Today's Birthdays 3/29

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Today's Birthdays 3/29#1
Posted: 3/29/08 at 11:53pm
Warner Baxter 03/29/1889 - May 7, 1951 performer - Lombardi, Ltd. (Leo Carrillo); film's delivers the most famous pep talk in movie history, "You're going out there a youngster, but you've GOT to come back a star!" in 42nd St.; Crime Doctor series; In Old Arizona (WB won an Oscar for best actor as Cisco Kid); Penthouse; Lady in the Dark; Broadway Bill; Adam Had 4 Sons

Pearl Bailey 03/29/1918 - 8/17/1990 performer, born in Newport News, VA - St. Louis Woman; Bless You All (Jules Munshen, Gene Barry, Donald Saddler, Dorothy Etheridge, Bertram Ross); Arms & the Girl; Hello Dolly; film's Porgy and Bess; Carmen Jones

Eileen Heckart 03/29/1919 - Dec 31, 2001 stage mgr, performer - orig The Voice of the Turtle; Picnic; The Bad Seed; A View From the Bridge; The Dark at the Top of the Stairs; Invitation to a March (Jane Fonda, Celeste Holm, James MacArthur); A Family Affair; Butterflies Are Free; The Cemetery Club (Elizabeth Franz); film's The Bad Seed, Bus Stop, Butterflies are Free, Heartbreak Ridge, Up the Down Staircase

Philip Locke 03/29/1928 performer - 1954 & 1971 A Midsummer Night's Dream; 1974 Sherlock Holmes [my 1st Broadway show!]

Eric Idle 03/29/1943 performer, writer - Spamalot; Seussical; tv's & film's Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Casper, Splitting Heirs, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

Bud Cort 3/29/1948 performer - Wise Child (Donald Pleasence, George Rose, Lauren Jones); tv's & fim's Harold and Maude, Brewster McCloud, M*A*S*H

Joey Luft 03/29/1955 brother of Lorna Luft, Liza Minelli; brother-in-law of Peter Allen, son of Judy Garland & Sid Luft - Judy Garland "At Home at the Palace"; tv's & film's I Could Go on Singing; The Judy Garland Show

Christopher Lambert 3/29/1956 performer - film's Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, To Kill a Priest; Highlander

Lucy Lawless 03/29/1968 performer - 1994 Grease [replacement]; tv's & film's Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; Xena: Warrior Princess; Boogeyman


1950 The Wisteria Trees - Helen Hayes, Ossie Davis

1951 The wonderful Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on Margaret Langdon’s novel, Anna and the King of Siam, opened this night on Broadway. The King and I starred Yul Brynner in the role of the King of Siam. The king who, along with his subjects, valued tradition above all else. From this day forward, the role of the King of Siam belonged to Yul Brynner and no other. Brynner appeared in this part in more than 4,000 performances on both stage and screen (the Broadway show was adapted for Hollywood in 1956). Jerome Robbins choreographs.

1956 Mister Johnson is Earle Hyman, playing a Nigerian uncomfortable with the imposed British culture. Norman Rosten adapts Joyce Cary's novel. It will run 44 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre.

1966 It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's SUPERMAN soars slightly at the Alvin Theatre in New York. There will be just 75 performances of this David Newman, Robert Benton, Lee Adams, Charles Strouse musical. Bob Holiday wears the cape, Patricia Morand is Lois. Harold Prince stages.

1976 Samuel Beckett directs his play Waiting for Godot in German, with actors from Berlin's Schiller Theatre. They appear at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

1981 John Kander and Fred Ebb turn the Michael Kanin and Ring Lardner, Jr. film, "Woman of the Year," starring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, into a musical. The tuner opens at the Palace Theatre and stars Lauren Bacall and Harry Guardino.

1992 Herb Gardner's drama of a son's feelings about his harsh Jewish father opens on Broadway at the Royale Theatre. Conversations With My Father stars Tony Shalhoub, Judd Hirsch and David Margulies. It will close nearly a year later on Mar 14, 1993.

2001 Invention of Love, Tom Stoppard's drama about British poet A.E. Housman, opens on Broadway, with Robert Sean Leonard and Richard Easton playing the poet at different ages. Gotta tell ya, I left @ intermission....


