January 23, 1948 -
John Huston's classic film, Treasure of Sierra Madre, starring Humphrey Bogart opens in NYC on this date.
Just as John Huston was starting to shoot scenes in Tampico, Mexico, the production was shut down inexplicably by the local government. It turns out that a local newspaper printed a false story that accused the filmmakers of making a production that was unflattering to Mexico. Fortunately, two of Huston's associates, Diego Rivera and Miguel Covarrubias, went to bat for the director with the President of Mexico. The libelous accusations were dropped.
January 23, 1950 -
Richard Dean Anderson, actor and love god of Patty and Selma Bouvier, was born on this date.
I shudder to think how Patty and Selma celebrate the day.
January 23, 1975 -
Barney Miller, a TV series set in a New York City police station in Greenwich Village, premiered on ABC TV on this date.
Abby Dalton played Barney Miller's wife Elizabeth in the pilot 'The Life and Times of Captain Barney Miller'. When the show was picked up, she was replaced by Barbara Barrie. Also appearing in the original pilot were Abe Vigoda, Charles Haid, Rod Perry, Val Bisoglio and Henry Beckman.
January 23, 1977 -
The twelve-hour miniseries Roots premiered on ABC-TV on this date.
For eight consecutive nights it riveted the country. ABC executives initially feared that the historical saga about slavery would be a ratings disaster. Instead, Roots scored higher ratings than any previous entertainment program in history.
January 23, 1983 -
The A-Team starring George Peppard, Dirk Benedict and Mr. T premiered on NBC-TV on this date.
In case you forgot: at the end of their stint in Viet Nam, Col. John "Hannibal" Smith and his team were framed for robbing the Bank of Hanoi (which they had done, but under orders), and sent to a US military prison. They escaped and went on the run, pursued first by Col. Lynch and later by Col. Decker. While on the lam, they became heroes for hire, working as good-guy vigilantes around the US or the world.
Today in History:
January 23, 1849 -
It is not easy to be a pioneer - but oh, it is fascinating! I would not trade one moment, even the worst moment, for all the riches in the world.
English-born Elizabeth Blackwell, becomes the first woman to receive an American medical degree, graduated at the top of her class from the medical school of Hobart College, Geneva, NY on this date.
January 23, 1897 -
Elva Zona Heaster was found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia on this date. Authorities originally thought Heaster had died of natural causes, but her mother later claimed that Elva's ghost visited her and told her otherwise, leading to her widowed husband's arrest and conviction.
January 23, 1931 -
While touring in the Netherlands, the prima ballerina Anna Pavlova's train had a slight accident, derailing and being delayed for 12 hours. She went outside dressed only in pajamas and a light scarf to see what was happening. As a result of this she caught a cold, which developed into pneumonia.
She died three weeks later on this date. At the end, she asked to hold her Dying Swan costume. Her last words were, "Play that last measure very softly." So kids, once again, your mother was right - it's cold outside, put on a sweater.
January 23, 1978 -
Terry Kath of band Chicago accidentally kills himself on this date while pretending to play Russian Roulette in Woodland Hills.
The circumstances of his death gave him the dubious distinction of being one of the first celebrities to be nominated for a Darwin Award.
Moral: Remember guns don't kill - one bullet in the chamber does.
And so it goes.