1931 in Film & Television

Events in Film & TV

  • Jan 26 "Cimarron" directed by Wesley Ruggles and starring Richard Dix and Irene Dunne premieres in New York. 1st western to win Best Outstanding Production/Picture (1931)

Film release premierFilm Premier

Jan 30 "City Lights", American silent romantic comedy film directed by Charlie Chaplin, starring himself and Virginia Cherrill, premieres at Los Angeles Theater

Comedian/Actor/Filmaker Charlie Chaplin
Comedian/Actor/Filmaker
Charlie Chaplin

Film release premierFilm Release

Feb 14 The original "Dracula" film starring Bela Lugosi as the titular vampire, is released

  • Mar 14 1st theater built for rear movie projection (NYC)
  • Mar 27 Charlie Chaplin receives France's distinguished Legion of Honor
  • Apr 6 1st broadcast of "Little Orphan Annie" on NBC-radio

Film release premierFilm Release

Apr 6 "A Connecticut Yankee" film based on novel by Mark Twain, directed by David Butler, starring Will Rogers is released

Humorist Will Rogers
Humorist
Will Rogers
Author Mark Twain
Author
Mark Twain
  • May 1 Singer Kate Smith begins her long-running radio program on CBS

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 2 Bing Crosby makes his solo radio debut

Singer and Actor Bing Crosby
Singer and Actor
Bing Crosby
  • Oct 30 W2XB TV channel 1 in NYC, NY (NBC) begins broadcasting

Film tv awardsFilm Awards

Nov 10 4th Academy Awards: "Cimarron", Lionel Barrymore & Marie Dressler win


Birthdays in Film & TV

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 136


Person of interestRobert Duvall

Jan 5 Robert Duvall, American award winning actor and filmmaker (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, MASH, Great Santini, Taxi Driver), born in San Diego, California

  • Jan 6 P J Kavanagh [Patrick Joeseph], British poet, actor and journalist (The Perfect Stranger), born in Worthing, Sussex (d. 2015)
  • Jan 11 Ed Hall, American actor (Mannis, baby... I'm Back!, Medical Center), born in Roxbury, Massachusetts
  • Jan 13 Charles Nelson Reilly, American actor, comedian and gameshow panelist (Match Game, Ghost & Mrs Muir), born in NYC, New York (d. 2007)
  • Jan 13 Ian Hendry, British actor (The Avengers, The Lotus Eaters), born in Ipswich, Suffolk (d. 1984)
  • Jan 14 Caterina Valente, Italian singer, dancer, and actress (Bon soir, Kathrin!, The Entertainers), born in Paris, France
  • Jan 17 James Earl Jones, American actor (Darth Vader, Exorcist II, Soul Man), born in Arkabutla, Mississippi
  • Jan 19 Robert MacNeil, news anchor (NBC Weekend News, 1965-67), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jan 25 Dean Jones, American actor (Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, The Love Bug), born in Decatur, Alabama (d. 2015)
  • Jan 25 Harold Lloyd Jr, American actor, singer and son of famous silent film actor Harold Lloyd sr (Frankenstein's Daughter), born in Beverly Hills, California (d. 1971)
  • Jan 25 "Stikkan" Stig Anderson, Swedish actor, music entrepreneur and co-founder of Polar Music (ABBA), born in Hova, Sweden (d. 1997)
  • Jan 26 Mary Murphy, American actress (A Man Alone, Maggie-Investigators), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 2011)
  • Jan 27 John Hopkins, English TV, film and stage writer (Z-Cars), born in London (d. 1998)
  • Feb 2 Les Dawson, British comedian (d. 1993)
  • Feb 6 Rip Torn [Elmore Rual Torn Jr], American actor, voice artist and comedian (Coma, Summer Rental, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), born in Temple, Texas
  • Feb 6 Mamie Van Doren, American actress, model, singer, and sex symbol (Teacher's Pet, The Navy vs. the Night Monsters), born in Rowena, South Dakota

Person of interestJames Dean

Feb 8 James Dean, American actor and cultural icon (Giant, Rebel Without a Cause), and 1st actor to be posthumously nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award, born in Marion, Indiana (d. 1955)

