Saturday, August 27, 2011


Born Susan Ker Weld in New York City on August 27, 1943, actress Tuesday Weld is 68 years old today.


Born Barbara Goldbach in Queens, New York, on August 27, 1947, actress Barbara Bach turns 64 years old today.

Billy Barty
(October 15, 1924 - December 23, 2000)

Character actor Billy Barty made many film appearances from 1931 on, most often cast as bratty children due to his height. He was a peripheral member of an Our Gang rip-off in the Mickey McGuire comedy shorts, portrayed the infant-turned-pig in "Alice in Wonderland" in 1933, did a turn in blackface as a shrunken Eddie Cantor in "Roman Scandals" in 1933, and he frequently popped up as a lasciviously leering baby in the risqué musical highlights of Busby Berkeley's Warner Brothers films. One of Barty's most celebrated cinema moments occurred in 1937's "Nothing Sacred" in which, playing a small boy, he pops up out of nowhere to bite Fredric March in the leg. Barty was busy but virtually anonymous in films since he seldom received screen credit. TV audiences began to connect his name with his face in the 1950s when Barty was featured on various variety series hosted by bandleader Spike Jones. Disdainful of certain professional "little people" who rely on size alone to get laughs, Barty was seen at his very best on the Jones programs, dancing, singing, and delivering dead-on impressions: the diminutive actor's takeoff on Liberace was almost unbearably funny. Though he was willing to poke fun at himself on camera, Barty was fiercely opposed to TV and film producers who exploited midgets and dwarves and as he continued his career into the 1970s and 80s, Barty saw to it that his own roles were devoid of patronization; in fact, he often secured parts that could have been portrayed by so-called normal actors, proof that one's stature has little to do with one's talent. One of his most memorable roles was that of a Bible salesman who Goldie Hawn mistakes for a killer in "Foul Play" in 1978. A two-fisted advocate of equitable treatment of short actors, Billy Barty took time away from his many roles in movies and TV to maintain his support organization The Little People of America and the Billy Barty Foundation. Billy Barty died in December 2000 of heart failure at age 76.

Denver Pyle
(May 11, 1920 - December 25, 1997)

Had he been born a decade earlier, character actor Denver Pyle might well have joined the ranks of western-movie comedy sidekicks. Instead, Pyle, a Colorado farm boy, opted for studying law, working his way through school by playing drums in a dance band. Suddenly one day, Pyle became disenchanted with law and returned to his family farm with no idea what he wanted to do with his life. Working in the oil fields of Oklahoma, he moved on to the shrimp boats of Galveston, Texas. A short stint as a page at NBC radio studios in 1940 didn't immediately lead to a showbiz career as it has for so many others; instead, Pyle was inspired to perform by a mute oilfield coworker who was able to convey his thought with body language. Studying under such masters as Michael Chekhov and Maria Ouspenskaya, Pyle was able to achieve small movie and TV roles. He worked frequently on the western series of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry; not yet bearded and grizzled, Pyle was often seen as deputies, farmers, and cattle rustlers. When his hair turned prematurely grey in his early 30s, Pyle graduated to banker, sheriff, and judge roles in theatrical westerns. He also was a regular on two TV series, "Code 3" in 1956 and "Tammy" in 1966. On television he played Briscoe Darling, the head of the Darling clan, on "The Andy Griffith Show." But his real breakthrough role didn't happen until 1967, when Pyle was cast as the Texas Ranger in "Bonnie and Clyde" who is kidnapped and humilated by the robbers and then shows up at the end of the film to supervise the bloody machine-gun deaths of Bonnie and Clyde. From this point forward, Denver Pyle's roles were vastly improved - and his screen image was softened and humanized by a full, bushy beard. Returning to TV, Pyle played the Doris Day's father on "The Doris Day Show" ; was Mad Jack, the costar/narrator of "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams"; and spent six years as Uncle Jesse Duke on "The Dukes of Hazzard". Looking stockier but otherwise unchanged, Denver Pyle was briefly seen in the 1994 hit "Maverick", playing an elegantly dishonest cardsharp who jauntily doffs his hat as he's dumped off of a riverboat. Denver Pyle died of lung cancer in 1997 at age 77.

