On This Day

August 1939 in Film & Television

Events in Film & TV

Radio Premiere

Aug 6 1st broadcast of "Dinah Shore Show" on NBC-radio

Singer, Actress and TV Personality Dinah Shore
Singer, Actress and TV Personality
Dinah Shore

Venice Film Festival

Aug 8 7th Venice Film Festival opens with a United States boycott due to Benito Mussolini's Fascist Italian regime

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini

The Wizard of Oz

Aug 15 "The Wizard of Oz", American musical fantasy film directed by Victor Fleming and King Vidor, premieres at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, starring Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tin Man), Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion), Frank Morgan (Wizard), Billie Burke (Glinda), and Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch)

Learn More
Publicity still of the Wizard of Oz, showing the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Cowardly Lion
Publicity still of the Wizard of Oz, showing the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Dorothy and Cowardly Lion
Learn More

Music Premiere

Aug 17 Musical film "The Wizard of Oz", starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, and Jack Haley opens at Loews Capitol Theatre, NYC

Actress Judy Garland
Actress
Judy Garland
Actor Jack Haley
Actor
Jack Haley

Birthdays in Film & TV

  • Aug 2 Wes Craven, American film director (Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2015)
  • Aug 4 Frank Vincent, American actor (The Sopranos), born in North Adams, Massachusetts (d. 2017)
  • Aug 7 Verna Bloom, American actress (After Hours, Badge 373), born in Lynn, Massachusetts (d. 2019)
  • Aug 7 Anjanette Comer, American actress (Baby, Lepke), born in Dawson, Texas
  • Aug 10 Kate O'Mara, Leicaster England, actress (Caress Morell-Dynasty, AbFab)
  • Aug 12 George Hamilton, American actor (Love at First Bite), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Aug 16 Carol Shelley, actress (Gwendolyn Pidgeon-Odd Couple), born in London, England
  • Aug 17 Anthony Valentine, British actor (Colditz), born in Blackburn, Lancashire (d. 2015)
  • Aug 18 Molly Bee, American actress (Pinky Lee Show), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (d. 2009)
  • Aug 18 Harald Heide-Steen Jr., Norwegian actor and comedian, born in Oslo, Norway (d. 2008)
  • Aug 20 Fernando Poe Jr., Filipino actor and politician (2004 presidential candidate), born in Manila, Commonwealth of the Philippines (d. 2004)
  • Aug 21 Clarence Williams III, American actor (Mod Squad; 52 Pick Up; Purple Rain), born in NYC, New York (d. 2021)
  • Aug 22 Valerie Harper, American actress (The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Rhoda), born in Suffern, New York (d. 2019)
  • Aug 25 Liselot Beekmeyer, Dutch actress (Issue Blum), born in Schiedam, Netherlands
  • Aug 28 [Catherine] Cassie Mackin, American newswoman (NBC TV) and 1st woman to regularly anchor an evening network newscast alone, born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1982)
  • Aug 29 Joel Schumacher, American film director (Lost Boys, Batman), born in New York City (d. 2020)
  • Aug 30 Elizabeth Ashley, American actress (Coma, Evening Shade), born in Ocala, Florida
  • Aug 30 John Peel, English DJ and Broadcaster (BBC Radio 1), born in Heswell, Merseyside (d. 2004)

Weddings in Film & TV

Marshall McLuhan

Aug 4 Philosopher of communication theory Marshall McLuhan (28) weds teacher and aspiring actress Corinne Lewis (27)

Philosopher of Communication Theory Marshall McLuhan
Philosopher of Communication Theory
Marshall McLuhan

Janet Gaynor

Aug 14 "A Star Is Born" actress Janet Gaynor (32) weds MGM costume designer Adrian (36)

Actress Janet Gaynor
Actress
Janet Gaynor

Joan Fontaine

Aug 20 "Rebecca" actress Joan Fontaine (21) weds actor Brian Aherne (37)

Actress Joan Fontaine
Actress
Joan Fontaine