On This Day: What Did You Get George Takei For His Birthday?
Happy April 20, dear reader! Time to join Movieline on another breezy expedition through the historical arcana and milestones that helped shaped the pop culture you know and love today. And warm up your singing voices, because there are plenty of birthday boys and girls to serenade. Read on for the happenings you need to know.
· 1926: Debates persist about the actual advent of the talkie era in movies. But if you're one of those life-begins-at-conception believers, today is your day, as the developers at Western Electric announce the sale of their Vitaphone technology to Warner Bros. A year and a half and few hundred short-film experiments later, the studio would debut The Jazz Singer to historic acclaim.
· 1937: George Takei is born in Los Angeles. His family would be transferred to internment camps during World War II, which would in part stoke his political activism throughout his life. But acting came first: Did you know Takei studied Shakespeare in England and at Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball's studio in Hollywood? And none of it matters today, of course, because William Shatner obviously wants to know why he wasn't invited to Takei's birthday party.
· 1949: Jessica Lange -- the pride of Cloquet, Minn. -- is born to a teacher and salesman.
· 1964: Crispin Hellion Glover emerges virtually fully formed from the womb, an only child who would begin appearing in film and TV by the late '70s after relocating with his parents from New York to Los Angeles.
· 1977: Woody Allen's Annie Hall opens in theaters. It was a huge success for its time, eventually taking in more than $38 million and winning four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.
· 1991: Legendary, genre-hopping filmmaker Don Siegel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Two Mules for Sister Sara, Dirty Harry) passes away after nine years of retirement. The heart attack he suffered while making the 1982 Bette Midler craptacular _Jinxed_resulted in a less-than-glorious final film, but anyone who makes something as unspeakably cool as The Killers. Ultimately has nothing to to apologize for. R.I.P.