Tag Archives: Orson Welles

Almanac – May 06

1895 – Rudolph Valentino born.  Italian actor  and  an early pop icon.

A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the “Latin Lover“, and  starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and The Son of the Sheik.

His death at age 31 caused mass hysteria among his female fans, further propelling him into icon status.

.

.

1915 – Orson Welles born.  American actor, director, writer and producer who worked extensively in theater, radio and film.

He is best remembered for his innovative work in all three media, most notably Caesar (1937), a groundbreaking Broadway adaption of Julius Caesar and the debut of the Mercury Theatre;

The War of the Worlds (1938), one of the most famous broadcasts in the history of radio;

and Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the all-time greatest films.

.

.

1992 – Marlene Dietrich died.  German  actress and singer.

Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically.

In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel, directed by Josef von Sternberg, brought her international fame and provided her a contract with Paramount Pictures in the US.

Hollywood films such as Shanghai Express and Desire capitalised on her glamour and exotic looks, cementing her stardom and making her one of the highest-paid actresses of the era.

.

.

A&A forum banner

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – January 17

1874 – Chang and Eng Bunker died.  Conjoined twin brothers whose condition and birthplace became the basis for the term “Siamese twins“.

Chang, who had contracted pneumonia, died rather suddenly in his sleep. According to the Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum“, Chang suffered a stroke the night that he died.

Eng awoke to find his brother dead, and called for his wife and children to attend to him. A doctor was summoned to perform an emergency separation, but he was too late. Eng died three hours later.

.

.

1881 – Harry Price born. British psychic researcher and author, who gained public prominence for his investigations into psychical phenomena and his exposing of fake spiritualists. He is best known for his well-publicized investigation of the purportedly haunted Borley Rectory in Essex, England.

.

.

1927 – Eartha Kitt born. American singer, actress, and cabaret star. She was perhaps best known for her highly distinctive singing style and her 1953 hit recordings of “C’est Si Bon” and the enduring Christmas novelty smash “Santa Baby“.

Orson Welles once called her the “most exciting woman in the world.”

.

.

1977 – Gary Gilmore executed. An American who gained international notoriety for demanding that his own death sentence be fulfilled following two murders he committed in Utah.

Gilmore had requested that, following his execution, his eyes be used for transplant purposes. Within hours of the execution, two people received his corneas, and the seeds of a UK Punk classic were sown…

.

.

A&A forum banner

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – December 25

card

 

A happy Midwinter festival (Midsummer in the southern hemisphere) of your choice to all our readers.

The Robin in the picture is the one that’s hanging around my garden this winter.  They’re generally pretty inquisitive birds, but this one is positively fearless.

 

This  Christmas song is made up of bits of all the other Christmas songs – truly the soundtrack for Xmas In Hell !

.

 

 

1066 – William the Conqueror  crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey, London.

.

.

1137 – Saladin born. Salāh ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb,  Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Hejaz, Yemen, and parts of North Africa.

.

.

1924 – Rod Serling born.  American screenwriter, novelist, television producer, and narrator best known for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone. Serling was active in politics, both on and off the screen and helped form television industry standards. He was known as the “angry young man” of Hollywood, clashing with television executives and sponsors over a wide range of issues including censorship, racism, and war.

.

.

1925 – Carlos Castaneda born. Peruvian author and student of anthropology. Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that describe his alleged training in shamanism.

The books, narrated in the first person, relate his supposed experiences under the tutelage of a Yaqui “Man of Knowledge” named Don Juan Matus. Critics have suggested that they are works of fiction; supporters claim the books are either true or at least valuable works of philosophy and descriptions of practices which enable an increased awareness.

.

.

1950 – The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, was taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students. ( It later turned up in Scotland on April 11, 1951.)

.

.

2008 – Eartha Kitt died. American singer, actress, and cabaret star.  Orson Welles once called her the “most exciting woman in the world.”

.

.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – October 30

Today is International Orthopaedic Nurses Day.

.

1857 – Georges Gilles de la Tourette born.  French physician who could be classified today as a neurologist and the guy who gave his name to Tourette syndrome.

.

.
1871 – Paul Valéry born. French poet, essayist, and philosopher. His interests were sufficiently broad that he can be classified as a polymath. In addition to his poetry and fiction (drama and dialogues) and aphorisms on art, history, letters, music, and current events.

.

.
1893 – Charles Atlas born, originally known as Angelo Siciliano. You too could have a body like his – that advert must have been in every comic I read as a kid. It never convinced me enough to send him money, though.

.

.

1938 – Orson Welles broadcasts his radio play of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds, causing anxiety in some of the audience in the United States.

.

.

1973 – The Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus for the first time.

.

.

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac

Almanac – October 10

732 – Battle of Tours: Near Poitiers, France, the leader of the Franks, Charles Martel, and his men, defeat a large army of Moors, stopping the Muslims from spreading into Western Europe.

.

1580 – After a three-day siege, the English Army beheads over 600 Irish and Papal soldiers and civilians at Dún an Óir, Ireland.

.

1911 – The Wuchang Uprising leads to the demise of Qing Dynasty, the last Imperial court in China, and the founding of the Republic of China.

.

1917 – Thelonious Monk born. American jazz pianist and composer considered one of the giants of American music. Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including “Epistrophy”, “‘Round Midnight”, “Blue Monk”, “Straight, No Chaser” and “Well, You Needn’t”.

Monk is the second-most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed over 1,000 songs while Monk wrote about 70.

.

.

1924 – Edward D. Wood, Jr. born. American screenwriter, director, producer, actor, author, and film editor, in the 1950s, Wood made a number of low-budget genre movies, in the 1960s and 1970s, made pornographic movies and wrote over 80 pulp crime, horror, and sex novels.
Films included  Glen or Glenda, Jail Bait,  Bride of the Monster, The Violent Years, Night of the Ghouls, The Sinister Urge, Orgy of the Dead, and of course that low-budget zombie/UFO classic    Plan 9 from Outer Space.

.

.

1957 – A fire at the Windscale nuclear plant,  Cumbria, U.K. was the world’s first major nuclear accident , ranked in severity at level 5 on the 7-point International Nuclear Event Scale. The name Windscale developed such a poor reputation generally  that the authoroities changed it to Sellafield.

.

1985 – Orson Welles died. American actor, director, writer and producer who worked extensively in theater, radio and film. He is best remembered for his innovative work in all three media, most notably Caesar (1937), a groundbreaking Broadway adaption of Julius Caesar and the debut of the Mercury Theatre; The War of the Worlds (1938),  possibly  the most famous broadcast in the history of radio; and Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the all-time greatest films.

.

.

2010 – Solomon Burke died, American singer-songwriter, entrepreneur, mortician, and an archbishop of the United House of Prayer For All People, known as “King Solomon,” the “King of Rock ‘n’ Soul,” and as the “Bishop of Soul,” and described as “the Muhammad Ali of soul,” and as “the most unfairly overlooked singer of soul’s golden age.”

.

Leave a comment

Filed under Almanac