Happy Birthday Pablo Picasso

Today is Picasso’s 133rd birthday.  He died 41 years ago at the impressive age of 91.  A long life only matched by his long long full name:  Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso.  He was part of that group of friends back in the 20’s that I became madly fascinated with, that lost generation.  Only, he managed to get through it and continue.  Take some time to view his work today (phone-google images-picasso) and remember that life is more vibrant than you think and perspective is different for everyone.  Jump start your weekend and recharge yourself and remember, beauty is everywhere as long as you don’t rush past it.

picasso

NAME: Pablo Picasso
OCCUPATION: Painter
BIRTH DATE: October 25, 1881
DEATH DATE: April 08, 1973
EDUCATION: La Llotja, Royal Academy of San Fernando
PLACE OF BIRTH: Málaga, Spain
PLACE OF DEATH: Mougins, France

Best Known For:  Spanish expatriate Pablo Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, and the co-creator of Cubism.

The Wiki:

Artist. Born October 25, 1881 in Málaga, Spain. Picasso’s gargantuan full name, which honors a variety of relatives and saints, is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso. Picasso’s mother was Doña Maria Picasso y Lopez and his father was Don José Ruiz Blasco, a painter and art teacher. A serious and prematurely world-weary child, the young Pablo Picasso possessed a pair of piercing, watchful black eyes that seemed to mark him out for greatness. He remembered, “When I was a child, my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk you’ll end up as the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”

Although he was a relatively poor student, Picasso displayed a prodigious talent for drawing from a very young age. According to legend, his first words were “piz, piz,” his childish attempt at lápiz, the Spanish word for pencil. Picasso’s father began teaching him to draw and paint from early childhood, and by the time he was 13 years old his paintings were already better executed than his father’s. He lost all desire to do any schoolwork and instead spent the school days doodling in his notebook. Picasso recalled, “for being a bad student, they would send me to the ‘cells’& I loved it when they sent me there, because I could take a pad of paper and draw nonstop.”

In 1895, when Picasso was fourteen years old, his family moved to Barcelona and he immediately applied to the city’s prestigious School of Fine Arts. Although the school typically only accepted students several years his senior, Picasso’s entrance exam was so extraordinary that the school made an exception and admitted him immediately. Nevertheless, Picasso chafed at the strict rules and formalities and began skipping class to roam the streets of Barcelona, sketching the city scenes he observed.

In 1897, a 16-year-old Picasso moved to Madrid to attend the Royal Academy of San Fernando. However, he again grew frustrated at the school’s singular focus on classical subjects and techniques. He wrote to a friend, “They just go and on& about the same old stuff: Velazquez for painting, Michelangelo for sculpture.” Again he started skipping class to wander the city and paint what he observed: gypsies, beggars, prostitutes.

In 1899, Picasso moved back to Barcelona and fell in with a crowd of artists and intellectuals who made their headquarters at a café called El Quatre Gats, the four cats. Inspired by the anarchists and radicals he met there, Picasso made his decisive break with the classical methods in which he had been trained and began a lifelong process of experimentation and innovation.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Picasso moved to Paris, the cultural center of European art,  to open his own studio. Art critics and historians typically break Picasso’s adult career into distinct periods and the first of these, which lasted from 1901-1904, is called his Blue Period after the color that dominated nearly all of Picasso’s paintings during these years. Lonely and deeply depressed over the death of his close friend Carlos Casagemas, he painted scenes of poverty, isolation and anguish using almost exclusively blues and greens. The critic Charles Morice wondered, “Is this frighteningly precocious child not fated to bestow the consecration of a masterpiece on the negative sense of living, the illness from which he more than anyone else seems to be suffering?” Picasso’s most famous paintings from the Blue Period include Blue Nude, La Vieand The Old Guitarist, all three completed in 1903.

By 1905, Picasso had largely overcome his depression of the previous years. He was madly in love with a beautiful model named Fernande Olivier and newly prosperous thanks to the generous patronage of the art dealer Ambroise Vollard. The artistic manifestation of Picasso’s improved spirits was the introduction of warmer colors beiges, pinks and reds in what is known as his Rose Period. His most famous paintings from this time include Family at Saltimbanques (1905), Gertrude Stein (1905-1906) and Two Nudes (1906).

