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
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
Will Rogers
Author Mark Twain
Mark Twain
  • May 1 Singer Kate Smith begins her long-running radio program on CBS
  • 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 142

Person of interestRobert Duvall

Jan 5 Robert Duvall, actor (Great Santini, Taxi Driver), born in San Diego, California

  • Jan 6 P J [Patrick Joeseph] Kavanagh, poet, actor and journalist (The Perfect Stranger), born in Worthing, Sussex (d. 2015)
  • Jan 8 May Wynn, [Donna Lee Hickey], American actress (Caine Mutiny, Noah's Ark), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 11 Ed Hall, Roxbury Mass, actor (Dr Bicker-Medical Center)
  • Jan 13 Charles Nelson Reilly, American actor (Match Game, Ghost & Mrs Muir), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 13 Ian Hendry, English actor (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, Miss, actor (Darth Vader, Exorcist II, Soul Man)
  • Jan 19 Robert MacNeil, news anchor (NBC Weekend News, 1965-67), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jan 25 Dean Jones, actor (Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, The Love Bug), born in Decatur, Alabama (d. 2015)
  • Jan 25 Harold Lloyd Jr, actor (Frankenstein's Daughter)
  • 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, actress (A Man Alone, Maggie-Investigators), born in Washington, D.C.
  • 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, Tx, actor (Coma, Summer Rental, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)
  • Feb 6 Mamie Van Doren, American actress (Teacher's Pet, The Navy vs. the Night Monsters), born in Rowena, South Dakota

Person of interestJames Dean

Feb 8 James Dean, American stage and film actor (Giant, Rebel Without a Cause), born in Marion, Indiana (d. 1955)

Actor James Dean
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 10 Doug Young, American voice actor
  • Feb 14 Brian Kelly, American actor (d. 2005)
  • Feb 15 [Patricia] Claire Bloom, actress (Charly, Look Back in Anger), born in London, England
  • Feb 16 Ken Takakura, [Goichi Oda], Kita Japan, actor (Story of Antarctic)
  • Feb 24 Dominic Chianese, American actor
  • Feb 25 Christopher George, 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 Delavallade, US dancer/singer/actress (Aida)
  • Mar 6 John Smith, US actor (Cimarron City, Laramie, 7 Angry Men), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Mar 12 William "Buckwheat" Thomas, actor (Little Rascals)
  • Mar 13 Wolfgang Kohlhaase, German actor, director and writer (Solo Sunday), born in Berlin, Germany
  • Mar 17 Eunice Gayson, actress (Dr No, From Russia With Love), born in London, England
  • Mar 20 Hal Linden, [Harold Lipshitz], actor (Barney Miller, Blacke's Magic)

