On This Day

Year 1903 in Film & Television

Events in Film & TV


Murder of InterestTopsy the Elephant is Electrocuted

Jan 4 Topsy the elephant is electrocuted by her owners at Luna Park, Coney Island and filmed by Edison Manufacturing movie company [1]

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Topsy the elephant is electrocuted to death at Luna Park in New York
Topsy the elephant is electrocuted to death at Luna Park in New York
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Birthdays in Film & TV

  • Jan 4 Joris Diels, Flemish actor and director (It's a Cruel World, Haagsche Comedy), born in Antwerpen, Belgium (d. 1992)
  • Jan 6 Francis L. Sullivan, British actor (Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Missing Rembrandt), born in London, England (d. 1956)
  • Jan 6 Stanley Smith, American actor and singer (King of Jazz; Soup to Nuts; Good News), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 1974)
  • Jan 7 Alan Napier, British actor (The Sword in the Stone, Batman), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1988)
  • Jan 8 Gene Roth [Eugene Stutenroth], American actor (She Demons, Tormented, The Spider), born in Redfield, South Dakota (d. 1976)
  • Jan 10 Barbara Hepworth, British abstract sculptor & actress (Rescued by Rover), born in Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire (d. 1975)
  • Jan 10 Voldemar Väli, Estonian wrestler, born in Kuressaare, Estonia (d. 1997)
  • Jan 10 Violet Wilkey, American actress, born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1976)
  • Jan 17 Warren Hull, American actor (Strike it Rich, Who in the World), born in Gasport, New York (d. 1974)
  • Jan 17 Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, Assamese poet, playwright, filmmaker (d. 1953)
  • Jan 20 Leon Ames, American actor (Mister Ed, Father of the Bride), born in Portland, Indiana (d. 1993)
  • Feb 2 Frank McGrath, American actor (The Reluctant Astronaut, Wagon Train), born in Mound City, Missouri (d. 1967)
  • Feb 8 Greta Keller, Austrian-born cabaret singer and actress, born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 1977)
  • Feb 10 Matvey Isaakovich Blanter, Russian-Soviet composer of popular songs and film music ("Katyusha"), born in Pochep, Russian Empire (d. 1990)
  • Feb 11 Rex Lease, American actor (Fast Bullets, Sunny Skies, Custer's Last Stand), born in Central City, West Virginia (d. 1966)
  • Feb 12 Joseph F. Biroc, American cinematographer (d. 1996)
  • Feb 14 Stuart "Stu" Erwin, American actor (The Stu Erwin Show), born in Squaw Valley, California (d. 1967)
  • Feb 16 Edgar Bergen, ventriloquist (Charlie McCarthy), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Feb 27 Reginald Gardiner, British actor (The Flying Deuces, The Great Dictator), born in London, England (d. 1980)
  • Feb 27 Grethe Weiser, German actress (The Great Love), born in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany (d. 1970)
  • Mar 4 Harold Berens, comedian
  • Mar 16 Morgan Conway, American actor (Dick Tracy, Brother Orchid), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 1981)
  • Mar 20 Edgar Buchanan, American actor (Petticoat Junction), born in Humansville, Missouri (d. 1979)
  • Mar 24 Patrick Ludlow, British actor (Naughty Husbands, Evergreen and Modesty Blaise), born in Kensington, London, England (d. 1996)
  • Mar 25 Gertrude "Binnie" Barnes, actress (Last of the Mohicans, 3 Musketeers), born in London, England (d. 1998)
  • Mar 28 Charles Starrett, American actor (The Mask of Fu Manchu, Bonanza Town), born in Athol, Massachusetts (d. 1986)
  • Mar 29 Arthur Negus, English antiques expert and broadcaster (Antiques Roadshow), born in Reading (d. 1985)
  • Mar 30 Sol C Siegel, American film producer (A Letter To Three Wives, High Society, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), born in New York City (d. 1982)
  • Apr 7 Willi Forst, Austrian actor and director (Bel Amis, Operette, Vienna Blood), born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 1980)
  • Apr 9 Ward Bond, American actor (Wagon Train, It's a Wonderful Life), born in Benkelman, Nebraska (d. 1960)
  • Apr 13 Rex Evans, British actor (Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman; Zara; Matchmaker), born in Southport, Sefton, England (d. 1969)
  • Apr 15 John Williams, British actor (Family Affair, Dial M for Murder), born in Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, England (d. 1983)
  • Apr 17 Louis Jean Heydt, American actor (Waterfront, Gone with the Wind, The Great McGinty), born in Montclair, New Jersey (d. 1960)
  • Apr 18 Leonid Kinskey, Russian actor (Casablanca, Duck Soup), born in St Petersburg, Russia (d. 1998)
  • Apr 25 Camilla Horn, German actress (Rebus, Vertigine, Polterabend, Matinee Idol), born in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany (d. 1996)
  • Apr 26 Niven Busch, American screenwriter (The Postman Always Rings Twice), born in NYC, New York (d. 1991)

