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February 4: Happy Birthday Rob Corddry and Ida Lupino

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Actor and comedian Rob Corddry is 46 today.  After graduating from college he spent much of the nineties working in theater, with the National Shakespeare Company and with a pair of sketch comedy troupes.  Starting in 2002 he spent four years as a correspondent on The Daily Show.  He has had major film roles in the 2007 remake of The Heartbreak Kid, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, and Hot Tub Time Machine, and he is currently one of the stars of HBO’s Ballers.

His most prominent role, however, was in the medical drama satire Children’s Hospital, which he created.  He also was one of the show’s ensemble cast and wrote about 30 episodes.  The series first ran as a web series on TheWB.com, then was picked up by Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block.  Corddry won or shared in four Emmy Awards for his work on the series.

Ida Lupino (1918-1995) came from an English family with plenty of show business in them.  She began working in English films in her early teens, then moved to Hollywood in the mid-thirties.  She had featured roles in musicals like Anything Goes (as Hope Harcourt) and Artists and Models; however, her breakthrough roles were in a pair of dramas, The Light That Failed and They Drive By Night.  She went on to lead roles in films such as The Sea Wolf (adapted from Jack London’s novel), The Hard Way, and On Dangerous Ground (opposite Robert Ryan in one of his few relatively heroic lead roles).  She also lost out on parts in her years at Warner Brothers because she and Jack Warner did not get along.  Possibly her most famous acting role, in retrospect, was opposite Humphrey Bogart in High Sierra.

Lupino’s career had another side, as a producer and director.  She formed an independent production company, The Filmakers, in the late forties, which produced about a dozen modestly budgeted films before disbanding in the fifties.  Lupino co-wrote several of the films and directed six of them, including the 1953 thriller The Hitch-Hiker, said to be the first film noir directed by a woman.  Some sources also say that she directed part of On Dangerous Ground when Nicholas Ray became ill during filming.  From the late fifties to the late seventies, Lupino was very busy in television.  She had a variety of guest roles, and also directed for several series; she was the only woman to direct an episode of The Twilight Zone.

George Romero, who turns 77, will always be remembered for the low budget, cult classic zombie apocalypse film Night of the Living Dead, as well as the follow-up films Dawn of the Dead and Day of the DeadJerry Adler, who is turning 88, has worked on Broadway as a production supervisor and sometimes a director, and has acted on television in roles like Herman “Hesh” Rabkin on The Sopranos.

Jenette Goldstein, who played the tough-as-nails PFC Vasquez in Aliens and the vampire Diamondback in Near Dark, turns 57 today.  John Gordon Sinclair, who turns 55, starred in one of the great teen romantic comedies of our time, as Gregory in Gregory’s Girl.  Irish actor Patrick Bergin had his greatest success in the early nineties, playing villains in Sleeping with the Enemy and Patriot Games, starring in a moderately-budgeted version of Robin Hood with Uma Thurman, and playing explorer Richard Francis Burton in Mountains of the Moon.

Gabrielle Anwar, who is 47 today, had roles in major features of the 1990s like Scent of a Woman and For Love or Money, and more recently played Fiona Glenanne on USA Network’s Burn Notice.  Australian actress and singer Natalie Imbruglia is 42 today.  She has been in films like Johnny English and Underdogs, and had a regular role on the long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours, while also having a successful recording career in her native country.  Comedian Hannibal Buress, who is known for his many appearances on Comedy Central programming and for starring on The Eric Andre Show, is 34 today.

Vincent Furnier is better known by the name Alice Cooper, which is also the name of the “shock rock” band he fronted for over a decade, which had hits like “I’m Eighteen” and “School’s Out.”  When the band broke up, Furnier continued performing as a solo artist, still using the name Alice Cooper; he turns 69 today.  Clint Black, who is 55 today, had a run of about a decade as a big country star beginning in 1989, which included thirteen #1 Country hits.  Jonathan Larson (1960-1996) won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and three Tony Awards, all of them posthumous, as the creator of the musical Rent.  Conductor Erich Leinsdorf (1912-1993) was an Austrian Jew who became one of many refugees from Nazism to enrich cultural life in the US in the mid-20th century.  He had a long association with the Metropolitan Opera of New York and was music director of the Boston Symphony for most of the sixties.

Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, who is 58 today, heads our sports birthdays.  “L. T.” was one of the most dominant defensive players in NFL history, one of only two defenders to win the NFL’s MVP Award.  A ten-time Pro Bowler, he led the Giants to two Super Bowl victories.  His reputation has suffered over the years due to substance abuse and other legal issues.  Gymnast Carly Patterson celebrates her 29th.  At the 2004 Olympics, Patterson won three medals, including a gold in the women’s individual all-around, becoming the first of four consecutive American women to take gold in this event.  Boxer Oscar De La Hoya also won an Olympic gold medal, in the lightweight division in 1992.  He went on to a professional career where he held world championships in six different weight divisions at different times.  De La Hoya is 44 today.

MacKinlay Kantor (1904-1977) wrote some 30 novels, many set in the American Civil War, including Andersonville, which won a Pulitzer Prize.  He also adapted one of his short stories into the screenplay for the 1950 film noir classic Gun Crazy, sometimes labeled the “greatest B-movie ever made.”  Betty Friedan (1921-2006) was the author of one of the most influential books that shaped the feminist movement, The Feminine Mystique, and was the first president of the National Organization for Women.

