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Archive for the ‘Classic movies’ Category

Happy Birthday, Ralph Bell!

It would be no exaggeration to state that the actor born Ralph Scognamiglio in New Jersey (though sources also state his place of birth as New York City) on this date in 1915 had a lifelong love affair with the aural medium. Scognamiglio — who later changed his professional name to “Ralph Bell” — continued to send his voice […]

Happy Birthday, Burgess Meredith!

Two iconic roles immediately come to mind when discussing the career of the actor born Oliver Burgess Meredith on this date in 1907. One is his deliciously over-the-top portrayal of The Penguin on TV’s Batman (1966-68), a memorable foe amongst the Caped Crusader’s gallery of villains. The other is cantankerous corner man Mickey Goldmill from the Rocky movie franchise; the […]

Happy Birthday, George Fenneman!

Despite his incredible career as a radio/TV announcer and emcee, George Watt Fenneman—born in Peking (now Beijing), China on this date in 1919—was never hesitant about crediting the job that secured his fame and fortune: straight man to “quizmaster” Groucho Marx on the long-running You Bet Your Life. “Listen, those were the biggest 15 years of my life,” […]

Happy Birthday, Barney Phillips!

Although there was certainly a note of melancholy involved, replacing the departed Barton Yarborough as Jack Webb’s new partner on Dragnet (as Sgt. Ed Jacobs) must have been a dream assignment for actor Barney Phillips. Barney was no stranger to the program; he’d played a few “heavies” on the radio version and portrayed “Battalion Chief Sam Erickson” on the show’s inaugural […]

Happy Birthday, Sharon Douglas!

When A Day in the Life of Dennis Day premiered over NBC Radio in the fall of 1946, it was actress Sharon Douglas—born Rhoda-Nelle (Rhodanelle) Nader in Stephens County, Oklahoma on this date in 1920—who originated the role of Mildred Anderson, Dennis’ supportive girlfriend. Sharon, as the expression goes, wasn’t with the organization long. You see, Douglas […]

Happy Birthday, Andy Devine!

Actors Andy Devine and Broderick Crawford enthusiastically participated in their own stunts during the filming the 1940 Western When the Daltons Rode. One particular stunt almost sent Crawford to an early appointment outside the Pearly Gates. Brod was climbing out of a moving stagecoach (driven by Andy) when the lower step gave way. A quick-thinking Devine pulled Crawford into the high seat of the […]

Happy Birthday, Barry Sullivan!

When actor Barry Sullivan—born Patrick Barry Sullivan in 1912 on this date in New York City—was approached to star in Harbourmaster, a television series from the prolific Ziv studios, he had one question for the producers: “Why do you want to do a series about a guy and a boat?” “Did you ever want to own […]

Happy Birthday, Art Van Harvey!

The actor born Arthur Harvey Van Berschot in Chicago, Illinois on this date in 1883 had much in common with the fictional Victor Rodney Gook, the laid-back patriarch Art played for so many years on the popular daytime radio comedy Vic and Sade. Both men were enthusiastic card players (Van Harvey was particularly fond of bridge and pinochle) […]