Person of interestBing Crosby

May 3 (Harry Lillis) "Bing" Crosby, American Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer ("White Christmas"; with David Bowie - "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" ), and actor (Going My Way; High Society; Road To...(with Bob Hope)), born in Tacoma, Washington (d. 1977)

Singer and Actor Bing Crosby
Singer and Actor
Bing Crosby
  • May 4 Luther Adler, American actor (D.O.A., The Desert Fox), born in NYC, New York (d. 1984)
  • May 8 Fernandel [Fernand Contandin], French actor (The Little World of Don Camillo), born in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France (d. 1971)
  • May 12 Wilfrid Hyde-White, British actor (My Fair Lady, Peyton Place), born in Gloucestershire, England (d. 1991)
  • May 13 Paul Page, American actor (Girl From Havana, Moth), born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 1974)
  • May 14 Billie Dove [Lilian Bohny], American actress (Black Pirate, Stolen Bride), born in NYC, New York (d. 1997)
  • May 18 George E Stone, Polish actor (Viva Villa; Last Mile; 5 Star Final; Front Page), born in Łódź, Poland (d. 1967)
  • May 23 Walter Reisch, American screenwriter (Ninotchka, Gaslight, Titanic)

Person of interestBob Hope

May 29 Bob Hope [Leslie Townes Hope], English-born American actor, comedian and entertainer, born in London (d. 2003)

Entertainer and TV Personality Bob Hope
Entertainer and TV Personality
Bob Hope
  • Jun 3 Eddie Acuff, American actor (Guns of the Pecos, Phantom Creeps, Outer Gate), (d. 1956)
  • Jun 8 Ronald Shiner, British actor (Dry Rot, Carry on Admiral, Keep it Clean, Aunt Clara), born in London, England (d. 1966)
  • Jun 10 Clyde Beatty, American animal trainer and actor (Africa Screams, The Big Cage), born in Bainbridge, Ross County, Ohio (d. 1965)
  • Jun 10 Theo Lingen, German director and actor (M, Charm of La Boheme), born in Hanover, Germany (d. 1978)
  • Jun 18 Jeanette MacDonald, American actress and singer ("When I'm Calling You"), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1965)
  • Jun 25 Anne Revere, American actress, (A Place in the Sun), born in NYC, New York (d. 1990)
  • Jul 1 Beatrix Lehmann, British actress (Candles at Nine, Staircase), born in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, England (d. 1979)
  • Jul 14 Ken Murray, American comedian (Ken Murray Show, Judy Garland Show), born in NYC, New York
  • Jul 27 Nikolai Cherkasov, Russian actor (Ivan the Terrible), born in St Petersburg, Russia (d. 1966)
  • Jul 28 Lotte Palfi Andor, German-American actress (Lovesick, All That Jazz), born in Bochum, Germany (d. 1991)
  • Aug 9 Tom Tyler [Vincent Markowsky], American actor (Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon), born in Port Henry, New York (d. 1954)
  • Aug 13 Wilton Graff, American actor (Bloodlust, Just Before Dawn), born in St Louis, Missouri (d. 1969)
  • Aug 14 Millard Mitchell, Cuban actor (12 O'Clock High, Gunfighter), born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1953)
  • Aug 19 Claude Dauphin, French actor (Barbarella, April in Paris, Deported), born in Corbeil-Essonnes, Essonne, France (d. 1978)
  • Aug 19 Muriel Kirkland, American actress (Fast Workers, Hold Your Man), born in Yonkers, New York (d. 1971)

