Adam West was beloved for his role as Batman in the campy 1960s TV series. We remember his life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Adam West was beloved for his role as Batman in the campy 1960s TV series “Batman.” West was a master at delivering his lines with a serious deadpan which added greatly to the show’s humor. Gems such as, “Let that be a lesson. In future, be more careful from who you accept free lemonade.” West was severely typecast after “Batman” and had trouble finding quality roles. Later in his career, West embraced his pop culture icon status. He played Mayor Adam West on “Family Guy,” and appeared as himself on “The Simpsons,” “King of Queens,” and “The Big Bang Theory.” We remember his life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1941: Cass Elliot, U.S. singer who was a member of the Mamas and the Papas, but also had solo hits including “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” is born in Baltimore, Maryland.
Elliot claimed that she was only invited to be part of the New Journeymen, the precursor to the Mamas and the Papas, after she gained three notes at the top of her range – thanks to an unfortunate collision between a copper pipe and her head. In Elliot’s version of the story, she had a headache for two weeks after the accident and then, miraculously, she was singing higher. She could then hit the notes in the New Journeymen’s songs, and the rest was history. Except that the story is highly suspect. Read more
1932: Mike Royko, U.S. newspaper columnist and author who won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1972, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
1928: Adam West, actor well known for his role as Batman in the campy 1960s TV series, is born in Walla Walla, Washington.
1927: Nick Massi, U.S. singer and bassist who was a member of the Four Seasons, is born in Newark, New Jersey.
1927: William Hickey, U.S. actor who had notable roles in movies including “Prizzi’s Honor” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” is born in Brooklyn, New York.
1927: Helen Carter, U.S. country music singer who was a member of the Carter Sisters along with her sisters, Anita Carter and June Carter Cash, and her mother, Maybelle Carter, is born in Maces Spring, Virginia.
1926: Duke Snider, U.S. professional baseball player who was a two-time World Series champion with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, is born in Los Angeles, California.
The Duke of Flatbush hit .295 with 407 career home runs, played in the World Series six times, and won two titles. But the eight-time All-Star was defined by much more than his stats – he was, after all, part of the love affair between the borough of Brooklyn and “Dem Bums” who lived in the local neighborhoods. Ebbets Field was filled with stars such as Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, and Gil Hodges during that 1955 championship season. Yet it is Snider’s name that refrains in the ballpark favorite “Talkin’ Baseball.” “Willie, Mickey, and the Duke,” the popular song goes. Read more
1926: James Lipton, longtime host of Bravo’s popular interview program, “Inside the Actors Studio,” is born in Detroit, Michigan.
1913: Frances Farmer, U.S. actress known for her difficult life, which included being involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, is born in Seattle, Washington.
The facts of Farmer’s life – some wildly fictionalized by the news media and in posthumous movies – make up one of the saddest stories to come out of Hollywood. She began as a beautiful and talented young actress who became outspoken and rebellious, then eventually drunk and disorderly. Following an arrest for drunken driving, she was fined and sentenced to jail, then transferred to a psychiatric ward where, she later wrote, she was subjected to rats, rape, and abuse. That’s the short version.
1911: William Golding, English author known best for his novel “Lord of the Flies,” is born in Newquay, England.
1894: Rachel Field, U.S. author who won the Newbery Award for her children’s book, “Hitty, Her First Hundred Years,” is born in New York, New York.