Broken Arrow: Western Movie, Book, TV, and History Discussion

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 January 21 Birthday Wishes

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Posts : 928
Join date : 2010-09-12

PostSubject: January 21 Birthday Wishes   Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:57 am

Smith Ballew [1902 - 1984]

Telly Savalas [1924 - 1994]

John Ducette [1921 - 1994]

Last edited by Manco on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: January 21 Birthday Wishes   Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:57 pm

I hadn't heard of Smith Ballew, so I looked him up. He was a jazz singer on radio shows in the 1920s, and became one of the first singing cowboys in the '30s. In 1938, he shared the screen Lou Gehrig (that's right, the Pride of the Yankees) in Rawhide. his last screen appearance was uncredited as the Captain in The Red Badge of Courage in 1951.

And what can you say about Telly Savalas? A great actor, who really first gained notice as Pontius Pilate in The Greatest Story Every Told (he shaved his head for the roll, and kept it shaved from then on). Mostly remembered as Kojak, but he was in so many good movies: as the tanker in The Battle of the Bulge; Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service; Big Joe in Kelly's Heroes; Archer Maggot in The Dirty Dozen; Sgt. Tibbs in McKenna's Gold. And you gotta love the Greek Savalas playing the Mexican Pancho Villa in the Italian made movie, with Telly singing at the end!

On a side note, today is also the birthday of the late, great British comic Benny Hill, who once parodied Telly Savalas in a Kojak sketch.
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Chain Lightning

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PostSubject: Re: January 21 Birthday Wishes   Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:00 pm

Howdy Pards!!

I also am unfamiliar with Smith Ballew. Sounds like another singing cowboy of the 30's we've talked about on the forum, Herb Jeffries, who also got his start singing, which propelled him into the movies.
I agree with everything you've said about Telly Savalas, Tinhorn. A wonderfully talented actor, who believe it or not, had a head full of brown hair, but elected to keep it shaved like Yul Brenner. The last thing I remember reading about him, was that he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and then he was gone. He made a couple more spaghetti westerns. One with James Coburn, titled A Reason To Live, A Reason To Die. One with George Maharis( I think) titled Land Raiders and one with Robert Shaw titled A Town Called Hell.
As for Benny Hill, he was one of the funniest men I've ever had the pleasure to watch. They used to carry his show after about 9:00pm here in the U.S. back in the 70's I think. His show was cancelled for a time and just before his death, he had signed a new contract with the B.B.C (I assume). I remember an interview with one of his supporting actors on his show. He talked about not having heard from Benny, so he went to Benny's house and when he didn't answer the door, he looked through a window and saw him sitting in a chair. He called the police, who entered the house and found him dead. I remember the actor asked to be allowed to groom Benny's hair before they removed him, because Benny had always kept it so well groomed. Strange as it may sound, the actor said the house was barely furnished and the only thing other than the chair, was an award Benny had won, that was placed on the mantle.
We lost an excellent actor in Telly Savalas and a wonderful comedian when we lost Benny Hill.

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