Actor James Dean
Actor
James Dean
  • Feb 8 Shadia [Fatmah Ahmed Kamal Shaker], Egyptian actress and singer Midaq Alley, The Thief and the Dogs), born in Sharqia Governorate, Egypt, birth date disputed (d. 2017)
  • Feb 14 Brian Kelly, American actor (Flipper, Straightaway), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2005)
  • Feb 15 [Patricia] Claire Bloom, British actress (Charly, Look Back in Anger), born in London, England
  • Feb 16 Ken Takakura [Goichi Oda], Japanese actor and singer (Black Rain, Story of Antarctic), born in Nakama, Fukuoka (d. 2014)
  • Feb 24 Dominic Chianese, American actor, singer, and musician (The Sopranos, The Godfather Part II), born in The Bronx, New York
  • Feb 25 Christopher George, American actor (Rat Patrol, Immortal), born in Royal Oak, Michigan (d. 1983)
  • Feb 26 Robert D Novak, news reporter (CNN-Evans & Novak), born in Joliet, Illinois
  • Feb 28 Gavin MacLeod, American actor (Murray-Mary Tyler Moore, Love Boat), born in Mt Kisco, New York
  • Mar 4 Wally Bruner, American journalist and television host (d. 1997)
  • Mar 6 Carmen de Lavallade, American actress, dancer and choreographer (Aida), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Mar 6 John Smith, American actor (Cimarron City, Laramie, 7 Angry Men), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1995)
  • Mar 12 William "Billie" Thomas, American child actor (Buckwheat- Our Gang), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1980)
  • Mar 13 Wolfgang Kohlhaase, German actor, director and writer (Solo Sunday), born in Berlin, Germany
  • Mar 17 Eunice Gayson, British actress and 1st Bond Girl (Sylvia Trench- "Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love"), born in London, England (d. 2018)
  • Mar 20 Hal Linden [Harold Lipshitz], American directer, musician and actor (Barney Miller, Blacke's Magic), born in The Bronx, New York City

Person of interestWilliam Shatner

Mar 22 William Shatner, Canadian author, director and actor (Star Trek, T J Hooker), born in Montreal, Quebec

Person of interestLeonard Nimoy

Mar 26 Leonard Nimoy, American actor (Spock-Star Trek, Mission Impossible), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2015)

