August 11, 1994: Actor Peter Cushing dies

Peter Cushing (26 May 1913 – 11 August 1994) was an English actor and a BAFTA TV Award Best Actor winner in 1956. He is mainly known for his prolific appearances in Hammer Films, in which he played strong character roles like the sinister scientist Baron Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes and the vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing, among many other roles. He appeared frequently opposite Christopher Lee and, occasionally, Vincent Price. A familiar face on both sides of the Atlantic, Cushing is best known outside the Hammer productions for playing Dr. Who in Doctor Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks – Invasion Earth (1966), and for his performance as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars (1977).

Find out more at Wikipedia.

July 22, 1964 in Doctor Who: Bonnie Langford (“Mel Bush”) is born

Bonnie Langford (born Bonita Melody Lysette Langford, 22 July 1964) is an English actress, dancer and entertainer. She came to prominence as a child star in the early 1970s before subsequently becoming well known for her role as Mel Bush, a companion of Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy‘s Doctor in the BBC series Doctor Who in the mid 1980s. She returned to the role in 1993 for Dimensions in Time, a special charity Doctor Who/EastEnders crossover episode as part of the BBC’s Children in Need. She has continued to reprise the role in several audio dramas.

Langford debuted in “Terror of the Vervoids”, one of the stories in The Trial of a Time Lord, and departing at the conclusion of Dragonfire.

Aged six years old, Langford won the talent show Opportunity Knocks. This led to early fame in the television series Just William (playing Violet Elizabeth Bott), the 1974 Broadway revival of Gypsy starring Angela Lansbury, the 1976 film Bugsy Malone, and the 1977 film Wombling Free. During this time, she was appearing as a regular on a children’s prime-time show made by Yorkshire Television called Junior Showtime, along with child stars Lena Zavaroni, Neil Reed and Glynn Poole among others. Langford appeared as Scarlett O’Hara’s daughter in the London production of Scarlett (1972)

She has since appeared on stage in various musicals in the West End and on Broadway; shows such as Peter Pan, Cats, The Pirates of Penzance and Chicago, and is now a regular in EastEnders. [Wikipedia] [tardis.wikia.com]

July 22: Actor Danny Glover is 71

Danny Glover (born July 22, 1946) is an American actor, film director, and political activist. He is well known for his leading role as Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film series, The Color Purple (1985), To Sleep with Anger (1990), Predator 2 (1990) and Angels in the Outfield (1994). He also has prominent supporting roles in Silverado (1985), and Witness (1985).

Find out more at Wikipedia.

July 13: Harrison Ford is 75

Harrison Ford (born July 13, 1942) is an American actor and film producer. He gained worldwide fame for his starring roles as Han Solo in the Star Wars film series and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in the neo-noir dystopian science fiction film Blade Runner (1982); John Book in the thriller Witness (1985), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor; and Jack Ryan in the action films Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994).

His career has spanned six decades and includes roles in several Hollywood blockbusters; including the epic war film Apocalypse Now (1979); the legal drama Presumed Innocent (1990); the action film The Fugitive (1993); the political action thriller Air Force One (1997); and the psychological thriller What Lies Beneath (2000). Six of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry: American Graffiti (1973), The Conversation (1974), Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Blade Runner.

In 1997, Ford was ranked No. 1 in Empire’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” list. As of 2016, the U.S. domestic box-office grosses of Ford’s films total over US$4.7 billion, with worldwide grosses surpassing $6 billion, making Ford the highest-grossing U.S. domestic box-office star. Ford is married to actress Calista Flockhart. [Wikipedia]

July 12: Actor Frank Windsor is 90

Frank Windsor (born Frank W. Higgins 12 July 1927, in Walsall, Staffordshire) is an English actor, mainly on television. He began his career on radio and made an appearance in a 1953 film of Henry V. His first TV appearances were in 1960 in a series of Shakespearean plays.

His most famous role was as Detective Sergeant John Watt in Z-Cars from 1962-65, and thereafter its spin-offs Softly, Softly and Softly, Softly: Taskforce from 1966-76. He appeared as ‘Tobin’ in Series 6, Episode 9 of The Avengers. From 1987-89 he starred in the comedy drama Flying Lady written by Brian Finch.

He was the subject of This Is Your Life on 3 December 1975 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the Metropolitan Police Sports Club in East Molesey.

He starred as a rather old-fashioned headmaster grappling with problems in education in Headmaster, which started as a single play in Play for Today in 1974 and was well received, being expanded into a six-part series in 1977. In 1969 he appeared in the pilot episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) in the episode “My Late Lamented Friend and Partner” as Sorrensen, a wealthy businessman with a murderous streak. His lighter side was demonstrated in the pilot episode of the situation comedy The Dustbinmen in 1968, and as Scoutfinder General in an episode of The Goodies.

