Today's Birthdays 4/15 - Yup, It's THAT Day

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Leonardo da Vinci 4/15/1452 - 5/2/1519 artist: Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, The Virgin of the Rocks, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne

Henry James 4/15/1843 - 2/28/1916 Composer, Source Material, Writer - The Pretty Mrs. Smith (Charlotte Greenwood); The Heiress; The Innocents; Eugenia; The Aspern Papers; The Golden Age (Stockard Channing, Jeff Daniels, Irene Worth)

Bessie Smith 4/15/1898 - 9/26/1937 American blues singer - Pansy; Blues in the Night

Hans Conried 4/15/1917 - 1/5/1982 performer - orig. Can-Can; Tall Story; 70, Girls, 70 (Mildred Natwick, Lillian Roth); Something Old, Something New; tv's & film's My Friend Irma, Bus Stop, Oh! God: Book 2, Tut & Tuttle, The Monster that Challenged the World; host: Fractured Flickers TV Series; my fav. Uncle Tanoose on The Danny Thomas Show

Elizabeth Montgomery 4/15/1933 - 5/18/1995 performer; daughter of Elizabeth Allen & Robert Montgomery; wife of Gig Young (12/28/56 - 1963) divorced; Robert Foxworth (1/28/95 - 5/18/95) her death; William Asher (1963 - 1973) divorced - Late Love (Arlene Francis, Cliff Robertson, Lucile Watson, Frank Albertson); replacements in: The Loud Red Patrick; Love Letters; tv's Bewitched, Robert Montgomery Presents

Rochelle Oliver 04/15/1937 performer; Wife of James Patterson (? - 1972) his death - Toys in the Attic (Jason Robards Jr., Maureen Stapleton, Irene Worth); Harold; Happily Never After; Same Time, Next Year

Claudia Cardinale 4/15/1939 performer - film's The Pink Panther; Once Upon a Time in the West; Jesus of Nazareth; Henry the IV, A Man in Love; And Now... Ladies and Gentlemen...

Björn Ulvaeus 04/15/1945 Producer, Lyricist, Composer, Orchestrator - Chess (Judy Kuhn, Jessica Molaskey, Francis Ruivivar); Mamma Mia

Michael Kamen 04/15/1948 - Nov 18, 2003 Composer, Lyricist, Arranger, Musical Director - Reggae (Philip Michael Thomas, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Obba Babatundé, Ras Karbi, Calvin Lockhart, Loretta Abbott, Brenda Braxton, Paul Cook Tartt, Andy Torres, Byron Utley, Lewis Whitlock)

Emma Thompson 4/15/1959 performer - Kenneth Branaugh's ex; daughter of producer Eric Thompson, actress Phyllida Law; sister of actress Sophie Thompson - Academy Award-winning actress: Howard’s End [1992], Sense and Sensibility, The Remains of the Day, In the Name of the Father, Look Back in Anger, Henry V; screenwriter: Sense and Sensibility

James Clow 04/15/1965 performer - 2004 Assassins; Blood Brothers; She Loves Me; 1995 Company (Jonathan Dokuchitz, Jane Krakowki, Kate Burton, Charlotte d'Amboise, Boyd Gaines, LaChanze, Debra Monk, Robert Westenberg); 2004 Assassins


1929 In Camel Through the Needle's Eye, Miriam Hopkins plays a poor woman who discovers the hard way that money can't buy happiness. This drama will run six months.

1965 The Amen Corner

1971 70, Girls, 70 with Hans Conried, Mildred Natwick, Lillian Roth, Joey Faye, Coley Worth, Lucie Lancaster, Dorothea Freitag, Lillian Hayman, Henrietta Jacobson, Gil Lamb, Goldye Shaw, Thomas Anderson, Tom Breslin, Robert G. Dare, Sally De May, Lloyd Harris, Marjorie Leach, Abby Lewis, Steve Mills, Naomi Price, Beau Tilden, Bobbi Tremain, Jay Velie

1974 Edward J. Moore wrote and stars opposite Conchata Ferrell in The Sea Horse, a Circle Repertory transfer at the Westside Theatre. Marshall Mason stages the four-month run of this tale of a lonely barmaid and the man who wants to marry her.

1987 Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy opens at the John Houseman Theatre with Dana Ivey, Ray Gill and Morgan Freeman. The Playwrights Horizons production that explores racism through the relationship between a Southern white woman and her black chauffeur is directed by Ron Lagomarsino.

1987 Barbara Cook: A Concert for the Theatre

1999 If you want to understand her you've got to see things from Amy's View. Judi Dench won the Tony Award for her role in David Hare's drama about an actress and her relationship with her daughter and her career. Richard Eyre directs this Royal National Theater production at Broadway's Barrymore Theatre, which ran for a limited engagement of 115 performances, closing on July 18, 1999.


1865 - Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America, died at 7:22 a.m. Lincoln had been shot in the back of the head the previous evening while attending a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, escaped, only to be hunted down and shot to death. Lincoln was carried to a boarding house across the street from the theatre. He never regained consciousness.

On April 15, 1912, The ‘unsinkable’ luxury liner, Titanic, sank at 2:27 a.m. on this day in 1912. The largest passenger vessel in the world went under off the coast of Newfoundland two and one-half hours after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. A young David Sarnoff, later of RCA and NBC, relayed telegraph messages to advise relatives on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean of the 700+ survivors. 1,517 lives were lost at sea. One account claimed that lifeboats weren’t operable and those that were, quickly filled with male passengers and crew members, instead of the traditional women and children first. Reports indicate that the captain of the Titanic, most of the crew and the ship’s orchestra remained on board as the huge luxury liner slid into the icy Atlantic. Still another report, from a survivor, indicated that as the great ship was going down to a watery grave, the orchestra played Nearer My God to Thee. Molly Brown made it home safe & sound.

1947 Jackie Robinson became baseball's first black major-league player when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day.

1960 Actress Lillah McCarthy died in London today. George Bernard Shaw wrote Fanny's First Play for her. At one time she was married to Harley Granville Barker. She was 84 years old.

1971 - George C. Scott refused the Oscar for his Best Actor performance in Patton at the 43rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony at LA’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. He had previously told reporters that he did not want the honor, saying (after the votes had been cast and tallied), “It is degrading to have actors in competition with each other.” Scott called the Oscar ceremony, “a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons.” Others who did accept the golden statuette as recognition for their works that evening include: Glenda Jackson, Best Actress (Women in Love); Helen Hayes, Best Supporting Actress (Airport); John Mills, Best Supporting Actor (Ryan’s Daughter); Fred Karlin (music), Robb Royer and James Griffin (lyrics), Best Music/Song, For All We Know from Lovers and Other Strangers; and Franklin J. Schaffner, Best Director (Patton) ... Patton (Frank McCarthy, producer) also received the Best Picture honors. Other notable flicks from 1970 (some Oscar winners, some not): Five Easy Pieces, Love Story, MASH, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Diary of a Mad Housewife.

1980 Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre died in Paris at age 74.

1990 Actress Greta Garbo died in New York at age 84.

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