Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shemp Howard & Helen Hayes

Who was born on this date:

Comedic actor Shemp Howard was born Samuel Horwitz on March 17, 1895 in Brooklyn, New York. He is best known as a part of the Three Stooges comedy team. He was called "Shemp" because "Sam" came out that way in his mother's thick Litvak accent. He was an older brother of Moe Howard and Curly Howard as well as the "third stooge" in the early years of the act. He would rejoin the trio in May 1946 after Curly suffered a stroke. Shemp died on November 23, 1955 from a heart attack and is buried at Home of Peace Cemetery in East Los Angeles, California.

Who died on this date:

On March 17, 1993, Helen Hayes known as “the First Lady of the American theater” died. She was born Helen Hayes Brown on October 10, 1900 in Washington, District of Columbia. The diminutive star was an award winning actress of stage, film and television. Her show business career spanned seven decades from 1931 to 1985. Hayes had a much disciplined stage technique but was never totally at ease in Hollywood or with the star system. As a result she never fully embraced the screen but she adored the theater. Although her film appearances were few in quantity they were almost always high in quality. Her major film credits include; Arrowsmith (1931), A Farewell to Arms (1932), Another Language (1933), Night Flight (1933), Crime Without Passion (1934), Vanessa: Her Love Story (1935), and Airport (1970). She won two Academy Awards, first in 1932 for best actress, playing the role of a prostitute in The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931), which was her debut on the big screen. A second Oscar win was for best supporting actress and it came forty years later, in 1970’s Airport. She was nominated for numerous other awards including nine Emmy awards (winning one), two Golden Globes, and three Tony Award wins. Helen Hayes died on March 17, 1993 at the Nyack Hospital in Nyack, New York from heart failure at age ninety-two. Her funeral was held at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Nyack. The funeral mass was attended by nearly five hundred mourners and was officiated by Cardinal John J. O’Connor. She is buried in a simple grave at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Nyack, New York.

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