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In 1907, Picasso produced a painting unlike anything he or anyone else had ever painted before, a work that would profoundly influence the direction of art in the twentieth century: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, a chilling depiction of five beige figures, prostitutes, abstracted and distorted with sharp geometric features and stark blotches of blues, greens and grays. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is considered the precursor and inspiration of Cubism, an artistic style pioneered by Picasso and Georges Braque.

In Cubist paintings, objects are broken apart and reassembled in an abstracted form, highlighting their composite geometric shapes and depicting the object from multiple viewpoints at once to create physics-defying, collage-like effects. At once destructive and creative, Cubism shocked, appalled and fascinated the art world. “It made me feel as if someone was drinking gasoline and spitting fire,” Braque said. The French writer and critic Max Jacob reflected, “It was really the harbinger comet of the new century.” Picasso’s early Cubist paintings, known as his Analytic Cubist works, include Three Women (1907), Bread and Fruit Dish on a Table (1909) and Girl with Mandolin (1910). Picasso’s later Cubist paintings are distinguished as Synthetic Cubism because they go further toward creating vast collages out of a great number of tiny individual fragments.  These include Still Life with Chair Caning (1912), Card Player (1913-1914), and Three Musicians (1921).

The outbreak of World War I ushered in the next great change in Picasso’s art. He grew more somber and once again preoccupied with the depiction of reality. Picasso’s works between 1918-1927 are considered his Classical Period,  a brief return to realism in a career otherwise dominated by experimentation. His most interesting and important works from this period include Three Women at the Spring (1921), Two Women Running on the Beach/The Race (1922) and The Pipes of Pan (1923).

Then, from 1927 onward, Picasso became caught up in a new philosophical and cultural movement, Surrealism, whose artistic manifestation was an offspring of his own Cubism. Picasso’s greatest surrealist painting, one of the great paintings of all time, was completed in 1937, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War. On April 26, 1937, German bombers supporting Francisco Franco’s Nationalist forces, carried out a devastating aerial attack on the Basque town of Guernica. Outraged by the bombing and the inhumanity of war, Picasso painted Guernica shortly thereafter, a surrealist testament to the horrors of war in black, white and grays, featuring a Minotaur and several human-like figures in various states of anguish and terror. Guernica remains one of the most moving and powerful antiwar paintings in history.

In the aftermath of World War II, Picasso became more overtly political. He joined the Communist Party and was twice honored with the International Lenin Peace Prize, once in 1950 and again in 1961. By this point in his life, Picasso was also an international celebrity, the world’s most famous living artist. However, while paparazzi chronicled his every move, few paid attention to his art during this time. In contrast to the dazzling complexity of Synthetic Cubism, Picasso’s later paintings use simple imagery and crude technique. Upon passing a group of school kids in his old age Picasso remarked, “When I was as old as these children, I could draw like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them.” The epitome of his later work is his Self Portrait Facing Death, drawn with pencil and crayon a year before he passed away. The autobiographical subject, who appears as something between a human and an ape, with a green face and pink hair, is drawn with the crude technique of a child. Yet the expression in his eyes, capturing a lifetime of wisdom, fear and uncertainty, is the unmistakable work of a master at the height of his powers.

Picasso was an incorrigible womanizer who had countless relationships with girlfriends, mistresses, muses and prostitutes over the course of his long life. However, he had only two wives. He married a ballerina named Olga Khokhlova in 1918, and they remained together for nine years before parting ways in 1927. He married his second wife, Jacqueline Roque, at the age of 69 in 1961. Picasso had four children: Paul, Maya, Claude and Paloma.

He passed away on April 8, 1973 at the age of 91.

Pablo Picasso stands alone as the most celebrated and influential painter of the twentieth century. His technical mastery, visionary creativity and profound empathy distinguish him as a revolutionary artist. Picasso was also endlessly reinventing himself, switching between styles so radically different that his life’s work seems the product of five or six great artists rather than just one. Discussing his penchant for radical shifts in style, Picasso insisted that his career was not an evolution or progression. Rather, the diversity of his work was the result of freshly evaluating for each piece the form and technique best suited to achieve his desired effects. “Whenever I wanted to say something, I said it the way I believed I should,” Picasso said. “Different themes inevitably require different methods of expression. This does not imply either evolution or progress; it is a matter of following the idea one wants to express and the way in which one wants to express it.”