  • Apr 1 George Baker, Bulgarian-born British actor (I, Claudius, Goodbye Mr Chips, Curse of the Fly), born in Varna, Bulgaria (d. 2011)
  • Apr 1 Illse "Ita" Ever, Estonian actress (Miss Marple- "Chyornykh drozdov"), born in Paide, Järva County
  • Apr 6 Ivan Dixon, American actor, director and civil rights activist (Car Wash, Hogan's Heroes,The Final War of Olly Winter), born in NYC, New York (d. 2008)
  • Apr 8 John Gavin [Juan Vincent Apablasa Jr], American actor (Imitation of Life, Psycho), and US Ambassador to Mexico (1981–86), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2018)
  • Apr 11 Johnny Sheffield, American actor (Boy-Tarzan Finds a Son), born in Pasadena, California (d. 2010)
  • Apr 13 Jon Stone, co-creator of Sesame Street (d. 1997)
  • Apr 15 Kenneth Bloomfield, BBC governor (Ireland)
  • Apr 19 Garfield Morgan, British actor (Odessa File, To Catch a Spy), born in Birmingham, Warwickshire (d. 2009)
  • Apr 22 Simon "Siem" Vroom, Dutch actor (The Lift, Bridge Too Far, Mysteries), born in Beemster, Noord-Holland (d. 1985)
  • Apr 29 William Ball, American actor, director and founder of the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1991)
  • May 2 Phil Bruns, American actor and writer (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman), born in Pipestone, Minnesota (d. 2012)
  • May 10 Ettore Scola, Italian director and screenwriter (A Special Day), born in Trevico, Campania (d. 2016)
  • May 16 Jack Dodson, American actor (Howard Sprage- "The Andy Griffith Show"), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1994)
  • May 16 Denise Filiatrault, French-Canadian actress and director (The Plouffe Family), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • May 18 Robert Morse, American singer and actor (Mad Men, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), born in Newton, Massachusetts
  • May 19 Eric Davidson, comedy scriptwriter
  • May 21 Desmond Wilcox, broadcaster
  • May 23 Barbara Barrie [Berman], American actress and author (Breaking Away, Barney Miller), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 24 Michael Lonsdale, French actor (The Day of the Jackal, Moonraker), born in Paris, France
  • May 25 John Gabriel [Jack Monkarsh], American actor (Cat Gang, Fantasies), born in Niagara Falls, New York
  • May 25 Donald Phelps, American actor (Ghost Ship), born in Indiana (d. 1993)
  • May 28 Carroll Baker, American actress (Andy Warhol's Bad, Babydoll, Harlow), born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • Jun 3 Françoise Arnoul, French actress and composer (French Cancan, Jacko & Lise), born in Constantine, France
  • Jun 7 Lang Jeffries, Canadian actor (Skip-Rescue 8), born in Ontario, Canada (d. 1987)
  • Jun 7 Virginia McKenna, British actress (Born Free, Chosen, Lions are Free, Simba), born in Marylebone, London
  • Jun 9 Jackie Mason, Wisc, comedian (World According to Me, Chicken Soup)
  • Jun 9 Joe Santos, American actor (Rockford Files), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2016)
  • Jun 14 Marla Gibbs [Margaret Theresa Bradley], American comedian and actress (Florence-Jeffersons, Mary-227), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Jun 18 Peter Batty, TV/movie producer
  • Jun 20 James Tolkan, American actor (Weekend War, Leap of Faith), born in Calumet, Michigan
  • Jun 20 Olympia Dukakis, Greek-American actress (Man Equals Man, Moonstruck, Cemetery Club), born in Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Jun 21 Lawrence K Grossman, American news president (PBS, NBC-TV), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2018)
  • Jun 29 Ed Gilbert, American actor (The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1999)
  • Jun 30 June Thorburn, British actress (Touch & Go, Children Galore), born in Karachi, British India (d. 1967)
  • Jul 2 Robert Ito, Canadian-born actor (Sam-Quincy ME), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Jul 4 Stephen Boyd [William Millar], Irish actor (Fantastic Voyage, Ben-Hur), born in Glengormley, County Antrim, Northern Ireland (d. 1977)
  • Jul 6 Donal Donnelly, Irish actor (The Godfather: Part III, Dead), born in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England (d. 2010)
  • Jul 7 Stanley Brock, American actor (UHF, Hard to Kill, Ivan-He's the Mayor), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1991)

Person of interestRoone Arledge

Jul 8 Roone Arledge, American President of ABC Sports (Monday Night Football), born in NYC, New York

Sports Broadcasting Pioneer and President of ABC Sports Roone Arledge
Sports Broadcasting Pioneer and President of ABC Sports
Roone Arledge
  • Jul 10 Nick Adams [Nicholas Aloysius Adamshock], American actor (Johnny Yuma-Rebel), born in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania (d. 1968)
  • Jul 11 Tab Hunter [Arthur Andrew Kelm], American actor (Tab Hunter Show, Lust in the Dust) and singer (Young Love), born in NYC, New York (d. 2018)
  • Jul 13 Bill Moor [William Hendrickson Moor III], American actor (Kramer vs. Kramer, The Devil's Advocate, Hanky Panky), born in Toledo, Ohio (d. 2007)
  • Jul 14 Sir Robert Stephens, British actor (Uncle Kurt-Holocaust, Chaplin, QB VII, Cleopatra), born in Bristol, England (d. 1995)
  • Jul 22 Perry Lopez, American actor (Chinatown, Death Wish 4), born in NYC, New York (d. 2008)
  • Jul 23 Guy Fournier, French Canadian author and screenwriter
  • Jul 27 Jerry Van Dyke, American actor (My Mother the Car, Coach), born in Danville, Illinois (d. 2018)
  • Jul 28 Darryl Hickman, American actor (Human Comedy, Tea & Sympathy), born in Hollywood, California
  • Jul 30 Joan Vohs, American model and actress (Fort Ti, Vice Squad, Sabrina), born in St Albans, New York (d. 2001)
  • Aug 13 Bernard Manning, British comedian
  • Aug 15 Janice Rule, American actress (Alvarez Kelly, Doctor's Wife), born in Norwood, Ohio (d. 2003)
  • Aug 18 Grant Williams, American actor (Hawaiian Eye, Incredible Shrinking Man), born in NYC, New York (d. 1985)
  • Aug 21 Nancy Hadley, American actress (Love That Jill, Joey Bishop Show), born in Los Angeles, California

