Perhaps known best as Sylvester Stallone’s boxing coach in the “Rocky” movies, Burgess Meredith enjoyed an acting career that spanned seven very busy decades. We remember Meredith’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Perhaps known best as Sylvester Stallone’s boxing coach in the “Rocky” movies, Burgess Meredith enjoyed an acting career that spanned seven very busy decades, from early films like 1939’s “Of Mice and Men” to “Grumpy Old Men” in 1993. In between, he appeared in dozens of other films as well as on television in memorable episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” as the Penguin on “Batman,” and as the voice of Puff, the Magic Dragon. In addition, he acted and directed on Broadway, directed several films, and was active in the Actors’ Equity Association. He died in 1997 at 89. We remember Meredith’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1952: Peter Keefe, U.S. television producer known best for creating the cartoon series “Voltron: Defender of the Universe,” is born in Rochester, New York.
1949: Arrow, West Indian soca and calypso musician whose international hit “Hot, Hot, Hot” was covered by David Johansen, is born in Montserrat, West Indies.
1946: JoJo White, Boston Celtics legendary guard who helped the team win two NBA championships, is born in St. Louis, Missouri.
Hodges, rapper Drake’s uncle, was the go-to guitarist for Memphis soul in the 1960s and ’70s. He helped define the sound by working with artists including Al Green, Syl Johnson, and Etta James, and later would inspire dozens of others from Michael Jackson to Cat Power, according to his June 2014 obituary by The Associated Press. Read more
Sumlin stood among the last of a generation of musicians who helped modernize the blues with the electric guitar, according to his 2011 obituary by The Washington Post. Although his was not a well-known name, Sumlin was considered a blues legend whose virtuosic playing inspired the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and the Allman Brothers. Read more
1916: Daws Butler, U.S. voice actor who gave life to iconic cartoon characters including Yogi Bear, Elroy Jetson and Huckleberry Hound, is born in Toledo, Ohio.
When William Hanna and Joseph Barbera set up shop in 1957, they asked Butler to provide voices for some of their characters. It marked the beginning of a classic era of cartoons, and Butler was at the forefront with characters like Yogi Bear. Read more
1913: Ellen Albertini Dow, U.S. actress known best for her role as a rapping grandmother in “The Wedding Singer,” is born in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania.
Her breakout rap in “The Wedding Singer” led to memorable and often foul-mouthed character roles in films like “Wedding Crashers,” “Road Trip,” and “54,” as the drug-addled party girl Disco Dottie. Dow’s numerous television credits include “Seinfeld,” “ER,” “Will and Grace,” “Six Feet Under,” and “New Girl,” which, at age 99, would be one of her last on-screen appearances. Read more
1912: George O. Petrie, U.S. actor whose credits include the television shows “The Honeymooners” and “Dallas,” is born in New Haven, Connecticut.
Meredith starred in four “Twilight Zone” episodes, tying with Jack Klugman for the most roles on the show. He played a nerdy book lover in the classic “Time Enough at Last.” And in another episode, he played the devil himself. Read more
1905: Eddie Condon, U.S. jazz guitarist and banjoist who played with Bix Beiderbecke and Bud Freeman, is born in Goodland, Indiana.
1896: Lawrence Tibbett, U.S. opera singer and actor nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in “The Rogue Song,” is born in Bakersfield, California.
1889: George S. Kaufman, U.S. playwright and director who wrote several musicals for the Marx Brothers and co-wrote the play “You Can’t Take It With You,” is born in Pittsburgh.
1873: W.C. Handy, U.S. musician who is considered the Father of the Blues, is born in Florence, Alabama.