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
The Mystery of Picasso (5-May-1956) · Himself

Wrote plays:
Desire Caught by the Tail (1941)

Selected paintings:
The First Communion (1896)
The Absinthe Drinker (1901)
Garçon à la pipe (1905)
The Family of Saltimbanques (1905)
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907)
Guernica (1937)
Dora Maar au Chat (1941)
Massacre in Korea (1951)
Las Menina (1957)

 

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Happy Birthday Diana Dors

Today is the 83rd birthday of Diana Dors.

NAME: Diana Dors
OCCUPATION: Actress, Pin-up
BIRTH DATE: October 23, 1931
DEATH DATE: May 4, 1984
EDUCATION: Royal Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts
PLACE OF BIRTH: Swindon, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom
PLACE OF DEATH: Windsor, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom

BEST KNOWN FOR: Actress Diana Dors was Britain’s forerunner to Marilyn Monroe, remembered for bringing talent and sensuality to British cinema.

The railway town of Swindon was an unprepossessing start for a starlet, but Diana Dors, born Diana Mary Fluck on October 23, 1931, in Swindon, Wiltshire, England, loved film from the age of 3. Her mother lavished Diana with gifts and her father begrudgingly sent her to the best private schools.

Physically and socially mature for her age, Dors became a pin-up girl at age 13. She lied to the photographers and later directors, claiming that she was 17. Her first flirt with the camera came when she was 15, in The Shop at Sly Corner. She played the beautiful blonde in the background, a role that she was to repeat with frequency, along with that of a gold-digger.

Dors trained at the Royal Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, cornering the market as a sex-pot with character. In 1948, she appeared in six films, some unaccredited walk-ons, others with actual character, her best known role from this time noted as Charlotte in Oliver Twist.

Glamour Sensation

A genius at publicity, whether through her love life or her attire, Dors was a glamour sensation, unrivaled throughout the 1950s and into the ’60s. Over this period, she starred in a wide range of films and on several television series, including Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951), The Great Game (1953), A Kid for Two Farthings (1955), Yield to the Night (1956), The Big Bankroll (1961) and Baby Love in 1968.

Dors was a darling of the tabloid press and a good friend of the notorious East End gangsters, the Kray twins. The actress was also a close friend of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, after Ellis had a cameo role in Lady Godiva Rides Again.

As age advanced and she was no longer able to rely just on her siren status, Dors developed into a credible character actress in the 1970s, landing roles in such films as The Amazing Mr. Blunden and Steaming. She also tried, but failed, to become a success in Hollywood.

Dors did, however, appear on plenty of popular TV shows during the decade, including Queenie’s Castle between 1970 and 1972, All Our Saturdays (1973), Just William (1977-78) and an episode of the The Sweeny in 1978. Her last jobs included playing Adam Ant’s fairy godmother in the video Prince Charming and an agony aunt on GMTV.

Death and Legacy

Diana Dors died on May 4, 1984, at the age of 52, from ovarian cancer, which had been diagnosed two years previously, in Windsor, Berkshire, England. She was buried at Sunningdale Catholic Cemetery, having converted to the religion in 1973. Her widower, Alan Lake, burned all of the actress’s clothes following her death, and committed suicide five months later.

Dors left around £2 million in banks around Europe, leaving a secret code to her son, Matthew, to access the fortune. However, because Lake had the key, the money remains unfound to this day.

Happy Birthday Johnny Carson

Today is the 89th birthday of Johnny Carson.

johnny carson 2

NAME: Johnny Carson
OCCUPATION: Talk Show Host
BIRTH DATE: October 23, 1925
DEATH DATE: January 23, 2005
EDUCATION: University of Nebraska
PLACE OF BIRTH: Corning, Iowa
PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California
Full Name: Johnny Carson
Full Name: John William Carson

Best Known For:  One of television’s best known personalities, Johnny Carson hosted “The Tonight Show” for 30 years. His farewell show in 1992 drew 50 million viewers.

