Who was born on this date:
Actress Ginger Rogers was born on July 16, 1911 in Independence, Missouri. The award winning actress, comedian and dance’s given name was Virginia Katherine McMath. Her parents divorced when she was a young child and Rogers was raised primarily by her mother, Lela. Her road to show business began as a dancer in her teens, when she won a 1925 Charleston contest, from which she was offered a regular role in a touring vaudeville company. In 1929, she discovered the acting bug and made her Broadway stage debut in Top Speed. Success on the stage caused Hollywood to take notice, and Rogers iconic career on the silver screen began with 1930’s Young Man of Manhattan. Her film career spanned five decades (1930-1983), in which she appeared in seventy-three feature motion pictures. She is best known for the ten films in which she co-starred Fred Astaire. Their effortless team work on the dance floor and debonair style became a trademark in numerous films of the 1930’s such as Flying Down to Rio (1933), The Gay Divorcee (1934), Top Hat (1935), Roberta (1935), Swing Time (1936), Shall We Dance (1937), and Carefree (1938).
She won her first and only best actress Academy Award in 1941 for the dramatic portrayal of a white collar working girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Kitty Foyle in Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman (1940). Rogers other notable film credits include: 42nd Street (1933), Vivacious Lady (1938), Bachelor Mother (1939), Tom, Dick, and Harry (1941), I’ll Be Seeing You (1944), and Monkey Business (1952). She made her last on screen performance in the 1965 film, Harlow, after which she appeared exclusively on stage and television.
On April 25, 1996, Ginger Rogers died from congestive heart failure at her home in Rancho Mirage, California. She had suffered from poor health for several years preceding her death, tormented by several strokes that left her wheel chair bound. She is buried at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth, California next to her beloved mother and ironically rests for eternity just a short distance from her most famous on screen partner, Fred Astaire (who is buried in the Sequoia lawn section).
Actress Barbara Stanwyck was born on July 16, 1907 in Brroklyn, New York. She was nominated for the Academy Award four times, and won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe. In 1923, a few months short of her 16th birthday, Ruby auditioned for a place in the chorus at the Strand Roof, a night club over the Strand Theatre in Times Square. A few months thereafter she obtained a job as a Ziegfeld girl in the 1922 and 1923 editions of the Ziegfeld Follies.
Stanwyck's first film was The Locked Door (1929), followed by Mexicali Rose in 1929. Neither film was successful; nonetheless, Frank Capra chose Stanwyck for his Ladies of Leisure (1930). Numerous memorable roles followed, among them the children's nurse who saves two would be juvenile murder victims in Night Nurse (1931), the ambitious woman from "the wrong side of the tracks" in Baby Face (1933), the self-sacrificing mother in Stella Dallas (1937), the con artist who falls for her would-be victim (played by Henry Fonda) in The Lady Eve (1941), the woman who talks an infatuated insurance salesman (Fred McMurray) into killing her husband in Double Indemnity (1944), the columnist caught up in white lies and Christmas romance in Christmas in Connecticut (1945) and the doomed wife in Sorry, Wrong Number (1948).
When Stanwyck's film career declined in 1957, she moved to television. Her 1961–1962 series The Barbara Stanwyck Show was not a ratings success but earned her first Emmy Award. The 1965–1969 Western series The Big Valley on ABC made her one of the most popular actresses on television, winning her another Emmy. Years later, Stanwyck earned her third Emmy for The Thorn Birds.
Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck
In 1936, while making the film His Brother's Wife, Stanwyck met and fell in love with her co-star, Robert Taylor. Following a whirlwind romance, the couple began living together. Their 1939 marriage was arranged with the help of Taylor's studio MGM, a common practice in Hollywood's golden age. Taylor reportedly had affairs during the marriage. When Stanwyck learned of Taylor's fling with Lana Turner, she filed for divorce in 1950 when a starlet made Turner's romance with Taylor public. The decree was granted on February 21, 1951. After the divorce, they acted together in Stanwyck's last feature film The Night Walker (1964). Stanwyck never remarried and collected alimony from Taylor until his death in 1969. Stanwyck was no angel she also had an affair with actor Robert Wagner, whom she met on the set of Titanic. Wagner, who was 22, and Stanwyck, who was 45 at the beginning of the affair, had a four-year romance, as described in Wagner's 2008 memoir, Pieces of My Heart. Stanwyck broke off the relationship. Stanwyck died of congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at Saint John's Health Center, in Santa Monica, California on January 20, 1990. Her body was cremated, and her ashes scattered in Lone Pine, California.
http://www.michaelthomasbarry.com/, author of "Fade to Black: Graveside Memories of Hollywood Greats, 1927-1950"