Monday, December 26, 2011

Richard Widmark & Elsa Lanchester

Who was born on this date:

Actor Richard Widmark was born on December 26, 1914 in Sunrise Township, Minnesota. He was nominated for a best supporting actor Academy Award for Kiss Of Death (1947), as the villainous Tommy Udo in his debut film. Early in his career Widmark specialized in similar villainous or anti-hero roles, but he later branched out into more heroic leading and support roles in westerns, mainstream dramas and horror films, among others. Widmark made his debut as a radio actor in 1938 and made his Broadway debut in 1943 with Kiss and Tell. Other film credits include The Street Car with No Name (1948), Don’t Bother to Knock (1952). Pick Up on South Street (1953), The Alamo (1960), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), How the West was Won (1962), Cheyenne Autumn (1964), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Coma (1978), and The Swarm (1978). In all, Widmark appeared in over 60 films before making his final movie appearance in the 1991 thriller True Colors. From 1942 until her death in 1997, Widmark was married to playwright Jean Hazlewood. He died after a long illness on March 24, 2008, at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut and is buried at the Roxbury Center Cemetery.

Who died on this date:

On December 26, 1986, actress Elsa Lanchester died. She was born on October 28, 1902 in Lewisham, London. She met actor Charles Laughton in 1927, and they were married two years later. She began playing small roles in British films, including the role of Anne of Cleves with Laughton in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). Her role as the title character in Bride of Frankenstein (1935), brought her recognition. She played supporting roles through the 1940s and 1950s. She was nominated for a best supporting Academy Award for Come to the Stable in 1949 and Witness for the Prosecution 1957. Lanchester died on December 26, 1986 from pneumonia at the Motion Picture Actor Home. Her ashes were scattered at sea.

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