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Today's Birthdays 5/16

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Today's Birthdays 5/16#1
Posted: 5/16/08 at 6:11pm
Richard Tauber 05/16/1891 - Jan 8, 1948 performer, 1 of the sweetest tenor voices on either side of heaven, just listen to a recording of "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" - Yours Is My Heart

Osgood Perkins 05/16/1892 - Sep 21, 1937 father of Tony Perkins - The Front Page (Lee Tracy); 1930 Uncle Vanya (Lillian Gish); Goodbye Again (James Stewart); End of Summer (Van Heflin, Mildred Natwick)

Jan Kiepura 05/16/1902 - Aug 15, 1956 performer, Husband of Marta Eggerth (1936 - 1966) his death - 1943 The Merry Widow (Marta Eggerth, Gene Barry, David Wayne); 1945 Polonaise

Henry Fonda 05/16/1905 - Aug 12, 1982 performer; father of Jane & Peter Fonda, husband of Margaret Sullavan (1931 - 1932) divorced, Frances Seymour Brokaw (1936 - April 14, 1950) her death, Afdera Franchetti (1957 - 1961) divorced, Shirlee Mae Adams (1965 - 1982) his death, Susan Blanchard (December 28, 1950 - 1956) divorced - origs The Game of Love and Death (Alice Brady, Claude Rains, Otto Kruger); Mister Roberts; The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial; 1969 Our Town; First Monday in October (Jane Alexander); film's The Ox Bow Incident; 12 Angry Men; The Grapes of Wrath; my favs The Lady Eve & Spencer's Mountain

Margaret Sullavan 05/16/1911 [in Norfolk, VA!] - Jan 1, 1960 performer; mother of Brooke Hayward, wife of William Wyler (1934 - 1936) divorced, Kenneth Wagg (1950 - 1960) her death, Leland Hayward (1935 - 194 divorced, Henry Fonda (1931 - 1932) divorced - origs Hello, Lola (Elisha Cook); Chrysalis (Humphrey Bogart, E. Kazan); Stage Door (Mary Wickes); The Voice of the Turtle; Janus (Claude Dauphin, Robert Preston); film's The Shop Around the Corner; The Good Fairy; The Mortal Storm

Studs Terkel [Louis Terkel] 05/16/1912 Source Material, writer, performer - Working; The American Clock (Joan Copeland, John Randolph, Bill Smitrovich); tv's & film's 8 Men Out; Studs' Place; Beginning to Date; Working; The Dollmaker (Christine Ebersole, Jane Fonda, Geraldine Page, Amanda Plummer)

Bill Smitrovich 5/16/1947 performer; Connecticut-born actor Bill Smitrovich started his acting career rather late. A Masters degree holder from Smith College and a former acting teacher at the University of Massachusetts, the hefty actor earned his big break in an understudy role in the world premiere of Arthur Miller's "The American Clock" at the Spoleto Festival, then starred in the production when it went to Broadway. Other stage parts have included "Food from Trash," "Requiem for a Heavyweight," "Far East" and "Frankie & Johnny at the Claire de Lune." Bill was a founding member of the No Theatre Company, now in association with the Wooster Group whose members included Willem Dafoe and the late Spalding Gray. Bill made his 1978 New York debut in the company's production of "The Elephant Man." Before he played the Down syndrome parent on "Life Goes On," Bill actually taught Down's syndrome children in high school. - The American Clock [see Studs Terkel]; tv's & film's Nero Wolfe; Crime Story, Life Goes On, The Trigger Effect, Bodily Harm, Crazy People, Renegades, A Killing Affair, Splash, Manhunter, The Practice, Law & Order, Mrs. Harris, Without a Trace, Flash of Genius

Pierce Brosnan 5/16/1953 performer - Laws of Attraction; Mrs. Doubtfire, Remington Steele, The Manions of America, Noble House, The Heist, Detonator, The Fourth Protocol, Don’t Talk to Strangers, The Thomas Crown Affair [1999], The Tailor of Panama; Bond ... James Bond: GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, The Matador, Mamma Mia

