Happy Birthday, Chris Farley!


Christopher Crosby Farley (February 15, 1964 - December 18, 1997) was an American comedian and actor, best known for his five years as a cast member on Saturday Night Live (1990 - 1995). Farley became popular through the Improv Olympic and Second City Theaters in Chicago. It was here that he would meet Lorne Michaels, who would bring him to stardom. Farley's comic style was loud, energetic and shameless. Many of his characters are well remembered today. Farley suffered with problems of obesity and drug abuse throughout his career. The latter would eventually be his demise and he died from the same cause as his comedy idol John Belushi. Chris Farley's legacy lives on through a star on Hollywood Boulevard, through his comedy peers and through the countless fans he inspired.

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Happy Birthday, Mia Farrow!


Mia Farrow (born February 9th, 1945) is an American film actress, humanitarian, political activist and mother of fifteen children, both biological and adopted. Farrow starred in many great roles over the course of her life. These included Rosemary's Baby (1968), Secret Ceremony (1968), John and Mary (1969), Follow Me (1972), The Great Gatsby (1974), The Omen (2006), Be Kind Rewind (2008) and Luc Besson's Arthur Series (2006-2010). Farrow was in a relationship with film director Woody Allen for several years, during which she was a star in many of his films. These credits include Zelig (1983), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Radio Days (1987) and Alice (1990). She is a Goodwill Ambassador at UNICEF and a firm believer in children's rights. As well as this, Farrow campaigned for "Dream for Darfur", narrated a documentary about Rwandan genocide and testified against the former Liberian President. Farrow's involvement with countless charities and campaigns has led her to be named as one of the world's most influential people.

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Tuesday, 29 January 2013 20:17

Bill Plympton: The Art of Independence

Growing up, Bill Plympton dreamed of someday working for Disney. After his animated film, Your Face, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1987, Disney offered him a million dollars to animate the genie in Aladdin. Plympton said no. Disney wanted ownership of all his work and Plympton wasn't willing to give that up. Plympton has remained independent ever since.

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Happy Birthday Gene Hackman!


Eugene Allen "Gene" Hackman, born January 30th, 1930 is an American film actor known for appearing in a wide spectrum of genres. Some of Hackman's most recognized roles are from the films The French Connection (1971), The Conversation (1974), Superman: The Movie (1978), Get Shorty (1995), Enemy of the State (1998) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). Between his first appearance in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and his retirement in 2008, Gene Hackman won two Oscars and another thirty-four awards, making him one of Hollywood's most prominent stars.

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Happy Birthday, Danny Kaye!


danny-kaye-publicity-shot-for-the-kid-from-brooklyn-samuel-goldwyn-productions-1946Danny Kaye (January 18, 1913 - March 3, 1987) was a popular American comedian, actor, singer and dancer. Kaye appeared in seventeen films, some of the most well-known being: The Kid From Brooklyn (1946), The Inspector General (1949), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), White Christmas (1954) and The Court Jester (1956). Kaye's comedic talents were highlighted by his physical comedy, pantomime and nonsense songs, many of which were written by his wife and lyricist Sylvia Fine, whom he met while starring in Broadway show The Straw Hat Revue. 

Danny Kaye was the first ambassador-at-large of UNICEF and worked with the organization for many years, eventually receiving the French Legion of Honor for his dedication. 

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andy-kaufmanHappy Birthday Andy Kaufman!

Andrew Geoffrey Kaufman (January 17, 1949 – May 16, 1984) was an American entertainer and actor. Although he is often referred to as a comedian, Kaufman considered himself a "song and dance man." Kaufman is best remembered for his portrayal of the "Foreign Man," who would perform inept and incomprehensible impressions of Americans celebrities--and then do a dead-on impression of Elvis. Kaufman appeared on the first episode of Saturday Night Live, where he performed the theme to "Mighty Mouse" (see the video below) and later developed the recurring role of Latka Gravas on Taxi. Kaufman hadn't been considered for the show until the producers of Taxi saw Andy's Foreign Man, at which point they wrote a part for him. In order to allow Kaufman to exercise his comedic range on the show, Latka was given multiple personality disorder, and Kaufman was able to randomly portray different characters. Throughout his life, Kaufman was known for blurring the boundaries in his performances between truth and fiction, and audience and stage. For instance, even after establishing himself as a performer and entertainer, Kaufman once appeared on The Dating Game under an assumed name as a supposedly real contestant, and once appeared on The David Letterman Show claiming to be homeless man with adopted children.

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Happy Birthday, Graham Chapman!

chapman1Graham Arthur Chapman (January 8, 1941–October 4, 1989) was an English comedian, writer, actor, and a member of Monty Python. Although he earned a degree in medicine, Chapman's brush with the Footlights at Cambridge proved much more influential on his career.

After graduation, Chapman began writing for television, including stints on The Week That Was, Doctor, and This Is Petula Clark. Chapman and fellow future Python member John Cleese began writing for the BBC during the 1960s for David Frost and Marty Feldman. 

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Happy Birthday Danny Thomas!


Danny Thomas (January 6, 1912 – February 6, 1991) was an American comedian and television and film actor, and later producer, who is best remembered for for his starring role on the sitcom Make Room for Daddy, later known as The Danny Thomas Show. His acting career spanned five decades, and he later went to produce such shows as The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Mod Squad. As a producer, Thomas was responsible for actress Mary Tyler Moore's first major role on television, personally recommending "the girl with three names" to Carl Reiner for The Dick Van Dyke Show. Thomas was the founder of the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. 

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"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex. Except for salami and eggs. Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced."

Happy Birthday, Alan King!

alankingIriwn Alan Kniberg (December 26, 1927 – May 9, 2004) was an American comedian and actor best known for his sharp wit and humorous rants. King's comedy and writing career often drew inspiration from his Jewish identity, and much of his autobiographic work pays homage to his culture and his love of Jewish food. As a young man, King worked in Canada in a burlesque house while also boxing professionally. He won twenty straight fights before losing, at which point he decided to leave boxing and focus on comedy. He began working as the doorman at the nightclub Leon and Eddie's while performing comedy under the last name of the boxer who beat him, "King".

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Happy Birthday, Eugene Levy!


Eugene Levy (December 17, 1946) is a Canadian actor and writer who is known for his many comedic roles. Levy is an alumnus of the The Second City, Toronto, as well as the sketch comedy series, Second City Television. Levy frequently collaborates with fellow screenwriter and comedian Christopher Guest, and is frequently seen in Guest's mockumentary films, including Best in Show and A Mighty Wind. The actor turns 66 today. 

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