Today's Birthdays 3/25

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Today's Birthdays 3/25#1
Posted: 3/24/08 at 7:18pm
Arturo Toscanini 3/25/1867 - 1/16/1957 68 years in musical career: conductor: Milan, Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia Orchestra, NBC Symphony Orchestra; cellist at age 19; father-in-law to Vladimir Horowitz

Lee Shubert 03/25/1871 - Dec 25, 1953, one of the three legendary Shubert brothers who will found the theatre-owning and producing empire, the Shubert Organization.

Béla Bartók 03/25/1881 - Sept. 26, 1945 ethnomusicologist, teacher, composer; composer: Mikrokosmos, Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, Solo Sonata for Violin, Concerto No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra - Lyric Drama (Ritornell [Original, Musical, Ballet])

Bella Spewack 03/25/1899 - Apr 27, 1990 wife of Sam Spewack, prod., writer - Boy Meets Girl (Garsin Kanin); Leave It to Me!; Woman Bites Dog (Kirk Douglas, E. G. Marshall, Mercedes McCambridge); Kiss Me, Kate; The Golden State (John Randolph); My 3 Angels (Darren McGavin, Walter Slezak, Eric Fleming, Carmen Mathews, Joan Chandler, Will Kuluva); Festival (Paul Henried)

Ed Begley 03/25/1901 - 4/28/1970 Husband of Martha Raye (1954 - 1956) divorced, performer - Pretty Little Parlor (Stella Adler; prod/dir Ralph Bellamy); All My Sons (Arthur Kennedy, Karl Malden); Inherit the Wind (Paul Muni, Michael Constantine, Tony Randall); Advise and Consent (Richard Kiley, Kevin McCarthy, Chester Morris); Zelda (Robby Benson, Alfred Sandor, Lilia Skala, Nita Talbot); film's The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Sweet Bird of Youth, Sorry Wrong Number, On Dangerous Ground, The Oscar

Sir David Lean 3/25/1908 - 4/16/1991 English film director - film's Academy Award-winning director: Lawrence of Arabia [1962], The Bridge on the River Kwai [1957]; Dr. Zhivago, A Passage to India, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations

Jay Blackton (Jacob Schwartzdorf) 03/25/1909 - Jan 8, 1994 Arranger, Composer, Musical Director, Orchestrator, Conductor, Musical Supervisor, Vocal Coach (one of Broadway's most sought-after conductors, the conductor of choice for Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, and others.) - Oklahoma!; Annie Get Your Gun; Inside U.S.A.; Call Me Madam; A Tree Grows in Bklyn; By the Beautiful Sea; Red Head; Christine (Maureen O'Hara); The Girl Who Came to Supper; Sherry! (Dolores Gray); 2 By 2; Rex; The Utter Glory of Morrissey Hall (Taina Elg, Celeste Holm)

Robert Rounseville 03/25/1919 - Aug 6, 1974 performer - origs: Babes in Arms; Knickerbocker Holiday; Candide; Man of La Mancha

Jeanne Cagney 3/25/1919 - 12/7/1984 performer, sister of James Cagney - origs: I'll Take the High Road (dir. Sandy Meisner); A Place of Our Own (Mercedes McCambridge); The Iceman Cometh (James Barton, E. G. Marshall); film's A Lion is in the Streets, Quicksand

Nancy Kelly 03/25/1921 - Jan 2, 1995 daughter of Nan Kelly, sister of Jack Kelly, wife of Edmond O'Brien (2/19/1941 - 2/2/1942) divorced, performer - Give Me Yesterday (Eric Blore, Louis Calhern, Jane Wyatt); Susan and God (Gertrude Lawrence); Flare Path (Alec Guiness); The Big Knife (Joan McCracken, John Garfield); Season in the Sun (Joan Diener, Paula Laurence, Jack Weston); Twilight Walk (Walter Matthau); The Bad Seed (Eileen Heckart); The Rivalry (Richard Boone); Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? [replacement]; Box / Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung; film's The Great Gatsby, To the Shores of Tripoli, The Bad Seed

Simone Signoret 3/25/1921 - 9/30/1985 French stage and motion picture actress - film's Casque D'Or; Diabolique; Ship of Fools; The Seagull; Room at the Top; author Nostalgia Isn't What It Used to Be

Kenneth Haigh 03/25/1931 - performer - origs: Look Back in Anger (Jack Livesey, Alan Bates, Mary Ure); Caligula (Colleen Dewhurst); Clothes for a Summer Hotel (Geraldine Page)

Elton John [Reginald Kenneth Dwight] 3/25/1947 - musician, singer songwriter, performer - Aida; The Lion King; Lestat; Billy Elliot; film's Tommy; The Lion King

Bonnie Bedelia [Bonnie Bedelia Culkin] 03/25/1952 performer; Aunt of Macaulay & Shane Culkin; Sister of Candace, Christopher, & Terry Culkin - Isle of Children (Patty Duke); Enter Laughing (Alan Arkin, Sylvia Sydney, Vivian Blaine); The Playroom (Karen Black, Richard Thomas); My Sweet Charlie (John Randolph)

