On This Day … 14 January [2023]


People (Births)

  • 1906 – William Bendix, American actor (d. 1964).
  • 1926 – Tom Tryon, American actor and author (d. 1991).
  • 1948 – Carl Weathers, American football player and actor.
  • 1949 – Lawrence Kasdan, American director, producer, and screenwriter.

People (Deaths)

  • 1957 – Humphrey Bogart, American actor (b. 1899).
  • 1977 – Peter Finch, English-Australian actor (b. 1916).
  • 2009 – Ricardo Montalbán, Mexican actor (b. 1920).

William Bendix

William Bendix (14 January 1906 to 14 December 1964) was an American film, radio, and television actor, who typically played rough, blue-collar characters. He is best remembered for his role in Wake Island (1942), which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He also portrayed the clumsily earnest aircraft plant worker Chester A. Riley in both the radio and television versions of The Life of Riley, and baseball player Babe Ruth in The Babe Ruth Story. Bendix was a frequent co-star of Alan Ladd, the two appearing in ten films together; both actors coincidentally died in 1964.

Tom Tyron

Thomas Lester Tryon (14 January 1926 to 04 September 1991) was an American actor and novelist. He is best known for playing the title role in the film The Cardinal (1963), featured roles in the war films The Longest Day (1962) and In Harm’s Way (1965) with John Wayne, and especially the Walt Disney television character Texas John Slaughter (1958-1961).

He later turned to the writing of prose fiction and screenplays, and wrote several science fiction, horror and mystery novels.

He served in the United States Navy in the Pacific from 1943 to 1946 during and after World War II.

Carl Weathers

Carl Weathers (born January 14, 1948) is an American actor and former professional football player. He is known for his roles as boxer Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky films (1976-1985), Al Dillon in Predator (1987), Action Jackson in Action Jackson (1988), and Chubbs Peterson in Happy Gilmore (1996) and in Little Nicky (2000), and Combat Carl in the Toy Story franchise. He also portrayed Detective Beaudreaux in the television series Street Justice (1991-1993) and a fictionalised version of himself in the comedy series Arrested Development (2003-2019), and voiced Omnitraxus Prime in Star vs. the Forces of Evil (2017-2019). He has a recurring role as Greef Karga in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian (2019-present).

Weathers played college football at San Diego State University. After going undrafted in the 1970 NFL Draft, he signed with the Oakland Raiders. He would sign with the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League after being released by the Raiders.

Weathers is briefly seen as an Army MP in one of the three released versions of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (originally released in 1977).

  • Films:
  • TV:
    • OP Centre (1995).
    • Shadow Warriors: Assault on Devil’s Island (1997).
    • Shadow Warriors 2: Hunt for the Death Merchant (1997).
    • Alien Siege (2005).
    • American Warships (2012).
    • Toy Story of Terror!, voice of Combat Carl (2013).
    • The Mandalorian (2019-Present).
  • Video Games:
    • Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction (2005).

Lawrence Kasdan

Lawrence Edward Kasdan (born 14 January 1949) is an American filmmaker. He is the co-writer of the Star Wars films The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), The Force Awakens (2015), and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). He also co-wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and The Bodyguard (1992), and is the writer-director of Body Heat (1981), The Big Chill (1983), Silverado (1985), The Accidental Tourist (1988), and Dreamcatcher (2003). He is known for updating old Hollywood genres – film noir, science-fiction, westerns – in a classical dramatic style with quick-witted dialogue, but dealing with contemporary social themes. As a director, he has made various personal films that examine characters and generations.

Kasdan has been nominated for four Academy Awards: as a producer for Best Picture nominee The Accidental Tourist, for which he was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, and for Best Original Screenplay for both The Big Chill and Grand Canyon (1991). He has often collaborated with his wife, Meg Kasdan, his brother, Mark Kasdan, and his two sons: Jonathan Kasdan and Jake Kasdan. He frequently casts Kevin Kline in his films.

Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey DeForest Bogart (25 December 1899 to 14 January 1957), nicknamed Bogie, was an American film and stage actor. His performances in Classical Hollywood cinema films made him an American cultural icon. In 1999, the American Film Institute selected Bogart as the greatest male star of classic American cinema.

Bogart began acting in Broadway shows, beginning his career in motion pictures with Up the River (1930) for Fox and appeared in supporting roles for the next decade, regularly portraying gangsters. He was praised for his work as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest (1936), but remained cast secondary to other actors at Warner Bros. who received leading roles. Bogart also received positive reviews for his performance as gangster Hugh “Baby Face” Martin, in Dead End (1937), directed by William Wyler.

His breakthrough from supporting roles to stardom was set in motion with High Sierra (1941) and catapulted in The Maltese Falcon (1941), considered one of the first great noir films. Bogart’s private detectives, Sam Spade (in The Maltese Falcon) and Philip Marlowe (in 1946’s The Big Sleep), became the models for detectives in other noir films. His most significant romantic lead role was with Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca (1942), which earned him his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. 44-year-old Bogart and 19-year-old Lauren Bacall fell in love during filming of To Have and Have Not (1944). In 1945, a few months after principal photography for The Big Sleep, their second film together, he divorced his third wife and married Bacall. After their marriage, they played each other’s love interest in the mystery thrillers Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948).

