ed mcmahon

Tanya Roberts - March 6, 2014

Hello again, blog readers!  We are back on the walls of the Toy Box today with our ongoing series "Faces of the Tour"!  We understand and appreciate your appetite to learn whose images are on display, and what makes them special.  Today, the subject of our exploration is Tanya Roberts.

Tanya Roberts was not her birth name. She was born Victoria Leigh Blum to a fountain pen salesman and his wife in the Bronx, NY, in 1955.  She dropped out of high school to first hitchhike across the country, then to become a model and actor.  Her beauty and piercing blue eyes definitely worked in her favor, and she was cast as the last of Charlie's Angels in 1980, for the show's fifth and final season.  The attention she received from that led to film roles, most notably in 1982's The Beastmaster, Sheena Queen of the Jungle in 1984, and as Bond girl Stacey Sutton in Roger Moore's final effort as the British spy, in A View to a Kill.  Despite some harsh criticism of some of her performances, Roberts has a loyal following, and continues to act, primarily on television, including a multi-year run on the popular sitcom That 70's Show.


Which of the following performers was NOT in 1985's A View to a Kill?

a)  Desmond Llewelyn

b)  Christopher Walken

c)  Dolph Lundgren

d)  Richard Kiel

e)  Grace Jones



We at the blog understand that you may not recall the day or the year of the famous event that occurred today in 1836, but we are confident that you are familiar with the event;  today, the Battle of the Alamo took place in San Antonio, Texas!  This was the site of the famous but hopeless defense of an under-staffed, under-armed group of Texicans (or Texians) and Tennesseans against the overwhelming forces of General Santa Ana's Mexican army during the effort for Texan independence.  The fight ended as a defeat for the defenders, with famous Americans Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett among the casualties.  "Remember the Alamo!" has become a familiar rallying cry for freedom fighters ever since.

Transportation technology has come a long way!  In 1911, a Wright Flyer airplane took three days and ten hours (with lots and lots of stops for repairs and breaks along the way) to travel across the country.  On March 6th, 1990, two Americans flew an SR-71 Blackbird from Los Angeles to the Virginia coast in sixty-four minutes, going an average speed of 2,124 miles per hour, a record that has not yet been broken.


We at the ATT love our comedians, and we celebrate one of the classic funny men today!  Born in 1906, Louis Francis Cristillo was welcomed by his parents into their home in Paterson, New Jersey.  A strong athlete, Lou aspired to act and went to Hollywood, only things didn't work out for him there, so he hitchhiked back east, stopping to perform vaudeville along the way.  He met Bud Abbott along the way, the perfect straight man for his comic stylings, and changed his name to Costello.  And so united one of the great comedy duos of all time!  Between 1940 and 1956, they starred in thirty-six films together, while also performing live, on radio, and on television.  Costello died in 1959 of a heart attack, three days shy of his 53rd birthday.

There's a famous quote that says, "Behind every great man is a great woman."  Another apropos quote could be, "Behind every great talk show host is a great sidekick."  Today we also celebrate the birthday of arguably the best sidekick ever to laugh at his talk show host's jokes.  We are referring, of course, to Ed McMahon.  Born in 1923, McMahon was familiar to most Americans for his thirty years on The Tonight Show; however, he was also a host himself.  He guided the talent show Star Search for twelve seasons and co-hosted TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes with Dick Clark for seventeen years, while still having time to present sweepstakes for the American Family Publishers.  What a busy man!


What I really want is a commercial hit.  If you're in a hit, you're suddenly a star, whether you acted well or not.  - Tanya Roberts

ANSWER:  d)  Richard Kiel.  The 7' 1-1/2" tall actor appeared in two James Bond films:  The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, both with Roger Moore