On This Day … 29 December [2022]


  • 1913 – Cecil B. DeMille starts filming Hollywood’s first feature film, The Squaw Man.

People (Births)

  • 1934 – Ed Flanders, American actor (d. 1995).
  • 1964 – Michael Cudlitz, American actor.
  • 1972 – Jude Law, English actor.
  • 1979 – Diego Luna, Mexican actor, director and producer.

People (Deaths)

  • 1994 – Frank Thring, Australian actor (b. 1926).
  • 1998 – Don Taylor, American actor and film director (b. 1920).

Cecil B. DeMille

Cecil Blount DeMille (12 August 1881 to 21 January 1959) was an American film director, producer and actor. Between 1914 and 1958, he made 70 features, both silent and sound films. He is acknowledged as a founding father of the American cinema and the most commercially successful producer-director in film history. His films were distinguished by their epic scale and by his cinematic showmanship. His silent films included social dramas, comedies, Westerns, farces, morality plays, and historical pageants.

The Squaw Man

The Squaw Man (known as The White Man in the UK) is a 1914 American silent Western film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar C. Apfel, and starring Dustin Farnum. It was DeMille’s directorial debut and one of the first feature films to be shot in what is now Hollywood.

Ed Flanders

Edward Paul Flanders (29 December 1934 to 22 February 1995) was an American actor. He is best known for playing Dr. Donald Westphall in the medical drama series St. Elsewhere (1982-1988). Flanders was nominated for eight Primetime Emmys and won three times in 1976, 1977, and 1983.

He received a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for his performance in the 1973 production of A Moon for the Misbegotten.

In addition to his six-year role as Dr. Donald Westphall, Flanders is noted as the actor who has played President Harry Truman more times, and in more separate productions, than any other. He portrayed Truman at the end of World War II and during the Korean War in Truman at Potsdam, Harry S. Truman: Plain Speaking, and MacArthur. In MacArthur, Flanders had second billing to Gregory Peck’s lead as General Douglas MacArthur.

In feature films, Flanders performed major roles in two dark movies based on novels by William Peter Blatty. In the first, The Ninth Configuration (1980), he plays Colonel Richard Fell, a self-effacing medic at a secret US Army psychiatric facility who assists Marine psychiatrist Colonel Vincent Kane (Stacy Keach). The film was based on Blatty’s 1978 novel of the same name, itself a reworking of his earlier, darkly satirical novel Twinkle, Twinkle, “Killer” Kane (1966). In 1990, Flanders played Father Dyer alongside star George C. Scott in Blatty’s The Exorcist III based on the novel Legion.

One of Flanders’s best-remembered TV guest roles was in the first season M*A*S*H episode “Yankee Doodle Doctor” (S01E06), playing film director Lieutenant Duane William Bricker, who is making a documentary about M*A*S*H units and visits the 4077th. After Hawkeye and Trapper sabotage his effort, Bricker abandons the project and leaves.

Michael Cudlitz

Michael Cudlitz (born 29 December 1964) is an American actor known for portraying John Cooper in the NBC/TNT drama series Southland for which he won the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2013, Sergeant Denver “Bull” Randleman in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers (2001), and Sergeant Abraham Ford in the AMC horror series The Walking Dead.

Jude Law

David Jude Heyworth Law (born 29 December 1972) is an English actor. He received a British Academy Film Award, as well as nominations for two Academy Awards, two Tony Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. In 2007, he received an Honorary César and was named a knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government.

Born and raised in London, Law started acting in theatre. After finding small roles in feature films, Law gained recognition for his role in Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), for which he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and was nominated for an Academy Award. He found further critical and commercial success in Enemy at the Gates (2001), Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) and Sam Mendes’ Road to Perdition (2002). He continued to gain praise for starring in the war film Cold Mountain (2003), the drama Closer (2004), and the romantic comedy The Holiday (2006), gaining Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for the first.

Law played Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), a younger Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022), and Yon-Rogg in Captain Marvel (2019); all of which rank among his highest-grossing releases. His other notable roles were in Contagion (2011), Hugo (2011), Side Effects (2013), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and Spy (2015); and the television series The Young Pope (2016) and The New Pope (2020).

Law has performed in several West End and Broadway productions including Les Parents terribles in 1994, Hamlet in 2010, and Anna Christie in 2011. He received Tony Award nominations for the first and second.

Diego Luna

Diego Dionisio Luna Alexander (born 29 December 1979) is a Mexican actor, director, and producer. He is known for his portrayal of Cassian Andor in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) and the Disney+ series Andor (2022).

Following an early career in Mexican telenovelas, he had his breakthrough in the critically acclaimed 2001 film Y tu mamá también. During the 2000s, he appeared in both Mexican and American films including Frida, Open Range, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, The Terminal, Criminal, Milk, Sólo quiero caminar, and Rudo y Cursi. In the 2010s, he co-starred in a variety of films like the sci-fi Elysium, comedy Casa de mi Padre, and the animated musical The Book of Life, before starring as Andor in 2016’s Rogue One, a role he reprises in the 2022 Disney+ series of the same name. From 2018 to 2020, he starred as the drug trafficker Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo in Narcos: Mexico.

Throughout his career, he has appeared in Mexican theatre productions and produced a number of film and television projects, many with his close collaborator Gael García Bernal. Since 2010, he has directed three feature films: Abel, Cesar Chavez, and Mr. Pig. He is the creator and director of the 2013 Fusion TV docu-series Back Home, his Amazon Studios talk show Pan y Circo, which premiered in 2020, and the 2021 Netflix scripted series Everything Will Be Fine.

Frank Thring

Francis William Thring (11 May 1926 – 29 December 1994) was an Australian character actor in radio, stage, television and film; as well as a theatre director. His early career started in London in theatre productions, before he starred in Hollywood film, where he became best known for roles in Ben-Hur in 1959 and King of Kings in 1961. He was known for always wearing black and styling his home in black decor.

Don Taylor

Donald Richie Taylor (13 December 1920 to 29 December 1998) was an American actor and film director. He co-starred in 1940s and 1950s classics, including the 1948 film noir The Naked City, Battleground (1949), Father of the Bride, Father’s Little Dividend and Stalag 17 (1953). He later turned to directing films such as Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), Tom Sawyer (1973), Echoes of a Summer (1976) and Damien: Omen II (1978).

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