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Archive for the ‘Birthday’ Category

Happy Birthday, Henry Fonda!

For actor Henry Fonda, the old “third time’s the charm” idiom certainly rang true in 1982. He was recognized by his peers at the Academy Awards ceremony that year and awarded the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar for his performance as an elderly curmudgeon who reconnects with his daughter (played by real-life daughter Jane) in On […]

Happy Birthday, Ben Wright!

“Ben was one of the last of the true English gentlemen in the Edwardian sense of the word, with an accent on the gentle,” remarked Joe Bandille in 1989 on the passing of his good friend, actor Ben Wright. “He was also a scholar in the best tradition of the self-educated man.” Old-time radio devotees know […]

Happy Birthday, Wilms Herbert!

The actor born Victor Herbert Erpelding on this date in Chicago, Illinois in 1908 put his hobby of collecting rare, tropical birds to good use in his brief but prolific radio career. Wilms Herbert soon learned to mimic the sounds emanating from the occupants of his blossoming aviary, and in studying his fine-feathered friends while […]

Happy Birthday, Vic Perrin!

Old-time radio fans remember actor Victor Herbert Perrin—born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin on this date in 1916—as a member-in-good-standing of the informal “stock company” of performers frequently used by director-producer Norm Macdonnell for the popular radio series Gunsmoke. What you may not know, however, is that Perrin was also a writer; he penned five scripts for the […]

Happy Birthday, Shirley Temple!

There’s a classic Jack Benny Show telecast from the 1960s (but really…aren’t they all classics?) where Jack, having ordered a “Shirley Temple” (a non-alcoholic drink made with ginger ale and grenadine, with a maraschino cherry for garnish), takes a swig of his cocktail and discovers it’s been spiked with Scotch. Benny expresses his displeasure to the waiter (who else […]

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 […]