1940 in Film & Television

Events in Film & TV

  • Jan 22 1st radio broadcast of "Road to Happiness" on CBS

Film release premierFilm Release

Jan 24 "The Grapes of Wrath", directed by John Ford and based on John Steinbeck's novel of the same name, starring Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell, is released

Actor Henry Fonda
Actor
Henry Fonda
Film director John Ford
Film director
John Ford
Author John Steinbeck
Author
John Steinbeck
  • Feb 1 NBC performs the first inter-city television broadcast from its station in New York City to another in Schenectady, New York by General Electric relay antennas.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 2 Frank Sinatra's singing debut in Indianapolis (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra)

Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra

Film release premierFilm Premier

Feb 7 Walt Disney's second feature length movie, "Pinocchio" premieres (NYC)

Animator Walt Disney
Animator
Walt Disney

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 10 "Tom & Jerry" cartoon created by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera debut by MGM

Animator William Hanna
Animator
William Hanna
Animator Joseph Barbera
Animator
Joseph Barbera
  • Feb 23 Walt Disney's animated movie "Pinocchio" released

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 29 Hattie McDaniel becomes 1st African American woman to win an Oscar for "Gone with the Wind"

Film tv awardsFilm Awards

Feb 29 12th Academy Awards: "Gone with the Wind" wins eight Oscars, Robert Donat & Vivien Leigh also win

  • Mar 23 1st radio broadcast of "Truth or Consequences" on CBS

Film release premierFilm Premier

Mar 27 "Rebecca" based on the book by Daphne du Maurier, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine premieres in Los Angeles (Best Picture 1941)

  • Apr 21 1st $64 Question, "Take It or Leave It," on CBS Radio
  • Apr 29 1st radio broadcast of "Young Dr Malone" on CBS

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 18 General Charles de Gaulle on BBC tells French to defy Nazi occupiers

French President Charles de Gaulle
French President
Charles de Gaulle
  • Jun 19 "Brenda Starr", 1st cartoon strip by a woman, appears in Chicago
  • Jun 29 Batman Comics, mobsters rubbed out a circus highwire team known as the Flying Graysons, leaving their son Dick (Robin) an orphan
  • Jun 30 "Brenda Starr" cartoon strip, by Dale Messick, 1st appears for the Chicago Tribune Syndicate
  • Jul 19 Nazi occupiers in Netherlands forbid anti-nazi films
  • Aug 3 German occupiers forbid ritual slaughters & English & French movies
  • Sep 4 CBS begins broadcasting TV as station W2XAB

Film release premierFilm Release

Oct 15 "The Great Dictator", a satiric social commentary film by and starring Charlie Chaplin released

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

Film release premierFilm Premier

Oct 30 Film premiere of "One Night in the Tropics" first film for Abbott and Costello Paterson New Jersey.

Comedian and Actor Lou Costello
Comedian and Actor
Lou Costello
  • Nov 10 Walt Disney begins serving as an informer for the Los Angeles office of the FBI; his job is to report back information on Hollywood subversives.
  • Nov 13 "Fantasia" animated film by Walt Disney, starring Leopold Stokowski and Deems Taylor, is released

Film release premierFilm Release

Dec 26 "The Philadelphia Story" film directed by George Cukor, based on the Broadway play of the same name and starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, is released (Academy Awards Best Actor 1941)


