23 October, 2017

Giulio Marchetti


Giulio Marchetti was an Italian stage, film and television actor and presenter.

Trader Horn


Alfred Aloysius "Trader" Horn born Alfred Aloysius Smith; was an ivory trader in central Africa. He wrote a book, Trader Horn: A Young Man's Astounding Adventures in 19th-Century Equatorial Africa, detailing his journeys into jungles teeming with buffalo, gorillas, man-eating leopards, serpents and "savages". The book also documents his efforts to free slaves, meet the founder of Rhodesia, Cecil Rhodes, and liberate a princess from captivity.

A silent film exists of Horn, as well as recent writings about him online and a biography by Tim Couzens.

Alfred Wegener


Alfred Lothar Wegener was a German polar researcher, geophysicist and meteorologist.

During his lifetime he was primarily known for his achievements in meteorology and as a pioneer of polar research, but today he is most remembered as the originator of the theory of continental drift by hypothesizing in 1912 that the continents are slowly drifting around the Earth. His hypothesis was controversial and not widely accepted until the 1950s, when numerous discoveries such as palaeomagnetism provided strong support for continental drift, and thereby a substantial basis for today's model of plate tectonics. Wegener was involved in several expeditions to Greenland to study polar air circulation before the existence of the jet stream was accepted. Expedition participants made many meteorological observations and were the first to overwinter on the inland Greenland ice sheet and the first to bore ice cores on a moving Arctic glacier.

Lech Walesa


Lech Wałęsa is a retired Polish politician and labour activist. He co-founded and headed Solidarity (Solidarność), the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995.

While working at the Lenin Shipyard (now Gdańsk Shipyard), Wałęsa, an electrician, became a trade-union activist, for which he was persecuted by the Communist authorities, placed under surveillance, fired in 1976, and arrested several times. In August 1980 he was instrumental in political negotiations that led to the ground-breaking Gdańsk Agreement between striking workers and the government. He co-founded the Solidarity trade-union movement.

After martial law was imposed in Poland and Solidarity was outlawed, Wałęsa was again arrested. Released from custody, he continued his activism and was prominent in the establishment of the 1989 Round Table Agreement that led to semi-free parliamentary elections in June 1989 and to a Solidarity-led government.

In the Polish general election of 1990, Wałęsa successfully ran for the newly re-established office of President of Poland. He presided over Poland's transition from communism to a post-communist state, but his popularity waned and his role in Polish politics diminished after he narrowly lost the 1995 presidential election.

Since the fall of Communism in Poland, there have been allegations that Wałęsa had collaborated with the earlier communist secret police. In 2017 a lengthy investigation by the Institute of National Remembrance concluded that a handwriting study proved the authenticity of documents that Wałęsa had agreed to collaborate with the communist secret police.

Barack Hussein Obama Sr.


Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was a Kenyan senior governmental economist and the father of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. He is a central figure of his son's memoir, Dreams from My Father (1995). Obama married in 1954 and had two children with his first wife, Kezia. He was selected for a special program to attend college in the United States and studied at the University of Hawaii. There, Obama met Stanley Ann Dunham, whom he married in 1961, and with whom he had a son, Barack II. She divorced him three years later. The elder Obama later went to Harvard University for graduate school, where he earned an M.A. in economics, and returned to Kenya in 1964. He saw his son Barack once more, when the boy was about ten.

In late 1964, Obama Sr. married Ruth Beatrice Baker, a Jewish-American woman whom he had met in Massachusetts. They had two sons together before separating in 1971 and divorcing in 1973. Obama first worked for an oil company, before beginning work as an economist with the Kenyan Ministry of Transport. He gained a promotion to senior economic analyst in the Ministry of Finance. He was among a cadre of young Kenyan men who had been educated in the West in a program supported by Tom Mboya. Obama Sr. had conflicts with Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta, which adversely affected his career. He was fired and blacklisted in Kenya, finding it nearly impossible to get a job. Obama Sr. was involved in three serious car accidents during his final years; he died as a result of the last one in 1982.

Bourvil


André Bourvil, born André Robert Raimbourg, often known mononymously as Bourvil, was a French actor and singer best known for his roles in comedy films, most notably in his collaboration with Louis de Funès in the films Le Corniaud (1965) and La Grande Vadrouille (1966). For his performance in Le Corniaud, he won a Special Diploma at the 4th Moscow International Film Festival.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn


Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn is a French politician, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a controversial figure in the French Socialist Party due to his involvement in several financial and sexual scandals. He is often referred to in the media, and by himself, as DSK. Strauss-Kahn was appointed managing director of the IMF on 28 September 2007, with the backing of his country's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and served in that capacity until his resignation on 18 May 2011 in the wake of allegations that he had sexually assaulted a maid. Other allegations followed.

He was a professor of economics at Paris West University Nanterre La Défense and Sciences Po, and was Minister of Economy and Finance from 1997 to 1999 as part of Lionel Jospin's "Plural Left" government. He sought the nomination in the Socialist Party presidential primary of 2006, but was defeated by Ségolène Royal in November.

David O. Selznick


David O. Selznick was an American film producer, screenwriter and film studio executive. He is best known for producing Gone with the Wind (1939) and Rebecca (1940), both earning him an Academy Award for Best Picture.

Ramón Novarro


Jose Ramón Gil Samaniego, best known as Ramón Novarro, was a Mexican film, stage and television actor who began his career in silent films in 1917 and eventually became a leading man and one of the top box office attractions of the 1920s and early 1930s. Novarro was promoted by MGM as a "Latin lover" and became known as a sex symbol after the death of Rudolph Valentino.

William Gibson


William Gibson was an American playwright and novelist. He won the Tony Award for Best Play for The Miracle Worker in 1959, which he later adapted for the film version in 1962.

Hal Roach Jr.


Hal Roach Jr. was primarily a film and television producer and occasional director.

Hal Roach Sr.


Harold Eugene Roach Sr. was an American film and television producer, director, and actor from the 1910s to the 1990s, best known today for producing the Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang film comedy series.

W.F. Harvey


William Fryer Harvey was an English writer of short stories, most notably in the macabre and horror genres. Among his best-known stories are "August Heat" and "The Beast with Five Fingers", described by horror historian Les Daniels as "minor masterpieces."

Ludwig Hohlwein


Ludwig Hohlwein was a German poster artist. He was trained and practiced as an architect until 1906, when he switched to poster design. Hohlwein's adaptations of photographic images was based on a deep and intuitive understanding of graphical principles. His creative use of color and architectural compositions dispels any suggestion that he uses photos as a substitute for creative design.

Dennis Morgan


Dennis Morgan was an American actor-singer. Born as Earl Stanley Morner, he used the acting pseudonym Richard Stanley before adopting the name under which he gained his greatest fame.

Clifford D. Simak


Clifford Donald Simak was an American science fiction writer. He was honored by fans with three Hugo Awards and by colleagues with one Nebula Award. The Science Fiction Writers of America made him its third SFWA Grand Master, and the Horror Writers Association made him one of three inaugural winners of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Sir Arnold Bax


Sir Arnold Edward Trevor Bax was an English composer, poet, and author. His prolific output includes songs, choral music, chamber pieces, and solo piano works, but he is best known for his orchestral music. In addition to a series of symphonic poems he wrote seven symphonies and was for a time widely regarded as the leading British symphonist.

Bax was born in the London suburb of Streatham to a prosperous family. He was encouraged by his parents to pursue a career in music, and his private income enabled him to follow his own path as a composer without regard for fashion or orthodoxy. Consequently, he came to be regarded in musical circles as an important but isolated figure. While still a student at the Royal Academy of Music Bax became fascinated with Ireland and Celtic culture, which became a strong influence on his early development. In the years before the First World War he lived in Ireland and became a member of Dublin literary circles, writing fiction and verse under the pseudonym Dermot O'Byrne. Later, he developed an affinity with Nordic culture, which for a time superseded his Celtic influences in the years after the First World War.

