October 21, 1954 -
The episode of Climax!, an anthology series - broadcast live, on this evening was the first time James Bond (Barry Nelson) appeared on-screen in Casino Royale, and more than half a century later Bond is still making movies.
Barry Nelson has said that his main impetus for taking the role was the opportunity to work with legendary actor Peter Lorre. Nelson had been a fan of the actor's great body of work and believed that if he didn't take this opportunity to work with him here it may not present itself again.
Carrie Fisher, actress and writer was born on this date. You can't say anything bad or funny about her that she hasn't already said better herself.
"I think that the truth is a really stern taskmistress. "
October 21, 1937 -
A great screwball comedy, starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, The Awful Truth, premiered on this date.
The dog playing Mr. Smith in The Awful Truth was in The Thin Man movies as Asta.
October 21, 1942 -
The first of three movie musicals in which Judy Garland and Gene Kelly starred in, For Me and My Gal , premiered in New York City on this date.
This was Gene Kelly's film debut. This was the first film in which Judy Garland had her name billed before the title, which showed her growing importance and stature at MGM.
October 21, 1964 -
Yeah, yeah, Audrey Hepburn is not as good as Julie Andrews but possibly the most fully realized movie musical, My Fair Lady premiered at the Criterion Theater in New York, on this date.
James Cagney was originally offered the role of Alfred Doolittle. When he pulled out at the last minute, it went to the man who played it on Broadway, Stanley Holloway. Peter O'Toole, Cary Grant, Noel Coward, Michael Redgrave and George Sanders were all considered for the role of Higgins before Rex Harrison was finally chosen to reprise his Broadway role.
When asked why he turned down the role of Henry Higgins, Cary Grant remarked that his original manner of speaking was much closer to Eliza Dolittle.
Today in History:
October 21, 1805 -
The Battle of Trafalgar was a historic sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy - the battle, it self, was the most decisive British victory of the Napoleonic Wars and was a pivotal naval battle of the 19th century.
Admiral Lord Nelson was mortally wounded during the battle, becoming and remaining Britain's greatest naval war hero.
Nelson's body was placed in cask of brandy, mixed with camphor and myrrh, and returned to England for a spectacular funeral. An enduring rumor has evolved that the sailors aboard ship kept taking a sip from Nelson's liquory tomb hence the phrase "Nelson's blood' came into use for rum.
October 21, 1879 -
Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Alva Edison demonstrated the incandescent electric lamp on this date (or some other date, as previously mentioned.)
That invention was the fruit of study, hard work, and years of persistent experimentation, rendering it entirely inappropriate for discussion here.
More worthy of our attention is Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize, born on this date in 1833.
Mr Nobel is interesting because his fortune was founded in large part on the commercial success of something he invented in 1866: dynamite.
Dynamite proved so lucrative for Mr Nobel that he was able to spend most of the rest of his life blowing things up in the interests of world peace. World peace was not achieved in his lifetime, however, so he endowed a foundation with millions of dollars to give prizes to the men and women of future generations who helped bring the world closer to peace by blowing things up.
October 21, 1973 -
John Paul Getty III's ear is cut off by his kidnappers and sent to a newspaper in Rome; It doesn't arrive until November 8.
So much for the Italians getting the trains to run on time.
And so it goes