Monday, January 22, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 22, 2018


Birthdays: Sir Francis Bacon, D.W. Griffith, Lord Byron, August Strindberg, Andre Marie Ampere (electric Amps), 1960’s UN Secretary General U-Thant, Ann Southern, Sam Cooke, John Hurt, George McManus, Joseph Waumbaugh, J.J. Johnson, Seymour Cassell, Jim Jarmusch is 65, Linda Blair is 60, Piper Laurie is 86, Diane Lane is 53


1938- On a bare stage, Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town premiered.

1947- Hollywood first commercial television station KTLA went on the air for regular broadcasting. At the time in all of Los Angeles there were only 350 TV sets.

1949- Mao Tse Tung (MaoZseDong) and the Communists capture Peking (Beijing).

1949- Tex Avery’s cartoon "Bad Luck Blackie".

1954- The Los Angeles Fire Department is ordered by federal courts to integrate.

FIFTY YEARS AGO 1968-T.V. comedy review show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In premiered. It launched the careers of Lilly Tomlin, Goldie Hawn and Eileen Brennan. You bet your sweet Bippy!

1972- In an interview with Melody Maker magazine, rocker David Bowie outed himself and said he was gay. Technically he would be bi-sexual since his wife Angela did catch him in bed with Bianca Jagger. Others called him a closet-heterosexual.

1973- While President Richard Nixon celebrated his second inaugural with a concert, Leonard Bernstein conducted a Concert for Peace at the Washington Cathedral. While Nixon’s orchestra played his favorite classical piece Tchaikovsky’s Overture 1812 with real cannons, Bernstein played Haydn’s Mass in a Time of War to 15,000 people against the War in Vietnam.

1975- Hollywood agents Ron Meyer and Michael Ovitz leave William Morris and form the Creative Artists Agency, or CAA.


1984- Apple releases the Macintosh I personal computer.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Jan. 21, 2018


Birthdays: Leadbelly (Harlan Ledbetter), Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, J. Carol Naish, Tele Savalas, Christian Dior, Placido Domingo is 78, Wolfman Jack, Paul Scofield, Robby Benson, Jack Nicklaus, Benny Hill, Emma Bunton- Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, Gena Davis is 62, Ken Leung is 48

1916- The National Board of Review outlawed nudity in Hollywood movies.

1930- Walt’s top animator Ub Iwerks quit The Walt Disney Company.

1935- Disney animator Ollie Johnston’s first day at the studio, at $17 a week.

1938 -Max Fleischer tells his New York cartoon studio they are relocating to Florida. 


1938- George Melies, the father of Motion Picture Special Effects, died, He had been reduced selling trinkets in a little store in a Paris train station, but had a bit of the rediscovery by the film community in his final years. On his deathbed he gave his friends a drawing he made of a champagne bottle popping. He said “Laugh, my friends. Laugh with me, laugh for me, because I dream your dreams."

1943- Legendary big band drummer Gene Krupa was arrested in San Francisco for sending a kid to get him some marijuana. He served 84 of a 90 day sentence.
  
1959- Former 'Our Gang' child star Charles 'Alfalfa" Switzer was killed in a bar in Mission Hills, Ca. He pulled a knife on a man over a $50 debt on a hunting dog. The man then shot him. He was 32. According to fellow Little Rascal Darla Hood, Switzer was a brute who bullied the other children, and bitter his adult career never blossomed.


1992- Disney's Beauty and the Beast becomes the first animated film ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 20, 2018


Birthdays: King Charles III of Spain, Richard Henry Lee- signer of the Declaration of Independence, Frederico Fellini, Patricia O’Neal, Dorothy Provine, Mario Lanza, David Lynch, George Burns, DeForest Kelly, Edwin Buzz Aldrin, Arte Johnson, Lorenzo Lamas, Bill Maher is 62, Rainn Wilson is 52

1779- The great English actor David Garrick died. Supposedly his last words were when asked “Is it hard to die?” Garrick replied:” Dying is not Hard. Comedy is Hard.”

1908- The Sullivan Ordinance barred women from smoking in public facilities.

1938- Early animation pioneer Emile Cohl died while headed for the Paris premiere of Disney's" Snow White and the Seven Dwarves". Cohl was so poor that the electricity in his flat had been turned off and the candles had ignited his beard. Angry he was never recognized in his time, he once said: "the French prefer their artists with marble and flowers on top."

1949- FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover gave Shirley Temple a pen that shoots tear gas.

1953- The Birth of Little Ricky on the I Love Lucy show drew a larger viewing audience than the televised inauguration of President Dwight Eisenhower.


