On This Day

Year 1944 in Film & Television

Events in Film & TV

  • Jan 1 1st feature-length foreign movie "African Journey", shown on TV, NYC

Film release premierFilm Premier

Feb 5 "Captain American" serial film premieres starring Dick Purcell, first appearance of a Marvel superhero outside a comic

Comic Book Artist and Writer Jack Kirby
Comic Book Artist and Writer
Jack Kirby

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 7 Bing Crosby records "Swinging on a Star" for Decca Records (Academy Award Best Original Song)

Singer and Actor Bing Crosby
Singer and Actor
Bing Crosby
  • Feb 20 Batman & Robin comic strip premieres in newspapers
  • Feb 21 "War As It Happens" news show premieres on NBC TV (NYC only)

Film tv awardsAcademy Awards

Mar 2 16th Academy Awards: "Casablanca", Jennifer Jones & Paul Lukas win

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 22 American movie star Jimmy Stewart flies his 12th combat mission, leading the 2nd Bomb Wing in an attack on Berlin

  • Apr 18 Leonard Bernstein & Jerome Robbins' ballet "Fancy Free" premieres in NYC
  • May 2 WABD (WNEW, now WNYW) TV channel 5 in NYC (DUM/MET/FOX) 1st broadcast
  • May 3 "Going My Way", directed by Leo McCarey and starring Bing Crosby premieres in New York (Best Picture 1945)

Film release premierFilm Release

May 4 "Gaslight", starring an 18-year-old Angela Lansbury in her film debut, is released

Film release premierFilm Release

Jul 3 "Double Indemnity" film noir directed by Billy Wilder and starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck is released in Baltimore, Maryland

Filmmaker Billy Wilder
Filmmaker
Billy Wilder
  • Aug 13 Jackie Gleason-Les Tremayne show premieres on NBC radio
  • Sep 28 1st TV Musical comedy (The Boys from Boise)
  • Oct 8 "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" debut on CBS radio

Film release premierFilm Release

Oct 11 "Laura" directed by Otto Preminger starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews is released in NYC, New York

