TODAY IS ... 29 DECEMBER
BIRTHDAYS - 1974 - Mekhi Thira Phifer - an NAACP Image Award winning American actor best known for his multi-year role as Dr. Greg Pratt on NBC's long-running medical drama ER and his co-starring role opposite Eminem in the feature film 8 Mile. 1972 - Jude Law - actor: The Talented Mr. Ripley, Gattaca, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Enemy at the Gates, Artificial Intelligence: AI, Sherlock Holmes (2009) 1960 – David Boon - a former Australian cricketer of the 1980s and 1990s. He was a right-handed batsman and occasional off spin bowler who along with international cricket, played state cricket for Tasmania. He was a stocky right-hand batsman who often fielded at short leg with great success 1959 – Patricia Clarkson - In the mid-1980s she earned roles in big-budget Hollywood movies like The Untouchables (1987, starring Kevin Costner) and The Dead Pool (1988, starring Clint Eastwood). Combining the quiet intensity of Joan Allen with the mature sex appeal of Helen Mirren, Clarkson is both sturdy supporting player and sexy leading lady. Other films include The Green Mile (1999, opposite James Cromwell), Far From Heaven (2002, starring Julianne Moore), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005, starring David Strathairn) and All the King's Men (2006, starring Sean Penn). 1947 - Ted Danson - Emmy Award-winning actor: Cheers [1989-1990 and 1992-1993]; Three Men and a Baby, The Onion Field, Gulliver’s Travels, Becker, Curb Your Enthusiasm 1946 - Marianne Faithfull - singer: As Tears Go By, Summer Nights; actress: I’ll Never Forget Whatsisname 1938 - Jon Voight - an American film and television actor. He came to prominence at the end of the 1960s, with a performance as a would-be hustler in 1969's Best Picture winner, Midnight Cowboy, for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination. In 2003, he played the role of Mr. Sir in Holes. In 2004, Voight joined Nicolas Cage, in National Treasure as Patrick Gates, the father of Cage's character. In 2006, he was Kentucky Wildcats head coach Adolph Rupp in the Disney hit Glory Road. In 2007, he played United States Secretary of Defense John Keller in the summer blockbuster Transformers, reuniting him with Holes star Shia LaBeouf. Also in 2007, Voight reprised his role as Patrick Gates in National Treasure: Book of Secrets. 1936 - Mary Tyler Moore - Emmy Award-winning actress: The Mary Tyler Moore Show [1972-1973, 1973-1974, 1975-1976], Stolen Babies [1992-93]; The Dick Van Dyke Show, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Ordinary People; her legs starred on Richard Diamond, Private Eye; started in TV as ‘Happy Hotpoint’ [Hotpoint Appliance elf: 1955] OTHER EVENTS - 2004 - The Bobby Darin biographical movie, "Beyond The Sea" opens Billboard Magazine, the top 10 video rentals in the USA include Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (at number 5) and Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in The House of Mouse (at the number 7 spot). 1998 - Six people are feared dead after raging storms hit competitors in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. British Olympic yachtsman Glyn Charles presumed dead after his safety harness snapped in winds of up to 90mph (144km/h), with waves of 40ft (12m) high reported by sailors in the prestigious Australian race. 1995 – Robert Redford directed Quiz Show starring Ralph Fiennes, John Turturro, Rob Morrow and Elizabeth Wilson starts screening in Australia. Dick Goodwin discovers game shows are fixed: pretty boy WASP Charles Van Doren is fed answers so he beats geeky Jew Herbie Stempel. 1995 - Buena Vista Pictures premieres the Hollywood Pictures live-action feature film Mr. Holland's Opus in Los Angeles, California. Cliff Richard has his 12th UK No.1 single with 'Saviour's Day', his 13th UK No.1 single and his second Christmas chart topper. 1985 - Phil Donahue and a Soviet radio commentator hosted the ‘Citizen’s Summit’ via satellite TV. It was a way for people from the U.S. and the former Soviet Union to question each other about politics and policies. 1984 - Rajiv Gandhi claimed a landslide victory in the Indian general election. With almost half the votes declared, it became apparent that his Congress (Indira) Party had taken 80% of the seats and was well ahead of any opposition parties. 1983 – BMX Bandits starring Nicole Kidman and David Argue commences screening in Australia. Two BMX expert bikers and a friend of theirs (Kidman) become entangled with a group of bank robbers after discovering a carton of walkie-talkies. 1974 – No. 1 Chart Toppers Pop Hit: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” Elton John. The John Lennon-Paul McCartney song first appeared on the Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in 1967. 1972 - Following 36 years of publication, the last weekly issue of LIFE magazine hit the newsstands. The newsweekly is said to have “redefined photojournalism while showing America its own face.” 1967 - First use of the term "Black Hole" to describe a collapsed star, by Prof. John Archibald Wheeler. 1966 - Working at Abbey Road studios, London, The Beatles began work on the new Paul McCartney song ‘Penny Lane’ recording six takes of keyboard tracks and various percussion effects. 1965 - Thunderball premiers in the U.S., 4th in the James Bond series, it starred Sean Connery as 007. Cliff Richard was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'I Love You'. The singers fourth UK No.1 and his first Christmas No.1. 1957 - Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme were married. They became popular singers on the The Tonight Show with Steve Allen, and as Las Vegas showroom regulars and recording artists. They are still together in one of Hollywood’s most enduring marriages. 1956 - Elvis Presley made chart history by having 10 songs on Billboards Top 100 for week ending Dec 19th. 1955 – Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell star in The Seven Year Itch which started screening in Australia. When his family goes away for the summer, a so far faithful husband is tempted by a beautiful neighbour. 1952 - The first transistorized hearing aid was offered for sale by Sonotone Corporation on this day.