Oscar History

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« Beauty Break: The Time 100 | Main | Best Actor - April Foolish Oscar Predix »

OTD: Annie, John Cameron Mitchell, and Field of Dreams

On this day (April 21st) in history as it relates to showbiz...

Anthony Quinn

1904 Oscar winning cinematographer Daniel L Fapp (West Side Story and Desire Under the Elms, among many films) born in Kansas City

1914 Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor born in England. Though he was BAFTA nominated Oscar never bit despite high profile films and collaborations with famous directors. Credits include: Repulsion, The Omen, Dr Strangelove, Star Wars, Frenzy, Dracula (1979) and MacBeth 

1915 Oscar's all time favorite Mexican actor Anthony Quinn born (Lust for Life, Viva Zapata, Wild is the Wind, Zorba the Greek, La Strada, etcetera)

1918 "The Red Baron," the famous German fighter pilot, shot down in World War I. Snoopy in Peanuts fantasizes about him repeatedly and he's also been a character in many films including Wings, Hell's Angels, and Darling Lili 

1930 Italian star Silvana Mangano (Death in Venice, Teorema, and that freaking scary nun in Dune) born

1933 Supernatural, a pre-code horror film starring Carole Lombard which she reportedly did not want to star in at all preferring to stick with comedy, premieres in NYC

1944 Oscar winning cinematographer Russell Boyd (Master and Commander) born in Australia. He hasn't made a feature since Peter Weir's The Way Back (2010)

1946 Claire Denis, essential auteur born in Paris. If you haven't seen Beau Travail or White Material get right on that. 

1949 Broadway superstar Patti Lupone born in New York. Will she up for another Tony for her new show War Paint?

1951 Who's the Boss? That'd be Tony Danza, star of stage and small screen, who turns 66 today. Did you know he made his film debut opposite Michelle Pfeiffer making her film debut? Now you do! On this same day over in Belgium, Jean-Pierre Dardenne of the Dardenne brothers filmmaking team was born. What's your favorite Dardenne picture?

1956 Director Peter Kosminsky born. He's been doing a lot of television (most notably Wolf Hall) but hasn't made a feature since the undervalued White Oleander 15 years ago!

1958 Andie MacDowell (sex lies and videotape, Magic Mike XXL) born in South Carolina

1959 Robert Smith, he of giant rat-nest hair fame as lead singer of The Cure, born in Blackpool

1963 John Cameron Mitchell, amazing but unprolific director / former actor born in El Paso. Happy 54th to an amazing icon who never seems to age. Everyone knows and loves Hedwig of course but did you know that he was a Broadway baby before that?

I used to listed to his song in "Secret Garden" so much. He's at the 1:00 minute mark here in this medley. It's weird that this musical has never been revived on Broadway.  Next up for John Cameron Mitchell as director is How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)

1964 Writer/Director Anna Muylaert born in São Paulo. We interviewed her for her great film The Second Mother (2015)

1970 Glen Hansard, who we will forever thank for his Oscar winning "Falling Slowly" from Once, born in Dublin. God that movie was amazing.

Sarah Jessica Parker took over the lead role in ANNIE in 1979 on Broadway1977 Annie, a musical comedy based on the comic strip Lil' Orphan Annie, opens on Broadway. It will go on to win 7 Tonys and lead to two feature film versions ('82 and '14), a tv movie version ('99), and two Broadway revivals

1978 The comedy about Beatlemania I Wanna Hold Your Hand opens in movie theaters and flops. Why mention it? Well, it was the feature debut of Spielberg's protege Robert Zemeckis. By his third film (Romancing the Stone) he became a reliable hit-maker

1979 Undervalued wonder James McAvoy born in Glasgow. His most recent success was Split. Next up is Atomic Blonde with Charlize Theron this July. 