Born in Corning, Iowa on October 23, 1925 to Ruth and Homer R. Carson, a power company manager, Johnny Carson learned how to reel in audiences at a young age. He fell in love with magic when he was 12 years old, and after purchasing a magician’s kit through the mail, began performing magic tricks in public, as “The Great Carson.”

Following high school, in 1943, an 18-year-old Carson joined the U.S. Navy as an ensign, and then decoded encrypted messages as a communications officer. Serving aboard the USS Pennsylvania, he continued performing magic, mainly for his fellow shipmates. He later said that one of the fondest memories from his service was performing magic for James Forrestal, U.S. Secretary of the Navy. Though assigned to combat in the summer of 1945, Carson never went into battle — WWII ended in 1945, following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, and Carson was sent back to the United States.

In the fall of 1945, Carson began studying at the University of Nebraska, and received a bachelor’s degree in radio and speech four years later. After college, he had a short stint as television writer for The Red Skelton Show in Los Angeles, and then moved to New York City in pursuit of bigger audiences.

In October of 1962, Carson replaced Jack Paar as host of The Tonight Show—a counterpart to NBC’s Tonight show—and, following wavering ratings his first year, Carson became a prime-time hit.

Audiences found comfort in Carson’s calm and steady presence in their living rooms each evening. Revered for his affable personality, quick wit and crisp interviews, he guided viewers into the late night hours with a familiarity they grew to rely on year after year. Featuring interviews with the stars of the latest Hollywood movies or the hottest bands, Carson kept Americans up-to-date on popular culture, and reflected some of the most distinct personalities of his era through impersonations, including his classic take on President Ronald Reagan.

Carson created several recurring comedic characters that popped up regularly on his show, including Carnac the Magnificent, an Eastern psychic who was said to know the answers to all kinds of baffling questions. In these skits, Carson would wear a colorful cape and featured turban and attempt to answer questions on cards before even opening their sealed envelopes. Carson, as Carmac, would demand silence before answering questions such as “Answer: Flypaper.” “Question: What do you use to gift wrap a zipper?”

Carson was The Tonight Show’s host for three decades. During that time, he received six Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Carson’s final appearance as host in 1992 attracted an estimated 50 million viewers.

Carson was in and out of relationships throughout his life, marrying four separate times. He married Jody Wolcott in 1948, and they had three sons, Charles (Kit), Cory and Richard. Richard died in an auto accident in 1991.

Carson and Jody divorced in 1963, and only months later, Carson married his second wife, Joanne Copeland. That relationship ended in 1972, following a grueling legal battle that ended with Copeland receiving a settlement of nearly $500,000 and annual alimony from Carson. That same year, Carson married third wife Joanna Holland—from whom he filed for divorce in 1983.

For the first time in 35 years, Carson lived life as an unmarried man from 1983 to 1987. He married for the final time in June of 1987; Carson and Alexis Maas remained together until Carson’s death, nearly eighteen years later.

At age 74, in 1999, Carson suffered a severe heart attack while he was sleeping at his Malibu, California home. Soon after, he underwent quadruple-bypass surgery. In January of 2005, at age 79, Carson died of respiratory failure caused by emphysema.

Carson, considered to be one of the most popular stars of American television, has been praised by several mainstream comics—including Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon—for helping them launch their careers. Today, he is regarded worldwide as a televison legacy.

Happy Birthday Celia Cruz

Today is the 89th birthday of Celia Cruz.  She is EVERYTHING.  Watch all the videos below and keep a little Celia in your life at all times.

celia cruz

NAME: Celia Cruz
OCCUPATION: Singer
BIRTH DATE: October 21, 1925
DEATH DATE: July 16, 2003
PLACE OF BIRTH: Havana, Cuba
PLACE OF DEATH: New Jersey

BEST KNOWN FOR: Celia Cruz was a Cuban-American singer, best known as one of the most popular salsa performers of all time, recording 23 gold albums.

Celia Cruz grew up in the poor Havana neighborhood of Santos Suárez, where Cuba‘s diverse musical climate became a growing influence. In the 1940s, Cruz won a “La hora del té” (“Tea Time”) singing contest, propelling her into a music career. While Cruz’s mother encouraged her to enter other contests around Cuba, her more traditional father had other plans for her, encouraging her to become a teacher—a common occupation for Cuban women at that time.