1951 - Actor/dancer/singer Fred Astaire was right at home in his tuxedo as he hosted the 23rd Annual Academy Awards. The big party was thrown at the RKO Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. Best Picture (of 1950) was All About Eve, produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. It won six Oscars in all, including Best Supporting Actor for George Sanders, Best Director and Best Writing/Screenplay for Joseph L. Mankiewicz; Best Costume Design/Black-and-White for Edith Head and Charles Le Maire. All About Eve also was nominated eight other times. The Best Actor award went to José Ferrer for Cyrano de Bergerac and the Best Actress was voted to be Judy Holliday for Born Yesterday. Best Supporting Actress was Josephine Hull for Harvey. Best Music/Song prizes were awarded to Ray Evans and Jay Livingston for the Nat King Cole classic, Mona Lisa, from Captain Carey, U.S.A..

1962 - Jack Paar left his highly successful late night TV talk show after five years. He left behind a salary of $250,000 and an estimated audience of eight-million people. Fill-in hosts were used, including Johnny Carson who would ultimately win the coveted position of host of The Tonight Show.

1967 - The first nationwide strike in the 30-year history of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) began this day, lasting for 13 days. Many familiar faces were absent from the TV screen during the strike, including that of Walter Cronkite of CBS News. A chap named Arnold Zenker, formerly a radio announcer in Wilmington, DE, got the call to fill in for Cronkite during that period. After the strike was settled, Zenker was never heard from again on network television.

On March 29, 1973, the last United States troops left South Vietnam, ending America's direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.

1976 - “And the Oscar goes to...” One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Saul Zaentz, Michael Douglas, producers) selected as the Best Picture of 1975. The Academy Awards were spotlighted -- for the 48th time -- at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Hosts for the gala gala were Goldie Hawn, Gene Kelly, Walter Matthau, George Segal and Robert Shaw. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest also scored the Best Director prize for Milos Forman, the Best Actor honor for Jack Nicholson and the Best Actress Oscar for Louise Fletcher, plus the Oscars for Best Writing to Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben. The Best Supporting Actor nod went to eighty-year-old George Burns for The Sunshine Boys and Best Supporting Actress was Lee Grant in Shampoo. The Best Music/Song winner was Keith Carradine for I’m Easy from Nashville. Other favorite winning and nominated flicks from the year 1975 include: Dog Day Afternoon which won the Oscar for Best Writing/Original Screenplay (Frank Pierson).

1982 - The 54th Annual Academy Awards were presented this day at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. Talk-show host Johnny Carson acted as host for the party. Two of America’s most revered performers, Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn scored as Best Actor and Best Actress in On Golden Pond. The Best Picture (1981) and Best Writing/Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Colin Welland) was Chariots of Fire (David Puttnam, producer). It also won the prizes for Best Costume Design (Milena Canonero) and Best Music/Original Score (Vangelis). The Best Director Oscar went to Warren Beatty for Reds. Best Supporting Actor, John Gielgud, won for his work in Arthur. The Best Supporting Actress was Maureen Stapleton for Reds and Best Music/Song prizes went to Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Christopher Cross and Peter Allen for Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) from Arthur, of course. One of the night’s biggest winners (four Oscars -- Art Direction, Sound, Film Editing, Special Effects -- and four more nominations) was Raiders of the Lost Ark.

1989 - The 61st Annual Academy Awards ceremony was presented at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. Rain Man (Mark Johnson, producer) was awarded the Best Picture Oscar with its star, Dustin Hoffman, scoring as Best Actor, Barry Levinson getting the Best Director prize, and Ronald Bass and Barry Morrow picking up the award for Best Writing/Original Screenplay. Best Actress (of all the movies of 198 was Jodie Foster for The Accused. The Best Supporting Actor Oscar was won by Kevin Kline for A Fish Called Wanda and the Best Supporting Actress was Geena Davis in The Accidental Tourist. Carly Simon won Best Music/Song for Let the River Run from Working Girl. Other popular movies from 1988 including Oscar winners and non-winning nominees were: Dangerous Liaisons; Mississippi Burning; Big; Gorillas in the Mist; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Beaches; Die Hard; Beetlejuice, et al.

1993 - Hollywood was all aglitter again, for the 65th Annual Academy Awards extravaganza at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. Comedian/actor Billy Crystal hosted the show for the fourth straight year. Clint Eastwood was honored with Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for his Unforgiven. He starred, directed and produced the gritty Western which also won an award for Best Film Editing (Joel Cox) and Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman). Best Actor was Al Pacino for Scent of a Woman and the Best Actress prize went to Emma Thompson for Howards End. Marisa Tomei took home the award for Best Supporting Actress for My Cousin Vinny. ’Toons winning tune awards was a popular 1990s event at the Oscars and this year was no different. Aladdin picked up two: Best Music/Song awarded to Alan Menken (music), Tim Rice (lyrics) for A Whole New World and Best Music/Original Score (Alan Menken).

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