On This Day … 03 October [2022]

People (Births)

  • 1911 – Michael Hordern, English actor (d. 1995).
  • 1949 – J.P. Dutta, Indian director, producer, and screenwriter.
  • 1973 – Lena Headey, British actress.

People (Deaths)

  • 1998 – Roddy McDowall, English-American actor (b. 1928).

Michael Hordern

Sir Michael Murray Hordern CBE (03 October 1911 to 02 May 1995) was an English actor whose career spanned nearly 60 years. He is best known for his Shakespearean roles, especially that of King Lear, which he played to much acclaim on stage in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1969 and London in 1970. He then successfully assumed the role on television five years later. He often appeared in film, rising from a bit part actor in the late 1930s to a member of the main cast; by the time of his death he had appeared in nearly 140 cinema roles. His later work was predominantly in television and radio.

Second World War and Film Debut

Hordern and Eve left Bristol in 1939 for Harrogate, where Eve joined a small repertory company called the White Rose Players. After a brief spell of unemployment, and with the outbreak of war, Hordern volunteered for a post within the Air Raid Precautions (ARP). He was accepted but soon grew frustrated at not being able to conduct any rescues because of the lack of enemy action. He decided that it was “not a very good way to fight the war” and enlisted instead as a gunner with the Royal Navy. While he was waiting to be accepted he and Eve responded to an advertisement in The Stage for actors in a repertory company in Bath. They were appointed as the company’s leading man and lady. Their first and only engagement was in a play entitled Bats in the Belfry which opened at the city’s Assembly Rooms on 16 October. Hordern’s elation at finally becoming a leading man was short-lived when he received his call-up that December. In the interest of helping to boost public morale, Hordern sought permission from the navy to allow him to complete his theatrical commitment in Bath and to appear in his first film, a thriller called Girl in the News, directed by Carol Reed; his request was accepted, and he was told to report for duty at Plymouth Barracks in the early months of 1940 when the show had finished and he was free from filming responsibilities.

In 1940, after a minor role in Without the Prince at the Whitehall Theatre, Hordern played the small, uncredited part of a BBC official alongside James Hayter in Arthur Askey’s comedy film Band Waggon. Soon after, he began his naval gunnery training on board City of Florence, a defensively equipped merchant ship (DEMS) which delivered ammunition to the city of Alexandria for the Mediterranean Fleet. He found that although his middle class upbringing hindered his ability to make friends on board the ship, it helped with his commanding officers.

By 1941 radar was slowly being introduced to the Navy and Hordern was appointed as one of the first operatives who communicated enemy movements to the RAF. He later said the post was owed to his clear diction and deep vocal range. His commentary impressed his superior officers so much that by early 1942 he had been given the job as a Fighter Direction Officer and then first lieutenant on board HMS Illustrious. Shortly after the departure of his superior, he was promoted to lieutenant commander, a rank which he held for two years. Alongside his naval responsibilities, he was also appointed as the ship’s entertainment officer and was responsible for organising shows featuring members of the crew.

J.P. Dutta

Jyoti Prakash Dutta (born 03 October 1949) is an Indian Bollywood film producer, writer and director, best known for making patriotic action war films.

  • Ghulami (1985).
  • Yateem (1988).
  • Batwara (1989).
  • Hathyar (1989).
  • Kshatriya (1993).
  • Border (1997).
  • LOC Kargil (2013).
  • Paltan (2018).

Lean Headey

Lena Kathren Headey (born 03 October 1973) is a British actress. She gained international recognition and acclaim for her portrayal of Cersei Lannister on the HBO epic fantasy drama series Game of Thrones (2011-2019), for which she received five Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award nomination, and Queen Gorgo in 300 (2006).

Roddy McDowall

Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude McDowall (17 September 1928 to 03 October 1998) was a British-American actor, photographer and film director. He began his acting career as a child in England, and then in the United States, in How Green Was My Valley (1941), My Friend Flicka (1943) and Lassie Come Home (1943). As an adult, McDowall appeared most frequently as a character actor on radio, stage, film, and television. For portraying Octavian in the historical drama Cleopatra (1963), he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. He played Cornelius and Caesar in the original Planet of the Apes film series, as well as Galen in the spin-off television series.

Other notable films included The Longest Day (1962), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), That Darn Cat! (1965), Inside Daisy Clover (1965), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Funny Lady (1975), The Black Hole (1979), Class of 1984 (1982), Fright Night (1985), Overboard (1987) and A Bug’s Life (1998). His accolades included a Tony Award, an Emmy Award, a Saturn Award, and a National Board of Review Award.

McDowall also served in various positions on the Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Selection Committee for the Kennedy Centre Honours, further contributing to various charities related to the film industry and film preservation. He was a founding Member of the National Film Preservation Board in 1989, and represented the Screen Actors Guild on this Board until his death. For his contributions to the film and television industry, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

  • This England (1941).
  • The Longest Day (1962).
  • Cleopatra (1963).
  • Planet of the Apes (1968).
  • Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971).
  • Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972).
  • Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973).
  • Laserblast (1978).
  • The Cat from Outer Space (1978).

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