TODAY IS ... 01 DECEMBER
BIRTHDAYS: 1971 - Emily Mortimer - an English actress. She began performing on stage, and has since appeared in several film and television roles, including Scream 3 (2000) and Match Point (2005). 1945 - Bette Midler - Grammy Award-winning singer: a local hit as a bathhouse and cabaret singer in New York in the early 1970s. (As her website puts it, "Bawdy humor, revealing costumes and a distinctive voice made for an act that was poignant, tacky, and altogether fabulous.") Her 1972 album, The Divine Miss M, included the hit single "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and won her both a Grammy as best new artist and a national following. In 1979 she became a star in the movies as well, earning an Oscar nomination for her performance as a Janis Joplin-like singer in The Rose; the soundtrack album was a hit as well. She later starred in Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986, with Nick Nolte) and Beaches (1988), among other films. 1940 - Richard Pryor - Grammy Award-winning film actor and comedian known for his rude, crude and hilarious characterizations of the dark side of the African-American experience. Pryor's success also brought problems, and he currently suffers from multiple sclerosis. His films include Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Blazing Saddles (1973, writer), Silver Streak (1976) and Stir Crazy (1980). He worked little after he was stricken with multiple sclerosis, but did make a guest appearance on Chicago Hope (1995) playing an MS patient who retained his sense of humor. 1935 - Woody Allen - American actor, writer, and director, one of contemporary America's leading filmmakers. Allen began his career writing for television comedians and performing in nightclubs. His early film comedies, which often depict neurotic urban characters preoccupied with sex, death, and psychiatry, include Sleeper (1973) and Annie Hall (1977; Academy Award, best picture). Much of Allen's later work in comedy and drama explores these themes as well as a sophisticated New Yorker's various other preoccupations. 1933 - Lou Rawls - Grammy Award-winning singer: Dead End Street , A Natural Man ; You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine, Your Good Thing is about to End, You’ve Made Me So Very Happy, Love is a Hurtin’ Thing, Budweiser commercials, TV regular: Dean Martin Presents; group: Soul Stirrers 1930 - Matt Monro - UK singer, (1964 UK No.4 & US No.23 single 'Walk Away' plus 10 other UK Top 40 hits). 1913 - Mary Martin - Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress, singer - a Broadway superstar in the 1950s, when she played spunky characters like Peter Pan and Maria von Trapp and won four Tony Awards in 13 years. Martin's stardom as a singer, dancer and actress began in New York City in 1938 with her nightly show-stopping rendition of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" in the Cole Porter musical Leave it to Me. She then made 10 films in four years with Paramount Pictures, but her real power remained on the Broadway stage, where she returned in the 1940s. Four Tony Awards for lead roles followed: special recognition in 1948 for the touring production of Annie Get Your Gun and best actress in a musical for South Pacific (1950), Peter Pan (1955) and The Sound of Music (1960). (Both South Pacific and The Sound of Music were written by Broadway titans Rodgers and Hammerstein.) OTHER EVENTS: 2005 – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were back in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire which started screening in Australia. Harry finds himself selected as an under-aged competitor in a dangerous multi-wizardary school competition. 2002 - Daniel Bedingfield scored his second UK No.1 single with 'If You're Not The One.' 1997 - Eight of the known planets in the solar system form a rare alignment from west to east 1997 - Kenny G set a new world record when he held a note on his saxophone for 45 minutes and 47 seconds. (The record has since been broken by Geovanny Escalante, who held a note for 1 hour, 30 minutes and 45 seconds, using a technique that allows him to blow and breathe at the same time). 1995 - An auction of Frank Sinatra's possessions earned him $2,072,000. 1995 – Miracle on 34th Street starring Richard Attenborough and Elizabeth Perkins commences screening in Australia. A little girl discovers dreams do come true if you really believe. Six-year-old Susan has doubts about childhood's most enduring miracle - Santa Claus. 1992 - Police rush a video store and draw weapons on an armed gunman. The gunman turned out to be a cardboard cutout of Denzel Washington. 1990 - Whitney Houston went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I'm Your Baby Tonight', her 8th US No.1 and the first for writers and producers Reid and Babyface. 1990 - The final wall of rock is drilled out, to join the two halves of the Channel Tunnel and link Britain to France 1989 - The Vatican: Pope John Paul II and Mikhail Gorbachev meet in Rome, signalling the end of 70 years of hostility between the Vatican and the USSR. 1988 – Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown and Elisabeth Shue headed the cast of Cocktail which started screening in Australia. A talented New York bartender takes a job at a bar in Jamaica and falls in love. 1982 - Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album was released. It spent 190 weeks on the UK album chart became the biggest selling pop album of all time, with sales over 50 million copies. 1981 - The AIDS virus is officially recognized. 1977 - Billy Joel's fifth album, "The Stranger," becomes his vehicle to stardom, making it to #2 and containing the hits "Just the Way You Are," "She's Always a Woman," "Movin' Out" and "Only the Good Die Young." 1973 - The Carpenters went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Top Of The World', their second US No.1, a No.5 hit in the UK. 1973 - ‘The Golden Bear’, Jack Nicklaus, won the Walt Disney World Open Golf Tournament and became the first golfer to win $2 million in career earnings. 1971 - John and Yoko release "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" in US 1968 - Promises, Promises opened on Broadway. The play ran for 1,281 performances, earning $35,000 in profits each week of 1969. Dionne Warwick had a hit version of the title song. 1966 - Tom Jones was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with his version of 'Green Green Grass Of Home.' It stayed at No.1 for seven weeks giving Decca records its first million selling single by a British artist. Also a No.11 hit in the US. 1966 - California folk-pop vocal group, the Mamas and the Papas earn their fourth gold record for their album, "Cass, John, Michelle & Denny." 1959 - Representatives of 12 countries, including the United States, signed a treaty in Washington setting aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, free from military activity.. 1959 - First color photograph of Earth taken from outer space: A Thor missile, launched from Cape Canaveral, takes the photos, although they weren't recovered until two months later, when the missile's nose cone was found in the Bahamas Islands. 1958 - The musical "Flower Drum Song" Rodgers and Hammerstein opened on Broadway. 1958 - The Teddy Bears were at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘To Know Him is to Love Him.’ The title of the Phil Spector song came from words on his father’s tombstone. 1958 - Ricky Nelson becomes the first rock 'n' roller to appear on the cover of Life magazine 1957 - Buddy Holly and the Crickets appeared on 'The Ed Sullivan Show', performing 'That'll Be The Day' and 'Peggy Sue'. Sam Cooke was also a guest on the same show performing 'You Send Me'. 1957 - The New York City Ballet debuted "Agon," a collaboration of composer Igor Stravinsky and choreographer George Balanchine. 1955 - Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the “Whites only” section of a public bus in Montgomery, AL. She was arrested and agreed to let the NAACP provide legal council. 1924 - Lady Be Good opened in New York City. George Gershwin wrote the music while Fred and Adele Astaire were well-received by the show’s audience for their dancing talents. 1917 - Father Edward Flanagan opened Boys Town, a farm village for wayward boys (and for girls since 1979), in an area west of Omaha, Nebraska. In 1938, Spencer Tracy portrayed Father Flanagan in the movie, Boys Town, and won himself an Oscar. 1891 - James Naismith, a physical education teacher at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, created the indoor sport of basketball. 1835 - Hans Christian Andersen published his first book of fairy tales.