Actress Gene Tierney
Actress
Gene Tierney

Birthdays in Film & TV

  • Jan 1 Don Novello, American actor and comedian (Father Guido Sarducci-Saturday Night Live), born in Ashtabula, Ohio
  • Jan 5 Felix Arons, Dutch director & actor (Waaldrecht), born in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (d. 1992)
  • Jan 6 Bonnie Franklin, American actress (Ann-1 Day at a Time), born in Santa Monica, California (d. 2013)
  • Jan 9 Harun Farocki, German filmmaker & author (Nicht loeschbares Feur), born in Nový Jičín, Czech Republic (d. 2014)
  • Jan 10 William Sanderson, American actor (Newhart, Blade Runner, True Blood), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Jan 10 Bernard Derome, Canadian broadcaster (Le Téléjournal), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jan 12 Carlos Villagrán, Mexican actor, born in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico
  • Jan 14 Marjoe Gortner, American evangelist (Marjoe) and actor (Earthquake; Falcon Crest), born in Long Beach, California [1]
  • Jan 23 Rutger Hauer, Dutch actor (Blade Runner, Ladyhawke, Osterman Weekend), born in Breukelen, Netherlands (d. 2019)
  • Jan 24 David Gerrold [Jerrold David Friedman], American science fiction screenwriter (Star Trek) & author (The Martian Child), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Jan 29 Barbara Moore, Wardell Mo, actress (Lisa Rogers-Man From UNCLE)
  • Feb 1 Leo Burmester, American actor (Flo, Chiefs, Abbys, Odd Jobs), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Feb 2 Katherine Crawford, actress (Gemini Man, Captains & Kings), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Feb 2 Karen Foss, American broadcaster
  • Feb 2 Geoffrey Hughes, British actor, (d. 2012)
  • Feb 3 Trisha Noble, Australian singer and actress
  • Feb 6 Michael Tucker, American actor (Stuart Markowitz-LA Law), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Feb 13 Stockard Channing, American actress (Grease, Big Bus, Without a Trace), born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 13 Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Indian actor, born in Wadakkancherry, India (d. 2006)
  • Feb 14 Alan Parker, English director (Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express), born in London, England (d. 2020)
  • Feb 21 Kitty Winn, actress (Beacon Hill), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Feb 22 E. J. Peaker, American actress (That's Life), born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Feb 22 Jonathan Demme, American film director (Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia), born in Baldwin, New York (d. 2017)
  • Feb 24 Barry Bostwick, American actor (Rocky Horror Picture Show, Megaforce), born in San Mateo, California
  • Feb 24 Sheila Larkin, American actress (Deborah-Storefront Lawyer), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Feb 25 Karen Grassle, American actress (Caroline-Little House on Prairie), born in Berkeley, California
  • Feb 25 Kristina Holland, American actress (Tina-Courtship of Eddie's Father), born in Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Feb 26 Marilyn Michaels, American comedian (ABC Comedy Hour), born in New York City
  • Feb 27 Alan Fudge, American actor (Man From Atlantis, Paper Dolls), born in Wichita, Kansas
  • Feb 28 Colin Nutley, director/writer (Such is Life, Black Jack)
  • Feb 28 Kelly Bishop, CO, actress (Unmarried Woman, Advice to Lovelorn)
  • Feb 29 Phyllis Frelich, American actor (Love is Never Silent), born in Devil's Lake, North Dakota
  • Feb 29 Dennis Farina, American actor (Get Shorty, Law & Order, Crime Story), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2013)
  • Mar 2 Katherine Crawford, actress (Captains & Kings, Gemini Man)
  • Mar 2 Uschi Glas, German actress
  • Mar 5 Paul Sands, comedian and actor (SCTV, Story Theater, St Elsewhere), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Mar 8 Palito Ortega, Argentine singer and actor
  • Mar 15 Jacques Doillon director/writer (La Fille de Quinze Ans)
  • Mar 21 Marie-Christine Barrault, actress (Stardust Memories), born in Paris, France
  • Mar 24 R. Lee Ermey, American actor (Full Metal Jacket- Gunnery Sergeant Hartman), born in Emporia, Kansas (d. 2018)
  • Mar 25 Kelly Garrett, American actress and singer (The Night That Made America Famous), born in Chester, Pennsylvania (d. 2013)

Person of interestDiana Ross

Mar 26 Diana Ross [Earle], American singer (The Supremes - "Stop! In The Name Of Love"; "You Can't Hurry Love"; "I Hear A Symphony"), and actress (Lady Sings Blues; Mahogany), born in Detroit, Michigan

