birthday

Barbara Billingsley -- December 22, 2014

Happy Birthday to Barbara Billingsley, who would have turned 99 today! She is best remembered as the ideal wife and mother—who wears pearls while doing housework—from Leave It to Beaver, which ran from 1957 to 1963. For 235 episodes, “June Cleaver” never had a bad day: the house was immaculate, dinners were wholesome, and her loving smile was ever-present.

Born in Los Angeles, Billingsley moved to New York to appear on Broadway—until the show closed after five days—and she began working as a model. She appeared in several films throughout the 1940s and ‘50s, most notably Three Guys Named Mike (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), and Invaders from Mars (1953). She then appeared often on television until her big break came with Leave It to Beaver. She is also well-known to younger audiences for her decidedly un-typecast role as a jive-talkin’ passenger in 1980’s Airplane!

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

Which actor from the Leave It to Beaver cast became a police officer after the show ended?

a) Ken Osmond (“Eddie Haskell”)

b) Frank Bank (“Clarence ‘Lumpy’ Rutherford”)

c) Robert “Rusty” Stevens (“Larry Mondello”)

d) Stephen Talbot (“Gilbert ‘Whitey’ Bates”)

Answer below!

CLIPS OF THE DAY

Oh my, how women’s roles have changed!

A typical breakfast at the Cleaver house.

A heartwarming scene from Leave It to Beaver.

DID YOU KNOW…

Billingsley’s first husband Glenn Billingsley is cousin to the father of Peter Billingsley. You know him better as “Ralphie” in the 1983 classic A Christmas Story.

DID YOU ALSO KNOW…

Billingsley’s husband Glenn was a restaurateur, as was his uncle Sherman, founder of New York City’s famed Stork Club. 

QUOTES OF THE DAY

June Cleaver didn't keep her house in perfect order, the prop man did it.

~Barbara Billingsley

Barbara Billingsley, who was my TV mom June, is as nice in person as she appeared on the show.

~Jerry Mathers (“Theodore ‘Beaver’ Cleaver”)

TRIVIA ANSWER

a) That’s right; bad boy “Eddie Haskell” turned to law enforcement in his adult life. As a member of the Los Angeles Police Department, Ken Osmond was shot three times! He was saved by his bulletproof vest.

Irene Dunne -- December 20, 2014

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Happy Birthday to Irene Dunne! Born on this date in 1898, Dunne was musically gifted and won a scholarship to the Chicago Music College. She moved to New York with hopes of joining the Metropolitan Opera Company, but did not pass the audition. Dunne was not deterred, however, and she became a success on Broadway. While starring in the touring company of Show Boat, Hollywood came calling and she was signed with RKO. She appeared in her first film in 1930 and was nominated for an Academy Award for her second film—and Best Picture winner—Cimarron. She made several films for the next two decades including The Age of Innocence, The Awful Truth, Love Affair, My Favorite Wife, Penny Serenade, Life with Father, and I Remember Mama. Dunne was nominated for four more Oscars and has been called “the best actress never to win an Academy Award.”

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

With what actor did Dunne costar three times?

a) Charles Boyer

b) Melvyn Douglas

c) Fred Astaire

d) Cary Grant

Answer below!

CLIPS OF THE DAY

Enjoy the trailer for one of Dunne’s most beloved roles as a Norwegian immigrant in I Remember Mama.

Dunne sings “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” in the 1935 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film Roberta.  

Witness the chemistry between Dunne and Cary Grant for yourself in the trailer for My Favorite Wife

DID YOU KNOW…

Dunne was considered for the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I drifted into acting and drifted out. Acting is not everything. Living is.

~Irene Dunne

TRIVIA ANSWER

d) Cary Grant played Irene Dunne’s husband in three films: the screwball comedies The Awful Truth (1937), My Favorite Wife (1940), and the three-hanky tearjerker Penny Serenade (1941). 