Cruz enrolled at the National Teachers’ College, but dropped out soon after, since her live and radio performances around were gaining acclaim. Tempering her own growing ambitions with her father’s wish for her to stay in school, she enrolled at Havana’s National Conservatory of Music. However, instead of finding reasons for continuing on the academic track, one of Cruz’s professors convinced her that she should pursue a full-time singing career.

Cruz’s first recordings were made in 1948. In 1950, her singing career started its upward journey to stardom when she began singing with celebrated Cuban orchestra Sonora Matancera. Initially, there were doubts that Cruz could successfully replace the previous lead singer and that a woman could sell salsa records at all. However, Cruz helped propel the group—and Latin music in general—to new heights, and the band toured widely through Central and North America throughout the 1950s.


At the time of the 1959 Communist takeover of Cuba, Sonora Matancera was touring in Mexico, and members of the band decided to leave Cuba for good, crossing into the United States instead of returning to their homeland. Cruz became a U.S. citizen in 1961, and Fidel Castro, enraged by Cruz’s defection, barred her from returning to Cuba.

Cruz remained relatively unknown in the United States beyond the Cuban exile community initially, but when she joined the Tito Puente Orchestra in the mid–1960s, she gained exposure to a wide audience. Puente had a large following across Latin America, and as the new face of the band, Cruz became a dynamic focus for the group, reaching a new fan base. On stage, Cruz enthralled audiences with her flamboyant attire and crowd engagement—traits that bolstered her 40-year singing career.

With her seemingly unfaltering vocals, Cruz continued performing live and recording albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and beyond. In that time, she made more than 75 records, including nearly 20 that went gold, and won several Grammys and Latin Grammys. She also appeared in several movies, earned a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts by the National Endowment of the Arts.

Cruz died in New Jersey on July 16, 2003, at the age of 77.

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
The Perez Family (12-May-1995) · Luz Paz
The Mambo Kings (28-Feb-1992)
Fires Within (28-Jun-1991) · Herself
Salsa (7-May-1988) · Herself
Affair in Havana (1-Oct-1957)

Rear View Mirror – My Week in Review

Are you subscribed to Brainpickings.org? You really absolutely should. What is better than getting an occasional email that breaks it down for you, makes the classics accessible, and shows you that knowing history is really more important than knowing pop culture. Here is an excellent example:

Why Haters Hate: Kierkegaard Explains the Psychology of Bullying and Online Trolling in 1847

Celebrated as the first true existentialist philosopher, Danish writer and thinker Søren Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813–November 11, 1855) may have only lived a short life, but it was a deep one and its impact radiated widely outward, far across the centuries and disciplines and schools of thought. He was also among the multitude of famous writers who benefited from keeping a diary and nowhere does his paradoxical blend of melancholy and idealism, of despair about the human condition and optimism about the purpose of life, shine more brilliantly than in The Diary of Søren Kierkegaard (public library) — a compendium of Kierkegaard’s frequently intense, always astoundingly thoughtful reflections on everything from happiness and melancholy to writing and literature to self-doubt and public opinion.

In an immeasurably insightful entry from 1847, 34-year-old Kierkegaard observes a pervasive pathology of our fallible humanity, explaining the same basic psychology that lurks behind contemporary phenomena like bullying,trolling, and the general assaults of the web’s self-appointed critics, colloquially and rather appropriately known as haters.

Kierkegaard writes:

There is a form of envy of which I frequently have seen examples, in which an individual tries to obtain something by bullying. If, for instance, I enter a place where many are gathered, it often happens that one or another right away takes up arms against me by beginning to laugh; presumably he feels that he is being a tool of public opinion. But lo and behold, if I then make a casual remark to him, that same person becomes infinitely pliable and obliging. Essentially it shows that he regards me as something great, maybe even greater than I am: but if he can’t be admitted as a participant in my greatness, at least he will laugh at me. But as soon as he becomes a participant, as it were, he brags about my greatness.

That is what comes of living in a petty community.