Bogart’s performances in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and In a Lonely Place (1950) are now considered among his best, although they were not recognised as such when the films were released. He reprised those unsettled, unstable characters as a World War II naval-vessel commander in The Caine Mutiny (1954), which was a critical and commercial hit and earned him another Best Actor nomination. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of a cantankerous river steam launch skipper opposite Katharine Hepburn’s missionary in the World War I African adventure The African Queen (1951). Other significant roles in his later years included The Barefoot Contessa (1954) with Ava Gardner and his on-screen competition with William Holden for Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina (1954). A heavy smoker and drinker, Bogart died from oesophageal cancer in January 1957.

US Navy

With no viable career options, Bogart enlisted in the United States Navy in the spring of 1918 (during World War I), and served as a coxswain. He recalled later, “At eighteen, war was great stuff. Paris! Sexy French girls! Hot damn!” Bogart was recorded as a model sailor, who spent most of his sea time after the armistice ferrying troops back from Europe. Bogart left the service on 18 June 1919 at the rank of Boatswain’s Mate Third Class. During the Second World War, Bogart attempted to re-enlist in the Navy but was rejected due to his age. He then volunteered for the Coast Guard Temporary Reserve in 1944, patrolling the California coastline in his yacht, the Santana.

He may have received his trademark scar and developed his characteristic lisp during his naval stint. There are several conflicting stories. In one, his lip was cut by shrapnel when his ship (the USS Leviathan) was shelled. The ship was never shelled, however, and Bogart may not have been at sea before the armistice. Another story, held by longtime friend Nathaniel Benchley, was that Bogart was injured while taking a prisoner to Portsmouth Naval Prison in Kittery, Maine. While changing trains in Boston, the handcuffed prisoner reportedly asked Bogart for a cigarette. When Bogart looked for a match, the prisoner smashed him across the mouth with the cuffs (cutting Bogart’s lip) and fled before being recaptured and imprisoned. In an alternative version, Bogart was struck in the mouth by a handcuff loosened while freeing his charge; the other handcuff was still around the prisoner’s wrist. By the time Bogart was treated by a doctor, a scar had formed. David Niven said that when he first asked Bogart about his scar, however, he said that it was caused by a childhood accident. “Goddamn doctor”, Bogart later told Niven. “Instead of stitching it up, he screwed it up.” According to Niven, the stories that Bogart got the scar during wartime were made up by the studios. His post-service physical did not mention the lip scar, although it noted many smaller scars. When actress Louise Brooks met Bogart in 1924, he had scar tissue on his upper lip which Brooks said Bogart may have had partially repaired before entering the film industry in 1930. Brooks said that his “lip wound gave him no speech impediment, either before or after it was mended.”

Peter Finch

Frederick George Peter Ingle Finch (28 September 1916 to 14 January 1977) was an English-Australian actor of theatre, film and radio.

Born in London, he emigrated to Australia as a teenager and was raised in Sydney, where he worked in vaudeville and radio before becoming a star of Australian films. Joining the Old Vic Company after World War II, he achieved widespread critical success in Britain for both stage and screen performances. One of British cinema’s most celebrated leading men of the time, Finch won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role five times, and won a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of crazed television anchorman Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network.

According to the British Film Institute, “it is arguable that no other actor ever chalked up such a rewarding CV in British films, and he accumulated the awards to bolster this view..” He died only two months before the 49th Academy Awards, making him the first person to win a posthumous Oscar in an acting category. As of 2022, the only other person to have done so was fellow Australian Heath Ledger.

Finch appeared in a war propaganda film, The Power and the Glory (1941), playing a fifth columnist.

War Service

Finch enlisted in the Australian Army on 02 June 1941. He served in the Middle East and was an anti-aircraft gunner during the Bombing of Darwin.

During his war service Finch was given leave to act in radio, theatre and film. He appeared in a number of propaganda shorts, including Another Threshold (1942), These Stars Are Mine (1943), While There is Still Time (1943) and South West Pacific (1943), the latter for Ken G. Hall. He also appeared in two of the few Australian feature films made during the war, The Rats of Tobruk (1944) and the less distinguished Red Sky at Morning (1944).

Finch produced and performed Army Concert Party work, and in 1945 toured bases and hospitals with two Terence Rattigan plays he directed, French Without Tears and While the Sun Shines. He narrated the widely seen documentaries Jungle Patrol (1944) and Sons of the Anzacs (1945).

Finch was discharged from the army on 31 October 1945 at the rank of sergeant.

Ricardo Montalban

Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino, KSG (25 November 1920 to 14 January 2009) was a Mexican and American film and television actor. Montalbán’s career spanned seven decades, during which he became known for performances in a variety of genres, from crime and drama to musicals and comedy.

Later in his career, Montalbán portrayed Armando in the Planet of the Apes film series from the early 1970s, starring in both Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972). As the villain Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically enhanced human, he starred in both the original Star Trek television series (1967) and the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). During the 1970s and 1980s, he was a spokesman in automobile advertisements for Chrysler, including those in which he extolled the “rich Corinthian leather” used for the Cordoba’s interior.

Montalbán played Mr. Roarke on the television series Fantasy Island (1977-1984). He won an Emmy Award for his role in the miniseries How the West Was Won (1978), and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 1993. Montalbán was professionally active into his 80s, providing voices for animated films and commercials and appearing as Grandfather Valentin in the Spy Kids franchise.

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