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Archive for the ‘Birthday’ Category

Happy Birthday, Joan Alexander!

In 1938, aspiring actress Joan Alexander found herself in Vienna after a lengthy tour of major cities in North America, Latin America, and Europe while studying her craft. The former model was under the tutelage of renowned director-acting coach Benno Schneider, which necessitated her frequent flier miles, yet her decision to return to America was heavily influenced […]

Happy Birthday, Joan Crawford!

“Joan Crawford has passed into myth as a demented martinet whose greatest need or belief concerned padded clothes hangers,” observes author-historian David Thomson in his book The New Biographical Dictionary of Film. You see, a year after Joan’s passing in 1977, her adopted daughter Christina’s controversial child abuse memoir—Mommie Dearest—was published, followed by a big screen adaptation […]

Happy Birthday, Lawson Zerbe!

In her 1968 autobiography Tune in Tomorrow: Or, How I Found the Right to Happiness with Our Gal Sunday, Stella Dallas, John’s Other Wife, and Other Sudsy Radio Serials, daytime drama doyenne Mary Jane Higby relates an amusing anecdote about one of her fellow radio thesps—Lawson A. Zerbe, born on this date in 1914. It seems that […]

Happy Birthday, Leonore “Lee” Allman!

The dirty little secret about show business is that it is a virtual petri dish for nepotism. As Fred Allen jokes in It’s in the Bag! (1945), after seeing a list of names in the film’s opening credits: “In Hollywood, all a producer produces is relatives.” It was not uncommon in vaudeville, either, where performers often worked their […]

Happy Birthday, Olan Soule!

In 1947, when the dramatic anthology The First Nighter Program moved from its long-time Chicago home to Hollywood, leading man Olan Soule—born in La Harpe, Illinois on this date in 1909—relocated to Tinsel Town as well.  Olan went shopping for patio furniture to furnish his new digs and in paying for his purchase handed the salesclerk a […]

Happy Birthday, Victor Moore!

In the 1945 Warner Bros. cartoon Ain’t That Ducky, Daffy Duck encounters a most unusual hunter: a sportsman who looks and sounds like veteran comic actor Victor Moore.  As you can probably guess, there is a simple explanation for this—the hunter is Victor Moore, born Victor Frederick Moore in Hammonton, New Jersey on this date […]

Happy Birthday, Ann Sheridan!

In Tinsel Town, she was known as “The Oomph Girl.”  Ann Sheridan—born on this date in 1915—loathed the nickname.  “Just being known by a nickname indicates that you’re not thought of as a true actress,” she reflected in later years.  “If you call an actress by her looks or a reaction, then that’s all she […]

Happy Birthday, Clark Gable!

In Hollywood, he was reverentially referred to as “The King.”  William Clark Gable, born in Cadiz, OH on this date in 1901, would celebrate an acting career that spanned over 35 years—23 of them with motion picture studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  For classic film fans, he’s a symbol of virility and sex appeal; the American Film Institute […]