Dabbs Greer
(April 2, 1917 - April 28, 2007)

One of the most prolific character actors, Dabbs Greer played small-town doctors, bankers, merchants, druggists, mayors, and ministers most of his career. His purse-lipped countenance and Midwestern twang was equally effective in taciturn villainous roles. Essentially a bit player in films of the 1950s, Greer was given more screen time than usual as a New York detective in "House of Wax", while his surface normality served as excellent contrast to the extraterrestrial goings-on in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". A television actor since the dawn of the TV era, Greer has shown up in hundreds of TV supporting roles, including the "origin" episode of the original Superman series in which he played the dangling dirigible worker rescued in mid-air by the Man of Steel. Greer also played the recurring roles of storekeeper Mr. Jones on "Gunsmoke" from 1955 to 1960 and Reverend Alden on "Little House on the Prairie" from 1974 to 1983. Showing no signs of slowing down, Dabbs Greer continued accepting roles in such films as "Two Moon Junction", "Pacific Heights", and "Green Mile". He died following a battle with kidney and heart disease, on April 28, 2007, not quite a month after his 90th birthday.

Dub Taylor
(February 26, 1907 - October 3, 1994)

Character actor Dub Taylor was the personification of grizzled old western characters. Prior to becoming a movie actor, Taylor played the harmonica and xylophone in vaudeville. He used his musical ability to make his film debut as the zany Ed Carmichael in Frank Capra's "You Can't Take it With You" in 1938. He next appeared in a small role in the musical "Carefree" and then began a long stint as a comical B-western sidekick for some of Hollywood's most enduring cowboy heroes. During the 1950s he became a part of "The Roy Rogers Show" on television. About that time, he also began to branch out and appear in different film genres ranging from comedies such as "No time for Sergeants" to crime dramas such as "Crime Wave". He has also played on many TV series including "The Andy Griffith Show". One of his most memorable feature film roles was as the man who turned in the outlaws in "Bonnie and Clyde".

Norma Varden
(January 20, 1908 - January 19, 1989)

The daughter of a retired sea captain, British actress Norma Varden was a piano prodigy. After studying in Paris she played concerts into her teens but at last decided that this was be an uncertain method of making a living--so she went to the security of acting. In her first stage appearance in "Peter Pan", Varden, not yet twenty, portrayed the adult role of Mrs. Darling, setting the standard for her subsequent stage and film work; too tall and mature-looking for ingenues, she would enjoy a long career in character roles. Bored with dramatic assignments, Varden gave comedy a try at the famous Aldwych Theatre, where from 1929 through 1933 she was resident character comedienne in the theatre's well-received marital farces. After her talkie debut in the comedy "A Night Like This" in 1930, she remained busy on the British film scene for over a decade. Moving to Hollywood in 1941, she found that the typecasting system frequently precluded large roles. Though she was well served as Robert Benchley's wife in "The Major and the Minor" her next assignment was the unbilled role of a pickpocket victim's wife in "Casablanca". Her work encompassed radio as well as films for the rest of the decade; in nearly all her assignments Norma played a haughty British or New York aristocrat who looked down with disdain at the commoners. By the 1950s, she was enjoying such sizable parts as the society lady who is nearly strangled by Robert Walker in "Strangers on a Train", the bejeweled wife of Charles Coburn in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", George Sanders' dragon-like mother in "Jupiter's Darling", and the Von Trapps' housekeeper in "The Sound of Music". After countless television and film roles, Norma Varden retired in 1972, spending most of her time thereafter as a spokesperson for the Screen Actors

Eugene Roche
(September 22, 1928 - July 28, 2004)

Balding, slightly paunchy, with an open, jovial face, character actor Eugene Roche made a name for himself in a project which gave him no on-screen billing: the friendly kitchen employee who sang the brief "Ajax for dishes" ditty in a series of detergent commercials. Roche's breakthrough film was "Slaughterhouse Five" in 1971, in which he played the likable POW Edgar Derby whose fascination with war souvenirs results in his perfunctory execution at the hands of his German captors. Not all of Roche's film roles were this benign: in "Foul Play" in 1978 he is a professional assassin who impersonates his murdered archbishop brother, the better to draw a bead on the Pope during an American visit. A reassuringly familiar presence on TV, Eugene Roche also had regular roles on several series, including "The Corner Bar" (1972), "Good Time Harry" (1980), "Webster" (1984), "Take Five" (1987) and "Lenny" (1990).

John Marley
(January 1, 1907 - May 22, 1984)

John Marley's craggy face, cement-mixer voice and shock of white hair were familiar to stagegoers from the 1930s onward. Marley started out as one-half of a comedy team but soon found that his true metier was drama. In films on an infrequent basis since 1941, Marley stepped up his moviemaking activities in the mid-1960s, playing such sizable roles as Jane Fonda's father in "Cat Ballou" in 1965. He won a Venice Film Festival award for his performance as a miserable middle-aged husband in John Cassavetes' "Faces" in 1968 and was Oscar-nominated for his portrayal of Ali MacGraw's blue-collar father in "Love Story". Marley's most unforgettable role was in "The Godfather" in 1972 in which, as movie mogul Lou Woltz, he wakes up to find himself sharing his bed with a horse's head.

