In 1971, Arthur was invited by Norman Lear to guest-star on his sitcom All in the Family, as Maude Findlay, the cousin of Edith Bunker. An outspoken liberal feminist, Maude was the antithesis role to the conservative Republican character Archie Bunker, who described her as a “New Deal fanatic”. Nearly 50, Arthur’s tart turn on All in the Family impressed viewers as well as executives at CBS who, she would later recall, asked “‘Who is that girl? Let’s give her her own series.’”
Born in Los Angeles, Foster was a gifted child who learned to read at the age of three. She attended a French-language prep school, the Lycée Français in Los Angeles. Her fluency in French has enabled her to act in French films, and she also dubs herself in French-language versions of most of her English-language films.
Foster’s career began with an appearance as the Coppertone girl in a television advertisement in 1965, when she was only three years old.
Gloria Vanderbilt was married to author Wyatt Emory Cooper, on 24 December 1963. She was his only wife. The marriage, which lasted 15 years, ended with his death in 1978 while undergoing open-heart surgery. They had two sons: Carter Vanderbilt Cooper who committed suicide at age 23 by jumping from the family’s 14th-floor apartment. and Anderson Hays Cooper, the CNN news anchor.
George Michael formed the duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley in 1981. The band’s first album Fantastic reached No. 1 in the UK in 1983 and produced a series of top 10 singles including “Young Guns”, “Wham Rap!” and “Club Tropicana”. Their second album, Make It Big, reached No. 1 on the charts in the US. Singles from that album included “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (No. 1 in the UK and US), “Freedom”, “Everything She Wants”, and “Careless Whisper” which reached No. 1 in nearly 25 countries, including the UK and US, and was Michael’s first solo effort as a single. In 1985 Michael received the first of his three Ivor Novello Awards for Songwriter of the Year from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
Her first film was The Last Picture Show, also starring Jeff Bridges and Timothy Bottoms. The film became a critical and box office hit, earning several Academy Awards and nominations. Shepherd was nominated for a Golden Globe. Shepherd was cast opposite Charles Grodin in The Heartbreak Kid (1972). She played Kelly, the beautiful, sun-kissed young woman for whom Grodin’s character falls while on his honeymoon in Miami. Directed by Elaine May, it was another critical and box office hit.
Jessica Ann Johnson, known professionally as Jessica Simpson; born July 10, 1980, is an American singer, actress, and fashion designer. Simpson signed a recording contract with Columbia Records when she was sixteen, and released her debut studio album Sweet Kisses in 1999. It sold over four million copies worldwide, and spawned the top three song “I Wanna Love You Forever” (1999).
Pierino Ronald “Perry” Como was an American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century he recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with it in 1943. “Mr. C.”, as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records for Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and pioneered a weekly musical variety television show, which set the standards for the genre and proved to be one of the most successful in television history. Bing Crosby once described him as, “the man who invented casual”.
Redford began acting on television in the early 1960s. He earned an Emmy nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Voice of Charlie Pont in 1962.
Between 1974 and 1976, exhibitors voted Redford Hollywood’s top box-office name. His hits included The Great Gatsby (1974), The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), and Three Days of the Condor (1975).
Don Ameche played the title character in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939). It led to the use of the word, “ameche”, as slang for telephone in common catchphrases, as noted by Mike Kilen in the Iowa City Gazette (December 8, 1993): “The film prompted a generation to call people to the telephone with the phrase: ‘You’re wanted on the Ameche.’
In the 1940 film Go West, Groucho Marx proclaims, “Telephone? This is 1870, Don Ameche hasn’t invented the telephone yet”. While in the 1941 film Ball of Fire, Barbara Stanwyck’s character discusses the “ameche” slang usage, “Do you know what this means: I’ll get you on the Ameche.”
Don Ameche played so many roles based on real people that on one of his radio broadcasts, Fred Allen joked, “Pretty soon, Don Ameche will be playing Don Ameche.” Soon afterwards, in It’s in the Bag!(1945), which starred Allen, Ameche indeed played himself in a bit part.
Karen Black made her Broadway debut in 1965’s The Playroom, which received good reviews and for which she was nominated for a Drama Circle Critic Award for Best Actress. Her film debut was in The Prime Time (1960) and her first big role was in You’re a Big Boy Now (1966), directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
Her feature film career expanded in 1969, playing the role of an acid-tripping prostitute opposite Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in the iconic counterculture movie Easy Rider. In 1970, Black appeared as Rayette, the waitress girlfriend of Jack Nicholson, in the film Five Easy Pieces, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and earned her her first Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress-Motion Picture. She also won a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film.