1983 Gorgeous talented Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights) born in Oxford. She's onscreen now (well, her voice is) as Plumette in Beauty & The Beast but next up a movie called Fast Color

1984 "Against All Odds," the theme song for the movie of the same name replaces "Footloose" as the #1 song in the land. A year later they're both up for Best Original Song in a historic shortlist -- all five were #1 hit singles. Could you imagine that today?

1989 Field of Dreams opens, becoming a sleeper hit and a surprise Oscar contender. I always thought the 1989 Oscars had the weirdest Best Picture list.


  • Born on the 4th of July
  • Dead Poets Society
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Field of Dreams
  • My Left Foot


That list has not aged well. And to think they had sex lies and videotape, Do the Right Thing, The Abyss, The Little Mermaid, Crimes and Misdemeanors, When Harry Met Sally, and Fabulous Baker Boys all available to them. And they saw them, too, since they each got at least one nomination.

1995 While You Were Sleeping opens in theaters. It's the second consecutive huge hit from Sandra Bullock (on the heels of Speed) so she officially ascended to "bankable" within Hollywood. More impressively, she still is 22 years later.

2012 Carey Mulligan marries the lead singer of Mumford & Sons

2016 Prince dies. Cue mass mourning.

2017 Free Fire, The Promise, Unforgettable , and Phoenix Forgotten  all new in theaters. Today is also declared "Prince Day" in Minnesota.


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Reader Comments (13)

trivia: that little girl from the secret garden was on girls this season playing the hannah role in adam and jessa's film

my 1989 best picture line up: common threads: stories from the quilt, the fabulous baker boys, the little mermaid, my left foot, when harry met sally

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Born on the Fourth of July deserves its Best Picture a slot.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I love Field of Dreams. Though it's weird seeing Gaby Hoffman in it now considering her foul-mouthed role in Girls!

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Being a lover of royalty porn at the movies, I would be remiss to chide you for not including the birth of HRH Princess Elizabeth of York in 1926 (now HM Queen Elizabeth II) who has been portrayed so magnificently by Dame Helen Mirren in The Queen and Claire Foy in The Crown among others.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRick Schoen

The great Elaine May turns 85 today. Too bad her directing career never recovered from Ishtar.

Also born on this day and still alive is Helen Prejean who turns 78 today. Her lasting impact on film history is being portrayed by Susan Sarandon in 'Dead Man Walking' (and winning her an Oscar for it).

I also feel like throwing in Charlotte Brontë (*1816), whose 'Jane Eyre' has been adapted to the big screen a bazillion times, and director Marcel Camus (*1912), whose 'Orfeu Negro' is absolutely terrific and a deserved Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

Somehow in 95 you knew Bullock would be around years later,Premiere referred to her a a BIG SCREEN Paula Abdul.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I believe they are working on a Broadway revival of The Secret Garden as I type this. I'm a big fan so my friends send me updates. They've already cut at least two songs. Sigh. But if John Cameron Mitchell has given up his acting career, does he have to give up his singing career too?! Where is his underground Studio 54 type cabaret show that he tours with to make money for his movies?

As for 1989, at the time I felt that if they just had two more weeks for voting/screening, My Left Foot would have won. It's my favorite of the nominees, but Crimes and Misdemeanors should have been nominated.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Hollywood

That comment on Glen Hansard made my day. I couldn't agree more. Thanks, Nat.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Hellllloooooooooooo, Kevin!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

I love Field of Dreams too!

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

The "Field of Dream" poster is really selling Kevin Kostner's blue jeans... "Against All Odds" is very sexy movie Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward are still a hot movie couple

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Carole Lombard was right not to want to appear in Supernatural. Aside from the curiosity factor of both precode horror and Carole in such an unusual part the movie is a rather stupid and unbelievable stinker.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

DOES ANYONE HERE SEE THE GOOD FIGHT?!! John Cameron Mitchell guest stars there as a Trump loving gay man AND Christine Baranski is as Divine as ever!

April 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

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