924 - The Ziegfeld Follies opened on Broadway.

1925- Charlie Chaplin has a lavish Hollywood premiere for his new film the Gold Rush.
He had edited the film in secret in an upstairs hotel room in Salt Lake City to keep away from the public and his wife’s bill collectors.

1926- From his London flat, John Logie Baird invented television. The Boob Tube has no one single Tom Edison-like inventor but many claimants. The Englishman joined the ranks of others who claimed to have invented TV first, including Richard Farnsworth, Vladimir Zworkin, Dr. Lee DeForrest and Deutsches Kino.

1959- Disney short Donald in Mathmagic Land premiered with the film Darbie O’Gill and the Little People.

1964 - Beatles release "A Hard Day's Night" album.

1965-"Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man " by the Byrds hits number one on the US pop charts. Bob Dylan wrote the lyrics. William Shatners version became the most well known.

1977 - Elvis Presley does his last public performance, in Indianapolis.

1984- Campy singer Tiny Tim married Miss Vicky on the Johnny Carson show during a live broadcast.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for June 25, 2016

Birthday: George Orwell, Marc Charpentier, Lord Louis Mountbatten, General Hap Arnold, Cajun musician Clifton Chenier, Sidney Lumet, Walter Brennan, Willis Reed, George Abbott, Carly Simon, June Lockhart, Alex Toth, Peyo (the creator of the Smurfs), Jimmy Dyne-o-Mite Walker, George Michaels, Mike Myers is 53, Ricky Gervais is 55.

1910- First performance of Stravinsky's ballet "Firebird" by Diagheilev and his Ballet Russe.  Stravinsky used to refer to the dancers as "A bunch of knock-kneed Lolitas".

1934- Young artist Milt Kahl's first day at Walt Disney Studios. It was said he was the first artist to ever show Walt a real portfolio of drawings to get hired.

1940- Young actor, and liberal labor activist Ronald Reagan married his first wife, actress Jane Wyman.

1951- After losing a power struggle to Dory Schary, Louis B. Mayer announced he was stepping down as head of MGM. Mayer in his time was the most powerful man in Hollywood. He kept an all white office modeled after Mussolini’s in Rome.

1951 - 1st color TV broadcast-CBS' Arthur Godfrey from NYC to 4 cities.

1967- The "Our World" Beatles concert, the first television event to try a worldwide satellite linkup. They sing and record "All You Need is Love" live in front of an audience of 400.

1981- Bill Gates and Paul Allen file papers to incorporate their company Microsoft.

1982- Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film Blade Runner opened.

1980- Disney’s film Herbie Goes Bananas, premiered.

1997- Disney's animated film Hercules released.

2009- Michael Jackson, called the King of Pop, died after his personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray administered a powerful sedative named Propofol to help him sleep and stopped his heart instead. He was 50 and been performing on stage since the age of 5.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for June 24, 2016

Birthdays: Earl Kitchener, the Sirdar of Omdurman, Roy O. Disney, E.I.Dupont, Ambrose Bierce, Jack Dempsey, John Ciardi, Mick Fleetwood, Phil Harris- singer and voice of Baloo in Disney’s Jungle Book, Billy Casper, Michelle Lee, Claude Chabrol, Chief Dan George, Pete Hamill, Peter Weller, Sherry Springfield

1901- The first exhibit in a Paris salon on the Rue Lafitte of a Spanish artist named Pablo Picasso.

1945- Meet the Press debuted on radio. Two years later it moved to television and it remains t.v.’s longest running program.

1949 - "Hopalong Cassidy" becomes the1st network western on television-NBC.

1963 - 1st demonstration of a home video recorder, at BBC Studios, London

1970 – The movie "Catch 22" opened in movie theaters.

1997 - Brian Keith, actor (Family Affair, Dirty Dingus McGee), shot himself at 75. He was suffering from incurable cancer and tired of the pain fighting the disease.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Anim Fun Facts for June 23, 2016

Birthdays: Roman Emperor Augustus, Josephine Bonaparte, Alan Turing, Bob Fosse, James Levine, Dan Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Meyers, Joss Whedon, Dr Alfred Kinsey the sex researcher, Edward VIII, aka the Duke of Windsor, Selma Blair, Justice Clarence Thomas, Frances MacDormand is 59

1868- Christopher Latham Scholes patents the typewriter. In 1873 he sold his patent to the Remington Company.  In 1874 Mark Twain secretly admitted to a friend that he enjoyed writing on the newfangled technology.

1976- Toronto’s CN Tower opened. Called the world’s tallest free-standing structure.

1979- The Knack released the single My Sharona.

1989- Tim Burton’s film " Batman" opened.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for June 22, 2016

Birthdays: Captain George Vancouver, Eric Maria Remarque, John Dillinger, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Mike Todd, Billy Wilder, Joe Papp, Bill Blass, Oskar Fischinger, Pistol Pete Maravich, Klaus Maria Brandauer is 72, Ed Bradley, Emmanuelle Seigner, Prunella Scales, Meryl Streep is 66, Konrad Zuse, Kris Kristofferson is 80, Matt Doherty, Floyd Norman is 81.

1955- Walt Disney’s Lady and the Tramp released.

1966 – The film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" opened. Based on the play by Edward Albee and starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. It was the first to use four letter words. Just a year before comedian Lenny Bruce had gone to jail for saying the same words, although everyone including President Johnson swore in everyday parlance.

1969- Singer actress Judy Garland OD’s on sleeping pills. She was 47. Whether it was an accident or a suicide we will never know. A pillhead from early age, she had gotten hooked when MGM chief Louis B. Mayer ordered studio nurses to put her on amphetamines so she would have the energy to finish the Wizard of Oz.  Fellow contract actress June Allyson explained- “You didn’t argue when the nurses brought them to you. They told us they were vitamins!”

1977- Walt Disney’s The Rescuers opened in theaters.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Animation Fun Facts for June 21, 2016

Birthdays: Martha Washington, Alexander Pope, Berke Breathed, Al Hirschfeld, Al Martinez, Jean-Paul Sartre, Judy Holliday, Benazir Bhutto, Jane Russell, Mariette Hartley, Bernie Koppel, Rick Sutcliffe, Maureen Stapleton, Joe Flagherty, Juliet Lewis, Tony Scott, Chris Pratt is 37, Prince William the Duke of Cambridge is 34.

1939-Eugene O’Neill’s wife Carlotta wrote in her diary- Gene kept me up all night talking about his outline for a new play about his family- The Long Days Journey into Night. It took him two years to write and it almost killed him.

1948- Columbia Records introduced the 33 1/3-rpm long playing record, the LP. Inventor Peter Goldmark was annoyed that he had to change his 78 rpm records several times to hear just one Brahms Symphony. He decided to invent a way to fit all of a symphony on one side of a record.  His immediate supervisors told him to stop it because people would not throw away all their 78 rpm records to replace them with his. So Goldmark went over their heads to CBS chief William Paley and Paley loved the idea. RCA and David Sarnoff tried to compete with the 45-rpm record, but all it was good for was singles. The 33 1/3 dominated recording until replaced by the Compact Disc in the 1980’s.

1965- the Byrds release record Hey Mr. Tambourine Man.

1978 - Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice's musical "Evita," premieres in London.

1988- Who Framed Roger Rabbit? premiered at Radio City Music Hall.  It opened generally three days later.

2002- Lilo & Stitch premiered.