Between 1910 and 1920 Bax wrote a large amount of music, including the symphonic poem Tintagel, his best-known work. During this period he formed a lifelong association with the pianist Harriet Cohen – at first an affair, then a friendship, and always a close professional relationship. In the 1920s he began the series of seven symphonies which form the heart of his orchestral output. In 1942 Bax was appointed Master of the King's Music, but composed little in that capacity. In his last years he found his music regarded as old-fashioned, and after his death it was generally neglected. From the 1960s onwards, mainly through a growing number of commercial recordings, his music was gradually rediscovered, although little of it is heard with any frequency in the concert hall.

Thelonious Monk


Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer. He had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "'Round Midnight," "Blue Monk," "Straight, No Chaser," "Ruby, My Dear," "In Walked Bud," and "Well, You Needn't." Monk is the second most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed more than a thousand pieces, whereas Monk wrote about 70.

His compositions and improvisations feature dissonances and angular melodic twists and are consistent with his unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of switched key releases, silences, and hesitations.

Monk was renowned for his distinctive style in suits, hats, and sunglasses. He was also noted for an idiosyncratic habit observed at times during performances: While the other musicians in the band continued playing, he would stop, stand up from the keyboard, and dance for a few moments before returning to the piano.

Monk is one of five jazz musicians to have been featured on the cover of Time magazine, after Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, and Duke Ellington and before Wynton Marsalis.

Sergei Yesenin


Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin was a Russian lyric poet. He is one of the most popular and well-known Russian poets of the 20th century.

Billy Martin


Alfred Manuel "Billy" Martin was an American Major League Baseball second baseman and manager. He is best known as the manager of the New York Yankees, a position he held five different times. As Yankees manager, he led the team to consecutive American League pennants in 1976 and 1977; the Yankees were swept in the 1976 World Series by the Cincinnati Reds but triumphed over the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in the 1977 World Series. He also had notable managerial tenures with several other AL squads, leading four of them to division championships.

Martin had a distinguished playing career in the 1950s, highlighted by his years with the Yankees during which he performed at a high level in appearances in the World Series. He was also selected for the American League All Star team in 1956. In these years his infamous propensity for fisticuffs became established, both on and off the baseball field.

As a manager, Martin was known for turning losing teams into winners, and for arguing animatedly with umpires, including a widely parodied routine in which he kicked dust on their feet. However, he was criticized for not getting along with veteran players and owners, burning out young pitchers, and for having an addiction to alcohol. During the 1969 through 1988 period as a manager, Martin totaled 1,253 victories with a .553 winning percentage.

Bob Burns


Robin "Bob" Burns was an American musical comedian, who appeared on radio and in movies from 1930 to 1947. Burns played a novelty musical instrument of his own invention, which he called a "bazooka". During World War II, the US Army's handheld anti-tank rocket launcher was nicknamed the "bazooka".

Moe Howard


Moses Harry Horwitz, known professionally as Moe Howard, was an American actor and comedian best known as the de facto leader of the Three Stooges, the farce comedy team who starred in motion pictures and television for four decades. That group originally started out as Ted Healy and His Stooges, an act that toured the vaudeville circuit. Moe's distinctive hairstyle came about when he was a boy and cut off his curls with a pair of scissors, producing a ragged shape approximating a bowl cut.

Danny Kaye


David Daniel Kaminsky, better known by his screen name Danny Kaye, was an American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, and musician. His performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and rapid-fire novelty songs.

Kaye starred in 17 movies, notably Wonder Man (1945), The Kid from Brooklyn (1946), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), The Inspector General (1949), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), White Christmas (1954), and The Court Jester (1956).

His films were popular, especially his performances of patter songs and favorites such as "Inchworm" and "The Ugly Duckling". He was the first ambassador-at-large of UNICEF in 1954 and received the French Legion of Honour in 1986 for his years of work with the organization.

Frank Belknap Long


Frank Belknap Long was an American writer of horror fiction, fantasy, science fiction, poetry, gothic romance, comic books, and non-fiction. Though his writing career spanned seven decades, he is best known for his horror and science fiction short stories, including early contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos. During his life, Long received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement (at the 1978 World Fantasy Convention), the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement (in 1987, from the Horror Writers Association), and the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award (1977).

Long was born in Manhattan, New York City on April 27, 1901. He grew up in the Harlem area of Manhattan. His father was a prosperous dentist and his mother was May Doty. The family resided at 823 West End Avenue in Manhattan. Long's father was a keen fisher and hunter, and Long accompanied the family on annual summer vacations from the age of six months to 17, usually in the Thousand Islands region on the Canadian shore, about seven miles from the village of Gananoque. When he was three years old, on one of these vacations, he fell into the river at the end of a long pier and contracted pneumonia.

A lifelong resident of New York City, Long was educated in the New York City public school system. As a boy he was fascinated by natural history, and wrote that he dreamed of running "away from home and explore the great rain forests of the Amazon." He developed his interest in the weird by reading the Oz books, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells as well as Ambrose Bierce and Edgar Allan Poe. Though writing was to be his life's work, he once commented that as "important as writing is, I could have been completely happy if I had a secure position in a field that has always had a tremendous emotion and an imaginative appeal for me—that of natural history."

In his late teens, he was active in the United Amateur Press Association (UAPA) in which he won a prize from The Boy's World (around 1919) and thus discovered amateur journalism. His first published tale was "Dr Whitlock's Price (United Amateur, March 1920). Long's story "The Eye Above the Mantel" (1921), a pastiche of Edgar Allan Poe, in UAPA, caught the eye of H. P. Lovecraft, sparking a friendship and correspondence that would endure until Lovecraft's death in 1937.

Long attended New York University from 1920 to 1921, studying journalism but later transferred to Columbia, leaving without a degree. In 1921, he suffered a severe attack of appendicitis, leading to a ruptured appendix and peritonitis. He spent a month in New York's Roosevelt Hospital, where he came close to dying. Long's brush with death propelled him into a decision that he would leave college to pursue a freelance writing career. In 1923, at the age of 22, he sold his first short story, "The Desert Lich", to Weird Tales magazine. Throughout the next four decades, Long was to be a frequent contributor to pulp magazines, including two of the most famous: Weird Tales (under editor Farnsworth Wright) and Astounding Science Fiction (under editor John W. Campbell). Long was an active freelance writer, also publishing many non-fiction articles.

His first book, the scarce volume A Man from Genoa and Other Poems, was published in 1926 by W. Paul Cook. Two copies are held in the collections of John Hay Library.  Long's closest friends (apart from H. P. Lovecraft) in this period included Samuel Loveman, H. Warner Munn, and James F. Morton. He had several encounters with Hart Crane, who lived one flight above Loveman in Brooklyn Heights.

"The Horror from the Hills", a story serialised in 1931 in Weird Tales, incorporated almost verbatim a dream H. P. Lovecraft related to him (among other correspondents) in a letter. The short novel was published many years later in separate book form by Arkham House in 1963, as The Horror from the Hills. In the late 1930s, Long turned his hand to science fiction, writing for Astounding Science Fiction. He also contributed horror stories to Unknown, later called Unknown Worlds. Long contributed an episode (along with C.L. Moore, Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft) to the round-robin story "The Challenge from Beyond" (1935).

Like The Man from Genoa and Other Poems, his second book is a volume of fantastic verse: The Goblin Tower (1935), published jointly by H. P. Lovecraft and Robert H. Barlow under Barlow's The Dragonfly Press imprint. (A variant edition of this volume was published in 1945 by New Collectors Group - see Bibliography). Published in an edition of only 100 copies, this volume is exceedingly scarce; two copies are held at the collections of John Hay Library. In pulps such as Thrilling Wonder Stories and Startling Stories during the 1940s, Long sometimes wrote using the pseudonym 'Leslie Northern.' What Long characterized as a "minor disability" kept him out of World War II and writing full-time during the early 1940s.

Long reputedly ghost-wrote two, possibly three, of the Ellery Queen Junior novels (see Ellery Queen (house name) (mentioned in correspondence with August Derleth) but unfortunately did not identify the three titles. It has been speculated by researchers that the two are: The Golden Eagle Mystery (1942) and The Green Turtle Mystery (1944). The third one may have been the fugitive The Mystery of the Golden Butterfly, which was apparently never published. (This volume is mentioned as Long's on the rear panel of The Horror from the Hills and on the rear flap of The Rim of the Unknown).