Birthdays in Film & TV

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 151

  • Jan 3 Thelma Schoonmaker, actress/editor (Casino, Cape Fear, Good Fellas)
  • Jan 4 Anthony Skooter Teague, Texas, actor (How to Succeed in Business)
  • Jan 5 Dany Saval, actress (Boeing Boeing, Moon Pilot), born in Oakland, California
  • Jan 5 Michael O'Donoghue, Sauquoit, New York, American writer and performer (Saturday Night Live, Scrooged)
  • Jan 9 Jimmy Boyd, McComb Mo, singer/actor (Howard-Bachelor Father)
  • Jan 19 Mike Reid, English comedian (d. 2007)
  • Jan 20 Krishnam Raju, Indian actor and politician
  • Jan 22 John Hurt, English actor (Elephant Man, Alien, Midnight Express), born in Chesterfield (d. 2017)
  • Jan 27 James Cromwell, American actor (Babe, The Green Mile), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jan 29 Katharine Ross, American actress (Graduate, Francesca-Colbys), born in Hollywood, California
  • Jan 31 Stuart Margolin, Davenport Iowa, actor (Love American Style)
  • Feb 1 Bibi Besch, actress (Star Trek 2, Beast Within), born in Vienna, Austria
  • Feb 2 David Jason, English actor
  • Feb 2 Vsevolod Meyerhold [Karl Kasimir Theodor], Russian theatrical director and actor (Houligan), executed during the Great Purge at 65
  • Feb 3 Jim Hartz, newscaster (NBC-TV, Innovations)
  • Feb 4 John Schuck, American actor (McMillan & Wife, Holmes & Yoyo), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Feb 6 Tom Brokaw, American news anchor (NBC Nightly News 1982-2004), born in Webster, South Dakota
  • Feb 7 Gary Bond, England, actor (Outback, Zulu, Anne of Thousand Days)
  • Feb 8 Ted Koppel, Lancashire England, American journalist (ABC Nightline)
  • Feb 12 Richard Lynch, American actor (Xaviar-Battlestar Galactica), (d. 2012)
  • Feb 19 Carlin Glynn, US actress (Continental Divide)
  • Feb 20 Jimmy Greaves, British broadcaster/soccer player
  • Feb 21 Peter McEnery, England, actor (Game is Over, Moonspinners)
  • Feb 22 Julian Chagrin, mime/actor (Golddiggers), born in London, England
  • Feb 23 Peter Fonda, American actor (Easy Rider, Lilith, Wild Angels, Trip), born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 24 Pete Duel, American actor (d. 1971)
  • Feb 25 Billy Packer, Wellsville NY, basketball sportscaster (CBS)
  • Feb 25 Jud Taylor, actor (Dr Gerson-Dr Kildare)
  • Feb 27 Howard Hesseman, actor (Dr Johnny Fever-WKRP, Head of Class), born in Salem, Oregon
  • Feb 27 Bill Hunter, Australian actor
  • Mar 3 Owen Spencer-Thomas, English broadcaster, journalist and Anglican clergyman
  • Mar 4 Kas Garas, Kaunas Lithuania, actor (Hamlyn-Strange Report)
  • Mar 5 Malcolm Hebden, English actor
  • Mar 6 Joanna Miles, Nice France, actress (Cross Creek, Delta County USA)
  • Mar 7 Daniel J Travanti, actor (Frank Furillo-Hill St Blues), born in Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Mar 8 Susan Clark, actress (Night Moves, Webster), born in Sarnia, Ontario
  • Mar 9 Raul Julia, PR, actor (Addams Family, Kiss of the Spider Woman)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Mar 10 Chuck Norris [Carlos Ray], American martial arts actor (Missing in Action), born in Ryan, Oklahoma

  • Mar 14 Eleanor Fount, English actress (Women in Love, Bedazzled)
  • Mar 20 Vito Picone, rocker (Elegants) and actor, born in Staten Island, New York
  • Mar 22 Haing S. Ngor, Cambodian-American actor (d. 1996)
  • Mar 23 Tariq Yunus, actor (Bollywood, Ashanti, Deceivers)
  • Mar 24 Don Jardine, Canadian professional wrestler (d. 2006)
  • Mar 26 James Caan, American actor (Misery, The Godfather), born in The Bronx, New York
  • Mar 27 Austin Pendleton, Warren OH, actor (Short Circuit, Simon, Hello Again)
  • Mar 27 June Wilkinson, Eastbourne England, actress (Absolutely Glamarous)
  • Mar 28 Tony Barber, Australian television personality
  • Apr 1 Annie Nightingale, English broadcaster, 1st BBC Radio 1 female presenter, born in London
  • Apr 2 Penelope Keith, British actress (Norman Conquests, Priest of Love)
  • Apr 5 Aliza Kashi, Israel, actress/singer (Merv Griffin regular)
  • Apr 10 Gloria Hunniford [Mary Winifred Gloria Hunniford], British broadcaster/actress (Old Curiosity Shop), born in Portadown, Northern Ireland
  • Apr 14 Patricia Bruder, American actress (Ellen-As the World Turns), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Apr 15 Robert Walker Jr, American actor (Ceremony, Ms Don Juan, Ensign Pulver), born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 18 Skip Stephenson, comedian (Real People), born in Omaha, Nebraska (d. 1992)
  • Apr 20 James Gammon, Newman Ill, actor (Cool Hand Luke, Nick-Nash Bridges)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 25 Al Pacino, American actor (And Justice For All, The Godfather, Scorpio), born in NYC, New York

