On This Day … 25 February [2023]

People (Births)

  • 1928 – Larry Gelbart, American author and screenwriter; creator and producer of M*A*S*H TV series (d. 2009)
  • 1971 – Sean Astin, American actor, director and producer

People (Deaths)

  • 2017 – Bill Paxton, American actor and filmmaker (b. 1955)

Larry Gelbart

Larry Simon Gelbart (25 February 1928 to 11 September 2009) was an American television writer, playwright, screenwriter, director and author, most famous as a creator and producer of the television series M*A*S*H, and as co-writer of the Broadway musicals A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and City of Angels.

Drafted into the United States Army shortly after World War II, Gelbart worked for the Armed Forces Radio Service in Los Angeles. Attaining the rank of sergeant, Gelbart was honourably discharged after serving 1 year and 11 days. Those last 11 days prevented Gelbart from being drafted for service during the Korean War.

Sean Astin

Sean Patrick Astin (né Duke; 25 February 1971) is an American actor. His acting roles include Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003), Mikey Walsh in The Goonies (1985), Billy Tepper in “Toy Soldiers” (1991), Daniel Ruettiger in Rudy (1993), Doug Whitmore in 50 First Dates (2004), Bill in Click (2006), Lynn McGill in the fifth season of 24 (2006), Oso in Special Agent Oso (2009-2012), Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012-2017), Bob Newby in the second and third seasons of Netflix’s Stranger Things (2017; 2019), and Ed in No Good Nick (2019).

He is the son of actress Patty Duke and actor John Astin. He has received various recognitions including a Screen Actors Guild Award and two Young Artist Awards. Additionally, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1994 for the short film Kangaroo Court.

Bill Paxton

William Paxton (17 May 1955 to 25 February 2017) was an American actor and filmmaker. He appeared in films such as Weird Science (1985), Aliens (1986), Near Dark (1987), Tombstone (1993), True Lies (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Twister (1996), Titanic (1997), A Simple Plan (1998), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and Nightcrawler (2014).

Paxton starred in the HBO drama series Big Love (2006–2011), for which he earned three Golden Globe Award nominations during the show’s run. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for portraying Randall McCoy in the History channel miniseries Hatfields & McCoys (2012).

His great-great-grandfather was Elisha Franklin Paxton (1828-1863), a brigadier general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War who was killed commanding the Stonewall Brigade at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

In 1981, Paxton worked in the movie Stripes as a soldier, in the bar scene with John Candy and Bill Murray. He worked alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in James Cameron’s The Terminator (1984) and in Commando (1985). He reunited with Cameron on Aliens (1986). His performance in the latter film as Private Hudson earned him the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 1990, Paxton appeared in Predator 2 (1990). He also appeared in U-571 (2000) and Edge of Tomorrow (2014).

He starred alongside Jon Bernthal, Rose McGowan and John Malkovich as a playable character in the 2014 video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (downloadable “Exo Zombies” mode). Paxton starred as General Sam Houston in the Western miniseries Texas Rising for The History Channel in 2015.

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