Monday, August 31, 2015
31 August 2015
Holly Earl b. 1992 (Dracula: The Dark Prince, Doctor Who, My Hero, Red Dwarf)
Ryan Kelley b. 1986 (Teen Wolf, Ben 10:Alien Swarm, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Smallville)
Leo Bill b. 1980 (Doctor Who, Alice in Wonderland, Jekyll, 28 Days Later…)
Shannon Richardson b. 1979 (The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries)
Mike Erwin b. 1978 (The Vampire Diaries, Hulk)
Sara Ramirez b. 1975 (Spider-Man, Star Patrol)
Marc Webb b. 1974 (director, The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2)
Chris Tucker b. 1972 (The Fifth Element, The Meteor Man)
Jason Presson b. 1971 (Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Twilight Zone , Explorers)
Zack Ward b. 1970 (Fallen Cards, Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys, Save the Supers, Warehouse 13, Dollhouse, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Transformers, Lost, Charmed, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Freddy vs. Jason, Sliders, Forever Knight, Maniac Mansion)
Jonathan LaPaglia b. 1969 (Seven Days)
Phina Oruche b. 1969 (Charmed, The Forsaken, FreakyLinks, Restless, Homeboys in Outer Space)
Daniel Bernhardt b. 1965 (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Creature, The Matrix Reloaded, Mortal Kombat: Conquest)
Todd Carty b. 1963 (Krull)
Julie Brown b. 1954 (Wizards of Waverly Place, Alien Avengers II, The Addams Family , Quantum Leap, Earth Girls Are Easy, The Incredible Shrinking Woman)
Dawn Roddenberry b. 1953 (Star Trek)
Lowell Ganz b. 1948 (screenwriter, Robots, Splash)
Roger Dean b. 1944 (artist)
Larry Hankin b. 1940 (Weird Science, Star Trek: Voyager, Lois & Clark, Star Trek: The Next Generation, ALF, Amazing Stories, Faerie Tale Theatre, Doctor Dracula)
Jack Thompson b. 1940 (Man-Thing, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones)
Noble Willingham b. 1931 died 17 January 2004 (Quantum Leap, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Tucker’s Witch, The Howling, Man from Atlantis)
James Coburn b.1928 died 18 November 2002 (Faerie Tale Theatre, Looker, Twilight Zone)
Anthony Bate b. 1927 (Ghost Story, The Guardians, The Champions)
Buddy Hackett b. 1924 died 30 June 2003 (Space Patrol, Scrooged, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm)
Herbert Wise b. 1924 died 5 August 2015 (director, The 10th Kingdom, The Woman in Black)
Ed Grady b. 1923 died 10 December 2012 (Surface, Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, The Handmaid’s Tale, D.A.R.Y.L., Wolfman)
G.D. Spradlin b. 1920 died 24 July 2011 (Dark Skies, Space, The Greatest American Hero)
Richard Basehart b. 1914 died 17 September 1984 (Mr. Merlin, The Island of Dr, Moreau, Time Travelers, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Satan Bug, Twilight Zone)
Frederic March b. 1897 died 14 April 1975(I Married a Witch, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)
Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, it was Richard Basehart - partly because I'm an MST3K freak and Gypsy loved him so - and the artist Roger Dean. The three finalists today were Frederic March from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Julie Brown from Earth Girls Are Easy and the winner, Chris Tucker from The Fifth Element, the only actor in the film who was as loud as the special effects.
2. Spot the Canadian! If I went to four finalists, I would go Whedonverse nerd and chose Zach Ward from the last episodes of Dollhouse. He is Canadian and likely best known from his role as a bully in A Christmas Story.
3. Nepotism FTW. Dawn Roddenberry. No more need be said.
4. The Guys at the Door. Director Herbert Wise died early this month, and if not for that, he would have been the oldest living person on the list but not the Guy at the Door. With him gone, suddenly 1940 is the cut-off year on this list between the living and the dead, and our two Guys at the Door are Australian actor Jack Thompson, whom I first noticed or his role in Breaker Morant, and Larry Hankin, the guy who played Kramer in the show-within-a-show version of Seinfeld. When this demographic oddity occurs, we wish the Guys at the Door a little extra.
5. The crazy extra. Shannon Richardson is a domestic terrorist who was caught by the FBI for sending letters laced with ricin to President Obama and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. She also had minor roles in a few TV shows, but imdb.com gives her name and her picture but does not list her credits. This is odd.
Many happy returns to all the living on the list, especially Jack Thompson and Larry Hankin, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
Prediction: In the early part of the 21st Century, am ultralight airplane will be developed to explore the surface of Mars. Based partly on the U2 spyplanes, it will be capable of flight in Mars' thin atmosphere and will film vast amounts of the red planet's surface.
Reality: Umm... no. No matter how ultralight this thing is, its useful lifetime would be measured in hours, maybe days at the most. If you are going to send something to Mars, more bang for the buck is required.
Horror director Wes Craven died yesterday at the age of 76. He came up making horror films when Hollywood's worst kept secret was that low budget horror films were enormously profitable. Several horror directors from his era, including John Carpenter, David Lynch, Tobe Hooper and of course Craven himself, were given "auteur" status. The film distributors made sure fans knew the name of the director, hoping that they could build a brand with loyal viewers who knew what they wanted, even if reviewers considered the films beneath contempt. It turns out the distributors were right. (Note: Having a successful film with many sequels is not enough to get this treatment. Sean S. Cunningham wrote and directed the first Friday the 13th, but isn't involved in the later big screen versions. His name is not nearly as well known as those of his contemporaries.)
Craven has three great successes attached to his name: The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. Other directorial credits include Vampire in Brooklyn, New Nightmare, The People Under the Stairs, Shocker, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The Twilight Zone [1985-6], Deadly Friend and Swamp Thing.
The outpouring of affection for Craven on Twitter was not unlike the love shown for Roddy Piper. My favorite tweet was from John Hodgman, who wrote:
I met Wes Craven in Chicago in 2012 and he could not have been less terrifying. I miss him.
As Vincent Price said, the goal is not to be remembered, but instead to be missed. For Mr. Craven... achievement unlocked.
Best wishes to the family and friends of Wes Craven from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
A new month, a new splash illustration, birthdays and predictions galore.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!