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Archive for the ‘Classic movies’ Category

Happy Birthday, Wally Maher!

In the annals of movie animation, there was never a cartoon character quite like Screwball “Screwy” Squirrel.  Described by author-historian Leonard Maltin in Of Mice and Magic as possessing “all the brashness associated with such recent stars as Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker,” the manic creation of legendary director Tex Avery had a short life in motion […]

Happy Birthday, Alice Frost!

At the turn of the twentieth century, a career as an actor or actress was frowned upon in “proper” society.”  Aspirations to trod amongst the footlights were held in low regard, particularly among members of the clergy. So a Lutheran minister in Minneapolis, MN named John August Frost certainly would have raised objections if he thought his daughter—born Alice Dorothy Margaret […]

Happy Birthday, Blake Edwards!

If I enlisted you into playing a word association game and started the ball rolling by uttering “Blake Edwards”—chances are that you would respond with “Pink Panther”…for it was indeed Edwards who instituted that long-running movie franchise (beginning with 1964’s The Pink Panther) starring British actor-comedian Peter Sellers as the bumbling French Inspector Jacques Clouseau.  Edwards’ […]

Happy Birthday, Stacy Harris!

Before embarking on his long career as a much-in-demand actor on radio, TV, and in the movies, Stacy Harris—born in Big Timber, Quebec, Canada on this date in 1918—was the dictionary definition of a “jack-of-all-trades.”  Among his previous occupations were pilot, sailor, boxer, champion archer, artist (he was a political cartoonist for The New Orleans Times-Picayune), and newspaper […]

“…enemy to those who make him an enemy…friend to those who have no friends…”

The debate as to whether prisons can successfully reform those individuals who have strayed off the straight-and-narrow will rage on as long as those edifices are being built…but we’d like to present Exhibit A as an example of how the inside of those four gray walls can do wonders for a man.  His name is […]

“Get this and get it straight…”

In 1932, having been dismissed from his position as a vice-president with the Dabney Oil Syndicate, Raymond Chandler decided to take up writing detective fiction to make a living.  Chandler had previous experience in journalism, writing poetry and reviews for such publications as The Westminster Gazette and The Academy, but his dissatisfaction with journalism led him to other […]

Happy Birthday, Judy Garland!

For generations both old and new, Judy Garland—born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota on this date in 1922—will be forever known as Dorothy Gale, the young Kansas girl who gets an opportunity to travel “Over the Rainbow” from her little farm in the Sunflower State to the “Emerald City” in the 1939 movie […]

Happy Birthday, William Boyd!

The man responsible for the motion picture career of actor William Lawrence Boyd—born in Hendrysburg, Ohio on this date in 1895—was without question Cecil B. DeMille. The famed director-producer cast the young hopeful in bit roles in many of his silent features: Why Change Your Wife? (1920), Forbidden Fruit (1921), The Affairs of Anatol (1921), etc.  Boyd’s “breakout” role was in DeMille’s The Road […]