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A Tinkling Piano in the Next Apartment

Eric Maschwitz, who wrote the lyrics (under the name Holt Marvell) for “These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)” and became one of Great Britain’s leading television producers and executives, was born in Birmingham on this date in 1901. Maschwitz was an actor and radio host before serving as an intelligence and communications officer and postal censor […]

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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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November 14: Living Together on Television

Sherwood Schwartz, who created Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch television shows (and wrote the theme songs for both), was born in Passaic, New Jersey on this date in 1916. Training as a biologist in the late 1930s, he was brought onto Bob Hope’s joke-writing staff his brother, Al Schwartz, who worked for Hope’s radio […]

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October 26: The Broadcast Pioneer

William S. Paley, who built the Columbia Broadcasting Service (CBS) from a struggling radio network into the premier nationwide radio and TV consortium, acquiring tremendous political and cultural clout along the way, died at 89 on this date in 1990. His father was a successful cigar manufacturer, who in 1927 acquired a Philadelphia radio network […]

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October 10: Eddie Cantor

Eddie Cantor (Iskowitz), one of America’s first radio stars and wildly popular, cross-platform entertainers, died at 72 on this date in 1964. Known as “Banjo Eyes” and “The Apostle of Pep,” Cantor mixed intimate stories about his wife and five daughters with high-energy dancing, vaudeville songs, jokes, and sentimental sincerity to charm his audiences on […]

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August 23: A Bonanza of Melodies

London-born David Rose (Rosenberg), who wrote the theme songs for Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Highway Patrol, and seventeen other television series (some under the pseudonym Ray Llewellyn) — and was married to both Martha Raye and Judy Garland — died in Burbank, California at the age of 80 on this date in 1990. Rose […]

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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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April 9: Tom Lehrer

Songwriter, social satirist, and mathematician Tom Lehrer was born on this date in 1928. In the 1960s he gained a wide audience as the resident songwriter for the American version of That Was the Week That Was, a short-lived satirical television news show, for which he wrote a famous spoof about rocket scientist Werner Von […]

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