Cecily Tyson -- December 19, 2015

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Happy 81st Birthday to Cicely Tyson! Born in Harlem, she worked as a typist before being discovered by a photographer from Ebony magazine at the age of 18. Tyson began acting in the 1950s and, in 1968, had a featured role in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. She was nominated for an Oscar in 1972’s Sounder and, in 1974, was the first African-American woman to win an Emmy. In fact, she won two that year: one for Best Actress in a Drama for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and a special Emmy for Actress of the Year. In 1977, Tyson appeared in the tremendously successful TV miniseries Roots. She is still acting and winning accolades today. She earned a third Emmy for 1994’s Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and, most recently, Tyson became the oldest person ever to win a Tony for her Broadway performance in The Trip to Bountiful in 2013.  

cicelytyson1.jpg

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

Cecily Tyson appeared in 2011’s The Help, based on the book by Kathryn Stockett. How many times was the book rejected before it was finally published?

a) 10

b) 30

c) 60

d) 70

Answer below!

DID YOU KNOW…

Tyson was married to famed jazz trumpeter Miles Davis from 1981-1988. They wed in the home of Bill Cosby, who was Davis’s best man.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I think when you begin to think of yourself as having achieved something, then there's nothing left for you to work towards. I want to believe that there is a mountain so high that I will spend my entire life striving to reach the top of it.

~Cecily Tyson

 TRIVIA ANSWER

c) 60

Cecily Tyson and Emma Stone in 2011's  The Help .

Cecily Tyson and Emma Stone in 2011's The Help.


Steven Spielberg -- December 18, 2014

Happy 68th Birthday to Steven Spielberg! One of the most successful, influential, and prolific director/producers in Hollywood history, Spielberg dropped out of college to begin working in the film industry. He's done okay for himself without that degree.

Here is just a partial list of his incomparable filmography:

Duel

The Sugarland Express

Jaws

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Twilight Zone: The Movie

The Color Purple

Hook

Jurassic Park

Schindler’s List

Amistad

Saving Private Ryan

Catch Me If You Can

The Adventures of Tintin

War Horse

Lincoln

Pretty impressive list! Not to mention the episodes of Marcus Welby, M.D., Night Gallery, and Columbo he directed. 

Pretty impressive list! Not to mention the episodes of Marcus Welby, M.D., Night Gallery, and Columbo he directed. 

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

How many actors have been directed to Oscar-nominated performances by Spielberg?

a) 0

b) 5

c) 12

d) 14

Answer below!

CLIPS OF THE DAY

Ready to bawl? Check out Henry Thomas’s role-winning audition for E.T. Listen for Spielberg’s direction at the beginning and his immediate approval at the end. 

Okay, now you need a laugh, so check out these bloopers from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Who can forget the scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind featuring John Williams’ out-of-this-world composition? Do you hear the nod to Jaws

DID YOU KNOW…

Spielberg declined a salary for directing 1993’s multi-Oscar-winning Schindler’s List, saying that it would be “blood money.” He also insisted that all his royalties and residuals from the film go to the Shoah Foundation, an organization founded by Spielberg, which records first-person accounts of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. 

DID YOU ALSO KNOW…

We can blame Spielberg for the now commonplace practice of product placement in films. He was denied permission to use M&Ms in 1982’s E.T The Extra-Terrestrial and used Reese’s Pieces instead, whose sales skyrocketed a reported 65% upon release of the film. 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

After a scary movie about the world almost ending, we can walk into the sunlight and say, "Wow, everything's still here. I'm OK!" We like to tease ourselves. Human beings have a need to get close to the edge and, when filmmakers or writers can take them to the edge, it feels like a dream where you're falling, but you wake up just before you hit the ground. ~Steven Spielberg

TRIVIA ANSWER

c) Spielberg directed 12 actors to Oscar nominations:

Melinda Dillon—Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Whoopi Goldberg—The Color Purple

Oprah Winfrey—The Color Purple

Margaret Avery—The Color Purple

Liam Neeson—Schindler’s List

Ralph Fiennes-- Schindler’s List

Anthony Hopkins—Amistad

Tom Hanks—Saving Private Ryan

Christopher Walken—Catch Me If You Can

Tommy Lee Jones—Lincoln

Sally Field—Lincoln 

Daniel Day-Lewis—Lincoln

Day-Lewis is the only one to walk away with the coveted statue. 