Actor Al Pacino
Actor
Al Pacino
  • Apr 30 Burt Young, American actor (Convoy, Rocky), born in NYC, New York
  • May 5 Lance Henriksen, actor (Aliens, Pumpkinhead, Knights, Hard Target)
  • May 7 John Irvin, actor (Moment in Time)
  • May 9 James L Brooks, producer/director (Broadcast News, Taxi, Critic)
  • May 10 Taurean Blacque, actor (Neal Washington-Hill Street Blues), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • May 11 Juan Downey, Chilean video artist (d. 1993)
  • May 15 Paul Rudd, actor (Conn Yankee in King Arthur's Court), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • May 19 Carlos Diegues, actor (Xica)
  • May 19 Joan Staley, playmate (Nov, 1958)
  • May 22 Bernard Shaw, news correspondant (CBS, CNN)
  • May 22 Michael Sarrazin, actor (Seduction, They Shoot Horses Don't They)
  • May 28 Hans Dulfer, tenor saxophonist/director (Paradiso)
  • May 30 David Ackroyd, actor (I Come in Peace, Memories of Me), born in Orange, New Jersey
  • Jun 1 Rene Auberjonois, actor (Clayton-Benson, Star Trek Deep Space 9)
  • Jun 2 Christopher Bernau, actor (Guiding Light), born in Santa Barbara, California
  • Jun 9 Dick Vitale, American sportscaster (ESPN, ABC "Oh Baby!")
  • Jun 14 Ben Davidson, actor (Rhino-Ball Four, Code R), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2012)
  • Jun 14 Jack Bannon, actor (Art in Lou Grant, Trauma Center), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jun 18 Michael Sheard, British actor (d. 2005)
  • Jun 20 John Mahoney, actor (Fraiser, Frantic, 8 Men Out), born in Manchester, England
  • Jun 21 Mariette Hartley, American actress (Poloroid spokesperson, Marooned), born in NYC, New York
  • Jun 22 Abbas Kiarostami, Iranian author/director (Under the Olive Trees, Close Up), born in Tehran (d. 2016)
  • Jun 22 Esther Rantzen, British TV presenter
  • Jun 23 Adam Faith, English singer and actor (d. 2003)
  • Jun 26 Robert Kramer, American actor and director, born in NYC, New York (d. 1999)
  • Jul 4 Karolyn Grimes, American actress (It's a Wonderful Life, The Bishop's Wife), born in Hollywood, California
  • Jul 8 Marcia Rodd, actress (Little Murders, T R Baskins)
  • Jul 10 Mills Watson, actor (Harper Valley PTA, BJ & Bear), born in Oakland, California

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jul 13 Patrick Stewart, English actor (Picard-Star Trek Next Generation, Charles Xavier-X-men), born in Mirfield, Yorkshire, England

  • Jul 17 Phyllis Davis, Port Arthur Tx, actress (Love American Style, Vega$)
  • Jul 17 Tim Brooke-Taylor, English comedian
  • Jul 18 James Brolin, actor (Dr Kiley-Marcus Welby, Peter-Hotel), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jul 19 Dennis Cole, actor (Felony Squad, Brackens's World), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Jul 22 Stan Ross, American actor, born in NYC, New York
  • Jul 23 Don Imus, radio disc jockey (WNBC)
  • Jul 24 Dan Hedaya, American actor (Cheers, Marvin's Room, Clueless), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Jul 28 Phil Proctor, comedian (Firesign Theater)
  • Jul 30 Reva Rose, singer/actress (Temperature's Rising), born in Chicago, Illinois

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Aug 3 Martin Sheen, [Ramon Estevez], actor (Badlands, The West Wing), born in Dayton, Ohio

  • Aug 6 Louise Sorel, actress (BS I Love You, Crimes of Passion), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Aug 7 Marlyn Mason, San Fernando Cal, actress (Making It, Peyton Place)
  • Aug 9 Beverlee McKinsey, Oklahoma, actress (Iris-Another World, Guiding Light)
  • Aug 11 Kip King, actor (Charlie & Company), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Aug 12 Michael Brunson, TV reporter/newscaster/actor (Never Say Die)

Weddings in Film & TV


Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jan 26 Actor Ronald Raegan (28) weds Academy Award-winning actress Jane Wyman (23) at the Wee Kirk o' the Heather church in Glendale, California

Actress Jane Wyman
Actress
Jane Wyman
  • Feb 13 Actress Lana Turner marries bandleader Artie Shaw

