On This Day: March 25
Sarah Jessica Parker's born to greatness! Let's revisit her breakthrough. Plus, the roll-out of the color TV you neither needed nor could afford, Sylvester Stallone's crowning awards glory and the birth of Wiki!
1954 - RCA begins making "The Merrill", the first mass-produced color TVs. For $1000 -- about $6000 in today's money -- you get a screen that's 15 inches across and houses a set build from approximately eight trees' worth of polished wood for total weight of 160 pounds. You'll also have to wait 10 years for networks to regularly broadcast shows in color. About 5000 rolled out of the company's Indiana factory, of which 24 are still in working order.
1965 - Sarah Jessica Parker is born in Nelsonville, Ohio. Just before her 14th birthday, she'll get her breakthrough when she takes over the role of Annie on Broadway. But she's not yet living the Manhattan-Manolo life. Parker's family, including her seven siblings, live in New Jersey and commute to the Big Apple in a van. That is, until August of that year, when the vehicle is stolen and Sarah is forced to hitch rides into town with the Annie's longest-serving lead - Sandy, the dog who'd been saved from the pound to originate her role. In 1982, the year SJP made her name on TV with Square Pegs, she showed her Annie chops for home viewers in a national telecast.
1990 - At the 10th annual Razzie awards, Sylvester Stallone is awarded Worst Actor of the decade -- quite the achievement, given it was the 1980s. Twenty years on, Sly remains its most dishonored performer, having racked up a whopping 30 nominations and 10 awards. He didn't rate a mention this year, but here's wishing him all the best in '11 with The Expendables. I'm not sure, though, he could ever rival Rhinestone.
1995 - Computer genius Ward Cunningham publicly launches the first "wiki" on the Internet, called WikiWikiWeb, which kinda sounds like something the Brady Bunch might've gotten entangled in in a cave on Hawaii. You'll have to wait six years before Wikipedia arrives -- and it's no coincidence that 2001 is the same year that Funk And Wagnalls, already reduced to a Web site, closes down.