He had regular roles in the BBC drama Casualty; the ITV drama Peak Practice; he played Major Charlie Grace in EastEnders (1992); appeared twice in Doctor Who; had various stage roles, and in his later years appeared in a number of television commercials advertising life-assurance policies for people over-50. [Wikipedia]

July 11: Pauline McLynn is 55

Pauline McLynn (born 11 July 1962) is an Irish character actress and author. She is best known for her roles as Mrs Doyle in the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted, Libby Croker in the Channel 4 comedy drama Shameless, and Yvonne Cotton in the BBC soap opera EastEnders.

Born in Sligo, McLynn grew up in Galway. She studied History of Art and Modern English at Trinity College, Dublin, but was more heavily involved in the college’s drama society. She graduated with an MA.

Although McLynn was in her early thirties when playing Mrs Doyle, makeup was used to make her look far older to fit the character’s profile. She received a British Comedy Award for her performances in 1996. The award was presented to her by Tony Blair.

Other televised appearances have been in sketches on Bremner, Bird and Fortune, and numerous panel shows, including Just a Minute, Have I Got News for You, and If I Ruled the World. In 1999, she appeared in the film adaptation of Angela’s Ashes.

McLynn is married to theatrical agent Richard Cook. She is a patron of the children’s charity World Vision Ireland and is president of Friends of Innisfree Housing Association. She is also a patron of Birmingham Greyhound Protection and for Littlehill Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in Ireland.

McLynn is a fan of the Championship football team Aston Villa. She says her best moment supporting Villa came in 1996 when she watched them beat Leeds United in the Football League Cup final with her Father Ted co-star Ardal O’Hanlon, who is a Leeds supporter.

July 10, 1947 in Doctor Who: Jackie Lane (“Dodo Chaplet”) is born

Jackie Lane (born 10 July 1941 in Manchester) is an English actress noted for her role as Dodo Chaplet, a companion of the Doctor, in the long-running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who.

She played the part from the conclusion of “The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve” in February to “The War Machines” in July 1966 alongside William Hartnell as the Doctor.

She went on to become a theatrical agent, representing Tom Baker, who would play the Fourth Doctor, and Janet Fielding, who would play companion Tegan Jovanka and managed the late Nicholas Courtney. The agency which she manages is Jackie Lane Ad Voice.

 

Despite her hesitation towards being involved with the show, Jackie Lane made a brief TV appearance during Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty, celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who. [Wikipedia] [tardis.wikia.com]

July 9: Richard Roundtree is 75

Richard Roundtree (born July 9, 1942) is an American actor. He has been called “the first black action hero” for his portrayal of private detective John Shaft in the 1971 film Shaft, and its sequels, Shaft’s Big Score (1972) and Shaft in Africa (1973), along with a cameo appearance as the character in the 2000 film Shaft, which starred Samuel L. Jackson as the nephew of the original John Shaft. For his performance in Shaft, Roundtree was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor.

Read more on Wikipedia.

July 8: Kim Darby is 70

07-08-1947-Kim_DarbyKim Darby (born Deborah Zerby) is an American actress who began acting at age 15. Her first appearance was as a dancer in the film Bye Bye Birdie (1963). Among her best-known roles are True Grit (1969) (pictured), in which she played a 14-year-old when she was 21 years of age; Gunsmoke (1967 episodes “The Lure” and “Vengeance”); Bonanza (1967 episode “The Sure Thing”); The One and Only (1978); Better Off Dead (1985); and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995).

Darby’s 1960s television roles included two appearances on the NBC series Mr. Novak, starring James Franciscus; she was cast as Julie Dean in “To Lodge and Dislodge” (1963) and as Judy Wheeler in “The Silent Dissuaders” (1965). Darby also appeared about this time on The Eleventh Hour, The Fugitive, The Donna Reed Show, Ironside, and in the first season of Star Trek as the title character in “Miri“.

She was cast in the 1972 movie, The People, which also starred William Shatner, reuniting them from their Star Trek appearance. She also played the unhinged Virginia Calderwood in the first television miniseries, Rich Man, Poor Man with Nick Nolte, Peter Strauss, and Susan Blakely in 1976.

Darby also had the central role of Sally Farnham in the made-for-TV horror film Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973). Her subsequent television roles included guest appearances on Crazy Like a Fox, Family, The Love Boat, The Streets of San Francisco, Riptide, and Becker.

In the late 1980s, she began to teach acting in the Los Angeles area and has been an instructor in the Extension Program at the University of California, Los Angeles since 1992. Darby also appeared as a female convict in an episode of The X-Files (“Sein und Zeit”, 1999) who falsely confesses to the murder of her son who disappeared under mysterious circumstances that are being investigated by Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

Darby continues to make guest appearances on television and to make occasional films.

Find out more at kimdarby.com.