Many Happy Returns - November 5, 2014

We have so many Hollywood birthdays

to celebrate today!

Natalie Schafer (1900-1991)

Best known as Lovey Howell on Gilligan’s Island, Schafer appeared in several movies from the 1930s to the 1960s and appeared on many television shows from the 1970s into the 1990s.

Joel McCrea (1905-1990)

The affable all-American actor was best known for his roles in Foreign Correspondent, Sullivan’s Travels, and several westerns, most notably Ride the High Country.

Roy Rogers (1911-1998)

The King of the Cowboys appeared in over 100 films, radio, and television shows, including his very popular Roy Rogers Show. Rogers was married to his Queen of the West, Dale Evans, for 51 years. She’s the one who wrote their famous theme song, “Happy Trails.”

Vivien Leigh (1913-1967)

The beautiful British actress starred in a number of films from the 1930s to the 1960s, but will always be remembered for the two roles which won her Oscars: Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire and Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind.

John McGiver (1913-1975)

The character actor could be seen in several films and television shows from the 1950s to the 1970s, but is best recognized in the classics Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Manchurian Candidate, and Midnight Cowboy.

Ike Turner (1931-2007)

The singer/songwriter/record producer was very influential in the world of rock and roll, but his reputation will always be tarnished by his abusive relationship with ex-wife Tina.

Elke Sommer (1940)

The beautiful German-born actress had just the right look for Hollywood in the 1960s. She is best remembered for the Peter Sellers “Inspector Clouseau” comedy A Shot in the Dark.

Art Garfunkel (1941)

One half of Simon & Garfunkel, the singer/songwriter/sometime actor is a seven-time Grammy Award winner.

Sam Shepard (1943)

The actor and playwright is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Buried Child and the nominated True West and Fool for Love. He was nominated for his role in The Right Stuff, the film for which he is best known. 

Gram Parsons (1946-1973)

The singer/songwriter made a huge impact in his short life, working in such bands as The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, and a solo career during which he toured with Emmylou Harris.

Peter Noone (1947)

This British singer/songwriter was the face of the 1960s pop group Herman’s Hermits.

Bryan Adams (1959)

Canadian-born singer/songwriter had several hits in the 1980s and 1990s and is still active in the music industry today.

Andrea McArdle (1963)

McArdle was the original “Annie” on Broadway in 1977. At the age of 14, she was the youngest performer ever nominated for a Tony Award. She continues to do musical theatre to this day.

Tatum O’Neal (1963)

The sometimes troubled actress, daughter of actor Ryan O’Neal and ex-wife of tennis great John McEnroe, was the youngest person to win an Oscar. At the age of 10, the precocious O’Neal won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Paper Moon, in which she co-starred with her father.

Famke Janssen (1964)

The Dutch beauty is best known for her role as a “Bond Girl” in Golden Eye and the X-Men franchise.

Sam Rockwell (1968)

The quirky actor who often takes roles in independent films has been acting since he was a child. He is best known for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Iron Man 2.

Much to Celebrate - November 4, 2014

So many important events occurred on this day in history!

In 1842, a 33-year-old lawyer out of Springfield, Illinois named Abraham Lincoln married his 23-year-old betrothed, Mary Todd. 

Three important patents were granted on November 4th: In 1846, B.F. Palmer patented an artificial leg. In 1873, Dr. John B. Beers patented a gold crown for teeth. And in 1879, James J. Ritty patented the cash register. 

