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So Many Famous Folks' April Birthdays
by Jon Schuller

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On April 2nd I received a Facebook post that it was the birthday of the incredible actor, Sir Alec Guinness, born in 1914 in Maida Vale, London. I was curious about his career and looked him up; he appeared in 63 films (over 60 years) and over 100 legitimate plays. Many of his films are classics and he garnered many awards, in-cluding a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth in 1959. Pretty impressive stuff, I daresay. Then, I decided to see who else was born on that day: Buddy Ebsen in 1908. There are a total of 126 April birthdays of famous men and women in both the theatre and movies. The years range from the late 19th Century into the 1950s. This list of talents is truly amazing because the names are so familiar and their careers are cover many years and a world of joy and sadness.

The great innovator in movie make-up and
creativity, Lon Chaney, was born on April 1, 1893. He created his own original prosthetics and many immortal characters as a result. Here are some the greats from the 19th Century. Please notice the depth and width of their gifts to the world spanning so many decades:
April 1, 1885 Wallace Beery
April 3, 1893 Leslie Howard
April 4, 1896 Robert E. Sherwood
April 6, 1884 Walter Huston
April 8, 1892 Mary Pickford
April 9, 1898 Paul Robeson
April 10, 1868 George Arliss
April 16, 1889 Charles Chaplin
April 20, 1893 Harold Lloyd
April 20, 1897 Gregory Ratoff
April 26, 1893 Anita Loos
April 27, 1899 Walter Lantz April 28, 1878 Lionel Barrymore.
What's really amazing to me is that the names are so familiar, their contributions to the movies (from films' earliest
inceptions) are still marvelous even today - and they may not have even realized how monumental it all was at the time. People like Chaplin and Lloyd could see the future before it even happened; they made their own unique impacts early on in their careers and changed the world forever.

April 14, 1941: the beautiful Julie Christie was born in India and some of her roles are legendary. Of course, many people remember her for Doctor Zhivago, but I liked her in Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait, both co-starring with Warren Beatty.

April 7, 1939: Francis Ford Coppola created another immortal character, Vito Corleone, in The Godfather, Parts 1 and 2. But, please take a moment to look at the complete list of all his films and the other characters he created, as in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) and The Conversation
April 5, 1900: Spencer Tracy. April 5, 1901: Melvyn Douglas
April 5, 1908: Bette Davis
April 5, 1916: Gregory Peck Well, I will try, at some point, to write an entire column on this quartet of incredibly talented people and all of the movies they starred in over the decades.

Joel Grey was born on April 11, 1937. He's created some memorable roles. His famous father, Mickey Katz, was a well-known entertainer.

When you have a moment, please take a look at the entire list of 126 names of April birthdays and see which ones you know or don't know. Motion pictures have attracted people from all over the world and many different walks of life. What they all have in common is what each did, individually, to try and make things better for everyone, no matter where or when.

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Cinema Savant
Every other Thursday

My views on an eclectic mix of films and personalties, past and present; emotional interpretations; some laughs, some cries.

Other Columns
Other columns by Jon Schuller:

Have You Been Spying On Me Lately? For How Long?

But Can She Act? That's What I Want to Know

They're Not the Same People They Used To Be

Time Does Fly When We Watch Movies

Before Minimum or Maximum, There Was Only Prison

All Columns

Jon Schuller
I am a former New Jersey native, living in Charlotte, N.C. for almost 30 years. I am a lifelong movie lover with lots of movie trivia knowledge and soundtracks in my CD collection. I enjoy sharing my love of films with everyone and have so many fond memories growing up in darkened movie theaters. I have been married 50 years (as of December 22, 2018) and we both share a passion for film (and each other of course).

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Jon Schuller by clicking here.

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