Tuesday, February 24, 2015
24 February 2014
Winston Bethel b. 1984 (Astronaut Wives Club)
Bonnie Somerville b. 1974 (Spider-Man 2, Bedazzled )
James Bachman b. 1972 (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Hyperdrive)
Ungela Brockman b. 1970 (Mystery Men, Starship Troopers, Babylon 5, From Dusk Till Dawn)
Will McLaughlin b. 1969 (Men in Black 3)
Billy Zane b. 1966 (Winter Dragon, Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard, Ghosts of Goodnight Lane, The Ganzfield Haunting, Leprechaun’s Revenge, Journey to Promethea, Evil in the Time of Heroes, BloodRayne, Charmed, Vlad, The Phantom, Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, Back to the Future I and II, Critters)
Emilio Rivera b. 1961 (The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Spider-Man 3, The X Files)
Beth Broderick b. 1959 (Under the Dome, Lost, Bionic Woman , Supernatural, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Psycho Beach Party, Tales from the Darkside)
Mark Moses b. 1958 (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Race to Space, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Impact)
Helen Shaver b. 1951 (The 4400, Poltergeist: The Legacy, The Craft, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, Amazing Stories, The Amityville Horror, Starship Invasions)
Debra Jo Rupp b. 1951 (From the Earth to the Moon, The Invaders , Death Becomes Her, Big)
Dennis Waterman b. 1948 (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland , Scars of Dracula)
Edward James Olmos b. 1947 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Eureka, The Green Hornet , Battlestar Galactica, Faerie Tale Theatre, Wolfen, Blade Runner)
Barry Bostwick b. 1945 (Supernatural, Lexx, Project: Metalbeast, Aladdin, Deadly Nightmares, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Slither)
Robert A. Silverman b. 1943 (eXistenZ, Waterworld, 984: Prisoner of the Future, Scanners, The Brood)
James Sloyan b. 1940 (Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, The X-Files, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Quantum Leap, Misfits of Science, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Wonder Woman)
James Farentino b. 1938 died 24 January 2012 (Dead and Buried, The Final Countdown)
Jess Conrad b. 1936 (Space: 1999, Konga)
Leslie Carlson b. 1933 died 3 May 2014 (Lost Girl, Plague City: SARS in Toronto, Anonymous Rex, Tribulation Force, Odyssey 5, The X-Files, Highlander, The Girl from Mars, Twilight Zone , War of the Words [TV series], The Fly , The Dead Zone, Videodrome, The Neptune Factor)
John Vernon b. 1932 died 1 February 2005 (Tales from the Crypt, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, War of the Worlds [1988 TV], Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Knight Rider, Automan, Faerie Tale Theatre, The Powers of Matthew Star, The Greatest American Hero, The Invisible Man [1975 TV], The Questor Tapes, The Six Million Dollar Man: Solid Gold Kidnapping, 1984 )
Richard B. Shull b. 1929 died 14 October 1999 (Tales from the Darkside, Splash, Heartbeeps, Holmes and Yo-Yo, Ssssssss, Slither)
Richard Powers b. 1921 died 9 March 1996 (illustrator)
Abe Vigoda b. 1921 (Weird Science [TV], Superboy, Tales from the Darkside, The Stuff, The Bionic Woman, Dark Shadows)
August Derleth b. 1909 died 4 July 1971 (author, The Trail of Cthulhu, the Solar Pons series)
Milton Frome b. 1909 died 21 March 1989 (Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Batman, My Mother the Car, The Addams Family, My Favorite Martian, Visit to a Small Planet, Twilight Zone, Adventures of Superman, The Atomic Kid)
Notes from the birthday list.
The Picture Slot. No disrespect to today's birthday boys and girls, but we have a lot more character actors than A-List movie stars here. Previous Picture Slotters were Edward James Olmos from Battlestar Galactica and an illustration from Richard Powers. I almost went with James Sloyan, an Oh That Guy who has played several different aliens on modern Star Trek series, but instead I went with heroic Barry Bostwick from Rocky Horror Picture Show because damn it, Janet, I still love that movie.
Wait... he's dead AND Canadian? John Vernon is probably still best known as Dean Wormer from Animal House and he died about ten years ago. He was also born in Canada, though his credit list doesn't make that obvious. A more obvious credit list is that of the late Leslie Carlson. Our one living Canadian is Robert A. Silverman and his credit list has several films directed by David Cronenberg, which isn't quite as much of a giveaway as seeing a TV movie called SARS in Toronto.
Wait... Abe Vigoda's alive? And he was in genre productions? 25 years ago when I came back online to stay, I was part of a newsgroup called alt.obituaries. Early on, we would get about one visitor a week asking if Tom Lehrer was still alive. (Answer: Yes then, still yes now.) In more recent years, the most common person to be incorrectly assumed dead is Abe Vigoda, who turns 94 today and good on him. The big surprise for me was how many genre productions he was in.
Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
Prediction: In the year 1995, two thirds of all the manufacturing assets in the United States were owned by just 140 companies. By 2015, after more corporate bloodletting, the number had dropped to 36 companies.
Reality: These numbers are hard to find, but according to the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. manufacturing base adds up to about two trillion dollars and looking at the latest Industry Week list of revenues, the top 36 companies' total revenue is about half that number. Moreover, several of those companies like Apple may be listed as American companies, but much of their manufacturing is actually done in China. Wagar predicted Russia would be allowed in as a full partner into the Club of Capitalist Countries, but missed that it would be China and not Russia to gain the most from the New World Order after the fall of communism.
Never to be Forgotten: Ben Woolf 1980(?)-2015
Ben Woolf, a little person actor who was a regular on American Horror Story, died of injuries sustained from being hit in the head by a passenger side mirror on a passing car. (I am by no means a little person, but as a bicyclist, I have had several scrapes with passenger side mirrors, so this story certainly spooks me.) His age at death is given as 34, but I couldn't find a date of birth online, so I am guessing he was born in 1980. His other credits in genre that weren't direct to video include Dead Kansas and Unlucky Charms.
Best wishes to the family and friends of Ben Woolf, who died much too young in a senseless accident. He is never to be forgotten.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
Another visit from my favorite of the regular predictors in the current line-up, the sensible George Sutherland and his usually too modest predictions about 20th Century Inventions.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!