In 1922, King Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered in Egypt.

T.S. Eliot won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.

The following men were elected to the position of President of the United States on November 4th:

Grover Cleveland (1884)

James Buchanan (1856)

Calvin Coolidge (1924)

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1952)

Ronald Reagan (1980)

Barack Obama (2008)

Don't forget to VOTE today!

Happy Birthday to...

Will Rogers (1879-1935)

Gig Young (1913-1978)

Walter Cronkite (1916-2009)

Art Carney (1918-2003)

Martin Balsam (1919-1996)

Doris Roberts (1930)

Loretta Swit (1937)

Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989)

Ralph Macchio (1961)

Matthew McConaughey (1969)

Alright, alright, alright!

Charles Bronson - November 3, 2014

Happy Birthday to Charles Bronson! Born Charles Buchinsky on this day in 1921, Bronson was raised in a Pennsylvania mining town and fought in World War II as an aerial gunner, eventually receiving a Purple Heart Award. He turned to acting in the early 1950s and made a splash in the 3D thriller House of Wax, starring Vincent Price. Bronson played tough-guy roles in Machine-Gun Kelly, The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Guns of Navarone, and The Dirty Dozen, just to name a few. Perhaps his most famous role came in 1974 with the violent vigilante film Death Wish and its four sequels. 

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

Bronson shared an apartment with an up-and-coming actor in New York in the late 1940s. Who was it?

a) Jack Klugman

b) Tony Curtis

c) Yul Brynner

d) Ernest Borgnine

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

Who knew that tough guy Bronson filmed a Japanese cologne commercial!? You can’t unsee this. 

Watch the Simpsons find themselves in Bronson, not Branson, Missouri. 

DID YOU KNOW…

Bronson was considered for the role of Popeye Doyle in The French Connection. It went to Gene Hackman, who won an Oscar for it.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I guess I look like a rock quarry that someone has dynamited.

~Charles Bronson

TRIVIA ANSWER

a) Jack Klugman

Burt Lancaster - November 2, 2014

Happy Birthday to Burt Lancaster! Born Burton Stephen Lancaster 101 years ago today, he was a tough kid raised in Manhattan who joined the circus as an acrobat. Lancaster turned to acting after an injury forced him from the circus. After serving in the Army, he turned to acting and won praise for his first film The Killers, in which he starred with Ava Gardner. Lancaster went on to appear in such notable films as  Come Back, Little Sheba, From Here to Eternity, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Sweet Smell of Success, Separate Tables, The Unforgiven, Elmer Gantry, Judgment at Nuremberg, Birdman of Alcatraz, and Atlantic City

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

Lancaster lost two iconic roles to a famous actor. Who was it?

a) Rock Hudson

b) Cary Grant

c) Sean Connery

d) Marlon Brando

Answer below!

DID YOU KNOW…

Lancaster was nominated for four Academy Awards and won one. His nominations were for From Here to Eternity, Birdman of Alcatraz, and Atlantic City. He won for his role in Elmer Gantry.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I woke up one day a star. It was terrifying. Then I worked hard toward becoming a good actor.

~Burt Lancaster

 

TRIVIA ANSWER

d) Lancaster lost out to Brando in the roles of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire and Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather

Montgomery Clift - October 17, 2014

Happy Birthday to Montgomery Clift! Born Edward Montgomery Clift in Nebraska 94 years ago, he made his Broadway debut at the age of 15 and continued working on the stage for the next decade. His first movie role was opposite John Wayne in 1948’s Red River, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination. He was nominated again for his second film, The Search and followed that up with the Oscar-nominated The Heiress. In 1951, he starred as a brooding boy from the wrong side of the tracks who falls for the wealthy socialite Elizabeth Taylor in A Place in the Sun, and they began a lifelong friendship. Despite Clift’s successful career, he faced a number of demons, including alcoholism and an addiction to painkillers. Sadly, Marilyn Monroe described him as "the only person I know who is in worse shape than I am." Thankfully, we're left with several brilliant performances for which we can remember Clift.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

Clift was a method actor. What did he do to prepare for his role in A Place in the Sun?

a) Spent a night in prison

b) Worked in a factory for a week

c) Went undercover to several events in high society

d) Dated Shelley Winters

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

“Tell mama everything.” Love blossoms, nay, smolders between Clift and Taylor in A Place in the Sun.