Person of interestWilliam Shatner

Mar 22 William Shatner, 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, Bulgaria, actor (Goodbye Mr Chips, Curse of the Fly)
  • Apr 1 Ita Ever, Estonian actress
  • Apr 6 Ivan Dixon, American actor (Car Wash, Hogan's Heroes), born in NYC, New York
  • 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 Michael Burchill, actor
  • Apr 13 Jon Stone, co-creator of Sesame Street (d. 1997)
  • Apr 15 Kenneth Bloomfield, BBC governor (Ireland)
  • Apr 19 Garfield Morgan, Brtish actor (Odessa File, To Catch a Spy)
  • Apr 22 Siem Vroom, Dutch actor (The Lift, Bridge Too Far, Mysteries)
  • Apr 29 William Ball, actor (Suburban Commando)
  • May 2 Phil Bruns, American actor and writer (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman), (d. 2012)
  • May 10 Ettore Scola, Italian director and screenwriter (A Special Day), born in Trevico, Campania (d. 2016)
  • May 15 David Healy, actor (Supergirl, Doomsday Gun, Patton, Be My Guest)
  • May 16 Jack Dodson, actor (Howard Sprage- "The Andy Griffith Show"), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • May 16 Denise Filiatrault, French Canadian actress and director
  • May 18 Robert Morse, actor (That's Life, Jack Frost), born in Newton, Massachusetts
  • May 19 Eric Davidson, comedy scriptwriter
  • May 21 Desmond Wilcox, broadcaster
  • May 23 Barbara Barrie, actress (Breaking Away, Barney Miller), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 24 Michael Lonsdale, French actor
  • May 25 John Gabriel, 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, Penn, actress (Andy Warhol's Bad, Babydoll, Harlow)
  • Jun 3 Francoise Arnoul, actress/composer (French Cancan, Jacko & Lise)
  • Jun 7 Lang Jeffries, Ontario Canada, actor (Skip-Rescue 8)
  • Jun 7 Virginia McKenna, actress (Born Free, Chosen, Lions are Free, Simba)
  • 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 11 Lucianna Paluzzi, actress (Five Fingers, Thunderball), born in Rome, Italy
  • Jun 14 Marla Gibbs, 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, actress (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 (d. 1999)
  • Jun 30 June Thorburn, Kashmir India, actress (Touch & Go, Children Galore)
  • Jul 2 Robert Ito, actor (Sam-Quincy ME), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Jul 4 Stephen Boyd [William Millar], Glengormley, County Antrim, Irish actor (Fantastic Voyage, Ben-Hur)
  • Jul 6 Donal Donnelly, Bradford Yorkshire England, actor (Dead)
  • Jul 7 Stanley Brock, actor (Ivan-He's the Mayor), born in Brooklyn, New York

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, Nanticoke Pa, actor (Johnny Yuma-Rebel)
  • Jul 11 Tab Hunter, American actor (Tab Hunter Show, Lust in the Dust), born in NYC, New York
  • Jul 13 Bill Moor, actor (Hanky Panky), born in Toledo, Ohio
  • Jul 14 Robert Stephens, actor (Uncle Kurt-Holocaust), born in Bristol, England
  • Jul 22 Perry Lopez, American actor (Chinatown, Death Wish 4), born in NYC, New York
  • 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, actress (Fort Ti, Vice Squad, Sabrina), born in St Albans, New York
  • Aug 3 Alex Cord, [Viespi], American actor (Brotherhood, Fire, Street Asylum), born in NYC, New York
  • Aug 13 Bernard Manning, British comedian
  • Aug 15 Janice Rule, American actress (Alvarez Kelly, Doctor's Wife), born in Norwood, Ohio (d. 2003)
  • Aug 21 Nancy Hadley, 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
Barbara Eden
  • Aug 31 Noble Willingham, American actor (Walker, Texas Ranger, The Corndog Man), born in Mineola, Texas (d. 2004)
  • Sep 4 Mitzi Gaynor, American actress/singer/dancer (Anything Goes, South Pacific), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Sep 10 Philip Baker Hall, American actor
  • Sep 12 Ian Holm, English actor (The Lord of the Rings, Alien), born in Ilford Essex
  • Sep 13 Barbara Bain, Chic, actress (Cinnamon-Mission Impossible, Space 1999)

Person of interestAnne Bancroft

Sep 17 Anne Bancroft, actress (Graduate, Miracle Worker), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2005)

Actress Anne Bancroft
Anne Bancroft
  • Sep 19 Ray Danton, American actor and director (Longest Day, Psychic Killer), born in NYC, New York
  • Sep 19 Jean-Claude Carrière, French screenwriter and actor

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
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 Art Acord, American silent film actor and rodeo champion (Arizona Kid, Hard Fists), dies at 40
  • Jan 9 Wayne Munn, wrestler (b. 1896)
  • Jan 22 Alma Rubens, American actress (b. 1897)
  • 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, Hungarian actress (b. 1899)
  • Dec 30 Tyrone Power Sr., British actor (Big Trial, Test of Donald Norton, Alexanders Ragtime Band)), dies at 62