This is a belated birthday announcement! This weekend (8th-10th) as seen some great Hollywood stars celebrate their birthdays (or would have been birthdays.)
8th February. Happy Birthday to…
James Dean– The handsome bloke who died way before his time. Born in 1931, and starred in such hits as Rebel Without a Cause (with Natalie Wood), Giant (With Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson) and East of Eden. Dean died in a vehicle accident aged 24 but over his 5 year career worked with some of the biggest stars Hollywood as ever seen. A self confessed bad boy with a passion for motor cars James Dean lived life to the full and leaves us as a movie idol for generations to treasure.
Lana Turner– The blonde bombshell who could play any role convincingly. Lana Turner (it’s not her real name) was born in 1921. Starred in films like Honky Tonk with Clark Gable, The Three Musketeers with Gene Kelly and The Sea Chase with John Wayne. Turner played villains, selfish women, lovers and nice people. Turner married 8 times to 7 different men and became embroiled in scandal during the Stompanato Killing (Turner’s daughter stabbed Stompanato after he had a violent argument with her mother) This never detracted from her beauty and her career spanned over 50 years!
Carmen Miranda– The Lady With The Tutti Frutti Hat. Need I say more? Born in Portugal in 1909 this woman was known as a samba singer, dancer, Broadway actress and film star but will always be famous for her Tutti Frutti hat and song in the film The Gang’s All Here. Miranda’s image led to Sak’s 5th Avenue producing ranges of turbans just so women could be like her. With a discography bigger than her filmography and featuring classics like I, Yi, Yi, Yi,Yi (I Like You Very Much) and Chica, Chica Boom Chic Miranda paved the way for Latino actresses and singers alike. She suffered a heart attack during The Jimmy Durante Show and instead of getting a replacement carried on with the show. She suffered a second fatal heart attack shortly after and died aged 46.
Kathryn Grayson– The sweet, pretty faced lady with an amazing voice. Grayson is most famous for her work in musicals such as Anchors Aweigh with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, Kiss Me, Kate and Show Boat both with Howard Keel. Born in 1922 she started operatic training at the age of 12 and by 1940 was signed up by MGM. Her career took off and her filmography shows this. A familiar face in both movies and Broadway Grayson didn’t just stick with one or the other. This lady kept herself calm and her private life private, something of an oddity back then.
Robert Wagner– The man with the charming smile and plenty of TV series and films under his belt. Wagner, born in 1930, is probably most well known for his marriage to Hollywood actress Natalie Wood. Apart from this he starred in TV series such as It Takes a Thief, Hart to Hart and Switch. His film list contains hits like The Frogmen and Curse of the Pink Panther. Wagner aged 83 is still acting today and NCIS fans will know him as Anthony DiNozzo Sr. Wagner as remained popular throughout his 60 year career.
So that’s it for this busy birthday weekend! I know there were plenty more birthdays but the classics deserved their time!