James Coburn won an Academy Award for his performance as Glen Whitehouse in “Affliction,” and though it was his only Oscar, it was far from his only fantastic performance. Tall, lanky and as cool as they come, Coburn also shined in films including “The Magnificent Seven” and “The Great Escape.” His James Bond parody “Our Man Flint” was slick and funny, while in “Duck, You Sucker!” he was able to work with the great Western director Sergio Leone. In his personal life, Coburn was a lover of fast cars who owned several Ferraris as well as a super-rare Spyder. We remember Coburn’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1960: Chris Whitley, U.S. singer-songwriter and guitarist whose songs include “Big Sky Country” and “Living With the Law,” is born in Houston, Texas.
1945: Bob Welch, U.S. singer and guitarist who was a former member of Fleetwood Mac and had solo hits including “Sentimental Lady,” is born in Los Angeles, California.
Fleetwood Mac’s career took off in the mid-1970s after Welch left the band. “Dreams” was a No. 1 hit in 1977 and “Don’t Stop” the same year. It later became the anthem for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. “Hold Me” was a hit in 1982 and “Little Lies” in 1987. Welch, a native of Los Angeles, scored his biggest hit with “Sentimental Lady,” which reached No. 8 on the Billboard chart. His other singles included “Precious Love” in 1979 and “Hot Love, Cold World” in 1978. When Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, Welch was not included in the group. Read more
1935: Eldridge Cleaver, U.S. activist and author who was a leader of the Black Panther Party and wrote the well-known memoir “Soul on Ice,” is born in Wabbaseka, Arkansas.
1928: James Coburn, U.S. actor known for roles in movies including “Our Man Flint” and “The Great Escape,” is born in Laurel, Nebraska.
In Westerns, war flicks, and other action pics, he played many a tough guy – but he was no thug. Andy Garcia nailed it when he called Coburn “the personification of class, the hippest of the hip.” How did Coburn mesh tough and cool? Read more
1924: Buddy Hackett, U.S. actor and comedian whose notable films include “The Love Bug” and “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” is born in Brooklyn, New York.
Hackett got his start as a stand-up comedian, performing in upstate New York’s borscht circuit nightclubs before he was even out of high school. His success there led him down to the big city, where he performed in bigger and more famous clubs, and even on Broadway. TV roles followed, with an early starring role on “Stanley,” one of the last live TV sitcoms. The show was also notable for featuring a young Carol Burnett as the girlfriend of Hackett’s character. Hackett’s work on TV – including regular appearances on “The Hollywood Squares” and frequent guest spots on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson“ – led to movie roles. Read more
1905: Sanford Meisner, U.S. actor and acting teacher known for developing the Meisner technique, is born in New York, New York.
1897: Fredric March, U.S. actor who won Academy awards for his performances in “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and “The Best Years of Our Lives,” is born in Racine, Wisconsin.
1870: Maria Montessori, Italian physician and teacher who created the Montessori method of education, is born in Chiaravalle, Italy.