William Talman (1915-1968) was one of the stars of Ida Lupino’s The Hitch-Hiker, and later was known for playing District Attorney Hamilton Burger on Perry Mason.  For a long time, Nigel Bruce (1895-1953) was who people thought of when they were thinking of film portrayals of Dr. John Watson, Sherlock Holmes’s friend and colleague; Bruce starred opposite Basil Rathbone in over a dozen films.  Conrad Bain (1923-2013) starred on Diff’rent Strokes as Philip Drummond.  Television audiences of a certain generation would recognize the voice of Janet Waldo (1920-2016), who provided the voices of Judy Jetson, Penelope Pitstop, and Josie of Josie and the PussycatsWalter Catlett (1889-1960) is remembered for his roles in classic comedies like Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Bringing Up Baby, and also voiced J. Worthington Foulfellow in PinocchioEddie Foy, Jr., (1905-1983) had a long career as a character actor, which included playing his father, vaudevillian Eddie Foy, in several films, including Yankee Doodle Dandy, which also featured Walter Catlett.

Rosa Parks (1913-2005) had no intention of becoming famous on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, AL city bus to a white passenger.  But her action triggered the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which in turn became a major catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement of the fifties and sixties in the US.  Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974) became world famous when he made his solo flight from New York to Paris in 1927.  He then had to suffer the tragedy of having an infant son kidnapped and murdered, amplified by having the whole affair almost perpetually in the public eye.  Of his political activities in the years prior to US entry into World War 2, the best that can be said is that he showed very poor judgment.

If today is your birthday, congratulations on sharing your big day with these notable names.  Birthday wishes to everyone celebrating a big day today.  Come back tomorrow for more celebrity birthdays.

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Posted on February 4, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. When I grew up as a kid in the late 70’s and into the 80’s, there were a handful of films that aired repeatedly on 3rd-rate local tv stations (this was way before cable and Netflix took hold, mind you), and Night of the Living Dead was one of them. When I was a kid, Night of the Living Dead absolutely scared me to my core.

    Yet, I kept watching it whenever it would air. There was something about it that appealed to me. Maybe it was because, as afraid as I was of ghosts and other things that knock around in the night, I instinctively knew that zombies were a non-existent thing.

    Romero created an incredibly scary film, and it sure felt real enough when I watched it, but even though it frightened me I knew zombies were not real. There was that buffer zone between frightening and reality, in a way.

    To this day, Night of the Living Dead is still my favorite horror movie of all time. It’s an undeniable classic.

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  2. Rob Corddry, I first remember him from the short-lived FOX series “The Winner”; I kind of liked that show.
    George Romero, he proved adept at the DEAD stuff (I always liked “Dawn of the Dead” the best because of the mall location and concept), but I also like 1988’s “Monkey Shines”.
    Jenette Goldstein, I think she’s quite the chameleon, so it made sense for the T-1000 to briefly take her form in the second Terminator film.
    Patrick Bergin, yeah, that’s how I remember him as, playing villainous characters.
    Natalie Imbruglia, I remember when her 1997 album “Left of the Middle” was big, and that song ‘Torn’ got a lot of airplay.
    Alice Cooper, I especially like the song he did for the 6th Friday the 13th film, “He’s Back (The man Behind The Mask)”.
    Lawrence Taylor, sure, he was a great linebacker, but he also voiced former Vice City Mambas tight end B.J. Smith in “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” (“Hi, I’m B.J. Smith: football player, businessman, and father of eighteen adorable kids”).
    Rosa Parks, goes to show that sometimes people can create change in what is wrong by just being at certain places at certain times.
    Charles A. Lindbergh, he definitely proved he could fly.

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  3. I’m a Daily Show fan. Lots of talented comedians put in time as “correspondents” on that show. I haven’t necessarily followed Rob Corddry’s post TDS projects, but I do see him pop up in stuff from time to time. I enjoyed the first Hot Tub Time Machine. The sequel made me question whether or not I should have.

    As expected, when I hear the name Ida Lupino I think of High Sierra. I was unaware of her status as the only female director on The Twilight Zone. Cool.

    George Romero left an indelible mark on pop culture. The #1 show on cable for the last several years started as a Night of the Living Dead rip-off. Seriously, the comic book was originally intended to use the title Night of the Living Dead because it wasn’t copy-right protected. Image Comics convinced Robert Kirkman to come up with his own title so they could own the trademark. Good call.

    Jenette Goldstein has two excellent supporting roles on her resume. Patrick Bergin had a little moment for himself in the 90’s. So did Gabrielle Anwar. I remember seeing her post-Scent of a Woman in the pretty decent Body Snatchers and the not-decent Three Musketeers both in 1993. I wasn’t aware she had found work on TV these days. Good for her.

    I didn’t know Natalie Imbruglia had an acting career. I just knew that song. Since it’s stuck in my head now, here it is for the rest of you to enjoy.

    Believe it or not, I had never seen that video before. I see why she got into acting.

    Like

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