November 16, 1969 -
BJ Thomas released his hit, Hooked on a Feeling on this date.
I'm not a cruel man, I didn't play the Ooga Chuka version or you'd never get it out of your head today.
November 16, 1976 -
Brian De Palma's film-version of Stephen King's Carrie, starring Sissy Spacek opened on this date.
Sissy Spacek wasn't considered for the role of Carrie until her husband, art director Jack Fisk, convinced director Brian De Palma to allow her to audition. Until that, De Palma was wedded to the idea of Amy Irving playing Carrie; when Spacek got the part instead, De Palma gave Irving the smaller role of Sue.
November 16, 1979 -
Steven Spielberg's sci-fi classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, opened on this date.
Steven Spielberg knew only vaguely what the mothership would look like when he was filming the live action scenes. Basically he decided it would be big and hulk-like, and very dark. While filming in India months later he drove past a giant oil refinery every day and was inspired by the many lights and pipes and outcroppings on the rig to change the look of the spaceship. He now decided it would be brightly lit, which is how it appears in the final film, even though the footage of it casting a dark shadow over the crowd had already been shot.
Today in History:
November 16, 42 BC -
Tiberius Claudius Nero was born on this date. He was the Emperor of Rome from 14 to 37 AD.
He was not the Nero who fiddled while Rome burned (nor did he riddle while foam churned) and nor was he the crippled, seemingly dimwitted Claudius (Derek Jacobi.)
John the Baptist and Jesus were put to death during his reign, as well as many whose deaths didn't result in the creation of a religion.
November 16, 1906 -
Opera star Enrico Caruso is charged with an indecent act committed in the monkey house of New York's Central Park Zoo. He pinched the bottom of a woman described as "pretty and plump", causing outrage amongst New York high society. Caruso claimed a monkey pinched the lady's bottom.
You know what I think - Caruso pinched the monkey's bottom and the fat lady was jealous. And you don't even want to know what the monkey was doing to himself at the time.
November 16, 1913 -
... If you are calling the author of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu a looney...I SHALL HAVE TO ASK YOU TO STEP OUTSIDE!
Unable to find a publisher willing to publish the first part of his ambitious three-volume novel, Marcel Proust untakes to pay the cost of publication himself of Du Côté de Chez Swann (Swann's Way,) the first volume of what turns out to become the 7-part novel À la Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past,) was published on this date.
November 16, 1952 -
Lucy holds a football for Charlie Brown in the Peanuts cartoon strip for the first time on this date.
What was often left out of the cartoon strip by newspaper editors was the last panel where Charlie Brown has the living daylights beaten out of Lucy for pulling that stunt.
November 16, 1957 -
Mother, no, no. So much blood!!!
Serial killer Ed Gein kills his final victim, Bernice Worden, a storeclerk in her 50's. Her decapitated body is later found outdoors hanging from a block and tackle, gutted. Some parts were unaccounted for.
November 16, 1960 -
Working on the film, The Misfits was a trying experience for all involved. Marilyn Monroe's marriage was unravelling before the cast and crews eyes. Clark Gable, became bored while waiting for Marilyn Monroe to turn up on the set. Gable, 59 (but a long-time smoker and drinker was in poor health) opted to do his own stunts, which included being dragged by a truck traveling at 30 mph. On the last day of filming, Gable said, "Christ, I'm glad this picture's finished. She (Monroe) damn near gave me a heart attack."
On the next day, Gable suffered a severe coronary thrombosis. He died in hospital from a heart attack several days later on this date. Marylin Monroe died of an alleged drug overdose (murder) a year later. Montgomery Clift, lingered around another 6 years, committing "the longest suicide in Hollywood," - heaving drinking and drug taking.
November 16, 1971 -
Her fog, her amphetamine, and her pearls...
Edie Sedgwick, actress and one of Andy Warhol's 'Superstars', died in California from a barbiturate overdose on this date.
Allegedly when learning of Sedgwick's death, Andy Warhol responded with "Edie who?" She was 28 years old.
November 16, 1981 -
Actor William Holden died after a fall, hitting his head on a table on this date. He was too drunk to telephone for assistance; instead he died alone, bleeding to death trying to treat his wound with Kleenex. If it wasn't so sad, it would sound like the end of a classic film noir.
Years later, Suzanne Vega references his ignominious death in her song, Tom's Diner.
38 more shopping days until Christmas, 33 more shopping days until Hanukkah. (Black Friday is just 9 days away.)
And so it goes