On This Day … 12 February [2023]

People (Births)

  • 1915 – Lorne Greene, Canadian-American actor (d. 1987)
  • 1950 – Michael Ironside, Canadian actor, director, and screenwriter
  • 1952 – Simon MacCorkindale, English actor, director, and producer (d. 2010)
  • 1968 – Josh Brolin, American actor

People (Deaths)

  • 1985 – Nicholas Colasanto, American actor and director (b. 1924)

Lorne Greene

Lorne Hyman Greene OC (born Lyon Himan Green; 12 February 1915 to 11 September 1987) was a Canadian actor, musician, singer and radio personality. His notable television roles include Ben Cartwright on the Western Bonanza and Commander Adama in the original science-fiction television series Battlestar Galactica and Galactica 1980. He also worked on the Canadian television nature documentary series Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness and in television commercials.

During World War II, Greene served as a Flying officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Afterward, he was assigned as the principal newsreader on the CBC National News. The CBC gave him the nickname “The Voice of Canada”, although his role in delivering distressing war news in sonorous tones with his deep, resonant voice following Canada’s entry into World War II in 1939 caused many listeners to call him “The Voice of Doom”, instead, particularly since he was delegated the assignment of reading the dreaded list of soldiers killed in the war.

During his radio days, Greene invented a stopwatch which ran backwards (i.e. it would start from a given number and count down to zero); this helped radio announcers gauge how much time was left while speaking.

During his CBC radio career, Greene also narrated documentary films, such as the National Film Board of Canada’s Fighting Norway (1943).

In 1955, he appeared as Marcus Brutus in Julius Caesar at the Stratford Festival.

  • Churchill’s Island (1941) as Narrator.
  • Warclouds in the Pacific (1941) as Narrator.
  • Inside Fighting China (1941) as Narrator.
  • Battlestar Galactica (21 episodes, 1978-1979) as Commander Adama.
  • Galactica 1980 (10 episodes, 1980) as Commander Adama.
  • The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory (1987) as General Sam Houston (final film role).

Michael Ironside

Frederick Reginald Ironside (born 12 February 1950), known as Michael Ironside, is a Canadian actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. He is best known for playing villains and “tough guy” roles, but has also portrayed sympathetic characters. He has played Darryl Revok in Scanners (1981), Lieutenant Commander Richard “Jester” Heatherly in Top Gun (1986), Richter in Total Recall (1990), Dial in Free Willy (1993), Lieutenant Jean Rasczak in Starship Troopers (1997), Miller in The Machinist (2004) and Eddie Williams in Nobody (2021). He has also voiced Darkseid in the DC Animated Universe (1997-2006), Sam Fisher in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (2002-2010) and Ultra Magnus on Transformers: Prime (2013).

  • Naval Aviator Lieutenant Commander Rick “Jester” Heatherly (Top Gun, 1986).
  • Extreme Prejudice (1987) as Major Paul Hackett.
  • The villainous General Katana in the science fiction sequel Highlander II: The Quickening (1991).
  • In 1995, Ironside had a brief cameo as Lieutenant Colonel Stone in Major Payne.
  • In 1997, Ironside was reunited with Total Recall director Paul Verhoeven for Starship Troopers.
  • In 2009, Ironside starred as Resistance General Hugh Ashdown in Terminator Salvation, reunited with his co-star from The Machinist, Christian Bale.
  • He has worked in video games as the voice of Tom Clancy’s character Sam Fisher in the Splinter Cell games and is cast as the Global Defense Initiative’s Lieutenant General Jack Granger in Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars.
  • Ironside signed a five-year deal to portray Captain Jonas Trager in the SpaceWorks Television science fiction series, Ice Planet but the show was not produced.
  • He also voiced the role of Ultra Magnus in season 3 of the Transformers Prime Beast Hunters television series in 2013.
  • In 2016, he portrayed General Douglas MacArthur in the 4-part miniseries Tokyo Trial.

Simon MacCorkindale

Simon Charles Pendered MacCorkindale (12 February 1952 to 14 October 2010) was a British actor, film director, writer and producer. He spent much of his childhood moving around owing to his father’s career as an officer with the Royal Air Force. Poor eyesight prevented him from following a similar career in the RAF, so he instead planned to become a theatre director.

He appeared in a variety of films and TV series including Quatermass (1979), The Riddle of the Sands (1979), The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982) and Jaws 3-D (1983). In 1983, MacCorkindale starred in the short-lived series Manimal as the lead character, Dr. Jonathan Chase, before taking up the longer-running role of lawyer Greg Reardon in Falcon Crest.

Moving to Canada, he starred as Peter Sinclair in the series Counterstrike for three years (from 1990). He returned to the United Kingdom in 2002 and joined the cast of the BBC medical drama Casualty, appearing in the role of Harry Harper for six years until 2008.

Josh Brolin

Joshua James Brolin (born 12 February 1968) is an American actor.

Brolin starred in the 2013 film Gangster Squad, portraying a fictional World War II veteran named John O’Mara. In 2021, he played Gurney Halleck in the Dune remake (reprising the role in Dune: Part Two, 2023).

Nicholas Colasanto

Nicholas Colasanto (19 January 1924 to 12 February 1985) was an American actor and television director who is best known for his role as “Coach” Ernie Pantusso in the American television sitcom Cheers. He served in the United States Navy during World War II and later attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in the 1950s.

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