On This Day … 01 October [2022]

People (Births)

  • 1920 – Walter Matthau, American actor (d. 2000).
  • 1928 – Laurence Harvey, Lithuanian-English actor, director, and producer (d. 1973).
  • 1928 – George Peppard, American actor (d. 1994).
  • 1930 – Richard Harris, Irish actor (d. 2002).
  • 1943 – Jean-Jacques Annaud, French director, producer, and screenwriter.

Walter Matthau

Walter Matthau (born Walter John Matthow; 01 October 1920 to 01 July 2000) was an American actor, comedian and film director.

World War II

During World War II, Matthau saw active service as a radioman-gunner in the US Army Air Forces with the Eighth Air Force in the United Kingdom, crewing a Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber. He was with the same 453rd Bombardment Group as James Stewart. While based in England at RAF Old Buckenham in Norfolk, he flew missions across to continental Europe during the Battle of the Bulge. He ended the war with the rank of Staff Sergeant, and returned home to America for demobilisation at the war’s end intent on pursuing a career as an actor.

Laurence Harvey

Laurence Harvey (born Zvi Mosheh Skikne; 01 October 1928 to 25 November 1973) was a Lithuanian-born British actor and film director. He was born to Lithuanian Jewish parents and emigrated to South Africa at an early age, before later settling in the United Kingdom after World War II. In a career that spanned a quarter of a century, Harvey appeared in stage, film and television productions primarily in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Harvey was known for his clipped, refined accent and cool, debonair screen persona. His performance in Room at the Top (1959) resulted in an Academy Award nomination. That success was followed by the roles of William Barret Travis in The Alamo and Weston Liggett in Butterfield 8, both films released in the autumn of 1960. He also appeared as the brainwashed Sergeant Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate (1962). He made his directorial debut with The Ceremony (1963), and continued acting into the 1970s until his early death in 1973 of cancer.

He was only fifteen when he auditioned to join the Entertainment Unit of the South African Army during the Second World War. Sid James (UK actor and comedian; Carry On films) managed the Unit and approved his audition. They became long-time friends.

George Peppard

George Peppard (01 October 1928 to 08 May 1994) was an American actor. He is best remembered for his role as struggling writer Paul Varjak in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and for playing commando leader Lieutenant Colonel/Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith in the 1980s television series The A-Team.

Peppard secured a major role when he starred alongside Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), and later portrayed a character based on Howard Hughes in The Carpetbaggers (1964). On television, he played the title role of millionaire insurance investigator and sleuth Thomas Banacek in the early-1970s mystery series Banacek. He played Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, the cigar-smoking leader of a renegade commando squad in the hit 1980s action show The A-Team.

Richard Harris

Richard St John Francis Harris (01 October 1930 to 25 October 2002) was an Irish actor and singer. He appeared on stage and in many films, notably as Corrado Zeller in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Red Desert, Frank Machin in This Sporting Life, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, and as King Arthur in the 1967 film Camelot, as well as the 1981 revival of the stage musical.

He played an English aristocrat captured by the Sioux in A Man Called Horse (1970), Oliver Cromwell in Cromwell (1970), an embattled Irish farmer in Jim Sheridan’s The Field (which earned him a second Academy Award nomination for Best Actor), English Bob in Clint Eastwood’s Western film Unforgiven (1992), Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in Gladiator (2000), The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) as Abbé Faria, and Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), the latter of which was his final film role. Harris had a number-one singing hit in Australia, Jamaica and Canada, and a top-ten hit in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and United States with his 1968 recording of Jimmy Webb’s song “MacArthur Park”. In 2020, he was listed at number 3 on The Irish Times list of Ireland’s greatest film actors.

Jean-Jacques Annaud

Jean-Jacques Annaud (born 01 October 1943) is a French film director, screenwriter and producer, best known for directing Quest for Fire (1981), The Name of the Rose (1986), The Bear (1988), The Lover (1992), Seven Years in Tibet (1997), Enemy at the Gates (2001), Black Gold (2011), and Wolf Totem (2015).

Annaud has received numerous awards for his work, including five César Awards, one David di Donatello Award, and one National Academy of Cinema Award. Annaud’s first film, Black and White in Colour (1976), received an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

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