Clift wails on the trumpet in From Here to Eternity.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Good dialogue simply isn't enough to explain all the infinite gradations of a character. It's behavior -- it's what's going on behind the lines.

~Montgomery Clift

 

TRIVIA ANSWER

a) Clift spent a night in a real state prison.

Angela Lansbury - October 16, 2014

Happy 89th Birthday to Angela Lansbury! At the age of 19, the London-born actress played her first film role in Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman and directed by George Cukor. Bergman won an Oscar and the film received five more nominations, including one for Lansbury.  She was nominated again for The Picture of Dorian Gray and the supremely creepy Manchurian Candidate. Lansbury worked steadily in film and television until she found her alter ego Jessica Fletcher in the TV series Murder, She Wrote, which ran from 1984-1996. She is still acting today, appearing most recently in the 2011 film Mr. Popper’s Penguins

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

Lansbury lent her voice to a popular animated Disney film in the 90s. Which one?

a) Pocahontas

b) The Lion King

c) Aladdin

d) Beauty and the Beast

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

Check out Lansbury in 1971’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Enjoy Angela Lansbury, Joan Collins, and Dana Wynter performing at the 1959 Academy Awards.

DID YOU KNOW…

Lansbury has been nominated—and won—four Tony awards for Mame (1966), Dear World, (1969), Gypsy (1975), and Sweeney Todd (1979).

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Actors are not made, they are born.

~Angela Lansbury

 

TRIVIA ANSWER

d) Lansbury played the very proper teapot Mrs. Potts in 1991’s Beauty and the Beast.

Penny Marshall - October 15, 2014

Happy 71st Birthday to Penny Marshall! She began acting in commercials in the late 1960s and quickly found small roles in television shows such as That Girl, Love, American Style, and The Bob Newhart Show. She had recurring roles on The Odd Couple, Mary Tyler Moore, and Happy Days before she hit it really big with Laverne & Shirley, which ran from 1976-1983. She directed four episodes of the show before branching out as a film director. Among her hits are Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Big, Awakenings, A League of Their Own, and The Preacher’s Wife.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

What actor/director was Marshall married to from 1971 to 1979?

a) Rob Reiner

b) Ron Howard

c) Dennis Hopper

d) Terry Jones

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

Watch Marshall as “the plain girl” in a shampoo commercial with “the pretty girl,” played by Farrah Fawcett.

Ah, the classic theme song from Laverne & Shirley…enjoy today’s earworm!

DID YOU KNOW…

Marshall was the first female to direct a movie that grossed over $100 million, and the first to direct two movies that grossed that amount! They were Big in 1988 and A League of Their Own in 1992.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

If you're not having a good time, find something else that gives you some joy in life.

~Penny Marshall

 

TRIVIA ANSWER

a) Laverne was indeed married to Meathead.

Paul Simon - October 13, 2014

Happy 73rd Birthday to Paul Simon! At the age of 11, Simon met a fellow musically-minded child named Art Garfunkel and they have been intrinsically linked ever since. Garfunkel had the beautiful singing voice, which Simon reportedly envied, but Simon was the genius behind the songwriting, which Garfunkel reportedly envied. Between his solo work and that with Simon and Garfunkel, Simon has been awarded 12 Grammys and has made tremendous contributions to the world of music. Here’s a small sampling:

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Biko

The Boxer

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Cecilia

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

Graceland

Homeward Bound

I Am a Rock

Mrs. Robinson

Scarborough Fair

Slip Slidin’ Away

Sound of Silence

Still Crazy After All These Years

David Bowie, Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Yoko Ono, and John Lennon at the 1975 Grammys.

