Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Robert Young & John Mills

Who was born on this date:

Actor Robert Young was born on February 22, 1907 in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known for his leading roles on TV shows, Father Knows Best and Marcus Welby, MD. He made his film debut for MGM in the 1931 Charlie Chan movie, Black Camel. Young appeared in over 100 films between 1931 and 1952. As an MGM contract player, Young was resigned to the fate of most of his colleagues, to accept any film assigned to him or risk being placed on suspension and many actors on suspension were prohibited from earning a salary from any endeavor at all. Not surprisingly and in spite of a propitious beginning as a freelance actor without the nurturing of a major studio, Young's career began an incremental and imperceptible decline. Still starring as a leading man in the late 1940s and early 1950s but in mediocre films, he subsequently disappeared from the silver screen, only to reappear several years later on a much smaller one. Despite his trademark portrayal of happy, well-adjusted characters, Young's bitterness towards Hollywood casting practices never diminished, and he suffered from depression and alcoholism, culminating in a suicide attempt in the early 1990s. Later he spoke candidly about his personal problems in an effort to encourage others to seek help. Young died at his home in Westlake Village on July 21, 1998 from respiratory failure and is buried at Forest Lawn Glendale.

Actor John Mills was born on February 22, 1908 in North Elmham, England. He took an early interest in acting, making his professional debut on the London stage in 1929. He made his film debut in The Midshipmaid (1932), and appeared in the 1939 film version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips, opposite Robert Donat. From 1959 through the mid-1960s, Mills starred in several films alongside his daughter Hayley. Their first film together was the 1959 crime drama Tiger Bay, in which John plays a police detective investigating a murder that Hayley's character witnessed. Following Hayley's rise to fame in Pollyanna (1960) and the 1961 family comedy The Parent Trap, John and Hayley again starred together, in the 1965 teen sailing adventure The Truth About Spring. For his role in Ryan’s Daughter (1970), Mills won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Altogether he appeared in over 120 films. Mills died on April 23, 2005 following a chest infection and is buried at the St. Mary the Vurgin Churchyard in Denham, England.

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