He wrote comic books in the 1940s, including horror stories for Adventures Into the Unknown (ACG).[6] Long contributed several original scripts to this comic's early issues, as well as an adaptation of Walpole's The Castle of Otranto. He authored scripts for Planet Comics, Superman, Congo Bill, DC's Golden Age Green Lantern, and the Fawcett Comics Captain Marvel. He worked in the 1940s as a script-reader for Twentieth Century Fox Long wrote crime and weird menace stories for Ten Gang Mystery and other magazines. Long credited Theodore Sturgeon, whom he met several times in the mid-1940s, as being instrumental in getting one of his middle-period stories, "A Guest in the House", produced on CBS-TV in 1954.

In 1946, Arkham House published Long's first collection of supernatural fiction, The Hounds of Tindalos, which collected 21 of his best tales from the previous twenty years of magazine publication. It featured works which had appeared in such pulps as Weird Tales, Astounding Stories, Super Science Stories, Unknown, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dynamic Science Fiction, Startling Stories, and others. In "The Man from Time", a time-traveller from the future has an encounter with writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. His later science fiction works include the story collection John Carstairs, Space Detective (1949) about a 'botanical detective', and the novels Space Station 1 (1957), Mars is My Destination (1962) and It Was the Day of the Robot (1963).

In the 1950s he was involved with editing five different magazines. He was uncredited associate editor on The Saint Mystery Magazine and Fantastic Universe. He was associate editor on Satellite Science Fiction, 1959; on Short Stories, 1959–60; and on Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine until 1966. Long several times met fellow Weird Tales writer and poet Joseph Payne Brennan, and later provided the foreword for Brennan's The Chronicles of Lucius Leffing (1977). After the decline of the pulps, Long moved into the prolific production of science fiction and gothic romance novels during the 1960s and 1970s. He even wrote a Man from UNCLE story, "The Electronic Frankenstein Affair", which appeared under the pen name Robert Hart Davis in the Man from UNCLE Magazine.

In 1960, he married Lyda Arco, an artists' representative and aficionado of drama. She was a Russian descended from a line of actors in the Yiddish theatre who ran a salon in Chelsea, NY. They stayed together till Long's death in 1994, but had no children. Long described himself as an "agnostic." Referring to Lovecraft, Long wrote that he "always shared HPL's skepticism . . . concerning the entire range of alleged supernatural occurrences and what is commonly defined as 'the occult.'" In 1963 Arkham House published Long's novel The Horror from the Hills, a work partly incorporating Lovecraft's account of a dream Lovecraft had experienced. This work introduced Long's alien entity Chaugnar Faugn into the Cthulhu Mythos cycle.

In 1972 Arkham House published The Rim of the Unknown, their second hardcover collection of Long's work - a volume focussing primarily on his science fiction short stories.  Long wrote nine modern Gothic novels, starting with So Dark a Heritage in 1966 (published under his own name), eight of which were published as by "Lyda Belknap Long", a combination of his wife (Lyda Arco Long)'s first name and his middle name and surname. Seven of these appeared during the 1970s; all were entirely his own work and were workmanlike products intended to support him and his wife rather than to be of high literary quality.

Illumination on Long's own life and work is provided by his extensive introduction to The Early Long (1975), a collection of his best early stories which essentially duplicates the contents of The Hounds of Tindalos but to which Long adds detailed headnotes to each story. Further writing on his own life is found in his Autobiographical Memoir (Necronomicon Press, 1986). Long's book-length memoir of H. P. Lovecraft, Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Dreamer on the Nightside, was issued by Arkham House in 1975. It was written in haste as a result of Long's reading of L. Sprague de Camp's Lovecraft: A Biography (1975), which Long felt to be biased against Lovecraft. In 1977, Arkham House issued Long's hardcover poetry collection In Mayan Splendor, containing all the poems from A Man from Genoa and Other Poems (1924) and The Goblin Tower (1926). The same year he won the First Fandom Hall of Fame award (1977). In 1978 he won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement (at the 1978 4th World Fantasy Convention).

Long's literary output slowed down after 1977, with his gothic The Lemoyne Heritage. He published several scattered stories in the 1980s including the story chapbook "Rehearsal Night" (Pub: Thomas L. Owen,1981) and one episode in the round-robin sequence Ghor Kin-Slayer (Necronomicon Press, 1997). He and his wife lived in extreme poverty during the 1980s and 1990s in an apartment in Chelsea, Manhattan - a period documented in Peter Cannon's memoir Long Memories (1997). In 1987, Long was awarded the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Long, though confined to a wheelchair, was a Guest of Honour at the H.P. Lovecraft Centennial Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1990, where he spoke on panels regarding his memories of his great friend and literary mentor.  Long died of pneumonia on January 3, 1994 at the age of 92 at Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan, after a seven-decade career as a writer and editor.

Samuel Barber


Samuel Osborne Barber II was an American composer of orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music. He is one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century: music critic Donal Henahan stated that "Probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such early, such persistent and such long-lasting acclaim."

His Adagio for Strings (1936) has earned a permanent place in the concert repertory of orchestras. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music twice: for his opera Vanessa (1956–57) and for the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1962). Also widely performed is his Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (1947), a setting for soprano and orchestra of a prose text by James Agee. At the time of his death, nearly all of his compositions had been recorded.

Freddie Roulette


Frederick Martin "Freddie" Roulette is an American electric blues lap steel guitarist and singer. He is best known as an exponent of the lap steel guitar. He is a member of the band Daphne Blue and has collaborated with Earl Hooker, Charlie Musselwhite, Henry Kaiser, and Harvey Mandel. He has also released several solo albums.

Xavier Cugat


Xavier Cugat was a Spanish-American bandleader and native of Spain who spent his formative years in Havana, Cuba. A trained violinist and arranger, he was a leading figure in the spread of Latin music in United States popular music. In New York, he was the leader of the resident orchestra at the Waldorf-Astoria before and after World War II. He was also a cartoonist and a restaurateur. The personal papers of Xavier Cugat are preserved in the Biblioteca de Catalunya.

Cugat was born as Francisco de Asís Javier Cugat Mingall de Bru y Deulofeu in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. His family immigrated to Cuba when Xavier was five. He was trained as a classical violinist and played with the Orchestra of the Teatro Nacional in Havana. On 6 July 1915, he and his family arrived in New York City as immigrant passengers on board the S.S. Havana. Cugat appeared in recitals with Enrico Caruso, playing violin solos.

Entering the world of show business, he played with a band called The Gigolos during the tango craze. Later, he went to work for the Los Angeles Times as a cartoonist. Cugat's caricatures were later nationally syndicated. His older brother, Francis, was an artist of some note, having painted the famous cover art for F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby.

In the late 1920s, as sound began to be used in films, Cugat put together another tango band that had some success in early short musical films. And by the early 1930s, he began appearing with his group in feature films. His first notable appearance occurred in 1942, in the Columbia production You Were Never Lovelier with Rita Hayworth, Fred Astaire, and Adolphe Menjou. Most of his subsequent movies were made at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, including Week-End at the Waldorf (1945), Holiday in Mexico (1948), A Date with Judy (1948), Luxury Liner (1948), and the Esther Williams musicals Bathing Beauty (1944), This Time for Keeps (1947), On an Island with You (1948), and Neptune's Daughter (1949).

In 1931, Cugat had taken his band to New York for the 1931 opening of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and he eventually replaced Jack Denny as the leader of the hotel's resident band. For 16 years, Cugat helmed the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel's orchestra, shuttling between New York and Los Angeles for most of the next 30 years. One of his trademark gestures was to hold a chihuahua while he waved his baton with the other arm.

