Today's Birthdays 8/17 - Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Maureen O'Hara

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Davy Crockett 8/17/1786 - 3/6/1836 frontiersman, soldier, defender of the Alamo; killed at the Alamo

Samuel Goldwyn 8/17/1882 - 1/31/1974 movie pioneer: the ‘G’ of MGM; Academy Award-winning producer: The Best Years of Our Lives [1946]; All Quiet on the Western Front

Monty (Edgar Montillion) Woolley 8/17/1888 - 5/6/1963 performer - As Young as You Feel, Since You Went Away, The Man Who Came to Dinner

Mae West 08/17/1893 - Nov 22, 1980 - 11/22/1980 performer, writer - VERA VIOLETTA (Al Jolson); SOMETIME (Ed Wynn); SEX; DIAMOND LIL (Ernest Anderson); CATHERINE WAS GREAT (Gene Barry); fav film's SHE DONE HIM WRONG; I'M NO ANGEL

Lili Valenty 08/17/1900 performer - NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP (Fredric March, Charles Chaplin, Jr., dir. Hume Cronyn); ANASTASIA (Vivica Lindfors, Hurd Hatfield)

Richard Aldrich 08/17/1902 - Mar 31, 1986 producer, mgr, Gertrude Lawrence's hubby - 3 CORNERED MOON (Brian Donleavy, Ruth Gordon; 1939 IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Clifton Webb, Estelle Winwood, Florence McGee, Helen Trenholme)

Mort Marshall 08/17/1918 - Feb 1, 1979 Performer, Stage Manager - origs SMALL WONDER (Jack Cassidy, Tommy Rall, Joan Diener, Tom Ewell); GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (Alice Pearce); MEN OF DISTINCTION (Robert Preston, Orson Bean); LITTLE ME; MINNIE'S BOYS (Shelley Winters, Robert LuPone); SMITH (Don Murray)

Ralph Roberts 08/17/1918 performer, musician - THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Ethyl Barrymore);MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT (John Carradine, Estelle Winwood, Martita Hunt); WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (Una O'Connor); THE LARK (Julie Harris, Boris Karloff; Christopher Plummer, Theodore Bikel); MILK TRAIN DOESN'T STOP HERE ANY MORE (Tallulah Bankhead, Tab Hunter, Marianne Seldes); 1983 MEDEA (Zoe Caldwell, Judith Anderson

Maureen O’Hara 8/17/1920 - performer - Miracle on 34th Street, How Green was My Valley, The Quiet Man, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, PARENT TRAP

Ken Leroy 08/17/1927 performer - origs MORNING STAR; CANDLE LIGHT (Leslie Howard, Gertrude Lawrence, Regenal Owen); ANNE OF ENGLAND (Flore Robeson); CAROUSEL; CALL ME MADAM; WEST SIDE STORY; I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE

Sidney Michaels 08/17/1927 Writer, Lyricist - Tchin-Tchin (Margaret Leighton, Anthony Quinn, Charles Grodin, u/s Nancy Marchand); DYLAN (Alec Guiness); BEN FRANKLIN IN PARIS (Robert Preston, Susan Watson); GOODTIME CHARLEY (Joel Greay, Ann Reinking, Louis Zorich, Pat Swayze); TRICKS OF THE TRADE (George C. Scott, Trish Van DeVere)

Glenn Corbett (Rothenburg) 8/17/1930 - 1/16/1993 performer Shadow Force, The Stranger, All the Young Men, Shenandoah, The Violent Years, Route 66, The Road West, It’s a Man’s World, Dallas, The Lieutenant

Robert De Niro 08/17/1943 hair designer, performer, director - ONWARD VICTORIA (Jill Eikenberry, Michael Zaslow); CUBA & HIS TEDDY BEAR (Ralph Macchio, Academy Award-winning actor: Raging Bull [1980], The Godfather II [1974]; Brazil, The Deer Hunter, The Untouchables, Taxi Driver, Awakenings, Cape Fear; director: Bronx Tale

Bo Rucker 08/17/1945 performer - 1993 ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS (Sam Waterston)

Robert Joy 08/17/1951 performer - HAY FEVER (Rosemary Harris, Campbell Scott, Charles Kimbrough)

Sean Penn 08/17/1960 performer, son of Leo Penn, Madonna's ex performer - HEARTLAND; SLAB BOYS (Kevin Bacon, Val Kilmer); film's Fast Times at Ridgemont High, We’re No Angels, Carlito’s Way, Colors, Dead Man Walking

David Conrad 08/17/1967 performer - 1988 THE DEEP BLUE SEA (Blythe Danner, Edward Hermann)

Shows which opened on August 17:

The Skin of Our Teeth 08/17/1955 George Abbott, Frances Sternhagen


1903 - The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded, as Joseph Pulitzer made a million-dollar donation to Columbia University. This provided the funding for the Pulitzer Prize awards to be made in Joseph Pulitzer’s name.

1918 - The famous race horse, Man o’ War, was sold at auction for $5,000. Samuel Riddle became the thoroughbred’s new owner.

1939 Theatre goers first saw the magical The Wizard of Oz in a gala premiere on this night. The first movie to use the combination of black and white and color film starred Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale; Bert Lahr as both the Cowardly Lion and Zeke; Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow and Hunk; and Jack Haley as both the Tin Woodsman and Hickory. Originally, Buddy Ebsen was in the role of the Tin Man; but he became ill and had to leave the production before its completion.

(sources: IBDB,’s Those Were The Days)

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Updated On: 8/17/04 at 11:13 PM