Debra Winger 5/16/1955 performer; Spent part of her youth in Israel and served three months in the Israeli army. She moved to California, where she decided to pursue a serious acting career following a severe accident at a local amusement park at which she was performing. - tv's & film's Forget Paris, Shadowlands, A Dangerous Woman, Leap of Faith, Legal Eagles, Terms of Endearment, An Officer and a Gentleman, Urban Cowboy, French Postcards, Slumber Party ’57, Wonder Woman, Dancing with Shiva

Bruce Norris 05/16/1960 performer; An accomplished playwright, his plays 'Purple Heart', 'The Infidel', 'We All Went Down to Amsterdam', 'The Pain and the Itch', and 'The Unmentionables' have been all been produced by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. - An American Daughter (Penny Fuller, Hal Holbrook, Lynne Thigpen); Wrong Mountain; tv's & film's Law & Order; The Sixth Sense; A Matter of Degrees

John Scherer 05/16/1961 performer - By Jeeves (Emily Loesser); Lovemusik (Donna Murphy, Michael Cerveris, Ann Morrison, David Pittu, Judy Blazer); tv's & film's By Jeeves (Donna Lynne Champlin, Don Stephenson); Law & Order - SVU; Crossing Jordan; Shield


1946 "No you can't get a man with a gun," but when you're Ethel Merman you can sure try. She's the star of Rodgers & Hammerstein's production of Annie Get Your Gun. (You read that write; R&H were the producers, not the composers.) Irving Berlin supplies the words and music for this book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields. Ray Middleton costars as Frank Butler, the fellow sharpshooter Annie gets in the end. There will be 1,147 performances. Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat will costar in a 1999 Broadway revival.

1952 Among the New Faces of 1952, a revue staged by John Murray, are Eartha Kitt, Ronny Graham, Alice Ghostley, and Carol Lawrence. The will be 365 performances at Broadway's Royale Theatre.

1962 At New York City Center Jean Dalrymple begins a program of musical revivals. Tonight's opening is Can-Can.

1965 - The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, a Broadway musical starring Anthony Newley, made its premiere at the Shubert Theatre in New York City. Cyril Ritchard appeared in the production which entertained audiences for 231 performances.

1985 Jerry Zaks directs Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo at Off-Broadway's The Public/Newman Theatre. Joan Allen, Mercedes Ruehl and Olympia Dukakis star in this dysfunctional matrimony comedy in which Durang himself appears.

2001 Hours after struggling musical Jane Eyre announces its closing, singer Alanis Morrissette steps forward and writes a check to keep the show open, in hopes that it will win some life-saving awards to buck the Producers tide. Star Marla Schaffel wins the Drama Desk Award as Best Actress in a Musical a few days later, but when the show gets shut out of the Tony Awards, it plays its final performance June 10.


1770 Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.

On May 16, 1868, the United States Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on one of 11 articles of impeachment against him. (Johnson was acquitted of all charges.)

1929 - The first Academy Awards were presented on this night, hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and William C. de Mille. This first awards ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. It attracted an audience of 200 people. (The statuette we know so well as Oscar was not included in this first presentation for films made in 1927-1928. Oscar didn’t make an appearance until 1931.) Janet Gaynor was named Best Actress for her performance in Seventh Heaven, which also won the Best Director/Dramatic Picture for Frank Borzage, and the Best Writing/Adaptation for Benjamin Glazer. Lewis Milestone was named Best Director/Comedy Picture for Two Arabian Knights. Emil Jannings received two Best Actor awards, one for the 1927 flick, The Way of All Flesh, the other for The Last Command (192 and Wings was selected as Best Film Production.

1990 - The entertainer who could do it all, Sammy Davis Jr., died this day, in Beverly Hills, California, USA. From vaudeville at age three (with his father and uncle) to the star of Broadway’s "Mr. Wonderful", from Las Vegas nightclubs to hit records, the actor, singer, dancer, impersonator, and musician performed his way into the hearts of young and old everywhere. The world mourned the passing of Sammy Davis, Jr. at age 64 of throat cancer.

1990 "Muppets" creator Jim Henson died in New York at age 53.

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

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
re: Today's Birthdays 5/16#2
Posted: 5/16/08 at 6:53pm
Happy Birthday all!
If I heard the bells and the banjos ring