Actor Martin Sheen is 83 years old today
Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now, 1979
Martin Sheen is 83 years old today.
The actor has performed in dozens of films and television shows, including Badlands (1973), Apocalypse Now (1979), Wall Street (1987) and The Departed (2006). He also played President Josiah Bartlet in the television series, The West Wing (1999–2006), and is now starring in, Grace and Frankie, on Netflix.
Sheen is considered one of the best actors never to be nominated for an Academy Award despite his acclaimed performances. He has worked with a wide variety of film directors, such as Richard Attenborough, Francis Ford Coppola, Terrence Malick, David Cronenberg, Mike Nichols, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone.
Sheen has had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since 1989.
In television he has won both a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for playing the lead role of President Bartlet in The West Wing, and an Emmy for guest acting in the sitcom, Murphy Brown.
He is the father of four children (Emilio, Ramon, Carlos and Renée), all of whom are actors. His younger brother, Joe Estevez, is also an actor.
Here, Sheen in the “Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse,” a 1991 documentary on the making of the drunken hotel room scene in Apocalyse Now in 1979.
In 1982, Martin Sheen did his first comedic role in a stage production.
He starred in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” with Adrienne Barbeau, Will Sampson and his son, Ramon Estevez, at the Burt Reynolds Theatre in Jupiter, Florida. Reynolds directed the production.
The above photograph of Sheen with Carol Dickman and Frank Beacham was made during rehearsals for the play. We had just finished a video with Sheen.
The Reynolds theatre closed in 1989, after 116 productions, featuring major stars and directors. The theater was donated to Palm Beach Community College to use as a performing arts/educational facility.
In 2001, a group of citizens formed the non-profit Palm Beach Playhouse Inc. and purchased the building for $2.67 million. It underwent a complete renovation and reopened as the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in February, 2004 and continues to thrive today.
Photo by Frank Beacham
Tony Bennett died less than two weeks ago, but today would have been his 97th birthday.
An Italian-American singer of popular music, standards, show tunes and jazz, Bennett was also a serious and accomplished painter, having created works — under the name Anthony Benedetto — that are on permanent public display in several art institutions.
He was the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in New York City.
Raised in New York City, Bennett began singing at an early age. He fought in the final stages of World War II as an infantryman with the U.S. Army in the European Theatre. Afterwards, he developed his singing technique, signed with Columbia Records, and had his first #1 popular song —"Because of You" — in 1951.
Several top hits such as "Rags to Riches" followed in the early 1950s. Bennett then further refined his approach to encompass jazz singing. He reached an artistic peak in the late 1950s with albums such as The Beat of My Heart and Basie Swings, Bennett Sings. In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."
His career and personal life then suffered an extended downturn during the height of the rock music era. Bennett staged a comeback in the late 1980s and 1990s, putting out gold record albums again and expanding his audience to the MTV Generation while keeping his musical style intact.
He remained a popular and critically praised recording artist and concert performer throughout his life, having sold over 50 million records. On December 20, 2016, NBC televised a special concert in honor of Bennett’s 90th birthday.
Bennett died July 21, 2023 in Manhattan at age 96.
Here, Bennett and Judy Garland perform “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
Elisha Graves Otis, the inventor of the elevator, was born 212 years ago today in Halifax, Vermont.
Otis found his inspiration for the elevator while working in a Yonkers, N.Y., factory that needed to move heavy equipment to its upper floor. Using a hoist came with the risk of equipment crashing to the ground if the cable broke, so Otis designed the first automatic safety device. It amounted to brakes locking the platform to prevent it from plummeting.
Otis’s big break came during the World’s Fair in New York’s Crystal Palace when he demonstrated his invention in 1854. He stood on an elevated platform and ordered the rope holding it in place to be cut with an ax. The platform dropped a few inches, then stopped.
“All safe, gentlemen,” he announced to the ecstatic crowd. He patented his invention, and today the name Otis appears on many of the elevators and escalators in the world.
Later versions of his invention incorporated soothing sounds to lift the spirits of riders and mask the noise of grinding gears, as being pulled up and down in a small box caused anxiety to some passengers. These musical recordings, better known as Muzak, were added to Otis Company elevators in the late 1930s.
Elevators today usually don’t make startling noises, and many have small TV screens to entertain riders, whose thoughts no longer seem to dwell so much on safety.
Thanks New York Times!
On this day in 1971 — 52 years ago — Paul McCartney announced the formation of his new group, Wings, with his wife Linda and former Moody Blues guitarist and singer, Denny Laine.
Here is Wings in 1974 with Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, Jimmy McCulloch, Denny Laine and Geoff Britton
Photo by Michael Putland
Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Giant, 1955
Photo by Frank Worth