Monday, November 10, 2008

November 10th Birthdays


I hadn't intended on actually doing a blog about today's birthdays; confession time - birthdays are my fall back when I can't think of anything else to write about (unless of course it's the birthday of a Pop Culture Icon). Nevertheless, the shear number of famous people born today makes it impossible for me not to make note of it:

Winston Churchill - my favorite British Prime Minister

Claude Rains - Diminutive, one-eyed English actor.

Mabel Normand - Silent movie comedy star who's affair with silent movie director Mack Sennett is the stuff of legend (at least it is among silent movie buffs).

Billy May - composer, arranger and musician responsible for some of Sinatra's best recordings

Russell Johnson - Professor Roy Hinkley of Gilligan's Island fame, of course. Here's something I didn't know - Johnson is a real life war hero. As a WWII Bombardier he flew 44 combat missions, was shot down, earned a Purple Heart and an assortment of other Medals.

Richard Burton - Welsh stage and file actor. Random Richard Burton facts: He married Elizabeth Taylor twice; he was nominated 7 times for an Academy Award and never won (making him second behind Peter O'Toole in that dubious category). In 1974 he was permanently banned from BBC productions for questioning the sanity of Winston Churchill and other British leaders during WWII. He was an insomniac and alcoholic.

Roy Scheider - American actor (Jaws, The French Connection, All That Jazz).

Kyu Sakamoto - Japanese singer who's 1963 hit Sukiyaki was Number 1 on the Billboard Pop Charts for three weeks (the first and only song sung entirely in Japanese to do so).

Saxby Chambliss - current senior U.S. Senator from Georgia. Last week, he was up for re-election and since all of the candidates received less than 50% of the vote, a special run-off election is going to be held in December.

Tim Rice - Award-winning English lyricist (his work includes Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Chess, Aladdin and The Lion King).

Donna Fargo - American Country music singer best known for such sappy hits as The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA and Funny Face.

Vincent Schiavelli - American actor whose work includes the role of Mr. Vargas the science teacher from Fast Times at Ridgemont High and the Subway Spirit in Ghost.

Ann Reinking - American actress, dancer and choreographer (and one-time muse to Bob Fosse).

Sinbad - American actor and comedian, born David Adkins. He was named Worst Comedian in History by Maxim Magazine, but also was ranked 78th on Comedy Central's list of 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians. He also made California's list of Top 250 Delinquent Tax Payers (coming in at a whopping $2,100,000!)

Mackenzie Phillips - American actress (One Day at a Time) and daughter of Mamas and Papas founder John Phillips. Mckenzie Phillips fun fact: Scott Mackenzie who's 1967 hit San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) became a hippie anthem in the Summer of Love, was born Philip Blondheim; he borrowed his stage name in part from Mackenzie Phillips.

Neil Gaiman - English author of comics, graphic novels, screenplays and novels (Sandman, Neverwhere, American Gods, Good Omens, Stardust...)

Tracy Morgan - American actor and comedian (SNL, The Tracy Morgan Show, 30 Rock).

Ellen Pompeo -American actress, star of the medical drama Grey's Anatomy.

Warren G - American rapper.

Brittany Murphy - American actress (Sin City; Clueless; Girl, Interrupted; Happy Feet).

Check out the list of people who died on November 10:

Norman Mailer - American novelist, essayist etc etc. I've never read any of Mailer's works from start to finish. The last time I tried was with his 1983 novel Ancient Evenings (I think it was the scene where a young girl performs fellatio on her grandfather that turned me off)

Jack Palance - Rugged, American movie actor known for his tough guy roles (and for the one-handed push ups he performed at the age of 73 as part of his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor during the 1992 Oscars).

Diana Coupland - British actress best known to fans of British comedy as Jean Abbott on Bless This House.

Ken Kesey - American author (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Counter Culture figure, and Merry Prankster.

Carmen McRae - Multiple Grammy-winning Jazz singer, composer, pianist and actress.

Chuck Connors - American actor and athlete best remembered for his starring role in the TV Westerns The Rifleman and Branded. My personal favorite Chuck Connors role was the appearance he made on The Adventures of Superman; he played a character named Sylvester J. Superman.

Leonid Brezhned - Leader of the USSR who helped usher in the era of detente.

Jimmy Dodd - MC of the 1950's TV Classic The Mickey Mouse Club.


  1. We have a friend ( your post about Jimmy Dodd which reminded me of this ) who insists that he once had a rmonatic tryst with Cubby from the Mouseketeers. This is odd enough,obscure enough and just plain disturbing enough that I cannot fathom anyone would be desperate enmough to make this up. Happily I am short of the gory details and wish to keep it this way.

    I believe I have shared the sad story of Scott MacKenzie before. Goring up, my mother's best friend had 2 sons, one of which is indeed named Scott Mackenzie. When the song came out and my sisters played it incessantly to the constant anger of my father, I oicked it up one day. I was surprised to see that it was performed by what I assumed to be one of our neighbors. Evil rat bastards that my family are, they let me believe this for years and at one point in time even enlisted the ersatz pseudo Scott to go along with the whole story.

    And people wonder why I turned out the way I did .............

  2. You have so many stories I should do a blog about them. I seem to recall one involving prank phone calls to David Cassidy and another involving General Patton pissing in a river (or a photo of Patton pissing in a river). Also - aren't you related to Ownie Maddon?

  3. 1) You are sorta correct - - it was a deranged co worker who tried to crash through the gates of a Sean Cassidy concert at the time he was in the Hardy BOys in a yellow Pontiac with " Die Hard On Boys" written on the side.
    2) Yup - - the Patton pissing in the river picture was a treasured kee[psake of my grandfather
    3) Owney Madden was my fathers relative and in fact is what my oldest sister calls my oldest son. Its an odd family thang ...