Today's Birthdays 6/15

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Today's Birthdays 6/15#1
Posted: 6/15/08 at 12:22am
Edvard Grieg 6/15/1843 - 9/4/1907 Norwegian composer - Peer Gynt (Edward G. Robinson, Joseph Shildkraut)

Ernestine Schumann-Heink 6/15/1861 - 11/17/1936 Austrian contralto opera singer - Love's Lottery

Robert Russell Bennett 06/15/1894 - 8/18/1981 Lyricist, Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator - Sunny; Show Boat; The Cat & The Fiddle; Gay Divorce; Roberta, The Great Waltz; Revenge with Music; Du Barry Was a Lady; Panama Hattie; Oklahoma; Allegro; Kiss Me Kate; South Pacific; The King & I; Pipe Dream; My Fair Lady; New Girl in Town; Flower Drum Song; Redhead; The Sound of Music; The Happiest Girl in the World; Jennie; The Girl Who Came to Supper; On A Clear Day; The Grass Harp

Mary Ellis 06/15/1897 - 1/30/03 performer, was the last person alive to have performed with Caruso; wife of Jock Muir Stewart Robinson (1938 - 1950) his death, Basil Sydney (1929 - ?) divorced - Merry Wives of Gotham; Rose-Marie; The Dybbuk; The Taming of the Shrew; Jewel Robbery (Clarence Derwent)

David Rose 6/15/1910 - 8/23/1990 [ibdb lists dob as 6/24/1909] composer, arranger, conductor; Husband of Betty Bigelow (1948 - ?), Martha Raye (1938 - 1941) divorced, Judy Garland (1941 - 1945) divorced - Winged Victory; Grammy Award-winning [22] composer: The Stripper; scores: Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza, Sea Hunt, Highway Patrol; David Rose and His Orchestra: The Red Skelton Show, The Tony Martin Show

Richard Derr 06/15/1918 - May 8, 1992 performer - Invitation to a March (Celeste Holm, Jane Fonda, Eileen Heckart, James MacArthur); Maybe Tuesday (Brett Somers, Barry Newman, Zohra Lampert, Alice Ghostley, Robert Elston, Myra Carter); Plain and Fancy (Barbara Cook, Will B. Able); Dial "M" for Murder (Gusti Huber, Maurice Evans, John Williams); The Grand Tour; A Phoenix Too Frequent / Freight (Nina Foch, Vicki Cummings)

Julie Hagerty 06/15/1955 performer - The House of Blue Leaves; 1986 The Front Page; 1993 Three Men on a Horse; 2002 Morning's at Seven; film's Airplane!, Airplane II: The Sequel, Women of the House, Noises Off, What About Bob?, Reversal of Fortune, Lost in America

Polly Draper 06/15/1956 performer - Brooklyn Boy; Closer [replacement]; The Stitch in Time [never officially opened](Amanda Plummer, Barry Miller); Crazy He Calls Me

Helen Hunt 06/15/1963 performer, daughter of Gordon Hunt - 1988 Our Town; 1998 Twelfth Night; 2003 Life (x) 3; tv's & film's Academy Award-winning actress: As Good As It Gets [1997]; Emmy Award-winning actress: Mad About You; Swiss Family Robinson, It Takes Two, The Fitzpatricks, Amy Prentiss, Twister, Kiss of Death, Next of Kin, Peggy Sue Got Married, Quarterback Princess, Desperate Lives, The Spell, My Life and Times

Neil Patrick Harris 06/15/1973 performer; Regional credits include "Rent" (LA); "Romeo and Juliet" (Old Globe, San Diego) and concert of "Sweeney Todd" (LA, NY). - Assassins; replacement in Cabaret & Proof; tv's & film's Doogie Howser; M.D.; How I Met Your Mother; Clara’s Heart; My Antonia; Starship Troopers; The Next Best Thing; Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay


1966 The New York Shakespeare Summer Festival is under way as Central Park's Delacorte Theater opens for its summer season. Among this year's productions: All's Well That Ends Well and Richard III, featuring such talents as Christopher Walken, Barbara Barrie, and Richard Jordan.

1995 Michael John LaChiusa makes his Broadway debut writing additional music to Bob Telson's score to Chronicle of a Death Foretold, a musical directed by Graciela Daniele, based on the novel by Gabriel García Márquez. It runs just 37 performances, but gets nominated for Best Musical in the 1996 Tony Awards.


1215 - In a meadow called Ronimed, between Windsor and Staines, England, King John of England sealed the Magna Carta, the first charter of English liberties. The Magna Carta is considered one of the most important historical documents defining political and human freedoms.

1904 More than 1,000 people died when fire erupted aboard the steamboat General Slocum in New York City's East River. Was it in "Manhattan Melodrama", that Clark Gable's "Blackie" saves William Powell's "Wade" when the General Slocum sinks, thus bonding them as friends forever. Really enjoyed that film. Also starred the inimitable Myrna Loy as the 3rd tip of the triangle. Boy, how I miss the old Regency Theatre on Bway btween 67th & 68th!

1965 Legendary theatre is made when the husband-and-wife team of Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy open in The Cherry Orchard at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Variety hails this latest production as "the outstanding presentation of the Chekhov classic in a lifetime of theatregoing and would be a credit to any company." Cronyn and Tandy will continue to grace the stage together for many years to come in such productions as Foxfire and The Gin Game.

1996 Singer Ella Fitzgerald died at age 79.

2002 Robert Whitehead, who, over a 50-year career produced landmark stagings of everything from Arthur Miller to Euripides to Terrence McNally, dies at age 86, just two weeks after receiving a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement & not being permitted to make his acceptance speech live on TV. Boy, that ticked me off!

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