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Mar 7 Comedian Oliver Hardy (48) marries film assistant Virginia Lucille Jones (30)

Comic Actor Oliver Hardy
Comic Actor
Oliver Hardy

HeartWedding of Interest

May 5 Actress Mary Martin (26) weds producer Richard Halliday (35)

Actress Mary Martin
Actress
Mary Martin

HeartWedding of Interest

Jul 4 Actress Gertrude Lawrence (42) weds theater owner Richard Aldrich

Actress and Musical Performer Gertrude Lawrence
Actress and Musical Performer
Gertrude Lawrence

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jul 31 Actress Loretta Young (27) weds advertising executive Tom Lewis at the chapel of St. Paul's Church in Westwood

Actress Loretta Young
Actress
Loretta Young

HeartWedding of Interest

Aug 30 CBS news correspondent Mike Wallace (22) weds Norma Kaphan in Brookline, Massachusetts

Newscaster Mike Wallace
Newscaster
Mike Wallace

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Aug 31 "Wuthering Heights" actor Laurence Olivier (33) weds "Gone With The Wind" actress Vivien Leigh (26)

HeartWedding of Interest

Sep 1 Actor Harry Morgan (25) weds Eileen Detchon

HeartWedding of Interest

Sep 22 "Adventures of Superman" actor George Reeves (26) weds Ellanora Needles at the Church of Our Savior in San Gabriel, California

  • Sep 25 "Sullivan's Travels" actress Veronica Lake (18) weds American motion picture art director and set designer John S. Detlie (31)

HeartWedding of Interest

Nov 23 RAF pilot Guy Gibson (22) weds show dancer and actress Eve Moore in Penarth’s Anglican Church

RAF Pilot Guy Gibson
RAF Pilot
Guy Gibson

HeartWedding of Interest

Nov 23 Film director David Lean (32) weds actress Kay Walsh (29)

Film Director David Lean
Film Director
David Lean

HeartWedding of Interest

Nov 30 "I Love Lucy" actress Lucille Ball (28) weds actor Desi Arnaz (23) in Greenwich, Connecticut

Comedienne/Actress Lucille Ball
Comedienne/Actress
Lucille Ball
Actor Desi Arnaz
Actor
Desi Arnaz

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 31 Actress Bette Davis (32) weds New England innkeeper Arthur Farnsworth at 15,000-acre ranch in Lake Montezuma, Arizona

Actress Bette Davis
Actress
Bette Davis

Deaths in Film & TV

  • Mar 1 Josef Swickard, German actor (The Wizard of Oz, Lost City, Tale of 2 Cities), dies at 73
  • Mar 10 Louis de Vries, Dutch actor (Blokkade, Ghetto, Merchant of Venice), dies at 68
  • Apr 9 Mrs Patrick Campbell, English actress (Outcast Lady, Riptide), dies
  • May 25 Joe De Grasse, American film director (b. 1873)
  • May 28 Randle Ayrton, British actor (The Manxman, Nell Gwyn), dies at 70
  • May 28 Walter Connolly, American actor (It Happened One Night, Good Earth), dies from a stroke at 53
  • Jun 6 E. E. Clive, Welsh actor (Night Must Fall, Dark Hour), dies at 56
  • Jun 7 James Hall, American actor (Hell's Angels, Four Sons), dies of cirrhosis at 39
  • Jul 15 Donald Calthrop, British actor (Blackmail, Scrooge, Rome Express), dies from a heart attack at 52
  • Aug 13 George C Pearce, American actor (The Shadow Sinister, British Agent, Valiant), dies at 75
  • Aug 31 Johanna "Annie" Bakker, revue-artists/singer/actress, dies at 58
  • Sep 10 Edward LeSaint, American actor and director (Modern Times, The Dumb Messenger), dies at 69
  • Sep 25 Marguerite Clark, American silent film actress (Snow White), dies at 57
  • Oct 10 Berton Churchill, Canadian-American actor (I'm Nobody's Sweetheart Now), dies at 63
  • Oct 12 Tom Mix, American actor (Texan, Hidden Gold), dies at 60
  • Dec 5 Wilfred Lucas, Canadian actor (Pardon Us, Chump at Oxford), dies at 69
  • Dec 13 George Regas, Greek actor (The Mark of Zorro), dies at 50
  • Dec 25 Agnes Ayres [Hinkle], American actress (Sheik, Souls at Sea), dies at 42