Cugat owned and operated the Mexican restaurant, Casa Cugat, on La Cienega's "Restaurant Row" for a number of years, located at 848 North La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood. The restaurant was frequented by several Hollywood celebrities, and featured two singing guitarists, who would visit each table and play diners' favorite songs upon request. In addition to Mexican cuisine, the restaurant also had an "American menu," which included such dishes as fried shrimp, steaks, seafood and chicken. According to Cugat, "Marlon Brando loves quesadillas, so he usually has two orders. Paul Newman always orders arroz con pollo, chicken and rice. Dinah Shore is mad about chilled gazpacho. Comedian Steve Martin always orders steak picado. George Burns and Milton Berle both love chile verde. Merv Griffin always orders the Cugat special combination plate. Charo is a fan of the filet of sole fundador. James Caan orders tournedos of beef Diablo. When sportscaster Vin Scully comes in you can bet he'll order albondigas soup with meatballs and vegetables, spiced with cilantro." The restaurant had been in operation since the 1940s, and finally closed its doors in 1986.

Xavier Cugat spent his last years in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, living in a suite at Hotel Ritz. Cugat died of heart failure at age 90 in Barcelona and was buried in his native Girona.

Anthony Braxton


Anthony Braxton is an American composer and instrumentalist. Braxton has released well over 100 albums since the 1960s. Among the instruments he plays are the sopranino, soprano, C-melody, F mezzo-soprano, E-flat alto, baritone, bass, and contrabass saxophones; the E-flat, B-flat, and contrabass clarinets; and the piano. He used to play flute and alto flute as well, but has since discontinued his use of these instruments.

Braxton studied philosophy at Roosevelt University. He taught at Mills College in the 1980s, and was Professor of Music at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut from the 1990s until his retirement at the end of 2013. He taught music composition and music history, with a particular focus on the avant-garde, as well as leading ensembles in performances of his own compositions. In 1994, he was granted a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant". In 2013, he was named a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master

Sir Edward Elgar


Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.

Although Elgar is often regarded as a typically English composer, most of his musical influences were not from England but from continental Europe. He felt himself to be an outsider, not only musically, but socially. In musical circles dominated by academics, he was a self-taught composer; in Protestant Britain, his Roman Catholicism was regarded with suspicion in some quarters; and in the class-conscious society of Victorian and Edwardian Britain, he was acutely sensitive about his humble origins even after he achieved recognition. He nevertheless married the daughter of a senior British army officer. She inspired him both musically and socially, but he struggled to achieve success until his forties, when after a series of moderately successful works his Enigma Variations (1899) became immediately popular in Britain and overseas. He followed the Variations with a choral work, The Dream of Gerontius (1900), based on a Roman Catholic text that caused some disquiet in the Anglican establishment in Britain, but it became, and has remained, a core repertory work in Britain and elsewhere. His later full-length religious choral works were well received but have not entered the regular repertory.

In his fifties, Elgar composed a symphony and a violin concerto that were immensely successful. His second symphony and his cello concerto did not gain immediate public popularity and took many years to achieve a regular place in the concert repertory of British orchestras. Elgar's music came, in his later years, to be seen as appealing chiefly to British audiences. His stock remained low for a generation after his death. It began to revive significantly in the 1960s, helped by new recordings of his works. Some of his works have, in recent years, been taken up again internationally, but the music continues to be played more in Britain than elsewhere.

Elgar has been described as the first composer to take the gramophone seriously. Between 1914 and 1925, he conducted a series of acoustic recordings of his works. The introduction of the moving-coil microphone in 1923 made far more accurate sound reproduction possible, and Elgar made new recordings of most of his major orchestral works and excerpts from The Dream of Gerontius.

Elgar died on 23 February 1934 at the age of seventy-six and was buried next to his wife at St. Wulstan's Roman Catholic Church in Little Malvern.

Groucho Marx


Julius Henry Marx, known professionally as Groucho Marx, was an American comedian, writer, stage, film, radio, and television star. He was known as a master of quick wit and is widely considered one of the best comedians of the modern era.

He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers; Harpo Marx and Chico Marx, of whom he was the third-born. He also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life.

His distinctive appearance, carried over from his days in vaudeville, included quirks such as an exaggerated stooped posture, glasses, cigar, and a thick greasepaint mustache and eyebrows. These exaggerated features resulted in the creation of one of the world's most ubiquitous and recognizable novelty disguises, known as Groucho glasses: a one-piece mask consisting of horn-rimmed glasses, large plastic nose, bushy eyebrows and mustache.

Marx was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with pneumonia on June 22, 1977 and died there nearly two months later at the age of 86 on August 19, 1977.

John Guillermin


John Guillermin was a British film director, writer and producer who was most active in big budget, action adventure films throughout his lengthy career.

His more well-known films include I Was Monty's Double (1958), Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959), Never Let Go (1960), Tarzan Goes to India (1962), Waltz of the Toreadors (1962), The Blue Max (1966), The Bridge at Remagen (1969), The Towering Inferno (1974), King Kong (1976), Death on the Nile (1978), Sheena (1984) and King Kong Lives (1986). From the 1980s he worked on much less prestigious projects, and his final films consisted of lower budgeted theatrical releases and made-for-TV films.

Guillermin was born Yvon Jean Guillermin in London on November 11, 1925. His parents were French expatriates, Joseph and Genevieve Guillermin; his father worked in the perfume industry. Guillermin grew up in England and attended the City of London School and the University of Cambridge. He joined the Royal Air Force at age 19.  After mustering out of the Royal Air Force at the age of 22, Guillermin's directorial career began in France with documentary filmmaking.

In 1948 he moved back to London. With Robert Jordan Hill he set up a small production company, Advent Films. Together they made Bless 'Em All (1948) which Guillermin helped produce. They co-directed High Jinks in Society (1949), a comedy with the cockney character actor Ben Wrigley. The company was backed by Adelphi Pictures for whom Guillermin made four further features: Melody in the Dark (1949), which he scripted for Hill to direct; Torment (1950), known as Paper Gallows in the US; Song of Paris (1952) (a.k.a. Bachelor in Paris) and The Crowded Day (1954) (a.k.a. Shop Soiled).

He went to Hollywood in 1950 to study film-making methods.  Other films he made around this time include two based on scripts by Alec Coppel, The Smart Aleck (1951) and Two on the Tiles (1951). He also directed Four Days (1951), and Miss Robin Hood (1952), the latter starring Margaret Rutherford. He worked on such TV shows as Strange Stories (1953), and Your Favorite Story (1953).
His film Operation Diplomat (1953) was described as "the first example of prime Guillermin... a 70-minute programmer so tautly directed that every image counts, every detail matters, every actor's movement feels perfectly timed-a true gem."

It was followed by Adventure in the Hopfields (1954), a children's film; and a Spanish shot movie - Tormenta (1955), also known as Thunderstorm. There were other TV series, The Adventures of Aggie (15 TV episodes, 1956–57) and Sailor of Fortune (1957-58). According to the BFI, "it was a modest beginning but he soon hit his stride with a string of films that transcended their meagre budgets to reveal a genuine talent."

His first major movie was Town on Trial (1957), a thriller starring John Mills. Maureen Connell had a small role; she would soon marry Guillermin. According to the BFI, "Detractors have too often accused Guillermin of being merely a journeyman, lacking any real style of his own. The defence would do worse than to offer Town on Trial as its Exhibit A, drawing particular attention to its breathtaking PoV shot of the killer stalking a second victim that anticipates the camera gymnastics of Dario Argento."

Following this Guillermin announced he would make Insurrection about the 1916 Easter Rising for Carl Foreman based on a story by Liam O'Flaherty.[4] Instead Guillermin made another movie with Mills, I Was Monty's Double (1958), the story of Operation Copperhead with M. E. Clifton James playing himself.

His reputation also increased when he made The Whole Truth (1958), with Stewart Granger, George Sanders and Donna Reed.  Guillermin was then hired by producer Sy Weintraub to help re-invigorate the Tarzan series. The result was Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959), now regarded as one of the best Tarzans. One writer called it "the most relentless and brutal Tarzan film ever made - it's Guillermin's Heart of Darkness.

It was followed by a heist film with Aldo Ray and Peter O'Toole, The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960) and Never Let Go (1960) with Peter Sellers; Guillermin also wrote the story. Waltz of the Toreadors (1962), based on a Jean Anouilh play, reunited him with Sellers. Tarzan Goes to India (1962) was another popular Tarzan film.

