Most people probably know Ann B. Davis better as Alice, one of the most iconic housekeepers on television. For five seasons, she was a funny and friendly presence on The Brady Bunch as she cared for the Bradys’ house, played with the Brady children, and even joined the family on their vacations. Davis also starred on The Bob Cummings Show in the 1950s, for which she won two Emmy Awards, and she was a spokeswoman for Shake ‘n Bake and Swiffer. We remember Davis’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1976: Sage Stallone, U.S. actor who was a son of Sylvester Stallone, is born in Los Angeles, California.
Sage Moonblood Stallone was the oldest of Sylvester Stallone’s children and co-starred with his father in two films. He was the first of two sons Stallone had with first wife, Sasha Czack. Sage Stallone made his acting debut in 1990’s “Rocky V” and also appeared with his father in 1996’s “Daylight.” Also in 1996, Sage Stallone and veteran film editor Bob Murawski co-founded Grindhouse Releasing, a company dedicated to preserving and promoting the B-movies and exploitation films of the 1970s and ’80s. Read more
Payne shared four Emmys won by “The Simpsons.” He also wrote the 2006 Uma Thurman comedy “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” and 2007’s “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” Read more
Sporting an Afro hairstyle and sideburns, Kelly made a splash with his one-liners and fight scenes in the 1973 martial arts classic. His later films included “Three the Hard Way,” “Black Belt Jones,” and “Black Samurai.” Read more
1942: Tammy Wynette, U.S. country singer famous for hit songs including “Stand by Your Man” and “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” is born in Iuka, Mississippi.
As Wynette neared the end of her life, she reflected on the challenges she’d faced: a childhood picking cotton, a baby who contracted spinal meningitis, jobs waiting tables, and working on factory floors. Five husbands, a bankruptcy filing, a stalker, a house fire. Plus, an allegedly abusive husband, severe health problems, an addiction to painkillers. So how did Wynette make peace with a lifetime of struggle? “The sad part about happy endings is there’s nothing to write about.” Read more
1934: Johnnie Taylor, U.S. singer whose hits included “Disco Lady” and “Who’s Making Love,” is born in Crawfordsville, Arkansas.
Woods was an 18-year-old radio singer in 1948 when she recorded a demo for an upcoming Disney feature. Two days later, Walt Disney himself auditioned her, and she went on to voice the title character’s speaking and singing parts for 1950’s “Cinderella,” about a mistreated stepdaughter who finds her Prince Charming. Read more
1926: Ann B. Davis, U.S. actress known best for playing Alice on “The Brady Bunch,” is born in Schenectady, New York.
As “The Brady Bunch” theme song reminded viewers each week, the Bradys combined two families into one. Florence Henderson played a widow raising three daughters when she met her TV husband, Robert Reed, a widower with three boys. In her blue and white maid’s uniform, Davis’ character, Alice Nelson, was constantly cleaning up messes large and small, and she was a mainstay of stability for the family. Davis’ face occupied the center square during the show’s opening credits. Her love interest was Sam the Butcher, played by Allan Melvin. Read more
1914: Tyrone Power, U.S. actor whose popular films include “The Mark of Zorro” and “Captain From Castile,” is born in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Swashbucklers were a big box office draw in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. Golden age audiences flocked to movies that featured their favorite handsome actors sword fighting, whether on a pirate ship, atop a perilous cliff, or behind the black mask of the great Zorro. And Power always gave audiences a thrill. As director Henry King noted, “People always seem to remember Ty with sword in hand, although he once told me he wanted to be a character actor. He actually was quite good – among the best swordsmen in films.” Read more
1903: James Beard, U.S. chef and author who hosted one of the earliest cooking television shows and became known as the Dean of American Cuisine, is born in Portland, Oregon.
When Beard died, he must have been dismayed with the American food landscape. In the 1980s, processed foods exploded in variety, and fat-free eating was almost a religion. Beard, an inventive chef who used more butter than Paula Deen would know what to do with, wouldn’t have condoned the fat-free craze, we suspect. He was a big man with big appetites, and he seemed to know instinctively what science is discovering today: Fat isn’t such a big deal. And it tastes good. Taste, a value that got a bit lost in mid-20th-century America, was the most important thing about cooking for Beard. Read more
1864: Nellie Bly, U.S. reporter who was a pioneer of investigative journalism and was known for her 72-day journey around the world, is born in Cochran’s Mills, Pennsylvania.
1818: Karl Marx, German philosopher well-known for his books “The Communist Manifesto” and “Das Kapital,” is born in Trier, Germany.
1813: Søren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher who is considered the first existentialist, is born in Copenhagen, Denmark.