Bob Hoskins was one of those actors we always recognize, even if we don’t know his name. But after notable roles in “Mona Lisa” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” more and more movie fans got to know Hoskins by name. Other high-profile films for Hoskins include “The Wall,” “Brazil,” “Mermaids,” and “Hook,” in which he played an unforgettable Mr. Smee. Hoskins also directed films and appeared on television. We remember Hoskins’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1963: Ted Demme, U.S. film director who directed such movies as “Blow” and “Beautiful Girls,” is born in New York, New York.
One of Demme’s earliest gigs was launching the comedy career of chain-smoking ranter Denis Leary. Demme directed a series of short black-and-white spots in which Leary railed on pop-culture topics from Cindy Crawford to the royal family to R.E.M. This grew into an ongoing collaboration between Leary and Demme, with Demme directing Leary in comedy specials “No Cure for Cancer” and “Denis Leary: Lock ‘n Load,” as well as feature films like “Monument Ave.” and “The Ref,” in which jewelry thief Leary winds up playing marriage counselor to combative couple Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis. Read more
1946: Holly Woodlawn, Puerto Rican transgender actress featured in Lou Reed’s 1972 song “Walk on the Wild Side,” is born in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico.
1945: Pat Conroy, U.S. author known for his novels “The Great Santini” and “The Prince of Tides,” is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
The author was known for his candid and “down-home” writing style, which drew upon his rough childhood experiences as a military brat with a domineering father. Read more
1942: Bob Hoskins, English actor who starred in “Mona Lisa” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” is born in Bury St. Edmunds, England.
Short and bald, with a face he once compared to “a squashed cabbage,” Hoskins was a remarkably versatile performer. As a London gangster in “The Long Good Friday,” he moved from bravura bluster to tragic understatement. In “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” he cavorted with a cast of animated characters, making technological trickery seem seamless and natural. Read more
1935: Mike Gray, U.S. screenwriter who co-wrote “The China Syndrome” and was a series writer for “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” is born in Racine, Wisconsin.
1934: Hot Rod Hundley, U.S. NBA player and broadcaster known as the voice of the Utah Jazz, is born in Charleston, West Virginia.
1929: Neal Matthews Jr., U.S. singer who was a member of the popular country group the Jordanaires, who were a backup band for Elvis Presley, is born in Nashville, Tennessee.
1927: Warne Marsh, U.S. jazz saxophonist who was a member of the group Supersax, is born in Los Angeles, California.
1914: Jackie Coogan, U.S. actor who was a child star in such movies as “The Kid” and “Tom Sawyer” and later played Uncle Fester on “The Addams Family,” is born in Los Angeles, California.
1913: Charlie Barnet, U.S. jazz saxophonist, composer, and bandleader who was one of the first to integrate his band and whose popular swing band included Lena Horne and Roy Eldridge, is born in New York, New York.
1912: Don Siegel, U.S. movie director who was known for his work on Clint Eastwood films including “Dirty Harry,” and who directed John Wayne in his last movie, “The Shootist,” is born in Chicago, Illinois.
Siegel already had 10 movies under his belt before he took on a project based on the Jack Finney novel “The Bodysnatchers,” a departure as until then he’d chiefly been known for dramas like “Riot in Cell Block 11” and film noirs like “The Big Steal.” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” would mark his entry into sci-fi. Shot in just 23 days, the film remains a classic of the genre, successful in its day and hailed by generations of critics. Read more
1911: Mahalia Jackson, influential U.S. gospel singer who was called the Queen of Gospel, is born in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jackson met the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1956 at the National Baptist Convention. It was a time when the civil rights movement was about to ramp up and gain its first serious, nationwide attention. King contacted Jackson just a few months after the convention to ask for her help. He was planning a rally to raise money for the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott, and he wanted Jackson to sing there – both to help with fundraising, and to lift the spirits of the attendees. Jackson agreed, singing, “I’ve Heard of a City Called Heaven,” “Silent Night,” and “Move On Up a Little Higher.” Read more
1906: Primo Carnera, Italian boxer who was heavyweight champion of the world in 1933 when he defeated Jack Sharkey, is born in Sequals, Italy.
1902: Jack Sharkey, U.S. boxer who was the heavyweight champion of the world in 1932, losing his title to Primo Carnera, is born in Binghamton, New York.
1899: William Julius “Judy” Johnson, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame member who was considered one of the greatest third basemen in the Negro Leagues, is born in Snow Hill, Maryland.
1854: C.W. Post, U.S. businessman who created Post Cereals, is born in Springfield, Illinois.