Guns at Batasi (1964) was an adventure-drama set in the last days of British colonialism. It was released by 20th Century Fox whose head of production Darryl F. Zanuck became a fan of Guillermin and signed him for two more films - Rapture (1965) and The Blue Max (1966). It starred George Peppard who said working with Guillermin was "the most exciting, creative experience I've ever had." Zanuck was a mentor to Guillermin. "If he'd said he'd wanted a picture on a lab technician in the Sahara, I'd have done it eagerly," said Guillermin.

Guillermin then received an offer to work in Hollywood, reuniting him with Peppard: P.J. (1968) (formerly known as Criss Cross). It was followed by another with Peppard, House of Cards (1968)

The Bridge at Remagen (1969) was a World War Two film originally shot in Czechoslovakia. Rl Condor (1970) was a rare Western. For MGM he made Skyjacked (1972), a popular thriller with Charlton Heston and Shaft in Africa (1973). He was also meant to make The Palermo Affairfor Walter Seltzer but it was never filmed. He had a big hit with The Towering Inferno (1974) for producer Irwin Allen. Allen got most of the critical kudos which annoyed the director. "I wanted to fight it because dammit I made that picture," said Guillermin. "But I let the studio talk me out of it. They said it would only hurt business. But I was wrong, I should have fought."  He was meant to make Hennessy but was replaced by Don Sharp.


He was meant to direct Midway (1976) but was replaced by Jack Smight. His next job came from Dino De Laurentis who was looking for a director for his remake of King Kong (1976). He had been turned down by Steven Spielberg, Milos Forman, Roman Polanski and Sydney Pollack before going with Guillermin. "To me John Guillermin is a talent guy," said De Laurentis. "He is a strange character, but this don't mean anything to me. All directors are strange characters. Bergman is a strange character, Fellini is a strange character - all directors. He was very open to special effects. And then, he believe in the story; he believe in the love story. And if he believe in it, it works. Because John GuiIIermin believe in this fantastically human love story... Every director at one point jump from one category to another category. No director can be genius from first movie. You must give a chance when people are talented. And I recognize in John some quality. And he did it with KONG. He surprised you, surprised all critics."

"The original 'Kong' was part of my childhood and I loved it," said Guillermin. "I dreamed about it. What I wanted to do was to re-create what I’d felt about it the first time I saw it, but still adapt the story to our own day. I didn't think and still don't that you could simply remake it... We all wanted and tried to get back to that lyrical childhood idea of the beauty and the beast. It was tricky trying to balance all the jokes on the one hand and the danger of bathos on the other, but I wanted it to be obvious that we regarded the material with sincerity."

King Kong starred Jeff Bridges who recalls "so many problems" on the film. "Every week or so John Guillermin would just explode, yelling at everybody. It got to the point where we waited for his blow ups." Writer Lorenzo Semple Jr said there was "a creative tension" between Guillermin and De Laurentiis which "helped us all." Guillermin said in a 1976 interview, "I've been directing all over the bloody world for 27 years, learning my craft, and by now it's dripping from my fingers. I was ready for Kong and it was a lovely opportunity. It could've been better if we'd had more time. Still I'm damned proud. It works. It ain't bad."  Another success was Death on the Nile (1978).

"In Britain they seem to have run out of things to film," he said. "Over here there's an extraordinary freedom to take on an enormous variety of subjects."  "Guillermin was not very nice to me," said Lois Chiles, who had a small role in the film. "On my very first day when I questioned a direction I didn't understand, he stood there swearing at me. It was awful."

In the late 1970s, Guillermin was attached to make The Godfather Part 3 and worked on a script with Dean Reisner and Mario Puzo. He made the Canadian horror film Mr. Patman (1980). After this he was briefly connected to a big screen version of Tai Pan to star Roger Moore.
He was replaced on Sahara (1983) by Andrew McLaglen. There were two attempts to repeat the success of King Kong: Sheena (1984) and King Kong Lives (1986). Sheena starred Tanya Roberts who recalled "John screams until you get it right.. He shouted at me to be 'honest’, and he wouldn’t let up until I was. I’d be upset, but I worked harder until he was satisfied. He did his research, and he got sustained performances out of all of us.” Guillermin's son Michael died in a car accident during the making of Sheena.

Guillermin was still grieving while making King Kong Lives. He occasionally left the set halfway through a day’s shooting to go sailing. After one argument with the production staff, he stayed away for days. Filming was completed by an uncredited 21-year-old documentary film-maker, Charles McCracken.  Guillermin’s last film was The Tracker (1988), a made-for-TV western starring Kris Kristofferson. For TV he was one of the directors on La Revolution Francaise Les Annees Lumiere (1989).

Town on Trial (1957) showed his early craftsmanship, with Guillermin managing to obtain a menacing performance from the usually benign John Mills. Guillermin in time became known more as a general entertainment director than as an auteur director, and in his later career as a director for films with big budgets and spectacular effects. He also became known as a pipe smoking exacting perfectionist, filming and refilming scenes to get exactly what he was looking for. Unusual camera angles and hand held camera shots were among his preferred options.

Memoirs of actors, editors and producers indicate that Guillermin was a difficult man to work with. He is described in Norma Barzman's book where he is mentioned in connection with the shooting of The Blue Max (1966) as having a "cold, stiff-lipped manner." Elmo Williams, producer of The Blue Max, described Guillermin as a "demanding director, indifferent to people getting hurt as long as he got realistic action . . . he was a hard-working, overly critical man whom the crew disliked. However, Guillermin was a master at camera setup."

Producer David L. Wolper wrote that Guillermin was "the most difficult director with whom I'd ever worked." Wolper further described Guillermin as "a real pain in the ass." Guillermin was directing Wolper's The Bridge at Remagen (1969). When some members of the Czech crew were late for the first day of filming in 1968, Guillermin screamed at them. He was told by a crew member if he did this again, the entire crew would walk off the set. Guillermin later told Wolper he could not set foot on the set one day because of the complexity of the filming. Wolper told Guillermin he was therefore sacked. Guillermin apologized and was re-employed immediately.

Ralph E. Winters was employed as editor for King Kong (1976) after a nice conversation with Guillermin. Winters described the director as "A skinny guy, dark, with very sharp features." In the screening room, Winters witnessed a frustrated Guillermin kicking the seat in front until it broke; Winters got an apologetic phone call the next day. Twenty-three years after the film was released, Guillermin called to compliment him on his work on King Kong.

Charlton Heston described Guillermin as an "imaginative and skillful director" with an "irascible streak." Before filming started on Midway (1976), producer Walter Mirisch replaced Guillermin with Jack Smight after Guillermin requested more time and equipment, particularly aeroplanes, than the budget allowed. Guillermin was also replaced as director on Sahara (1983) by Andrew V. McLaglen.

Novelist James Dickey, who worked with him on the unfilmed Alnilam project in 1989, wrote that Guillermin was "one of those megalomaniacal directors who have to be given the gates of Heaven before they consider doing a project." His work was re-appraised in Film Comment.

Why has Guillermin's career gone unrecognized? Easy: bad timing. Guillermin hit his stride at the end of the Fifties, just as a post-studio system style of filmmaking was arising with the French New Wave, Britain's Free Cinema, and so on. For the admirers of these idioms, Guillermin's meticulously executed and unapologetically classical works, such as The Blue Max (66) or The Bridge at Remagen (69), were anathema. The only Guillermin film that was somewhat in synch with the fashion of the day is Never Let Go (60), an excursion into England's underworld that functions as a perfectly constructed parable about the new middle class's fear of falling-a kitchen-sink noir. The problem wasn't so much the disdain of new wave hipsters, as it was one of the director's attitude. Guillermin is something of a melancholic: in his coolly unflinching cinema, tired, traumatized men in desperate situations fight with dour determination for a few shreds of dignity. There's nothing conventionally uplifting about his films; his tales of violence, grimy glory, and defeat conceded with stoicism, don't make for easy viewing experiences. At their finest, Guillermin's films are howls from the soul's darker recesses-theirs is a savage heart.