1965- Alan Freed, the disc jockey who coined the term Rock & Roll, died at 43 of uremic blood poisoning. He was broken by the Rock payola scandal and died so poor his friends passed the hat to pay for his funeral.

1982- Rock star Ozzie Osbourne was hospitalized in Des Moines Iowa after biting the head off a dead bat thrown on stage during a concert.

1982- SONY introduced the Camcorder, the personal video camera.

1986- The worlds first computer virus, Brain, was sent out over the infant internet.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 18, 2018


Birthdays: Daniel Webster, A.A. Milne, Joseph Glidden, Oliver Hardy, Cary Grant- born  Archie Leech, Danny Kaye, Emmanuel Chabrier, Bobby Goldsboro, Pierre Roget (Roget’s Thesaurus), Ray Dolby (Dolby sound), John Boorman, Kevin Costner is 63, Jason Segel is 38


1908- Frederic Delius orchestral tone poem Brigg Fair premiered.

1919- American Society of Cinematographers formed (ASC).


1949- Look Magazine published a photo essay called "Prizefighter". The photographer was a young kid from the Bronx named Stanley Kubrick.  Mr. Kubrick said he now wanted to try filmmaking.

1952-The Hollywood Animation Guild chartered. Originally the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, signatories included Disney legends Milt Kahl, Les Clark, John Hench and Ken Anderson.



1977- The cult documentary PUMPING IRON premiered. Filmmakers George Butler and Rob Fiore maxed out his American Express card to the tune of $35,000 to bring this look at the little known world of professional bodybuilding to the screen. The film first brought to the public a charmingly confident Austrian body builder named Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said he wanted to try acting someday. Also Lou Ferrigno who would also star in movies and as the TV Hulk. Many years later as a Republican icon, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to buy the rights to the film so he could edit out the scenes of him smoking a joint.

1978- In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, rock star Frank Zappa described most rock journalism as " People who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read."

1987- National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition premiered.


1990- Rusty Hamer, who played Danny Thomas’ son in the TV show Make Room for Daddy, put a 357 Magnum to his head and pulled the trigger. He was 42.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 17, 2018


Birthdays: Benjamin Franklin, Max Sennett-1880, Al Capone, Ethan G. Hodell 1883- the inventor of the Tow-Truck, Constantin Stanislavsky, Moira Shearer, Shari Lewis, Vidal Sassoon, Claude Coats, Denny Doyle, Kevin Reynolds, Muhammad Ali, Jim Carrey is 56, Michelle Obama is 54, Zooey Deschanel is 38, James Earl Jones is 88, animator Gendy Tartakovsky, Betty White is 96!

1904- Chekov's The Cherry Orchard opened in St. Petersburg.

1926- George Burns married Gracie Allen.

1929- Elzie Segar was drawing a comic strip for Hearst’s NY Journal called The Thimble Theatre. It featured Olive Oyl, her brother Castor Oyl, and her boyfriend Ham Gravy. In this day’s strip Ham meets an odd-looking sailor named Popeye. Popeye the Sailor was born.

1935- In an address to Congress, Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed national unemployment insurance. It had been an issue demanded by workers since Coxey's Army in 1895.

1949- The first Volkswagen beetles arrived in North America.

1949- The Goldbergs, a radio comedy show about a Jewish family in the Bronx, moved to television and became the first true sitcom. The show ended when Mrs. Goldberg was accused by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee of being a Communist.

1961- President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell speech to the nation. He warned against the growing influence of the “Military Industrial Complex”.

1994-The Great Northridge Earthquake rocked Los Angeles. 72 deaths and 20 billion dollars in damage.  It was officially listed as 6.8 on the Richter Scale, although many persist that in some areas it was as high as 7.2. The epicenter was in the San Fernando Valley, so the valleys two major industries, animated cartoons and pornography, were temporarily disrupted.

2000-A Complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton was offered for sale on E-Bay.



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 16, 2018


Birthdays: Yukon poet Robert Service, The inventor of the pneumatic tire Andre Michelin 1853, Ethel Merman, Dizzy Dean, Peter Ustinov, Henry Mancini, A.J. Foyt, Marilyn Horne, Sade, Michael Wilding, Eartha Kitt, Debbie Allen is 68, John Carpenter, Diane Fossey, Kate Moss is 44, Tsianina Joelson, Animator Raul Garcia

1940- Lee Francis, then Hollywood’s top madam, was busted for prostitution.

1942-Actress Carol Lombard and her mother died in a plane crash in the Sierra Mountains while returning from a war bond drive. Her husband, movie king Clark Cable was so disconsolate that he volunteered for air force combat squadron instead of doing USO work, and went on dangerous missions trying to get killed.

