Today's Birthdays 1/20

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Today's Birthdays 1/20#0
Posted: 1/20/04 at 10:53pm
Walter Piston 1/20/1894 - 11/12/1976 American composer/teacher

Harold Gray 1/20/1894 - 5/9/1968 American "Orphan Annie" cartoonist, source mat'l - Annie

George Burns 01/20/1896 - Mar 9, 1996 Say good morning, George. Actually it was "Nathan" then -- Nathan Birnbaum born today. As George Burns, he and Gracie Allen will become headliners of vaudeville. Together they will appear in films and their own television show. On his own, Burns will also have a successful film career; source mat'l - When Johnny Comes Marching Home; Say Goodnight Gracie

Leon Ames 01/20/1902 - Dec 12, 1993 performer - A House in the Country; Little Darling (Barbara Bel Geddes); Winesburg, Ohio (Dorothy McGuire, James Whitmore); fav film Meet Me In St. Louis

Federico Fellini 1/20/1920 - 10/31/1993 director, screenwriter: Oscar-winning Best foreign-language [Italian] films: La Strada [1956], The Nights of Cabiria [1957], 8 1/2 [1963], Amarcord [1974], source mat'l - Nine

DeForest Kelley 1/20/1920 - 6/11/1999 performer - tv's & film's Star Trek series, Apache Uprising, The Law and Jake Wade, Gunfight at O.K. Corral, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Fear in the Night

Patricia Neal 01/20/1926 performer - Another Part of the Forest; 1952 The Children's Hour (Kim Hunter); A Roomful of Roses; The Miracle Worker; Academy Award-winning actress: Hud [1963]; All Quiet on the Western Front, Breakfast at Tiffanyís, Heidi, In Harmís Way

Peter Donat 01/20/1928 performer, husband of Marijke DeJong (1983 - present), Michael Learned (1956 - 1972) divorced - The First Gentleman (Walter Slezak, Inga Swenson); The Entertainer (Laurence Olivier, Joan Plowright); There's One in Every Marriage (Roberta Maxwell)

David Lynch 1/20/1946 director - film's & tv's Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Dune, The Elephant Man


1954 The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial is tried at the Plymouth Theatre. Herman Wouk adapted his novel which stars Lloyd Nolan, Henry Fonda, and John Hodiak. Charles Laughton directs.

1975 A gay bathhouse is the setting of Terrence McNally's high-energy farce, The Ritz, which stars Jack Weston as a bewildered straight man forced to hide out there, and Rita Moreno as spirited entertainer Googie Gomez. It runs 398 performances at the Longacre Theatre, and wins Moreno the Tony for Best Supporting Actress. She's the last person to win it, however: Her speech about supporting "nothing but my beads," leads the Tonys to change the name of the category to Best Featured Actress.


On Jan. 20, 1981, Iran released 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.

1989 British comedienne, Beatrice Lillie, dies today. Lillie first performed in New York in 1924 (Charlot's Revue). Her film credits include 1967's "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

1993 Actress Audrey Hepburn died at age 63.

2002 Carrie Hamilton, daughter of Carol Burnett, with whom she co-authored Hollywood Arms, dies today at age 37. The show will go on to open on Broadway in the fall.

2003 Iconic Broadway caricaturist Al Hirschfeld dies at age 99. Having captured the spirit of New York life, particularly actors in performance, since the 1920s, he was known for hiding his daughter's name, "Nina," in his sketches. At least one Broadway show, My Fair Lady, used a Hirschfeld drawing as its logo. Within months of his death, the Martin Beck Theatre will be renamed the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in his honor.

(sources: IBDB, NYT's ON THIS DAY, 440.comís Those Were The Days,