Person of interestArthur Godfrey

Aug 31 Arthur Godfrey, American radio and TV host (Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scout), born in NYC, New York (d. 1983)

Radio and TV Host Arthur Godfrey
Radio and TV Host
Arthur Godfrey
  • Sep 5 Gloria Holden, British actress (The Life of Emile Zola, Dracula's Daughter), born in London, England (d. 1991)

Person of interestClaudette Colbert

Sep 13 Claudette Colbert [Lily Chauchoin], French-born American actress (Texas Lady, It Happened One Night), born in Paris (d. 1996)

  • Sep 17 Dolores Costello, American actress (Little Lord Fauntleroy), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1979)
  • Oct 1 George Coulouris, British actor (Runaway Bus), born in Manchester, England (d. 1989)
  • Oct 5 Jimmy Ritz, American actor and comedian (Ritz Brothers-Blazing Stewardesses), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 1985)
  • Oct 12 Josephine Hutchinson, American actress (Story of Louis Pasteur), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 1998)
  • Oct 13 Patsy Moran, American actress (Children of the Wild), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1968)
  • Oct 16 Rex Bell [George Francis Beldam], American cowboy actor (Cowboys & Injuns) and 21st Lieutenant Governor of Nevada, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1962)
  • Oct 17 Jerry Colona, comedian (Jerry Colona Show), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Oct 19 Tor Johnson [Tore Johansson], Swedish wrestler and actor (Bride of the Monster), born in Kalmar län, Sweden (d. 1971)
  • Oct 20 John Lodge, American actor (Witchmaker) and politician (79th Governor of Connecticut), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 1985)
  • Oct 22 Curly Howard {Jerome Lester Horwitz}, American vaudevillian actor and comedian (The Three Stooges), born in Brooklyn New York (d. 1952)
  • Nov 1 Max Adrian, Irish actor (Devils, Music Lover), born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh (d. 1973)
  • Nov 6 June Marlowe, American actress (Pardon Us, Clash of the Wolves), born in St. Cloud, Minnesota (d. 1984)
  • Nov 7 Dean Jagger, American actor (White Christmas, Vanishing Point), born in Lima, Ohio (d. 1991)
  • Nov 7 Grace Stafford, American actress (Confessions of a Nazi Spy), born in NYC, New York (d. 1992)
  • Nov 12 Jack Oakie, American actor (The Great Dictator, 1974 Photoplay Award), born in Sedalia, Missouri (d. 1978)
  • Nov 27 Mona Washbourne, British actress (Stevie, Billie Liar, Driver's Seat), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1988)
  • Dec 10 George J. Lewis, Mexican actor (Don-Zorro), born in Guadalajara, Mexico (d. 1995)
  • Dec 10 Una Merkel, American actress (42nd Street, Abraham Lincoln), born in Covington, Kentucky (d. 1986)
  • Dec 16 Hardie Albright, American actor (Silver Streak, Scarlet Letter), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1975)
  • Dec 17 Ray Noble, English bandleader, comedian and actor (The Very Thought of You), born in Brighton, Sussex, England (d. 1978)
  • Dec 23 Fredericka "Fredi" Washington, American actress (Black & Tan), born in Savannah, Georgia (d. 1994)
  • Dec 25 Corry Lievens [Isabella MJ Adriaens], Flemish actress (Blue Bird), born in Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium (d. 1968)
  • Dec 25 J Edward Bromberg, Hungarian actor (The Mark of Zorro, Under 2 Flags), born in Temesvár, Austria-Hungary (d. 1951)
  • Dec 26 Elisha Cook Jr, American actor (Maltese Falcon, Shane, Magnum PI), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1995)

Deaths in Film & TV

  • Feb 15 Julie Verstraete-Lacquet, Flemish actress, dies at 69