Born on this date
Happy Birthday, Simon O'Byrne!
70 years ago
The Japanese submarine I-36 sank in the Bungo Channel, killing 81.
50 years ago
#1 single in the U.S.A: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Platters
The Winter Dance Party tour continued as Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper performed at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. Afterward, Mr. Holly chartered a Beechcraft Bonanza to take him and his backup musicians, Tommy Allsup and Waylon Jennings, to Fargo, North Dakota, en route to the next leg of the tour at the Armory in Moorhead, Minnesota.
40 years ago
Died on this date
Boris Karloff, 81. British-born U.S. actor. One of the most famous horror actors ever was born William Henry Pratt on November 23, 1887. As a young man he came to Canada to work on the railway, and started his career on stage in Kamloops, B.C., later moving to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Mr. Karloff (he took the surname from a distant relative) eventually moved to Hollywood, and found some work as an extra. His big break came with the role of the monster in Frankenstein in 1931. He reprised the role just twice more: Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939). Starting with The Black Cat (1934), Mr. Karloff began teaming up with Bela Lugosi, and the two acted in a number of horror movies together, mainly for Universal studios. The best of the Boris & Bela movies are probably The Black Cat; The Raven (1935); and Son of Frankenstein.
Non-horror movies that featured Mr. Karloff included Scarface (1932); The Lost Patrol (1934); The Black Room (1935); and Unconquered (1947). He also made occasional radio appearances in such series as Suspense and Inner Sanctum Mysteries. On television, Mr. Karloff was the host of the NBC series Thriller, which ran from 1960-1962; he also acted in five episodes. His most memorable role came in 1966 as the narrator of the Christmas classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This blogger's favourite television role for Mr. Karloff was in a 1953 episode of Tales of Tomorrow, where he played an amateur scientist who went back in time 40 years and tried to introduce penicillin to people of an earlier time.
Mr. Karloff continued to act in movies to the end. In the early 1960s he appeared in low-budget movies for director Roger Corman such as The Raven (1963) and The Terror (1963). His last big part came in Targets (1968), where he played an aging horror star who's decided to retire from acting because the horror of real life exceeds that on the screen. Mr. Karloff's final movies were four low-budget horror flicks filmed in Mexico, and released after his death (the last one came out in 1971). He also lent his name to a series of Gold Key comic books, which is where I first heard of him (I'd actually seen the Grinch before that, but I didn't know who the narrator was).
Jack Nicklaus won the Andy Williams-San Diego Open, with a top prize of $30,000.
25 years ago
On a beautiful sunny Thursday, Christian Awareness Week continued at the University of Alberta. Campus Crusade for Christ speaker Michael Horner delivered his second of three noon hour lectures at SUB Theatre; the title was Who Did Jesus Think He Was, Anyway?. That night, illusionist Andre Kole put on his show at Kinsmen Field House.
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