1954- THE WAR ON COMICS- Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee chaired the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. They concluded that one of the contributing factors to adolescent moral decay was four-color comic books! The media called comics “The Ten Cent Plague”.
The probe was sparked by a book called The Seduction of the Innocent by psychiatrist Frederic Wertham. He charged among other things that Batman & Robin were gay because when not fighting crime, Bruce Wayne & Dick Grayson lounged around all day in silk pajamas, with no women! That Superman was a fascist, and Wonder Woman’s strength and independence made her a lesbian!
Despite public testimony by Walt Kelly, Milt Caniff, Al Capp and Bill Gaines, 350 comic book companies including the EC "Tales from the Crypt" label were driven out of business. The strict comics-code was established. The comic book industry, which had been selling one million books a month, never regained that level of prosperity in the US again.

1962- Television pioneer Ernie Kovacs died when he plowed his Corvair into a tree at Beverly Glen and Santa Monica Blvd. Kovacs had a fondness for all night poker and vodka parties.  Friend Jack Lemmon said Ernie was so fanatical for a good card game that once when over a friend's house, no table large enough could be procured for a game, Kovacs ordered the front door taken off its hinges and a tablecloth thrown over it so they could all play.

1962-First day of shooting on the film Dr No with a young actor named Sean Connery in the role of James Bond. Ian Fleming thought the casting of Connery would be a disaster, he had wanted Cary Grant or David Niven.

1974- Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws first published.

1995- The UPN Network (Universal-Paramount Network) began telecasting.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 15, 2018


Birthdays: Dr. Martin Luther King, Moliere, Gamal Abdel Nasser, outlaw Cole Younger, Charro, Matthew Brady, drummer Gene Krupa, Lloyd Bridges, Mario Van Peebles, Josef Broyer the mentor of Sigmund Freud, Margaret O’Brien, Aristotle Onassis, Captain Beefheart, Dr. Edward Teller,  Disney animator Dave Pruiksma


1936-THE DGA- Several top Hollywood directors including Lewis Milestone, Ruben Mamoulian and William Wellman met at King Vidor’s house and pledged $100 dollars each to form the Screen Director’s Guild, later the Director’s Guild of America. Final recognition and contracts were signed by President Frank Capra in 1940. 

1947-”THE BLACK DAHLIA”- One of the most lurid murder cases in Los Angeles history. A little girl playing in a vacant lot discovered the remains of high priced prostitute Elisabeth Short, 22, who used to work the Biltmore Hotel. She was named the Black Dahlia because of the black pullover sweaters and black lingerie she favored. Her body had been sawed in half and completely drained of blood, and the initials 'BD' carved on her thigh. Her body showed signs of torture. The murderer was never found. The incident was the basis for a movie called “True Confessions” with Robert DeNiro and Robert Duval. The last detective on the case died in 2003.

1960- Walt Disney Presents Leslie Neilsen as Revolutionary War guerrilla Francis Marion in the adventure series Swamp Fox.

1974- The first episode of Happy Days premiered with Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham and Henry Winkler as Da Fonz.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Animation Fun Facts for Jan 14, 2018


Birthdays: Marc Anthony 82BC, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Benedict Arnold, Faye Dunaway is 76, Hal Roach, Richard F. Outcault, Cecil Beaton, John Dos Passos, Lawrence Kasdan, Guy Williams, Andy Rooney, Julian Bond, Steven Soderbergh is 55, LL Cool J, Emily Watson is 51

1831- Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame first published.

1893- After Britain’s Liberal party broke up over the Irish Question, the Independent Labor Party was founded.

1900- Puccini's opera "Tosca" debuts in Rome.

1952-The NBC "Today" show debuts with Dave Garroway, Jim Fleming and J. Fred Muggs the chimp.

1954- actress Marilyn Monroe married baseball great Joe DiMaggio.

1957- Humphrey Bogart died of esophageal cancer at age 57. When he was buried at Forrest Lawn, wife Lauren Bacall put in with his ashes a solid gold whistle inscribed with the famous line from "To Have and To Have Not"- 'If you ever need me, just whistle.' The group of friends around Bogie and Bacall were nicknamed ‘The Rat Pack”.
After Bogart’s death Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin made the Rat Pack famous.


1964- Hanna & Barbera's ' The Magilla Gorilla' cartoon show.

1972- Norman Lear’s hit TV comedy series Sanford & Son premiered. Starring Red Fox, it was based on the English show Steptoe & Son.