On 20 July 1956, Guillermin married actress and author Maureen Connell. They had two children, Michelle and Michael-John, the latter of whom died in 1983 in a car accident in Truckee, California. They resided in the Los Angeles area beginning 1968.

On 27 September 2015, Guillermin died in Topanga, California, from a heart attack at the age of 89.

Larry Storch


Lawrence Samuel Storch is an American comedian and actor best known for his comic television roles, including voice-over work for cartoon shows, such as Mr. Whoopee on Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales, and his live-action role of the bumbling Corporal Randolph Agarn on F Troop.

Will Jordan


Will Jordan is an American character actor and stand-up comedian best known for his resemblance - and ability to do uncanny impressions of - television host and newspaper columnist Ed Sullivan. Jordan was an early friend and influence on Lenny Bruce.

Sullivan had almost no mannerisms, which made him hard to impersonate. According to Jordan, he invented some funny mannerisms that Sullivan never had, like cracking his knuckles, spinning, and shaking back and forth. Jordan's early appearances mimicking Ed came on The Ed Sullivan Show. In his act, Jordan came up with the catch-phrase, "Welcome to our Toast of the Town Shoooo", which became a stereotypical joke for nearly every Sullivan impersonator after that, usually as the more generic "Really Big Shoooo.”

In virtually all of his film appearances since the 1970s, Jordan has portrayed Sullivan in films that feature characters appearing on Sullivan's famous variety series such as I Wanna Hold Your Hand, which depicted the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964.[3] Sullivan died in 1974. In 1983, Jordan appeared as Sullivan in the elaborately produced 60s-TV-style video for "Tell Her About It", the Billy Joel hit single.

Jordan impersonated Sullivan in the 2003 film Down with Love. Jordan appeared as Sullivan in the Broadway revival of the musical Bye Bye Birdie, which ran from October 15, 2009, through January 24, 2010. Jordan appeared in the original Broadway production in 1960-1961.

Jordan's other impressions include Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx and Jack Benny.

Lou Costello


Louis Francis "Lou", known by the stage name Lou Costello, was an American actor of radio, stage, television and film and burlesque comedian best remembered for the comedy double act of Abbott and Costello, with Bud Abbott. They started in burlesque, before showcasing their routines on radio, on Broadway, and in Hollywood films between 1940 -1956. Costello played a bumbling character opposite Abbott's straight man. He was known for the catchphrases "Heeeeyyy, Abbott!" and "I'm a baaaaad boy!"

Costello was born Louis Francis Cristillo on March 6, 1906, in Paterson, New Jersey, the son of Helen Rege and Sebastiano Cristillo. His father was Italian (from Calabria, Italy) and his mother was an American of Italian, French, and Irish ancestry. He attended School 15 in Paterson and was considered a gifted athlete. He excelled in basketball and reportedly was once the New Jersey state free throw champion (his singular basketball prowess can be seen in Here Come the Co-Eds (1945), in which he performs all his own tricky hoop shots without special effects). He also fought as a boxer under the name "Lou King". He took his professional name from actress Helene Costello.

As a young man Costello was a great admirer of silent movie comedian Charlie Chaplin. In 1927 Costello hitchhiked to Hollywood to become an actor, but could only find work as a laborer or extra at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Brothers. His athletic skill brought him occasional work as a stunt man, notably in The Trail of '98 (1928). He can also be spotted sitting ringside in the Laurel and Hardy film The Battle of the Century (1927).

Shortly after completion of The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock—his only starring film appearance without Abbott—Costello suffered a heart attack. He died at Doctors Hospital in Beverly Hills on March 3, 1959, three days before his 53rd birthday.

Leonard Nimoy


Leonard Simon Nimoy was an American actor, film director, photographer, author, singer and songwriter. He was best known for his role as Spock of the Star Trek franchise, a character he portrayed in television and film from a pilot episode shot in late 1964 to his final film performance in 2013.

Nimoy began his career in his early twenties, teaching acting classes in Hollywood and making minor film and television appearances through the 1950s, as well as playing the title role in Kid Monk Baroni. Foreshadowing his fame as a semi-alien, he played Narab, one of three Martian invaders, in the 1952 movie serial Zombies of the Stratosphere.

In December 1964, he made his first appearance in the rejected Star Trek pilot "The Cage", and went on to play the character of Spock until the end of the production run in early 1969, followed by eight feature films and guest slots in the various spin-off series. The character has had a significant cultural impact and garnered Nimoy three Emmy Award nominations; TV Guide named Spock one of the 50 greatest TV characters. After the original Star Trek series, Nimoy starred in Mission: Impossible for two seasons, hosted the documentary series In Search of..., narrated Civilization IV, and made several well-received stage appearances. He also had a recurring role in the science fiction series Fringe.

Nimoy's public profile as Spock was so strong that both of his autobiographies, I Am Not Spock (1975) and I Am Spock (1995), were written from the viewpoint of sharing his existence with the character.



Charles Eaton


Charles Eaton was a senior officer and aviator in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), who later served as a diplomat.

Born in London, he joined the British Army upon the outbreak of World War I and saw action on the Western Front before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. Posted as a bomber pilot to No. 206 Squadron, he was twice captured by German forces, and twice escaped. Eaton left the military in 1920 and worked in India until moving to Australia in 1923. Two years later he joined the RAAF, serving initially as an instructor at No. 1 Flying Training School. Between 1929 and 1931, he was chosen to lead three expeditions to search for lost aircraft in Central Australia, gaining national attention and earning the Air Force Cross for his "zeal and devotion to duty".

In 1939, on the eve of World War II, Eaton became the inaugural commanding officer of No. 12 (General Purpose) Squadron at the newly established RAAF Station Darwin in Northern Australia. Promoted group captain the following year, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1942. He took command of No. 79 Wing at Batchelor, Northern Territory, in 1943, and was mentioned in dispatches during operations in the South West Pacific. Retiring from the RAAF in December 1945, Eaton took up diplomatic posts in the Dutch East Indies, heading a United Nations commission as Consul-General during the Indonesian National Revolution. He returned to Australia in 1950, and served in Canberra for a further two years. Popularly known as "Moth" Eaton, he was a farmer in later life, and died in 1979 at the age of 83. 

Bill McAloney


William Simpson "Bill" McAloney was a senior engineering officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and an Australian exchange recipient of the George Cross, the highest civil decoration for heroism in the United Kingdom and formerly in the Commonwealth. Born in Adelaide, he worked as a mechanic before enlisting in the RAAF as an aircraft engine fitter in 1936. In August the following year, he attempted to rescue the pilot of a crashed Hawker Demon aircraft engulfed in flames at an airfield in Hamilton, Victoria. The first on scene, McAloney rushed into the wreckage in an effort to extract the unconscious pilot. The pilot's leg was trapped, however, and while struggling to free it one of the wing tanks burst, knocking McAloney unconscious. McAloney was pulled from the aircraft suffering severe burns and spent the next month in hospital. He was subsequently awarded the Albert Medal for his actions in the rescue attempt.

McAloney sufficiently recovered to return to his work in the RAAF, and during the Second World War was primarily involved in engine repair and engineering staff work in Australia. Commissioned as a flying officer in 1942, he saw service in Dutch New Guinea during late 1944. He received a permanent commission in the RAAF in 1948, and was advanced to squadron leader in 1950. During the Malayan Emergency, he served as technical officer to both No. 90 Wing and No. 1 Squadron, based in Singapore. In 1960, he was made Officer Commanding Engineering Squadron at the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his efforts in the post. McAloney retired in 1966 with the honorary rank of group captain. In 1971, the Albert Medal was discontinued and living recipients of the decoration were invited to exchange their medal for the George Cross; McAloney took up the offer and formally became a recipient of the latter. He died in 1995 at the age of 85.

Fou Ts'ong


Fou Ts'ong or Fu Cong is a Chinese pianist.

Born in Shanghai, to a family of intellectuals (his father was the translator Fu Lei), Fou first studied piano with Mario Paci, the Italian founder of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. In 1953, Fou moved to Europe to continue his training at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw, at present Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, with prof. Zbigniew Drzewiecki, where he impressed his professors with his grasp of the mazurka rhythm. His mastery was confirmed when he won 3rd prize and the special Mazurka Prize at the 1955 International Chopin Piano Competition.