Anne Haney
March 4, 1934 - May 26, 2001)

Though she got her start in films late in life, Anne Haney would go on to become a dependable character actress with a strong reputation and a healthy sense of humor. Born in 1934 in Memphis, Tennessee, she studied radio, drama, and television at the University of North Carolina before marrying Georgia Public Television executive John Haley. Soon raising a daughter and devoting herself to family life, Haney began to seek work in the local theater in the 1970s, touring with Noel Coward's Fallen Angels and joining the Screen Actors Guild in preparation for her family's post-retirement move to Southern California. Her plans sadly stifled by her husband's death in 1980, with her daughter in college Haney was on her own for her Westward voyage, though soon after arriving she got an agent and a role in "Hopscotch" in 1980. Alternating between stage and screen for the duration of her Hollywood career, Haney gained over 50 credits with her frequent appearances in television and film. With memorable roles in such films as "Liar Liar" and "Mrs. Doubtfire", in addition to her appearances on "Matlock", "L.A. Law", "The Geena Davis Show", and "Ally McBeal", Haney's likeable personality proved both enduring and endearing. On May 26, 2001, Anne Haney died of natural causes in Studio City, California, at age 67.

Ruth McDevitt
April 13, 1895 - May 27, 1976)

Ruth Shoecraft was born in Michigan in 1895 and raised in Ohio, where her father served as a county sheriff. At 20, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts but put her theatrical aspirations on the back burner when she married a Florida widower named Patrick John McDevitt. When her husband died in 1934, she returned to the stage as Ruth McDevitt, first in community theatre, then on Broadway and in radio. She made her first film in 1951, but for the most part steered clear of Hollywood, preferring to appear in such Manhattan-based plays as "The Solid Gold Cadillac", "Picnic", and "The Best Man". McDevitt's entree into weekly television was on the classic early-1950s sitcom "Mr. Peepers", in which she played Wally Cox's mother. Her next series stint was as rifle-wielding Grandma Hanks in the short-lived 1967 western comedy "Pistols and Petticoats". During the 1960s, she returned to films, usually playing a dotty little old lady with more on the ball than people suspected. Still going strong in the early 1970s, she played recurring roles on the TV series "All in the Family" and "Kolchak". Ruth McDevitt made her last appearance at age 80 in the made-for-TV feature "One of My Wives is Missing" in 1976.

Keenan Wynn
(July 27, 1916 - October 14, 1986)

Character actor Keenan Wynn was the son of legendary comedian Ed Wynn. After attending St. John's Military Academy, Wynn obtained his few professional theatrical jobs with the Maine Stock Company. Wynn developed into a fine comic and dramatic actor on his own in several Broadway plays and on radio. He was signed to an MGM contract in 1942, scoring a personal and professional success as the sarcastic sergeant in 1944's "See Here Private Hargrove" in 1944. Wynn's newfound popularity as a supporting actor aroused a bit of jealousy from his father, who underwent professional doldrums in the 1940s; father and son grew closer in the 1950s when Ed, launching a second career as a dramatic actor, often turned to his son for moral support and professional advice. Wynn's film career flourished into the 1960s and 1970s, during which time he frequently appeared in such Disney films as "The Absent-Minded Professor" and "The Love Bug" as apoplectic villain Alonso Hawk. Wynn also starred in such TV series as "Troubleshooters" and "Dallas". Encroaching deafness and a drinking problem plagued Wynn in his final years, but he always delivered the goods onscreen.

