Danny Kaye from Brownsville

Actor/comedian Danny Kaye (David Daniel Kaminsky), a marvelous song-and-dance-and-everything man, died on this date in 1987. Kaye was born in 1911 in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY, to Ukrainian immigrant parents who called him “Duvidelleh.” After getting his start as a Borscht Belt entertainer, he would go on to star in seventeen movies, including The Secret […]

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Stella Adler

Stella Adler was born on New York City’s Lower East Side on this date in 1902 to Sara Adler (Levitskaya) and Jacob Adler, who were luminaries of the Yiddish stage; actress Celia Adler was her half-sister. Stella Adler was a child actor by four and a star in her own right by the 1920s, before studying Stanislavsky’s […]

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Sydney Pollack

Movie director, producer, and actor Sydney Pollack, whose star-packed films included Tootsie, Out of Africa, The Way We Were, Absence of Malice, Three Days of the Condor, and They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, was born to immigrant parents in Lafayette, Indiana on this date in 1934. Pollack learned the directing trade through television work on “Ben […]

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The Good Wife

Actress Julianna Margulies, best known for her roles as emergency room nurse Carol Hathaway on NBC’s hospital drama, ER (which launched George Clooney), and as attorney Alicia Florrick on CBS’s legal drama, The Good Wife, was born in Spring Valley, New York on this date in 1966. Margulies has won eight Screen Actor Guild Awards, […]

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Harvey Keitel

Actor Harvey Keitel was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1938 to immigrant parents who ran a luncheonette. After a stint in the Marines, Keitel studied acting with both Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler; today he is a co-president of the Actors Studio. He has appeared in films ranging from Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, […]

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Adrien Brody, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Two prominent Gen-X actors were born on this date in New York: Adrien Brody, whose Oscar-winning performance in Roman Polanski’s The Pianist (2002) brought to life the chaos and cruelty of life in the Warsaw Ghetto, was born in Woodhaven, Queens, in 1973; Sarah Michelle Gellar, best known as television’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), […]

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February 27: The Death of Spock

Leonard Nimoy, who became internationally recognized as Spock, the half-Vulcan ally of humans and other beings on the first incarnation of Star Trek, died at 83 on this date in 2015. Nimoy was so strongly identified with the character in the public mind that his two memoirs were titled  I Am Not Spock (1975) and […]

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September 11: Bonanza’s “Pa”

Lorne Greene (Lyon Himan Green), who became one of television’s most familiar faces by playing Ben Cartwright (“Pa”) on the NBC family Western series Bonanza from 1959 to1973, was born in Ottawa on this date in 1915. During World War II, Green served in the Canadian air force and became a newsreader on the CBC […]

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May 15: The Yiddish Fred Astaire

Actor and dancer Leo Fuchs, lifelong star of the Yiddish theater, creator of the famous song “Trouble,” and a star in the original Broadway production of Cabaret, was born to a theatrical family in Warsaw on this date in 1911. “Fuchs’s specialty,” writes Bernard Mendelovitch in The Independent, “was comedy and when he commenced his […]

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April 25: Hank Azaria and The Simpsons

Actor Hank Azaria, who voiced several characters in The Simpsons (including Moe, Apu, Chief Wiggums and at least ten other regulars) and has won five Emmys and a Screen Actors Guild Award, was born to a Sephardic family in Queens on this date in 1964. His parents were from Thessalonika, and Ladino was the household […]

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