It is unlikely that Kierkegaard was aware of what would become known as the Benjamin Franklin Effect — the Founding Father formulated his famous reverse-psychology trick for handling haters — and yet he goes on to relay an anecdote that embodies it perfectly. He recounts coming upon three young men outside his gate who, upon seeing him, “began to grin and altogether initiated the whole gamut of insolence.” As he approached them, Kierkegaard noticed that they were smoking cigars and turned to one of them, asking for a light. Suddenly, the men’s attitude took a dramatic U-turn — the seemingly simple exchange had provided precisely that invitation for participation in greatness:

Instantly, all three doffed their hats and it would seem I had done them a service by asking for a light. Ergo: the same people would be happy to cry bravo for me if I merely addressed a friendly, let alone, flattering word to them; as it is, they cry pereat [he shall perish!] and are defiant… All it amounts to is play-acting. But how invaluably interesting to have one’s knowledge of human psychology enriched in this way.

The Diary of Søren Kierkegaard may be short in both pages and lifetime covered, but it is a treasure trove of equally penetrating insights into the human experience. Complement it with Kierkegaard on our greatest source of unhappiness, then revisit Anne Lamott’s brilliant modern manifesto for handling haters.

It’s been a few weeks since I have done a weekly round up of all my internet activities. I think it is mostly because Sundays are busy for me now and I don’t have the extra time, unless I preload it Saturday night.

Last week on Waldina, I celebrated the birthdays of Harris Glenn Milstead (Divine), George C. Scott, Montgomery Clift, Rita Hayworth, Jean Arthur, Angela Lansbury, Linda Darnell, Oscar Wilde and Ed Wood.

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Happy Birthday Harris Glenn Milstead

Today is the 69th birthday of Harris Glenn Milstead, known the world over as the drag queen/performance artist/actor/personality called “Divine.”  I was first introduced to Divine through the subscription of Interview Magazine I had while I was in high school.  This lead to renting the early John Waters movies and so forth.  I adore anyone who is fearless, who is in on the joke, and who plows forward.  Divine had all of those qualities and many more.

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NAME: Harris Glenn Milstead
BORN: October 19, 1945
BIRTHPLACE: Towson, MD
DIED: March 7, 1988
LOCATION AT DEATH: Los Angeles, CA
CAUSE OF DEATH: Respiratory failure
REMAINS: Buried, Prospect Hill Cemetery, Towson, MD

Divine (October 19, 1945 – March 7, 1988), born Harris Glenn Milstead, was an American actor, singer and drag queen. Described by People magazine as the “Drag Queen of the Century”, Divine often performed female roles in both cinema and theater and also appeared in women’s clothing in musical performances. Even so, he considered himself to be a character actor and performed male roles in a number of his later films. He was often associated with independent filmmaker John Waters and starred in ten of Waters’s films, usually in a leading role. Concurrent with his acting career, he also had a successful career as a disco singer during the 1980s, at one point being described as “the most successful and in-demand disco performer in the world.”

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, into a conservative, upper middle class family, he became involved with John Waters and his acting troupe, the Dreamlanders, in the mid-1960s and starred in a number of Waters’s early films such as Mondo Trasho (1969), Multiple Maniacs (1970), Pink Flamingos (1972) and Female Trouble (1974). These films became hits on the midnight movie and underground cinema circuit in the U.S., and have since become cult classics, with Divine becoming particularly renowned for playing the role of Babs Johnson in Pink Flamingos, during which he had to perform a series of extreme acts including eating dog excrement. In the 1970s, Milstead made the transition to theater and appeared in a number of productions, including Women Behind Bars and The Neon Woman, while continuing to star in such films as Polyester (1981), Lust in the Dust (1985) and Hairspray (1988). Meanwhile, in 1981 Divine had embarked on a disco career, producing Hi-NRG tracks, most of which had been written by Bobby Orlando, and went on to achieve chart success with hits like “You Think You’re A Man”, “I’m So Beautiful” and “Walk Like a Man.” Having struggled with obesity throughout his life, Divine died from cardiomegaly in 1988.

