Born September 28
By: Legacy Staff
9 months ago
Ed Sullivan was one of the stars who shaped television. His long-running variety program, "The Ed Sullivan Show," debuted in 1948, when not even 1 percent of U.S. homes had televisions. By the time his show ended in 1971, Sullivan had helped spark Beatlemania, brought new racial integration to TV, and created one of the most enduring "really big shews" of all time. We remember Sullivan's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1992: Skye McCole Bartusiak, U.S. actress who appeared in movies including "The Patriot" and "Kill Your Darlings," is born in Houston, Texas.
Bartusiak made her acting debut on the television miniseries "Storm of the Century" in 1999 and also had a role on "24" in 2002-2003. She made her film debut in "The Cider House Rules" in 1999 and starred with Michael Douglas in "Don't Say a Word" in 2001. Her most recent movie was "Sick Boy" in 2012. Bartusiak was known best for her role in Gibson's Revolutionary War epic "The Patriot," where she played the daughter of militia leader Benjamin Martin who struggles to speak with her father. Read more
1951: Norton Buffalo, U.S. harmonica player who was a longtime member of the Steve Miller Band, is born in Oakland, California.
1943: J.T. Walsh, U.S. actor who typically played bad guys in movies such as "Good Morning, Vietnam," is born in San Francisco, California.
1939: Elbridge "Al" Bryant, U.S. singer who was a founding member of the Temptations, is born in Thomasville, Georgia.
1938: Ben E. King, U.S. soul singer known best for his song "Stand by Me," and also a former member of the Drifters, is born in Henderson, North Carolina.
Known for his warm smile and trim mustache, King didn't stay long. He left the Drifters in the early '60s because of a dispute over salary and royalties, but quickly found success on his own. He broke through with "Spanish Harlem," co-written by Phil Spector and Jerry Leiber, and sealed his name in music history with "Stand by Me." A reworked gospel number co-written by King, Leiber, and Mike Stoller, "Stand by Me" was a soaring declaration of dependence and devotion, chosen as one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America and added in 2015 to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry. Read more
1937: Rod Roddy, U.S. television announcer who was the longtime announcer for "The Price Is Right," is born in Fort Worth, Texas.
But more than that, we loved his enthusiastic voice as he worked – mostly behind the scenes – on game shows like "Whew!," "Love Connection," "Press Your Luck," and, of course, "The Price Is Right." Roddy was a fixture of the long-running show, occasionally appearing on screen, but mostly just calling the shots from somewhere offstage. Read more
1928: Koko Taylor, U.S. blues singer known as the Queen of the Blues, is born in Millington, Tennessee.
Taylor's career stretched more than five decades. While she did not have widespread mainstream success, she was revered and beloved by blues aficionados, and earned worldwide acclaim for her work, which included the best-selling song "Wang Dang Doodle" and tunes such as "What Kind of Man Is This" and "I Got What It Takes." Taylor appeared on national television numerous times, was the subject of a Public Broadcasting Service documentary, and had a small part in director David Lynch's "Wild at Heart." Read more
1926: Jerry Clower, U.S. country comedian who was a member of the Grand Ole Opry, is born in Liberty, Mississippi.
1924: Marcello Mastroianni, Italian actor whose notable films include "8½" and "La Dolce Vita," is born in Fontana Liri, Italy.
1919: Doris Singleton, U.S. actress who played Carolyn Appleby on "I Love Lucy," is born in New York, New York.
1914: Maria Franziska von Trapp, Austrian-American singer who was a member of the Trapp Family Singers, whose story was dramatized in "The Sound of Music," is born in Zell am See, Austria-Hungary.
Maria von Trapp was the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers made famous in "The Sound of Music." Their story was turned into a Broadway musical in 1959 and a 1965 film, which won the Oscar for best picture. Trapp was portrayed as Louisa in the film and musical. She was the third child and second-oldest daughter of Austrian Naval Capt. Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead von Trapp. Their seven children were the basis for the singing family in the musical and film. Read more
1909: Al Capp, U.S. cartoonist known best for creating the comic strip "Li'l Abner," is born in New Haven, Connecticut.
1901: Ed Sullivan, U.S. television host who presented "The Ed Sullivan Show" from 1948 to 1971, is born in Manhattan, New York.
Critics sometimes poked fun at Sullivan's wooden delivery, stiff body, and tendency to stumble during his intros or to forget the names of the evening's performers. But that awkward facade belied the fact that he was actually very sophisticated. "There were programs like 'The Lawrence Welk Show' that were truly square, featuring 1930s and '40s music and almost exclusively white performers," said author and educator Maurice Berger. "Sullivan was anything but square. His version of the variety program was far more progressive and cutting edge. Of all television variety shows, his booked the broadest range of acts and performers. Even the show's graphic design and stagecraft were cutting edge for its time." Read more
1901: William S. Paly, U.S. broadcaster who founded CBS, is born in Chicago, Illinois.