David Bowie, Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Yoko Ono, and John Lennon at the 1975 Grammys.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

In which famous 1977 film does Simon make a cameo?

a) Saturday Night Fever

b) Smokey and the Bandit

c) Star Wars

d) Annie Hall

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

Watch Simon yuk it up with Chevy Chase in “You Can Call Me Al.” Enjoy today’s earworm.

Enjoy Simon and Garfunkel’s rousing rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at their famous reunion concert in Central Park in 1981. Chills!

DID YOU KNOW…

In his review off 1967’s The Graduate, Roger Ebert called the soundtrack “instantly forgettable.” The Grammy Awards didn’t agree: “Mrs. Robinson” won Record of the Year and Best Contemporary Pop Performance and the film’s score won Best Original Score. It has since sold 25 million copies worldwide.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I was eating in a Chinese restaurant downtown. There was a dish called Mother and Child Reunion. It's chicken and eggs. And I said, I gotta use that one.

~Paul Simon

TRIVIA ANSWER

d) Simon plays music producer Tony Lacey in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall.

Luciano Pavarotti - October 12, 2014

Happy Birthday to Luciano Pavarotti! The charismatic, larger-than-life tenor and humanitarian was born in Italy 79 years ago today. Pavarotti began singing in the church choir at the tender age of nine with his father, a baker and amateur tenor. He was drawn to soccer, but became serious about music at the age of 19. He made his operatic debut in La bohème at a small regional opera house in 1961. His career began to take off when Dame Joan Sutherland asked him to join her on tour in 1963. His star continued to rise throughout the 1960s and 70s, and he will forever be known as one of the finest tenors of the 20th century.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

Pavarotti holds two Guinness World Records: one is for selling the most copies of a classical album, In Concert by the Three Tenors, which he shares with Plácido Domingo and José Carreras. What is the other?

a) Receiving the most curtain calls in one night

b) Eating the most pizzas in one sitting

c) Winning more Grammys than any other opera star

d) Touring more countries than any other opera star

Answer below!

The Three Tenors: Domingo, Carreras, and Pavarotti

The Three Tenors: Domingo, Carreras, and Pavarotti

CLIP OF THE DAY

Enjoy Pavarotti’s goosebump-inducing signature aria “Nessun dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot as he performs in New York’s Central Park in 1993. Excuse me, there’s something in my eye…

DID YOU KNOW…

According to sources, Pavarotti never learned to read music.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

For me, music making is the most joyful activity possible, the most perfect expression of any emotion.

~Luciano Pavarotti

TRIVIA ANSWER

a) In Berlin in 1988, Pavarotti received 165 curtain calls. He was applauded for one hour and 17 minutes!

Joan Cusack - October 11, 2014

Happy 52nd Birthday to Joan Cusack! Cusack had small but memorable roles in several films in the early 1980s including My Bodyguard, Class, and Sixteen Candles before she became a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1986. She really made an impact in 1987, however, with her star turn in Broadcast News. She has since appeared in dozens of films including Say Anything, Addams Family Values, Grosse Pointe Blank, Runaway Bride, High Fidelity, School of Rock, and the 2nd and 3rd installments of Toy Story. She was nominated for an Oscar for 1989’s Working Girl and 1998’s In & Out.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

How many films has Joan Cusack appeared in with her brother John?

a) 6

b) 8

c) 10

d) 12

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

Enjoy Cusack’s performance as Julia Roberts’ friend in Runaway Bride.

DID YOU KNOW…

Cusack was the first cast member of Saturday Night Live to be nominated for an Academy Award.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

We need comedies in the world! We need to laugh, it's all so hard.