Person of interestBarbara Eden

Aug 23 Barbara Eden, American actress (Dream of Jeannie), born in Tucson, Arizona

Actress Barbara Eden
Actress
Barbara Eden
  • Aug 31 Noble Willingham, American actor (Walker, Texas Ranger, The Corndog Man), born in Mineola, Texas (d. 2004)
  • Sep 4 Mitzi Gaynor [Francesca von Gerber], American actress, singer and dancer (Anything Goes, South Pacific), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Sep 10 Philip Baker Hall, American actor (Secret Honor, Hard Eight, Magnolia), born in Toledo, Ohio
  • Sep 12 Sir Ian Holm, eminent English actor (The Lord of the Rings, Alien, King Lear), born in Goodmayes, Essex
  • Sep 13 Barbara Bain, American actress (Cinnamon-Mission Impossible, Space 1999), born in Chicago, Illinois

Person of interestAnne Bancroft

Sep 17 Anne Bancroft [Anna Italiano], American actress, director, screenwriter and singer (Graduate, Miracle Worker), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2005)

Actress Anne Bancroft
Actress
Anne Bancroft
  • Sep 19 Raymond "Ray" Danton, American actor and director (Longest Day, Psychic Killer), born in NYC, New York (d. 1992)
  • Sep 19 Jean-Claude Carrière, French screenwriter and actor, who frequently collaborated with Luis Buñuel on his screen plays (Belle de Jour, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Phantom of Liberty), born in Colombières-sur-Orb, France
  • Sep 20 Cherd Songsri, Thai filmmaker (d. 2006)
  • Sep 21 Larry Hagman, American actor (I Dream of Jeannie, JR-Dallas), born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2012)
  • Sep 24 Anthony Newley, English actor and singer-songwriter (Dr Doolitte, Goldfinger theme), born in London (d. 1999)

Person of interestAnita Ekberg

Sep 29 Anita Ekberg, Swedish actress (La Dolce Vita) and Miss Sweden 1950, born in Malmö, Sweden (d. 2014)

Actress Anita Ekberg
Actress
Anita Ekberg
  • Sep 29 Eddie Barth [Edward Bartholetti], American actor and voiceover artist nicknamed "Mr. Gravel" for his raspy vocals (Shaft, Simon & Simon), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2010)

Weddings in Film & TV


HeartWedding of Interest

Jun 13 Actress Margaret Hamilton (28) weds landscape architect Paul Meserve

HeartWedding of Interest

Jun 29 Actress Mary Astor (25) weds Dr. Franklyn Thorpe

Actress Mary Astor
Actress
Mary Astor

HeartWedding of Interest

Nov 9 Actress Gloria Swanson (32) weds Michael Farmer

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 3 Silent film actress Clara Bow (26) weds actor and politician Rex Bell (28) in Las Vegas

Silent Screen Actress Clara Bow
Silent Screen Actress
Clara Bow

Divorces in Film & TV


Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Nov 9 Actress Gloria Swanson (32) divorces aristocrat Henri de la Falaise (33) after 6 years of marriage


Deaths in Film & TV

  • Jan 4 Arthemus "Art" Acord, American silent film actor and rodeo champion (Arizona Kid, Hard Fists), commits suicide by poison at 40
  • Jan 9 Wayne Munn, wrestler (b. 1896)
  • Jan 22 Alma Rubens, American actress (Humoresque), dies of Lobar pneumonia and bronchitis at 33
  • Mar 11 F.W. Murnau, German film director (b. 1888)
  • Aug 5 Ullrich Haupt, Prussian actor (Morocco, Du Barry-Woman of Passion), accidentally shot at 43
  • Nov 27 Lya De Putti [Amália Putti], Hungarian silent film actress, known for portraying vamp characters, dies at 34
  • Dec 30 Tyrone Power Sr., British actor (Big Trial, Test of Donald Norton, Alexanders Ragtime Band)), dies at 62