Singer and Actress Diana Ross
Singer and Actress
Diana Ross
  • Mar 27 Khosrow Shakibai, Iranian actor (Hamoun), born in Tehran, Iran (d. 2008)
  • Mar 28 Ken Howard, American actor (Ken - The White Shadow), born in El Centro California (d. 2016)
  • Mar 29 John Suchet, British TV journalist (Independent TV News), born in London
  • Apr 1 Carol White, England, actress (Daddy's Gone a Hunting)
  • Apr 1 Rusty Staub, American baseball utility (6 x MLB All Star; Houston Colt .45s / Astros; Montreal Expos; NY Mets; Detroit Tigers) and broadcaster (Mets games 1986-95), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 2018)
  • Apr 4 David Melville, British physicist and academic (Middlesex Polytechnic), born in Gateshead, Durham, England
  • Apr 4 Craig T. Nelson, American actor (Poltergeist, Hayden Fox-Coach), born in Spokane, Washington
  • Apr 5 Willeke van Ammelrooy, Dutch actress (Cidke de Rat, Antonia), born in Amsterdam
  • Apr 8 Hywel Bennett, Welsh, actor (Family Way, Shelley), born in Garnant, Wales (d. 2017)
  • Apr 11 John Milius, American screenwriter (Red Dawn, 1941, Big Wednesday), born in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Apr 19 Margo MacDonald, Scottish national broadcaster and politician (MP for Glasgow Govan 1973-74), born in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland (d. 2014)
  • Apr 23 Niklaus Schilling, Swiss film director (Dormire, Atem, Rheingold), born in Basel, Switzerland (d. 2016)
  • Apr 29 [Nicolas] Michael Angelis, English actor (Thomas & Friends, Boys from the Black Stuff), born in London, England (d. 2020)
  • Apr 29 Richard Kline, American actor and director, born in New York City
  • Apr 30 Jill Clayburgh, American actress (Unmarried Woman, Semi-Tough), born in NYC, New York (d. 2010)
  • May 5 Jean-Pierre Léaud, French actor (Detective), born in Paris, France
  • May 5 John Rhys-Davies, Welsh actor (Sir Edward-Quest, Sliders), born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
  • May 5 Roger Rees, Welsh Tony winning stage and screen actor (Cheers - "Robin Colcord"), born in Aberystwyth (d. 2015)
  • May 6 Anton Furst, American production designer (Batman), born in London (d. 1991)
  • May 7 Sivi Aberg, Swedish actress (Batman TV show), born in Gävle, Sweden
  • May 7 Eva Norvind, Norwegian-Mexican actress, born in Trondheim, Norway (d. 2006)
  • May 7 Richard O'Sullivan, British comedy actor (Man About the House), born in Chiswick, London
  • May 10 Marie-France Pisier, Daclat, Vietnam, French actress and writer (Love on the Run, Cousin cousine)
  • May 14 Francesca Annis, actress (Madame Bovary, Dune), born in London, England

Person of interestGeorge Lucas

May 14 George Lucas, American director (Star Wars, Indiana Jones), born in Modesto, California

Film Director George Lucas
Film Director
George Lucas
  • May 15 Gunilla Hutton, Goteborg Sweden, actress (Petticoat Junction)
  • May 16 Danny Trejo, American actor
  • May 19 Peter Mayhew, British-American actor (Chewbacca in Star Wars), born in London, England (d. 2019)
  • May 25 Frank Oz, American muppetteer (Grover-Sesame Street, Muppet Show), born in Hereford, England
  • May 25 John Bunnell, former Sheriff of Multnomah County, Oregon and TV personality (World's Wildest Police Videos), born in Pendleton, Oregon
  • May 26 Sam Posey, American auto racer (12 Hours of Sebring 1975; 24 Hours of Le Mans 1971 3rd) and TV commentator (ABC Sports), born in NYC, New York
  • May 28 Patricia Quinn, Lady Stephens, Northern-Irish actress, voice artist and singer (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • May 28 Faith Brown, British actress and impressionist
  • May 29 Helmut Berger, actor (Ash Wednesday, Damned, Picture of Dorian Gray)
  • Jun 1 Robert Powell, English actor (Jigsaw Man, Shaka Zulu, Secrets), born in Salford, England
  • Jun 4 Michelle Phillips, American singer and actress (Mamas & Papas), born in Long Beach, California
  • Jun 8 Don Grady [Agrati], American actor (Robbie Douglas-My Three Sons), born in San Diego, California (d. 2012)
  • Jun 9 Brigid Bazlen, American actress (Pam-Too Young to go Steady), born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (d. 1989)
  • Jun 12 Linda Foster, American actress (Doris-Hank), born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Jun 14 Joe Grifasi, American actor, born in Buffalo, New York
  • Jun 17 Bill Rafferty, American comedian (Laugh-In, Real People), born in Queens, New York (d. 2012)
  • Jun 20 Terry Funk, pro wrestler (WWF/NWA)/actor (Paradise Alley), born in Hammond, Indiana
  • Jun 20 David Roper, English actor
  • Jun 21 Corinna Tsopel, Greek actress (Man Called Horse) and Miss Universe 1964, born in Athens, Greece
  • Jun 21 Tony Scott, English film director and producer (Top Gun, Revenge, Days of Thunder), born in Northumberland, England (d. 2012)
  • Jun 22 Klaus Maria Brandauer, Austrian actor (Mephisto, Out of Africa)
  • Jun 29 Gary Busey, American actor (Buddy Holly Story, Star in Born), born in Goose Creek, Texas
  • Jul 3 Paul Young, Scottish actor (Another Time Another Place), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Jul 4 Ray Meagher, Australian actor (Home and Away), born in Roma, Queensland, Australia
  • Jul 8 Jeffrey Tambor, actor (Jeffrey-Ropers, Larry Sanders), born in San Francisco, California
  • Jul 11 Bill Boggs, TV host/producer (Midday, Morton Downey Jr Show), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Jul 12 Denise Nicholas, American actress (Room 222, Baby I'm Back), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Jul 15 Jan-Michael Vincent, actor (Hooper, Tribes, Buster & Billie), born in Denver, Colorado (d. 2019)
  • Jul 15 Millie Jackson, Thompson Ga, model/singer (Get it out 'cha system)
  • Jul 17 Catherine Schell [Katherina Freiin Schell von Bauschlott], Hungarian-born British actress (two Pink Panther films), born in Budapest, Hungary
  • Jul 18 Jonelle Allen, American actress (Bessie-Palmerstown USA, Berringers), born in NYC, New York
  • Jul 22 Guich Koock, actor (Harley Puckett-Carter Country), born in Austin, Texas
  • Jul 25 Mijanou van Baarzel, Dutch actress (Klaverweide-Alicia)