The New York Times said of Milstead’s ’80s films: “Those who could get past the unremitting weirdness of Divine’s performance discovered that the actor/actress had genuine talent, including a natural sense of comic timing and an uncanny gift for slapstick.” He was also described as “one of the few truly radical and essential artists of the century… [who] was an audacious symbol of man’s quest for liberty and freedom.” Since his death, Divine has remained a cult figure, particularly with those in the LGBT community, of which he was a part, being openly gay.

Due to Divine’s portrayal of Edna Turnblad in the original comedy-film version of Hairspray, later musical adaptations of Hairspray have commonly placed male actors in the role of Edna, including Harvey Fierstein and others in the 2002 Broadway musical and John Travolta in the 2007 musical film.

A 12 foot tall statue in the likeness of Divine by Andrew Logan can be seen on permanent display at The American Visionary Art Museum in Divine’s home town of Baltimore, Maryland.

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Out of the Dark (5-May-1989)
Hairspray (16-Feb-1988)
Trouble in Mind (Dec-1985)
Lust in the Dust (1-Mar-1985)
Polyester (29-May-1981)
Female Trouble (4-Oct-1974)
Pink Flamingos (17-Mar-1972)
Multiple Maniacs (10-Apr-1970)
Mondo Trasho (14-Mar-1969)

Is the subject of books:
My Son Divine, 2001, BY: Frances Milstead, DETAILS: Alyson Publications:with Kevin Heffernan and Steve Yeager
Not Simply Divine, 1994, BY: Bernard Jay, DETAILS: Fireside:by Divine’s personal manager

Happy Birthday George C. Scott

Today is the 87th birthday of the actor George C. Scott. I remember seeing The Changeling (entire movie below) on TV when I was a kid and being so scared, but not being able to stop watching because it was filmed in Seattle. His film There Might Be Giants is honestly funny and quirky and about half the time, you feel like you are either not in on the joke or it just wasn’t a joke, but you aren’t sure, but you wish you were in on the joke it it was in fact a joke. I am sure that is why it is loved and hated, but rarely anything in-between.

NAME: George C. Scott
OCCUPATION: Film Actor
BIRTH DATE: October 18, 1927
DEATH DATE: September 22, 1999
EDUCATION: University of Missouri
PLACE OF BIRTH: Wise, Virginia
PLACE OF DEATH: Westlake Village, California

BEST KNOWN FOR: American actor George C. Scott starred in films and on Broadway during his 40-year career. In 1970, he won an Oscar for his portrayal of George S. Patton.

George C. Scott was born on October 18, 1927, in a small Virginia town in the Appalachian Mountains. At the age of 2, Scott’s family moved to Detroit, Michigan, where his father took a job at an automobile plant. His mother, a poet, died when he was 8.

In 1945, Scott joined the Marines and was posted to Arlington National Cemetery. His subsequent four-year tour was marked with heavy drinking and a raft of nose-breaking barroom brawls. After being discharged from the military, he studied journalism under the G.I. Bill at the University of Missouri. While there, Scott auditioned for a role in a campus production of Terence Rattigan’s play The Winslow Boy. He won the role, marking the beginning of his career in acting.

Acting jobs did not come easy at first. In fact, it would be years before Scott landed his first big role: as the lead in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of Richard III. His intense stage presence won acclaim by critics and would garner him a lifetime of notable roles on the stage, on television and in film.

In 1959, Scott starred opposite James Stewart in Anatomy of a Murder, and was awarded an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. Despite all of his praise, however, he would gain even more attention for his over-the-top portrayal of General “Buck” Turgidson in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove.

Scott once again turned to his military roots in order to play his most iconic role: General George Patton in the 1970 film Patton. His ability to dominate the screen once again won rave reviews from critics, as well as an Academy Award for his performance. The actor, however, defiantly refused to accepted the honor. Months earlier, Scott had sent a telegram to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rejecting his nomination as best actor, citing his disapproval of the voting process and his disdain for competition among actors. His win at the award ceremony came as a shock to the audience, and led award presenter Goldie Hawn to famously announce, “Oh my God. It’s George C. Scott!”

Less controversial was Scott’s 1984 performance in the CBS television production of A Christmas Carol. As Ebenezer Scrooge, Scott played the role with a visceral intensity that evoked associations with Reagan and Thatcher. He even played the Dickensian role of the cliché penny-pincher with an American accent.

Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, Scott continued to appear in film, on television and on stage. In 1981, he starred with Tom Cruise, Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn in the drama Taps. He also appeared in television remakes of the films 12 Angry Men (1997) and Inherit the Wind (1999).

In the mid-1990s, however, the actor’s health began to fade. In April 1996, he walked off the stage in the middle of a Broadway performance of Inherit the Wind. One month later, news reports revealed that Scott had been suffering from an aortic aneurysm. Three years later, on September 22, 1999, the actor died in Westlake Village, California, when the aneurysm ruptured. He was reportedly working on his memoirs at the time.

George C. Scott left behind his wife, actress Trish Van Devere, whom he starred alongside in the 1980 film The Changeling, as well as five children. He had daughter Victoria with his first wife, Carolyn Hughes; son Matthew and daughter Devon Scott with his second wife, Patricia Reed; and sons Alexander and Campbell, an actor, from his marriage to Colleen Dewhurst.

TELEVISION
East Side/West Side Neil Brock (1963-64)
Mr. President President Samuel A. Tresch (1987-88)

FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
The Savage is Loose (1974)
Rage (22-Nov-1972)
The Andersonville Trial (17-May-1970)

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Inherit the Wind (29-May-1999)
Rocky Marciano (15-May-1999)
Gloria (22-Jan-1999) · Ruby
12 Angry Men (17-Aug-1997)
Titanic (17-Nov-1996)
Angus (15-Sep-1995) · Ivan
Tyson (29-Apr-1995)
The Whipping Boy (31-Jul-1994) · Blind George
Malice (29-Sep-1993)
Deadly Currents (27-Jun-1993)
Descending Angel (25-Nov-1990)
The Rescuers Down Under (16-Nov-1990) [VOICE]
The Exorcist III (17-Aug-1990) · Kinderman
The Ryan White Story (16-Jan-1989)
Pals (28-Feb-1987)
The Murders in the Rue Morgue (7-Dec-1986) · Auguste Dupin
The Last Days of Patton (14-Sep-1986)
The Indomitable Teddy Roosevelt (3-Jun-1986) · Narrator [VOICE]
Choices (17-Feb-1986)
A Christmas Carol (Nov-1984) · Ebenezer Scrooge
Firestarter (11-May-1984) · John Rainbird
China Rose (18-Oct-1983)
Oliver Twist (23-Mar-1982)
Taps (11-Dec-1981)
The Formula (19-Dec-1980)
The Changeling (28-Mar-1980)
Hardcore (9-Feb-1979)
Movie Movie (Nov-1978)
Crossed Swords (17-Mar-1978)
Islands in the Stream (8-Aug-1977)
Beauty and the Beast (3-Dec-1976) · The Beast
The Hindenburg (25-Dec-1975) · Ritter
Fear on Trial (2-Oct-1975)
Bank Shot (Jul-1974) · Walter Upjohn Ballantine
The Savage is Loose (1974)
The Day of the Dolphin (19-Dec-1973) · Jake Terrell
Oklahoma Crude (3-Jul-1973)
Rage (22-Nov-1972)
The New Centurions (3-Aug-1972)
The Hospital (14-Dec-1971) · Dr. Bock
The Last Run (7-Jul-1971) · Harry Garmes
They Might Be Giants (9-Jun-1971)
Jane Eyre (24-Mar-1971)
Patton (4-Feb-1970) · Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.
This Savage Land (1-Jul-1969) · Jud Barker
Petulia (10-Jun-1968) · Archie
The Flim-Flam Man (22-Aug-1967)
Not With My Wife, You Don’t! (2-Nov-1966) · Tank Martin
The Bible (28-Sep-1966)
The Yellow Rolls-Royce (31-Dec-1964) · Paolo Maltese
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (29-Jan-1964) · Gen. Buck Turgidson
The List of Adrian Messenger (29-May-1963)
The Power and the Glory (29-Oct-1961)
The Hustler (25-Sep-1961) · Bert Gordon
Anatomy of a Murder (1-Jul-1959) · Claude Dancer
The Hanging Tree (11-Feb-1959) · Dr. George Grubb