Fou has been based in London since 1960, whence he embarked on a performing and teaching career that has taken him throughout the world and been acclaimed for his interpretations of Chopin. Hermann Hesse proclaimed him to be the only true performer of the composer's work. Among Fou's friends are the fellow pianists Martha Argerich, Leon Fleisher and Radu Lupu, who, acknowledging his influence upon their musical development, were "obliged to Fou Ts'ong for all his new ideas and for opening new musical horizons for all of us."

He was a member of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition's jury in 1991, 1999 and 2007.

Cassandre


Cassandre, pseudonym of Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron, was a French painter, commercial poster artist, and typeface designer.

He was born Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron in Kharkiv, Ukraine, to French parents. As a young man, Cassandre moved to Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Julian. The popularity of posters as advertising afforded him an opportunity to work for a Parisian printing house. Inspired by cubism as well as surrealism, he earned a reputation with works such as Bûcheron (Woodcutter), a poster created for a cabinetmaker that won first prize at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes.

Cassandre became successful enough that with the help of partners he was able to set up his own advertising agency called Alliance Graphique, serving a wide variety of clients during the 1930s. He is perhaps best known for his posters advertising travel, for clients such as the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits.

His creations for the Dubonnet wine company were among the first posters designed in a manner that allowed them to be seen by occupants in moving vehicles. His posters are memorable for their innovative graphic solutions and their frequent denotations to such painters as Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso. In addition, he taught graphic design at the École des Arts Décoratifs and then at the École d'Art Graphique.

With typography an important part of poster design, the company created several new typeface styles. Cassandre developed Bifur in 1929, the sans serif Acier Noir in 1935, and in 1937 an all-purpose font called Peignot. In 1936, his works were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City which led to commissions from Harper's Bazaar to do cover designs.


With the onset of World War II, Cassandre served in the French army until the fall of France. His business long gone, he survived by creating stage sets and costumes for the theatre, something he had dabbled in during the 1930s. After the war, he continued this line of work while also returning to easel painting. He worked with several famous French fashion houses, designing playing cards and scarfs for Hermès and the well-known Yves Saint Laurent logo.

In his later years, Cassandre suffered from bouts of depression prior to his suicide in Paris in 1968

Lord Jakobovits


Immanuel Jakobovits, Baron Jakobovits was the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1967 to 1991. Prior to this, he had served as Chief Rabbi of Ireland and as rabbi of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue in New York City. In addition to his official duties he was regarded as an authority in medical ethics from a Jewish standpoint. He was knighted in 1981 and became the first Chief Rabbi to enter the House of Lords in 1988 as Baron Jakobovits.


Jakobovits was born in Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia), where his father Julius (Yoel) was a community rabbi. The family moved to Berlin in the 1920s, where his father became rabbinical judge on the beth din of the Grossgemeinde, but fled the country in 1938 in time to escape Nazi persecutions. In the United Kingdom he completed his higher education, including a period at the Etz Chaim Yeshiva in London, studying under and receiving semicha (rabbi ordination) from the renowned Rabbis Elya Lopian, Leib Gurwicz and Nachman Shlomo Greenspan. He also studied in Jews' College and the University of London (BA and PhD, University College).

He married Amélie Munk of Paris, the daughter of a prominent rabbi, who would support his community work throughout his life. They had six children. Lady Jakobovits died in May 2010, and was buried alongside her husband, on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives.

His first position was as rabbi of the Brondesbury synagogue. In 1949, at the relatively young age of 27, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of the declining Jewish community of Ireland. This was to be a stepping stone towards a greater rabbinical career, and in 1958 he assumed the rabbinate of Hermann Merkin's Fifth Avenue Synagogue in New York, a position he held until 1966, when he was called to the Chief Rabbinate of the United Hebrew Congregation of the British Commonwealth. He held this position until his retirement in 1991.

He was knighted on 22 July 1981 and was created a life peer on 5 February 1988, as Baron Jakobovits, of Regent's Park in Greater London, becoming the first rabbi to receive this honour. In 1987 he was given a Lambeth DD by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the first Jew to receive such a degree. In 1991 he received the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

In the House of Lords he became known as a campaigner for traditional morality.

Lord Jakobovits died of a cerebral haemorrhage on 31 October 1999, and was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

Israel Epstein


Israel Epstein was a naturalized Chinese journalist and author. He was one of the few foreign-born Chinese citizens of non-Chinese origin to become a member of the Communist Party of China.


Israel Epstein was born on April 20, 1915 in Warsaw to Jewish parents; at the time, Warsaw was under Imperial Russian control; now the capital of Poland. His father had been imprisoned by the authorities of czarist Russia for leading a labor uprising and his mother had been exiled to Siberia. Epstein's father was sent by his company to Japan after the outbreak of the World War I; when the German Army approached Warsaw, his mother and Epstein fled and joined him in Asia. With his family experiencing anti-Jewish sentiment in several places, in 1917, Epstein came to China with his parents at the age of two and they settled in Tianjin (formerly Tientsin) in 1920.

Israel Epstein began to work in journalism at age 15, when he wrote for the Peking and Tientsin Times, an English-language newspaper based in Tianjin. He also covered the Japanese Invasion of China for the United Press and other Western news agencies. In the autumn of 1938, he joined the China Defense League, which had been established by Soong Ching-ling, Sun Yat-sen's widow, for the purpose of publicizing and enlisting international support for the Chinese cause. In 1941, he faked news about his own death as a decoy for the Japanese who were trying to arrest him. The misinformation even found its way into a short item printed in the New York Times.

After being assigned to review one of the books of Edgar Snow, Epstein and Snow came to know each other personally and Snow showed him his classic work Red Star Over China before it was published.

In 1934, Epstein married Edith Bihovsky Epstein, later Ballin, from whom he was divorced in the early 1940s. In 1944, Epstein first visited Britain and afterwards went to live in the United States with his second wife Elsie Fairfax-Cholmeley for five years.

He worked for Allied Labor News and published his book The Unfinished Revolution in China in 1947. His book was enthusiastically reviewed in The New York Times by Owen Lattimore of Johns Hopkins University. In 1951 Communist defector Elizabeth Bentley testified to the U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, "Israel Epstein had been a member of the Russian secret police for many years in China."

Many years later, his wife, Ms. Cholmeley, would become known to a generation of Chinese-language students in China and around the world as a contributor to one of the most widely used Chinese-English dictionaries published in the PRC. After Ms. Cholmeley's death in 1984, Epstein married his third wife, Wan Bi.

In 1951, Soong Ching-ling invited him to return to China to edit the magazine China Reconstructs, which was later renamed China Today. He remained editor-in-chief of China Today until his retirement at age 70, and then editor emeritus. During his tenure at China Today, he became a Chinese citizen in 1957 and a member of the Communist Party of China in 1964. In 1955, 1965 and 1976 Epstein visited Tibet, and based on these three visits in 1983 published the book Tibet Transformed.

During the Cultural Revolution, on charges of plotting against Zhou Enlai, he was imprisoned in 1968 in the north of Beijing in Qincheng Prison, where he was subjected to solitary confinement. In 1973, he was released, and Zhou apologized. His privileges were restored. Despite his 5 years imprisonment, he remained loyal to the ideals of Communism until his death. Israel Epstein was elected as a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body, in 1983.

During his life, Israel Epstein was honored by Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao. His funeral was held at the Babaoshan Cemetery for Revolutionaries, in Shijingshan District, Beijing on  June 3, 2005 at 9:30 A.M. The ceremony was attended by many officials, among them President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, as well as Politburo Standing Committee members Jia Qinglin and Li Changchun.

Alexander Rodchenko


Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko was a Russian artist, sculptor, photographer and graphic designer. He was one of the founders of constructivism and Russian design; he was married to the artist Varvara Stepanova.

