This day is all about the ladies, three very different yet talented females -- one of whom has sadly passed on -- but all with their own individual niche in pop culture.
Brenda Vaccaro celebrates her 74th birthday today. Academy Award and Tony-nominated and Emmy-winning, Vaccaro's extensive theater training was put to use in TV beginning in the early 1960s with guest roles in Naked City, The Fugitive, Marcus Welby, The Defenders, and many others. She gained wide critical acclaim for her role on the big screen in Midnight Cowboy, but still made many TV appearances on series and TV movies (Sunshine) and specials (winning an Emmy for The Shape of Things to Come in 1973). Vacarro had a well-publicized romance with Michael Douglas in the early 1970s and made two appearances on his series The Streets of San Francisco. She starred as the title character in the short-lived feminist western Sara in 1976 and was Emmy-nominated for it, too. Both movies and TV filled her calendar, with roles in Zorro: The Gay Blade, Airport '77, Supergirl, The Love Boat, Guyana Tragedy, Capricorn One, The Pride of Jesse Hallam and many others. She co-starred in the also short-lived series Paper Dolls, started doing voice work in animation (Smurfs, Spawn, Johnny Bravo), and continues to appear in quality projects in including HBO's 2010 TV Movie You Don't Know Jack for which she received another Emmy nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actress. Vaccaro also became known for a breathy tampon commercial she made, which we've included below (along with the parody of it from SCTV by Andrea Martin). Happy Birthday to this talented favorite!
Linda Evans celebrates her 71st today! A true lady of TV, the fresh-faced Evans had
her first TV role on Bachelor Father, then found further work on comedies like The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and My Favorite Martian and also on dramas The Untouchables, The Eleventh Hour, The Lieutenant, and Wagon Train. She achieved true TV stardom with her co-starring role on The Big Valley (1965 - 1969) playing ranch owner Barbara Stanwyck's winsome but strong-willed daughter Audra. Following the end of that series, she returned to guest roles in shows like McCloud, Mannix and many others and became a multi-episode guest on The Love Boat. Evans finally hit 1980s pop culture pay dirt in a huge way with her starring role on the long-running (8 seasons) glamorous nighttime soap Dynasty. Her onscreen rivalry and knock-down drag-out tussles with Joan Collins became legend. She's semi-retired now, but we'll always remember her as Krystle Carrington and Audra Barkley!
Lastly we say a Happy Birthday to the late comedienne Imogene Coca, born on this day in 1908; she passed away in June of 2001. This prolific comic was multi-talented -- a gifted dancer, singer, acrobat -- making her the perfect performer for the still thriving vaudeville. She was a featured member in the cast of many revues, at first contributing musical prowess but soon her funny bones began to show and she concentrated in that area. She tummled with Danny Kaye (and did some very early comedy shorts with him) but achieved her finest collaborations with Sid Caesar, winning an Emmy for Your Show of Shows and staying with Caesar as partner for an initial four years and then reuniting with him on and off several times throughout her career to rekindle their comedy magic. Imogene Coca also starred in two one-seasons sitcoms during the 1960s, the first one 1963's Grindl as an eccentric traveling mad and then as a cavewoman in 1966's It's About Time (with that memorable theme song!). Younger folks will remember her in the National Lampoon comedy Vacation, but Television remembers her as one of the funniest ladies ever to grace the small screen. Imogene Coca, you are missed.