One of the great character actors, Ed Lauter got his start as a stand-up comedian. One of his early film breakthroughs was in Alfred Hitchcock’s final film, “Family Plot.” Hitchcock was impressed with Lauter’s performance and wanted him to star in his next film, but that film wasn’t to be. That didn’t stop Lauter from going on to a notable career with more than 100 films to his credit, including “The Longest Yard” and “The Artist,” as well as numerous TV roles. We remember Lauter’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1958: Joe Delaney, U.S. College Football Hall of Fame running back who rushed for more than 1,000 yards as an NFL rookie playing for the Kansas City Chiefs and died at 24 attempting to rescue three children drowning in a pond, is born in Henderson, Texas.
1938: Ed Lauter, U.S. actor known best for his role in “The Longest Yard,” is born in Long Beach, New York.
He was the brutal prison guard who was Burt Reynolds’ nemesis in the 1974 comedy-drama “The Longest Yard” and the sleazy gas station attendant in Alfred Hitchcock‘s last film, “Family Plot.” In “Death Wish 3,” he was the violent cop who teams with Charles Bronson‘s vigilante to rid New York City’s streets of criminals, not by incarcerating them but by killing them, according to his 2013 obituary by The Associated Press. More recently, he was the butler to Berenice Bejo’s French ingenue in the 2011 Oscar-winning film “The Artist.” Read more
1935: Robert Michael Winner, English film director whose movies include “Death Wish,” is born in London, England.
Winner’s 30 movies included three “Death Wish” films starring the late Charles Bronson. Many of his features sit at the schlockier end of the spectrum, but he also worked with Hollywood icons including Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, and Faye Dunaway, according to his 2013 obituary by The Associated Press. Winner never took criticism of his films too seriously. “If you want art, don’t mess about with movies,” he once said. “Buy a Picasso.” Read more
1932: Louis Malle, Academy Award-winning French film director whose credits include “Pretty Baby” and “The Lovers,” is born in Thumeries, France.
1930: Clifford Brown, U.S. jazz trumpeter who formed a highly regarded bebop group with Max Roach and also performed with Lionel Hampton and Art Blakey, is born in Wilmington, Delaware.
1922: Jane White, U.S. actress who appeared on the theater stage and on the soap operas “The Edge of Night” and “Search for Tomorrow,” is born in New York, New York.
1916: Leon Day, U.S. baseball pitcher who was a star of the Negro Leagues and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, is born in Alexandria, Virginia.
1915: Jane Randolph, U.S. actress who starred in the horror movie “Cat People,” is born in Youngstown, Ohio.
1915: Fred Friendly, U.S. broadcast executive who was the president of CBS News, is born in New York City.
Her first movie role, in the 1937 Spencer Tracy film “Big City,” was uncredited. Three years later, she appeared again with Tracy in “Northwest Passage,” according to her 2005 obituary by The Associated Press. She received an Oscar nomination for supporting actress for playing Elizabeth Imbrie, the sassy photographer who accompanies Stewart to cover a socialite’s wedding in “The Philadelphia Story.” Read more
1908: Patsy Montana, U.S. country music singer and actress who was the first female country music artist to have a million-selling single with her song “I Want To be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” is born in Beaudry, Arkansas.
1898: Bill Terry, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman for the New York Giants who had a career .341 batting average, is born in Atlanta, Georgia.
1896: Ruth Gordon, U.S. actress and screenwriter known for her performances in the movies “Harold and Maude” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” who also co-wrote the movie “Adam’s Rib,” is born in Quincy, Massachusetts.
1893: Charles Atlas, born Angelo Siciliano, Italian-born U.S. bodybuilder and hawker of fitness programs aimed at the “97-pound weakling,” is born in Acri, Italy.
1735: John Adams, U.S. politician who was the second president of the United States, is born in Braintree, Massachusetts.