Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Flaming Nose Happy Birthday List for November 16th!

Happy Birthday!  We're starting a new feature on The Flaming Nose, birthday shout-outs to TV personalities, actors and behind-the-scenes notables who deserve some love from us!  We're not doing a laundry list, just a few interesting names that we think you remember, too!

Celebrating his 84th birthday today is TV stalwart Clu Gulager, his rugged good Oklahoma boy lucks especially perfect for the TV westerns which were so popular during the heyday of Clu's prolific career.  You'll probably remember him best from his co-starring role on The Virginian from 1963 - 1968, but he also appeared in episodes of everything from The Untouchables to Walker, Texas Ranger.  Gulager has been one of the stalwarts of TV guest star roles -- an almost lost species -- for his entire acting life, always giving a solid performance and making a great impression.  The Tall Man, The Defenders, Dr. Kildare (in the famous Yvette Mimieux epileptic surfer girl episode "Tyger, Tyger"), Wagon Train, The Name of the Game, The F.B.I., Medical Center, Bonanza, Mod Squad, Mannix, Kung Fu, Ironside, Get Christie Love!, Cannon, Police Story...was there any notable series he didn't guest on?  We also can't forget his many movie roles and his very well-regarded work as an acting teacher.  Check out his extensive credits on IMDb and this great article on TV Party about him. You will be awed.  Happy Birthday, Clu!

Also celebrating a birthday is the lovely actress Joanna Pettet, a talented beauty who turns 71 today. She may be best remembered for many roles in popular series of the 1960s, '70s and '80s as well as her appearance as a Bond Girl in Casino Royale.  A guest star on everything from Route 66 to Dr. Kildare, Mannix, Rod Serling's Night Gallery, Charlie's Angels, Knots Landing (recurring role) and so many more, Ms. Pettet was always a treat to watch with her good lucks and expressive slightly husky voice.  Especially memorable was her turn in an episode of Night Gallery as a strangely alluring model; the segment was titled "The Girl with the Hungry Eyes"; you can watch it by clicking here.  Highly recommended!  She is retired from acting now but we fondly salute this uniquely appealing actress.  It's always a treat to run into one of her shows or movies.

You don't even have to do that many things on TV to be a standout, and this applies to accomplished actor Steve Railsback who turns 68 today.  The first time he came on the screen as killer Charles Manson in the legendary acclaimed miniseries Helter Skelter in 1976 was a defining moment in TV movies/miniseries. At a time when the genre turned out out top-notch productions and memorable performances on a regular basis, Helter Skelter and Railsback instantly blew them all away.  The Manson Family has never left the public consciousness, and this TV movie -- a mere handful of years after the actual events and based on the best-selling book by Vincent Bugliosi -- was a must-see event and remains so, primarily for Railsback's riveting portrayal of Manson.  Actually Steven Railsback has a career that is equally divided between TV and movies, including his well-regarded 1980 starring role in The Stuntman and his creepy but compassionate turn as weird lady killer Ed Gein in 2000.  Still very active in the business today, Railsback also gives back to his profession as an acting coach and teacher.

Our gone-but-not-forgotten Happy Birthday goes out to veteran actor Burgess Meredith, a movie and TV favorite who appeared in hundreds of roles during his over sixty-year career.  The enormity and breadth of his talent is readily apparent from a look at his credits on IMDb -- stunning and impressive to the end.  His most memorable TV roles?  Certainly his witty and unforgettable guest shots as The Penguin on the immensely popular Batman; he appeared over twenty times as the crafty villain.  We'd also submit for your approval his poignant and utterly iconic turn as post-apocalyptic librarian Henry Bemis in The Twilight Zone.  Meredith passed away in 1997 at the age of  89.  You are well-remembered, Burgess Meredith, and Happy Birthday.

Stay tuned to The Flaming Nose TV Blog for more birthday celebrations!

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