Lisa Gay Hamilton 3/25/1964 performer - The Piano Lesson (Charles S. Dutton, S. Epatha Merkerson); Gem of the Ocean (Phylicia Rashad); tv's & film's The Practice; All My Children; One Life to Live; The Sum of All Fears

Sarah Jessica Parker 3/25/1965 sister of Timothy Britten Parker, wife of Matthew Broderick (May 19, 1997 - present), performer - The Innocents; Annie [replacement]; How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Once Upon a Mattress; tv's & flm's Sex and the City, Miami Rhapsody, L.A. Story, Honeymoon in Vegas, The Little Match Girl, The Innocents, Annie, Square Pegs, A Year in the Life, Equal Justice


1964 A Murderer Among Us - Tom Bosley

1976 My Fair Lady is revived at the St. James Theatre in New York. Ian Richardson plays Henry Higgins; Christine Andreas is Eliza. Jerry Adler stages the 377 performance run.

1984 Joe Mantegna and J. T. Walsh spout the F word aplenty in the new play by David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross. Covering the intense world of real estate sales, Glengarry opens at the John Golden Theatre and will win the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

1990 Lettice and Lovage - Maggie Smith, Margaret Tyzack. Wow! I wish I'd seen this!

1997 Christopher Plummer becomes "The Great Profile" as he stars in William Luce's Barrymore at Broadway's Music Box Theatre.

1999 Broadway gets Closer. Patrick Marber directs his play of desire and dissection at the Music Box Theater. The British cast includes Tony Award winner Natasha Richardson, Rupert Graves, Anna Friel and Ciaran Hinds.

2004 Alec Baldwin plays flamboyant and desperate producer Oscar Jaffe in Roundabout Theatre Company's art deco revival of the 1932 comedy Twentieth Century, co-starring real-life movie star Anne Heche as film diva Lily Garland.


1911 - A turning point in labor laws -- especially concerning health and safety -- occurred as a result of a tragic fire in a New York City garment factory. Fire broke out at about 4:30p.m. at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company trapping young, immigrant workers behind locked doors. Many jumped to their deaths or were burned beyond recognition. The 18-minute fire left 126 dead; but they did not die in vain as new laws were passed to protect children and others from slave-type labor conditions. The owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company were indicted for manslaughter.

1918 French composer Claude Debussy died in Paris.

1954 - Our wayback machine takes us to the RKO Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, as we remember the 26th Annual Academy Awards. Actor/singer/dancer Donald O’Connor and actor Fredric March (in New York) kept the audience informed on who won what. From Here to Eternity (Buddy Adler, producer) was the big flick of the year, picking up the Oscar for Best Director for Fred Zinnemann, Best Supporting Actor for Frank Sinatra and Best Supporting Actress for Donna Reed, in addition to Best Writing/Screenplay (Daniel Taradash). The Best Actor award for the films of 1953 went to William Holden for Stalag 17 while the Best Actress award went to Audrey Hepburn for Roman Holiday. Secret Love from Calamity Jane was the Best Music/Song of the Year (Sammy Fain, music, Paul Francis Webster, lyrics). An interesting note: The Best Writing/Story and Screenplay went to the 1953 version of Titanic (Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch, Richard L. Breen). Other memorable movies that year (some Oscar winners, some not): The Robe, Shane, Mogambo, The Moon is Blue and Hondo.

On March 25, 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 marchers to the state capitol in Montgomery, Ala., to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks.

1985 - Oscar time again? Yes, and for the 57th time ... and at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, no less. Host for the big show was actor/director Jack Lemmon. The Best Picture of 1985 was Amadeus, produced by Saul Zaentz. The flick, about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, also won Oscars for Best Director for Milos Forman and Best Actor for F. Murray Abraham. Sally Field was pronounced Best Actress for Places in the Heart, Best Supporting Actor was Haing S. Ngor for The Killing Fields, and the Best Supporting Actress Oscar was given to Peggy Ashcroft for A Passage to India. Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called to Say I Love You from The Woman in Red took the honors for Best Movie/Song. And the Academy gave an honorary Oscar to Jimmy Stewart in recognition of more than 70 films in his 50-year career. Stewart earned one Oscar for Best Actor in Philadelphia Story (1940), and nominations for Best Actor in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Harvey, It’s a Wonderful Life and Anatomy of a Murder.

1988 Robert E. Chambers Jr. pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin in New York City's so-called 'preppie murder case.'

1991 - Hollywood’s best got all dolled up and headed over to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to watch Billy Crystal host the 63rd Academy Awards show. Best Picture of the year (1990) was Dances with Wolves (Jim Wilson, Kevin Costner, producers). Costner also won for his Best Direction of Dances with Wolves. The Best Actor Oscar went to Jeremy Irons for Reversal of Fortune. Best Actress was Kathy Bates for Misery. The prize for Best Supporting Actor was claimed by Joe Pesci for GoodFellas and Best Supporting Actress was Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost. The Best Music/Song was presented to Stephen Sondheim for Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man) from Dick Tracy.

(sources: IBDB, IMDB, NYT's ON THIS DAY,’s Those Were The Days,, imdb)