Category Archives: Television

“The notion of ‘building a career’ had never been heard or dreamed of when I was young.” — Vanessa Redgrave

My friend Dan Callahan wrote the first major biography of Vanessa Redgrave, and he is voluminous on the topic: her career, her gift as an actress. Dan is one of the best writers today on the art of acting (and … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Books, Movies, On This Day, Television, Theatre | Tagged , | 3 Comments

“I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb… and I also know that I’m not blonde.” — Dolly Parton

An American original. Born on this day. A living legend. A national treasure. I have too many favorite Dolly Parton songs to list, and I love her stuff with Porter Wagoner. Speaking of which, have you seen the episode of … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies, Music, On This Day, Television | Tagged | 29 Comments

“I never told a joke in my life.” — Andy Kaufman

How could you describe Andy Kaufman (who was born on this day) to a generation who did not grow up seeing him on late-night talk shows, cameos on Saturday Night Live, his own TV specials? How on earth could you … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, On This Day, Television | 15 Comments

“Be open to change. Allow yourself to be revised.” — Maggie Smith

A re-post, for Maggie Smith’s birthday Inspired by Dan Callahan’s The Art of American Screen Acting 1960 to Today, volume 2 (I interviewed him about volume 1 here), I watched “Bed Among the Lentils,” the 49-minute Alan Bennett monologue, done … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, On This Day, Television | 15 Comments

“I sucked my fingers for 12 years. I never spoke … but I was a great observer.” — Cicely Tyson

It’s her birthday today. One of my earliest memories seeing a movie – I had to be 7 or 8 – was watching Sounder with my parents. I sat on the floor in front of the television. My parents sat … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies, On This Day, Television, Theatre | 4 Comments

November 2023 Viewing Diary

After Everything (2018; d. Hannah Marks, Joey Power) In early November, I holed up in a cozy little house in Connecticut with Allison and Carol. I had to work the whole time, which was a bummer but the night was … Continue reading

Posted in Monthly Viewing Diary, Movies, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“I have a fan base that’s super, super loyal.” — Lance Kerwin

You can say that again. I’m still here. It’s his birthday today. I discovered him when I was 10, 11, and everyone in my very small weird generation knew who he was. He was a teen idol. Something about him … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, On This Day, Television | Tagged | 2 Comments

Happy Birthday, Ralph Macchio, or: How one episode of Eight is Enough saved my life

Yesterday was Ralph Macchio’s birthday. I always knew Ralph Macchio was something special. I knew it before Karate Kid. I knew it from Eight is Enough. I clocked him as awesome from the beginning. I felt territorial. When everyone else … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, On This Day, Television | Tagged , | 28 Comments

Groundhog Day was one of the greatest scripts ever written. It didn’t even get nominated for an Academy Award.” — Bill Murray

Yup. (It’s Murray’s birthday today.) I have often said that it’s interesting to consider what films made today might be considered classics to future generations. Something like Casablanca was not a “prestige picture”, it was not filmed with a ponderous … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies, On This Day, Television | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

“I’ve been very lucky, considering what I look like and what I do.” — James Gandolfini

It’s his birthday today. 51 years old. It seems incomprehensible. Like a lot of people, he first came on my radar through the extraordinary scene in the motel room with Patricia Arquette in True Romance (“you gotta lotta heart, kid.”) … Continue reading

Posted in Actors, Movies, On This Day, Television, Theatre | Tagged | 7 Comments