~Joan Cusack

TRIVIA ANSWER

c) The Cusack siblings have appeared in 10 films together: Class (1983), Sixteen Candles (1984), Grandview, U.S.A. (1984), Broadcast News (1987), Say Anything… (1989), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), Cradle Will Rock (1999), High Fidelity (2000), Martian Child (2007), and War, Inc. (2008). 

Ben Vereen - October 10, 2014

Happy 68th Birthday to Ben Vereen! Showing a talent for drama and dance at a young age, he was accepted into the prestigious High School of Performing Arts in New York. Vereen studied under world-renowned choreographers Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins, and began working on stage shortly after graduation. He toured with Bob Fosse’s production of Sweet Charity from 1967-68 and was cast in the 1969 film version starring Shirley MacLaine. Vereen is also known for his roles in Funny Lady, Roots, and All That Jazz, and winning a Tony for 1973’s Pippin.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

In 1964, Vereen was an understudy for a huge star for the 1964 Broadway musical Golden Boy. Who was it?

a) Sammy Davis, Jr.

b) Robert Goulet

c) Joel Grey

d) Sidney Poitier

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

Check out Vereen’s amazing skills in his Tony award-winning performance in Pippin.

DID YOU KNOW…

Vereen’s character of “Bert Robbins” in Funny Lady is a composite of famed vaudeville performer Bert Williams and tap-dancing superstar Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

DID YOU ALSO KNOW…

Vereen is the godfather of R&B star Usher.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

If we plant the right seeds, tomorrow will be better. If you put out good things, then you'll get good things back. That's part of our responsibility as entertainers.

~Ben Vereen

 TRIVIA ANSWER

a) Sammy Davis, Jr. 

Sigourney Weaver - October 8, 2014

Happy 65th Birthday to Sigourney Weaver! Born Susan Weaver into a life of privilege—her father was the president of NBC—she changed her name at the age of 14, inspired by the character “Sigourney Howard” from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Weaver was already acting in school plays and summer stock at this age and, after graduating high school, attended Stanford University and Yale School of Drama. She established a successful stage career and began appearing in films in 1977. Her first role was a non-speaking 6-second appearance in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. A mere two years later, she starred in Alien and a star was born.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

Sigourney Weaver often towers over her costars. How tall is she?

a) 5’ 11”

b) 6’

c) 6’ 1”

d) 6’ 2”

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

Weaver has starred in countless hit films: Ghostbusters, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl, The Ice Storm, The Village, and Avatar. However, we will always think of her as “Ripley” in Alien. Can you handle this terrifying trailer for the 1979 classic? In space, no one can hear you scream…

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I'd rather have a small part in a movie I love than a bigger part in one I don't care about.

~Sigourney Weaver

TRIVIA ANSWER

a) 5’ 11”

June Allyson - October 7, 2014

Happy Birthday to June Allyson! Born Eleonor Geisman on this date in 1917, Allyson made her Broadway debut at the age of 21. She went on to become the sweetheart of the 1940s with her girl-next-door good looks and bright smile. Allyson is best known for such films as Best Foot Forward, Words and Music, Till the Clouds Roll By, Little Women, The Stratton Story, The Glenn Miller Story, and My Man Godfrey.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

Which famous co-star did Allyson work with more than anyone else?

a) Van Johnson

b) Jimmy Stewart

c) Peter Lawford

d) David Niven

 

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

Enjoy TCM’s tribute to June Allyson. 

PIC OF THE DAY

We have a poster for 1948's Words and Music on the walls of the American Treasure Tour. 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I couldn't dance, and, Lord knows, I couldn't sing, but I got by somehow. Richard Rodgers was always keeping them from firing me.

~June Allyson

TRIVIA ANSWER

a) Van Johnson and June Allyson appeared in five films together. She played Jimmy Stewart’s wife three times. Allyson costarred with Lawford and Niven once each.