Weddings in Film & TV


LoveWedding of Interest

Jan 26 Actor Ralph Richardson (41) weds actress Meriel Forbes (30)

LoveWedding of Interest

Mar 17 Actor Charlton Heston weds Lydia Clarke

LoveWedding of Interest

May 21 Actor Burgess Meredith (36) weds actress Paulette Goddard (33) at David O Selznick's Beverly Hills home

LoveWedding of Interest

Jul 23 Actress Susan Hayward (27) weds actor Jess Barker (32) at St. Thomas Church in Los Angeles, California

Actress Susan Hayward
Actress
Susan Hayward

LoveWedding of Interest

Sep 6 Actor Yul Brynner (24) weds actress Virginia Gilmore (25) at the Los Angeles County Courthouse

LoveWedding of Interest

Oct 3 Comedian Jerry Lewis marries singer Patti Palmer

Comedian Jerry Lewis
Comedian
Jerry Lewis

LoveWedding of Interest

Nov 20 Model agency executive Eileen Ottensoser (22) weds businessman Gerard W. Ford (20) in San Francisco, California

Co-Founder of Ford Models Eileen Ford
Co-Founder of Ford Models
Eileen Ford

Deaths in Film & TV

  • Feb 4 Yvette Guilbert, French singer and actress, dies at 79
  • Mar 18 Benjamin Delmonte, theater director and actor (Black Haired Whore), dies at 79
  • May 16 George Ade, American playwright, writer and humorist (Counsel Widow, Fables in Slang), dies at 78
  • May 30 Jessie Ralph, actress (Good Earth, San Francisco), dies at 79
  • Jul 1 Carl Mayer, Austrian-Jewish actor (Dreaming Lips, Ariane, Sunrise), dies of cancer at 49
  • Jul 20 Mildred Harris, American actress (b. 1901)
  • Aug 22 Raymond Aimos, actor (Golem, Mayerling, La Bandera), dies at 55
  • Sep 13 W. Heath Robinson, English illustrator and cartoonist (Don Quixote), dies at 72
  • Dec 9 Laird Cregar, actor (Charley's Aunt, Hangover Square), dies at 28
  • Dec 13 Lupe Velez, actress (Joe Palooka), overdoses on seconal at 34
  • Dec 22 Harry Langdon, American comedian (The Strong Man, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp), dies at 60