Happy Birthday Virginia Katherine McMath aka Ginger Rogers!
(July 16, 1911 –
April 25, 1995)
“Ginger owes much of her professional longevity to her singular versatility. There are few who can act comedy and drama, as well as sing and dance. Ginger continues to conceive fresh activity and new fields. She is still stagestruck and screenstruck. Further, she retains the nerve of a newcomer, and the courage of a champion. What is a movie star, anyway? Is it magnetism? Well then, what’s magnetism? Or personality, for that matter. The mysterious quality is more than talent. The indefinable has been defined as ‘human warmth’, ‘mass appeal’ and ‘identification’, among other things. Whatever it is, Ginger Rogers had it and has it.” - Garson Kanin
“She was the dance queen of Hollywood … and George Balanchine once remarked that he only came to America because it was a land of girls like Ginger Rogers. Some of the others may have been better dancers; Ginger Rogers was a better star. Only with her did dance in the movie musical become a medium of serious emotion, only with her did Fred Astaire do his very best work, only with her did sophistication suddenly become accessible to all.” – Sheridan Morley
"I don’t think there’s ever been anyone like Ginger, never. She was heaven." - Stanley Donen
Mabel Normand in Mickey
(Photo by Witzel, 1918)
“Since all previous laughs had been achieved through the spoken word and, in our early days, through slapstick hokey, I had to cleave a new path to laughter through the wilderness of the industry’s ignorance and inexperience. I created my own standard of fun, simply letting spontaneity and my inborn sense of what is mirth-provoking guide me, for no director ever taught me a thing.” - Mabel Normand (November 9, 1892 - February 23, 1930)
Happy birthday, Carole Lombard!
(October 6, 1908 – January 16, 1942)
Happy Birthday, Lauren Bacall - (September 16th, 1924)
"I used to tremble from nerves so badly that the only way I could hold my head steady was to lower my chin practically to my chest and look up at Bogie. That was the beginning of ‘The Look’."
Happy Birthday, Myrna Loy - (August 2nd, 1905 - December 14th,1998)
"Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming."
Happy Birthday Josephine Baker!
June 3, 1906 - April 12, 1975
Portrait of Gloria Swanson by Ball c1923
It’s the birthday of the “First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald, born in Newport News, Virginia in 1917. She loved to sing and dance as a child and when she was 16 she entered a contest at the Apollo Theater. She had a dance routine worked out and walked on stage wearing ragged clothes and men’s boots, but she froze up. Later she said, “I got out there and I saw all the people and I just lost my nerve. And the man said, ‘well, you’re out here, do something!’ So I tried to sing.” She won the contest and soon became a celebrity across all of New York. She joined Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington as the only performers who could draw audiences at the Apollo from south of 125th Street.
Ella Fitzgerald said, “The only thing better than singing is more singing.”
Happy 81st Birthday, Elizabeth Taylor
(February 27, 1932 - March 23, 2011)
- Rock Hudson
Happy Birthday to Marian Marsh today - (October 17th, 1913 - November 9th, 2006)
Watch “Svengali” (1931) here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkWfl6fW_bE&feature=related
Irene Castle, costume by Lucile Ltd for Irving Berlin’s Watch Your Step, 1914