Chained (1934)
Somewhere I'll Find You (1942)
Northwest Rangers (1942)
For Me and My Gal (1942)
See Here, Private Hargrove (1944)
Since You Went Away (1944)
Marriage Is a Private Affair (1944)
Between Two Women (1944)
Lost Angel (1944)
Without Love (1945)
What Next, Corporal Hargrove? (1945)
Weekend at the Waldorf (1945)
The Clock (1945)
The Cockeyed Miracle (1946)
No Leave, No Love (1946)
The Thrill of Brazil (1946)
Easy to Wed (1946)
Song of the Thin Man (1947)
The Hucksters (1947)
The Three Musketeers (1948)
My Dear Secretary (1948)
B.F.'s Daughter (1948)
Neptune's Daughter (1949)
That Midnight Kiss (1949)
Three Little Words (1950)
It's a Big Country (1950)
Love That Brute (1950)
Annie Get Your Gun (1950)
Royal Wedding (1951)
Texas Carnival (1951)
Mr. Imperium (1951)
Angels in the Outfield (1951)
Kind Lady (1951)
Sky Full of Moon (1952)
Phone Call from a Stranger (1952)
The Belle of New York (1952)
Holiday for Sinners (1952)
Desperate Search (1952)
Fearless Fagan (1952)
Kiss Me Kate (1953)
Battle Circus (1953)
Code Two (1953)
All the Brothers Were Valiant (1953)
The Long, Long Trailer (1954)
Tennessee Champ (1954)
Men of the Fighting Lady (1954)
The Glass Slipper (1955)
The Marauders (1955)
Shack out on 101 (1955)
Darkness At Noon (1955)
Running Wild (1955)
The Naked Hills (1956)
The Great Man (1956)
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)
Requiem for a Heavyweight (1956)
Johnny Concho (1956)
The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown (1957)
Joe Butterfly (1957
Don't Go Near the Water (1957
The Perfect Furlough (1958)
Touch of Evil (1958)
The Deep Six (1958)
A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958)
That Kind of Woman (1959)
A Hole in the Head (1959
The Bay of Saint Michel (1960)
The Crowded Sky (1960)
The Absent-Minded Professor (1961)
The Power and the Glory (1961)
Black City (1961)
The Losers (1963)
Son of Flubber (1963)
Duello nel Texas (1963)
Nightmare in the Sun (1964)
Promise Her Anything (1964)
the Americanization of Emily (1964)
The Patsy (1964)
Stage to Thunder Rock (1964)
Man in the Middle (1964)
Bikini Beach (1964)
Honeymoon Hotel (1964)
Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
The Great Race (1965)
Around the World under the Sea (1965)
Stagecoach (1966)
The Night of the Grizzly (1966)
Point Blank (1967)
Run Like a Thief (1967)
Welcome to Hard Times (1967)
Warning Shot (1967)
The War Wagon (1967)
Quella carogna dell'ispettore Sterling (1968)
The Longest Hunt (1968)
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Frame-Up (1968)
Finian's Rainbow (1968)
The Monitors (1969)
Viva Max! (1969)
Young Lawyers (1969)
Smith! (1969)
Love-In at Ground Zero (1969)
80 Steps to Jonah (1969)
MacKenna's Gold (1969)
A Hard Case of the Blues (1969)
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (1970)
The House on Greenapple Road (1970)
Loving (1970)
Horror House (1970)
Terror in the Sky (1971)
The Man with the Icy Eyes (1971)
The Manipulator (1971)
Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971)
Assault on the Wayne (1971)
Five Savage Men (1971)
B.J. Lang Presents (1971)
Cannon (1971)
The Mechanic (1972)
Snowball Express (1972)
Wild in the Sky (1972)
Cancel My Reservation (1972)
Assignment: Munich (1972)
Night Train to Terror (1973)
The Internecine Project (1973)
Hijack (1973)
The Legend of Earl Durand (1974)
Hit Lady (1974)
Herbie Rides Again (1974)
The Demon and the Mummy (1975)
The Man Who Would Not Die (1975)
Target Risk (1975)
The Devil's Rain (1975)
A Woman for All Men (1975)
Nashville (1975)
He Is My Brother (1975)
The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case (1976)
The Longest Drive (1976)
The Shaggy D.A. (1976)
The Killer Inside Me (1976)
20 Shades of Pink (1976)
High Velocity (1976)
Sex and the Married Woman (1976)
Orca (1977)
Mission to Glory: A True Story (1977)
Memories in My Mind (1977)
The Glove (1978)
The Lucifer Complex (1978)
Piranha (1978)
The Bastard (1978)
Monster (1978)
Laserblast (1978)
Coach (1978)
Sunburn (1979)
The Treasure Seekers (1979)
The Billion Dollar Threat (1979)
The Dark (1979)
Jamaican Gold (1979)
Mid-Knight Rider (1979)
Hollywood Knights (1979)
Just Tell Me What You Want (1980)
Mom, the Wolfman and Me (1980)
The Monkey Mission (1981)
The Last Unicorn (1982)
Best Friends (1982)
The Capture of Grizzly Adams (1982)
A Piano for Mrs. Cimino (1982)
The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1983)
Wavelength (1983)
Hysterical (1983)
Prime Risk (1984)
Call to Glory (1984)
Mirrors (1985)
Dalton (1985)
Code of Vengeance (1985)
Hyper-Sapien: People from Another Star (1986)
Black Moon Rising (1986)
The Last Precinct (1986)