Rodchenko was one of the most versatile Constructivist and Productivist artists to emerge after the Russian Revolution. He worked as a painter and graphic designer before turning to photomontage and photography. His photography was socially engaged, formally innovative, and opposed to a painterly aesthetic. Concerned with the need for analytical-documentary photo series, he often shot his subjects from odd angles—usually high above or down below—to shock the viewer and to postpone recognition. He wrote: "One has to take several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole again and again."

Rodchenko was born in St. Petersburg to a working-class family who moved to Kazan after the death of his father, in 1909. He became an artist without having had any exposure to the art world, drawing much inspiration from art magazines. In 1910, Rodchenko began studies under Nicolai Fechin and Georgii Medvedev at the Kazan Art School, where he met Varvara Stepanova, whom he later married.

After 1914, he continued his artistic training at the Stroganov Institute in Moscow, where he created his first abstract drawings, influenced by the Suprematism of Kazimir Malevich, in 1915. The following year, he participated in "The Store" exhibition organized by Vladimir Tatlin, who was another formative influence.

Rodchenko's work was heavily influenced by Cubism and Futurism, as well as by Malevich's Suprematist compositions, which featured geometric forms deployed against a white background. While Rodchenko was a student of Tatlin’s he was also his assistant, and the interest in figuration that characterized Rodchenko's early work disappeared as he experimented with the elements of design. He utilized a compass and ruler in creating his paintings, with the goal of eliminating expressive brushwork.

Rodchenko worked in Narkompros and he was one of the organizers of RABIS. RABIS was formed in 1919–1920.

Rodchenko was appointed Director of the Museum Bureau and Purchasing Fund by the Bolshevik Government in 1920, responsible for the reorganization of art schools and museums. He became secretary of the Moscow Artists' Union and set up the Fine Arts Division of the People's Commissariat for Education, and helped found the Institute for Artistic Culture.

He taught from 1920 to 1930 at the Higher Technical-Artistic Studios (VKhUTEMAS/VKhUTEIN), a Bauhaus organization with a "checkered career". It was disbanded in 1930.

In 1921 he became a member of the Productivist group, with Stepanova and Aleksei Gan, which advocated the incorporation of art into everyday life. He gave up painting in order to concentrate on graphic design for posters, books, and films. He was deeply influenced by the ideas and practice of the filmmaker Dziga Vertov, with whom he worked intensively in 1922.

Impressed by the photomontage of the German Dadaists, Rodchenko began his own experiments in the medium, first employing found images in 1923, and from 1924 on, shooting his own photographs as well. His first published photomontage illustrated Mayakovsky's poem, "About This", in 1923. In 1924, Rodchenko produced what is likely his most famous poster, an advertisement for the Lengiz Publishing House sometimes titled "Books", which features a young woman with a cupped hand shouting "книги по всем отраслям знания" (Books in all branches of knowledge), printed in modernist typography.

From 1923 to 1928 Rodchenko collaborated closely with Mayakovsky (of whom he took several portraits) on the design and layout of LEF and Novy LEF, the publications of Constructivist artists. Many of his photographs appeared in or were used as covers for these journals. His images eliminated unnecessary detail, emphasized dynamic diagonal composition, and were concerned with the placement and movement of objects in space. During this period, he and Stepanova did the well-known painted panels of the Mosselprom building in Moscow. Their daughter, Varvara Rodchenko, was born in 1925.

Throughout the 1920s, Rodchenko's work was very abstract. In the 1930s, with the changing Party guidelines governing artistic practice, he concentrated on sports photography and images of parades and other choreographed movements.

Rodchenko joined the October Group of artists in 1928 but was expelled three years later, charged with "formalism". He returned to painting in the late 1930s, stopped photographing in 1942, and produced abstract expressionist works in the 1940s. He continued to organize photography exhibitions for the government during these years. He died in Moscow in 1956.

Chester Conklin


Chester Cooper Conklin was an American comedic actor who appeared in over 280 films, about half of them in the silent film era.

Conklin, one of three children, grew up in a violent household. When he was eight, his mother was found burned to death in the family garden. Although first judged a suicide, his father, a devoutly religious man who hoped his son would be a minister, was eventually charged with murder, but found not guilty at trial.

Conklin won first prize when he gave a recitation at a community festival. A few years later, he ran away from home after vowing to a friend he would never return, a promise he kept. Heading to Des Moines he found employment as a hotel bellhop, but then moved to Omaha, Nebraska where his interest in theatre led to a career in comedic acting. In St. Louis, Missouri, he saw a performance by the vaudeville team of Joe Weber and Lew Fields, which prompted Conklin to develop a character based on his boss at the time, a man with a thick accent and a bushy walrus moustache. With this character, Conklin broke into vaudeville, and spent several years touring with various stock companies, doing vaudeville shows, minstrel shows, as well as clown work with a travelling circus.

After seeing several Mack Sennett comedies while in Venice, California during the 1913 winter break, the 27-year-old Conklin went to Keystone Studios, applied for a job and was hired as a Keystone Kop with a salary of $3 a day. Sennett directed him in his first film, a comedy short titled Hubby's Job.

In 1914, Conklin co-starred with Mabel Normand in a series of films: Mabel's Strange Predicament, Mabel's New Job, Mabel's Busy Day and Mabel at the Wheel.[1] In that same year he appeared in Making a Living, in which Charlie Chaplin made his film debut. He would go on to make more than a dozen films with Chaplin while at Keystone and the two became lifelong friends. Years later, Conklin would perform with Chaplin in two more feature-length films, first in 1936 in Modern Times and in 1940's The Great Dictator. During this time, Chaplin kept Conklin on year-round salary.

While at Keystone, Conklin became most famous when he was teamed up with the robust comic Mack Swain to make a series of comedies. With Swain as "Ambrose" and Conklin as the grand mustachioed "Walrus", they performed these roles in several films including The Battle of Ambrose and Walrus and Love, Speed and Thrills, both made in 1915. Beyond these "Ambrose & Walrus" comedies, the two appeared together in twenty-six different films.

In 1920, when Sennett refused to discuss a contract renewal with Conklin and insisted on referring him to an underling, Conklin quit and went to Fox Film Corporation, which had earlier approached him about doing a series of comedy shorts. He also worked at the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation studio. In between, he had a significant role as ZaSu Pitts' father in director Erich von Stroheim's acclaimed 1924 MGM production, Greed, although the part was cut from the film and the footage is now lost, and in 1928 in the Christie Film Company version of Tillie's Punctured Romance with W.C. Fields, which had nothing to do with the 1914 Chaplin version (which Conklin had also appeared in) aside from the title. Paramount Pictures teamed up Conklin and Fields for a series of comic films between 1927 and 1931.

Conklin made the transition to talkies and, although he would continue to act for another thirty years, age and the shift in moviegoing tastes to more sophisticated comedy saw his roles limited to secondary or smaller parts in shorts, including the Three Stooges shorts Flat Foot Stooges (as a fire chief), Dutiful But Dumb (as a bartender), Three Little Twirps (as a Circus butcher), Phony Express (as a bartender), and Micro-Phonies (as a drunken pianist who answers a song request with "Know it? I wrote it!"). Conklin also appeared in films which appealed to nostalgia for the silent era, such as Hollywood Cavalcade (1939) and The Perils of Pauline (1947). In Soundies musicals, he appeared with other silent-comedy alumni as The Keystone Kops, as well as on the televised This Is Your Life tribute to Mack Sennett. Conklin was part of Preston Sturges' unofficial "stock company" of character actors in the 1940s, appearing in cameo parts in six films written by Sturges.[3] In 1957, he was a guest challenger on the TV panel show To Tell The Truth, dressed in his Keystone Kops uniform.

Conklin's career hit bottom in the 1950s, and he took work as a department-store Santa Claus to make ends meet. In the 1960s, Conklin was living at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital when he fell in love with another patient there, June Gunther. The two got married in Las Vegas in 1965, his fourth marriage and her fourth, and set up housekeeping in Van Nuys, California; the groom was seventy-nine and the bride sixty-five. Conklin made one last film after that, a Western comedy, A Big Hand for the Little Lady, released in 1966.

Chester Conklin died in Autumn 1971 in California at the age of 85.