Charles Nelson Reilly was an icon of game shows during their heyday in the 1970s and ’80s. We remember the life of Reilly today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Charles Nelson Reilly was an icon of game shows during their heyday in the 1970s and ’80s. He fired off the jokes on the popular Password and Match Game. He also added his comedic talents on television, appearing on Designing Women and The Drew Carey Show. We remember the life of Reilly today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1950: Bob Forsch, U.S. Major League Baseball pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros, is born in Sacramento, California.
Forsch, a 6-foot-4 right-hander known for clutch performances in crucial games, played on three World Series teams in the 1980s under Whitey Herzog, and one of his three career postseason victories came against the Milwaukee Brewers in the Cardinals’ 1982 World Series championship, according to Forsch’s 2011 obituary by The Associated Press. Forsch won 20 games in 1977 and twice was a 15-game winner, and had a career record of 168-136 with a 3.76 ERA. Forsch was an accomplished hitter, too, with a .213 career average and 12 home runs. Read more
1949: Brandon Tartikoff, U.S. television executive who turned around NBC’s poor prime-time performance by introducing shows including The Cosby Show, Miami Vice and Knight Rider, is born in Freeport, New York.
1931: Charles Nelson Reilly, U.S. actor and comedian known best as a regular panelist on game shows including Match Game, is born in the South Bronx, New York.
After moving to Hollywood in the 1960s, he appeared as the nervous Claymore Gregg on TV’s The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and as a featured guest on The Dean Martin Show, according to his 2007 obituary by The Associated Press. He gained fame by becoming what he described as a “game show fixture” in the 1970s and ’80s. He was a regular on programs such as Match Game and Hollywood Squares, often wearing giant glasses and colorful suits with ascots. His larger-than-life persona and affinity for double-entendres also landed him on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson more than 95 times. Read more
1931: Ian Hendry, English actor who starred on TV’s The Avengers, is born in Ipswich, England.
1929: Joe Pass, U.S. jazz guitarist considered one of the greatest of his day, is born in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
His big break was his album Virtuoso. Signed by producer and Verve Records founder Norman Granz in 1970, Pass was encouraged to record without accompaniment, releasing an album of jazz standards in which he took on melody, bass lines and solos, all with a single instrument. In so doing, he finally showed the world at large his singular ability. The album broke the top-20 Billboard jazz charts and is now considered to be one of the most influential jazz guitar recordings in history. Armed with a keen harmonic sense and a wealth of techniques that included abandoning picks for fingerstyle plucking, Pass showed that, with the virtuosity the album’s title unapologetically proclaimed, the guitar could be a jazz solo instrument as worthy as the piano. Read more
1927: Brock Adams, U.S. politician who served as a U.S. representative and senator from Washington, as well as secretary of transportation, is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
1926: Michael Bond, English author who created the Paddington Bear character beloved by generations of children the world over, is born in Newbury, England.
1925: Gwen Verdon, U.S. actress and dancer who won four Tony awards for roles including Lola in Damn Yankees, and the wife and collaborator of choreographer Bob Fosse, is born in Culver City, California.
1919: Robert Stack, U.S. actor known best for his starring role on TV’s The Untouchables and as the host of Unsolved Mysteries, is born in Los Angeles, California.
1905: Kay Francis, U.S. actress who was the highest-paid U.S. film actress in the early 1930s, is born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
1901: A.B. Guthrie Jr., U.S. novelist who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1950 for The Way West, is born in Bedford, Indiana.
1885: Alfred Fuller, Canadian businessman who founded the Fuller Brush Co. and was the original Fuller Brush Man, is born in Welsford, Nova Scotia.
1887: Sophie Tucker, Ukrainian-American singer and comedian known by her nickname, the Last of the Red Hot Mamas, is born in Tulchyn, Ukraine.
The Last of the Red Hot Mamas would have proved as divisive today as she was in the 1920s, the heyday of her singing career, given her brash stage presence and predilection for singing about her hearty sexual appetite. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. What would modern audiences do with songs like “Nobody Loves a Fat Girl, But Oh How a Fat Girl Can Love” or “I Don’t Want To Be Thin” –– songs in which Tucker lambasted the idea that she should be anything but her full-figured, fabulous self? Read more
1832: Horatio Alger Jr., U.S. author of popular rags-to-riches stories for young readers, is born in Chelsea, Massachusetts.