Women Rule! - September 20, 2014

This is a big day for women. In 1884, the National Equal Rights Party was formed in San Francisco, California. Suffragette, attorney, educator, and author Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood was the second woman to run for President of the United States (after Victoria Woodhull in 1872).

In 1953, The Loretta Young Show first aired. The beloved actress won three Emmys and was nominated five more times for the show. Throughout her career, she won two Golden Globes (and was nominated a third time), and received two Oscar nominations. She won for The Farmer’s Daughter in 1948.

Twenty years later, Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match. Former champ Riggs claimed that, at the age of 55, he could beat any female tennis player. Twenty-nine-year-old King proved him woefully wrong.

Finally, September 20 marks the birthdays of two of our favorite actresses: Anne Meara turns 85 and Sophia Loren celebrates her 80th! 

Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood

Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood

Loretta Young

Loretta Young

Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King

Anne Meara

Anne Meara

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

How many Emmy nominations has Anne Meara received?

a) two

b) three

c) four

d) five

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

Comedy team Stiller and Meara perform on The Carol Burnett Show in 1972.

QUOTES OF THE DAY

I am, and always have been a progressive woman, and while never directly attacking the conventionalities of society, have always done, or attempted to do those things which I have considered conducive to my health, convenience or emolument.

~Belva Ann Lockwood

 

A charming woman doesn't follow the crowd. She is herself.

~Loretta Young

 

Be bold. If you're going to make an error, make a doozy, and don't be afraid to hit the ball.

~Billie Jean King

 

Mistakes are a part of the dues one pays for a full life.

~Sophia Loren

 

DID YOU KNOW…

Despite Sophia Loren’s voluptuous figure as an adult, she was an unremarkable, skinny child nicknamed “The Stick” and “Toothpick.”

TRIVIA ANSWER

c) Meara has been nominated for four Emmys: in 1976, 1981, 1982, and 1997.

 

John Ritter - September 17, 2014

Happy Birthday to John Ritter! The beloved star would have turned 66 today. The son of singing cowboy Tex Ritter, Ritter landed the role of “Jack Tripper” on Three’s Company in 1977. The show ran until 1984 and garnered Ritter a Golden Globe and an Emmy, as well as four more nominations throughout the show’s run.

john ritter 2.jpg

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

What well-known actor/comedian did Ritter beat out for the role of “Jack Tripper”?

a) Robin Williams

b) John Belushi

c) Steve Martin

d) Billy Crystal

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

See some of Ritter’s best moments from Three’s Company. I’m guessing there’ll be some sort of misunderstanding and sexual innuendo…

QUOTE OF THE DAY

If I found a cure for a huge disease, while I was hobbling up onstage to accept the Nobel Prize they'd be playing the theme song from Three’s Company.

~John Ritter

DID YOU KNOW…

Ritter passed away on September 11, 2003, which happened to be his daughter’s 5th birthday. It was also one week before his 4th wedding anniversary with wife Amy Yasbeck, and six days before his 55th birthday.

TRIVIA ANSWER

d) Billy Crystal

Peter Scolari - September 12, 2014

Happy 59th Birthday to Peter Scolari! He found fame dressing as a woman with Tom Hanks in Bosom Buddies (1980-1982) and again as a yuppie TV producer on Newhart (1984-1990). Scolari has appeared in several television shows and movies, and currently plays Lena Dunham’s dad on the HBO hit series Girls.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

How many times was Scolari nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series?

a) zero

b) once

c) three times

d) five times

Answer below!

CLIPS OF THE DAY

From Bosom Buddies: watch “Henry” hit it off with a beautiful woman…but she’s got a dark side. Fun fact: this is how Tom Hanks met his future wife, Rita Wilson. They have been married since 1988. 

From Newhart: watch “Michael” producing Vermont Today…and not necessarily doing the best job at it.

DID YOU KNOW…

Scolari is an accomplished juggler and skilled in the circus arts.

 

TRIVIA ANSWER

c) Three times: 1987, ’88, and ’89.