On May 26, 1907, a 13 pound baby boy named Marion Morrison was born in Winterset, Iowa
. Nicknamed "Little Duke" after his childhood dog
, he grew up to become the most famous icon
of American patriotism
in the world
. When he was a football player at USC, Western filmstar Tom Mix
got him a summer job at Fox in exchange for game tickets. After two years working as a prop man for $75 a week, his first acting role was in The Big Trail
in 1930. "Marion Morrison" didn't sound like the right name for a trail scout though, so the studio took the last name from a Revolutionary War general
and replaced "Anthony" with "John." Voila!
A working actor from 1930 through the 1970s, this year John Wayne placed third
among America's favorite film stars, the only deceased star on the list and the only one who has appeared every year. He was an opinionated
patriot who, surprisingly, called himself a liberal
... bigger than life, the consummate cowboy star
, and the ultimate symbol of heroic action
and the Code of the West
. In the end, acting actually took his life indirectly thanks to radiation poisoning
during a movie
shoot in Utah (of the 220 persons on set, 91 had contracted cancer by the early 1980s), and almost three decades after his death, his family
continues to carry on his legacy
. He has an an airport
, an elementary school
, and various Cancer Foundations
named after him, and while he wasn't much of a singer
, he remains the ultimate symbol of American manliness
to this day. Apparently there are hundreds of reasons
to love the guy.
And for the record... no, he wasn't gay
posted by miss lynnster
on May 27, 2007 -
As I'm sure
you all know, today would've been the 74th birthday of actor Vic Tayback
, best known as everybody's favorite hairy, sweaty, ill-tempered (yet almost cuddly) diner chef
on that wacky piece of 70's tv Americana Alice
(Remember when Mel called Vera "dingy"? Sitcom gold!). Kept busy for years as a character actor with constant tv guest spots on everything from "I Dream of Jeannie" to "Gunsmoke," Vic embraced job security when given an opportunity to expand one character in particular, Mel Sharples from Martin Scorcese's drama "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"
(starring Ellen Burstyn [she won an Oscar], Kris Kristofferson, Diane Ladd, Harvey Keitel and Jodie Foster). Thanks to Vic, the character of Mel smoothly adapted from his dramatic origins into his new home of sit-com hi-larity... one of the rare attempts of that kind to succeed.
Vic. Oh, and kiss my grits.
posted by miss lynnster
on Jan 6, 2005 -