Cabaret – Required Viewing

cabaret

The Wiki:

Cabaret is a 1972 musical film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey.[3] The film is set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the ominous presence of the growing Nazi Party.

The film is loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical Cabaret by Kander and Ebb, which was adapted from the 1945 book The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood and the 1951 play I Am a Camera which was derived from the same book. Only a few numbers from the stage score were used for the film; Kander and Ebb wrote new ones to replace those that were discarded. In the traditional manner of musical theater, every significant character in the stage version of Cabaret sings to express emotion and advance the plot; but in the film version, the musical numbers are entirely diegetic, and just two of the film’s major characters (The Emcee and Sally) sing songs.

 

Happy Birthday Cole Porter

Today is the 123rd birthday of the man who wrote the songs “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” and “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love”: Cole Porter, born in Peru, Indiana (1891). Most of his great songs were written within a 10-year period: between his first popular Broadway musical, Paris (1928)—his first musicals had been complete flops—and a terrible riding accident in 1937.

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NAME: Cole Porter
OCCUPATION: Songwriter
BIRTH DATE: June 09, 1891
DEATH DATE: October 15, 1964
EDUCATION: Yale University, Harvard University
PLACE OF BIRTH: Peru, Indiana
PLACE OF DEATH: Santa Monica, California

Best Known For:  Cole Porter was a U.S. composer and lyricist who created songs like “I Get a Kick Out of You” and his own series of Broadway musicals including Anything Goes.

Cole Porter was born today in Peru, Indiana. He was a composer and lyricist, and he wrote a string of hit songs: “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Night and Day,” “You’re the Top,” “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love,” “I’ve got You Under My Skin,” and “Let’s Misbehave.” All of these songs were written within a 10-year period: between his first popular Broadway musical, Paris (1928) — his first musicals had been complete flops — and a terrible riding accident in 1937. Porter was at a party at the New York home of the Countess Edith di Zoppola when his horse rolled and crushed his legs. He claimed that he didn’t realize how badly he was hurt and that while someone ran for help he finished up the lyrics to “You Never Know.” But he was in fact seriously injured — the doctors insisted that his right leg be amputated, maybe his left as well. Porter refused. He preferred to be in intense pain than be missing a leg.

He lived with the pain for more than 20 years, and he continued to write songs, but never at the same rate of success as he had before his accident. In 1958, after 34 operations on his leg, he finally agreed to have it amputated. The playwright Noel Coward went to visit Porter in the hospital, and he said: “He has at last had his leg amputated and the lines of ceaseless pain have been wiped from his face. He is a bit fretful about having to manage his new leg but he will get over that. I think if I had had to endure all those years of agony I would have had the damned thing off at the beginning, but it is a cruel decision to have to make and involves much sex vanity and many fears of being repellent. However, it is now done at last and I am convinced that his whole life will cheer up and that his work will profit accordingly.” But Porter never recovered. He told friends, “I am only half a man now.” And never wrote another song. He died in 1964 at the age of 73.

The critic Alfred Kazin said of Porter: “The wit of his words depended on his ability to raise the audience immediately to his own level — and keep it there. The instant happiness that Porter gave his audience is the kind that becomes history.”

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Happy Birthday Rosalind Russell

Today is the 107th birthday of Rosalind Russell.  Suggesting any one of her films to watch is in no way discounting any of the others. I adore The Women, His Girl Friday, Gypsy, and Mrs. Pollifax – Spy, just for starters.  You may have your own, it is hard to not have at least a couple.

NAME: Rosalind Russell
OCCUPATION: Theater Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress
BIRTH DATE: June 4, 1907
DEATH DATE: November 28, 1976
EDUCATION: American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Marymount College
PLACE OF BIRTH: Waterbury, Connecticut
PLACE OF DEATH: Beverly Hills, California

BEST KNOWN FOR: Theater and film actress Rosalind Russell costarred in His Girl Friday with Cary Grant, and played Auntie Mame in both the Broadway play and the movie version.

Rosalind Russell was born on June 4, 1907, in Waterbury, Connecticut. She made her on-screen debut in 1934’s Evelyn Prentice. In 1940 she starred in His Girl Friday. When her film career slowed in the 1950s, she moved to Broadway plays, including Auntie Mame, a role she reprised for the movie. Eventually, arthritis stopped her from performing. She died on November 28, 1976, in Beverly Hills, California.

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Happy Birthday Ellen Barkin

Today is the 60th birthday of ellen Barkin.  If you aren’t following @ellenbarkin, you are missing out on everything.  You will fall in love with her (if you haven’t already) and maybe even find your own voice.  There is no denying that she is a beautiful and talented woman, throw in brains, a wicked sense of humor and a foul mouth (you can take the girl out of the Bronx…).

Ellen Rona Barkin Born: April 16, 1954  The Bronx, New York, United States

She was born in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, New York,[1] the daughter of Evelyn (née Rozin), a hospital administrator who worked at Jamaica Hospital, and Sol Barkin, a chemical salesman. Barkin was raised in a lower-middle-class Jewish family, a descendant of immigrants from Siberia and the Russia-Poland border.

Barkin received her high school diploma at Manhattan’s High School of Performing Arts. She then attended Hunter College and double majored in history and drama. At one point, Barkin wanted to teach ancient history. She continued her acting education at New York City’s Actors Studio. According to Time, she studied acting for ten years before landing her first audition.

Her break-out role was in the comedy-drama film Diner (1982), written and directed by Barry Levinson,[1] for which she received favorable reviews. Barkin was cast in the drama film Tender Mercies (1983) after impressing its director Bruce Beresford during an audition in New York City, despite her inexperience and his lack of familiarity with her work. Robert Duvall, who played the lead role in Tender Mercies, said of Barkin, “She brings a real credibility for that part, plus she was young and attractive and had a certain sense of edge, a danger for her that was good for that part.” She also appeared in the 1983 rock & roll drama film Eddie and the Cruisers.

Barkin would later appear in several successful films, including the thrillers The Big Easy (1987), opposite Dennis Quaid and Sea of Love (1989), opposite Al Pacino. Barkin also appeared in Off-Broadway plays, including a role as one of the roommates in Extremities, about an intended rape victim played by Susan Sarandon who turns the tables on her attacker. About her performance in the play Eden Court, The New York Times critic Frank Rich summarized: “If it were really possible to give the kiss of life to a corpse, the actress Ellen Barkin would be the one to do it. In Eden Court, the moribund play that has brought her to the Promenade Theater, Miss Barkin is tantalizingly alive from her bouncing blond ponytail to the long legs that gyrate wildly and involuntarily every time an Elvis Presley record plays on stage”.

Barkin has also done work in made-for-television films like Before Women Had Wings (1997) and The White River Kid (1999). Currently, she voices the start of each Theme Time Radio Hour with host Bob Dylan on XM’s “Deep Tracks”. In 2005, Barkin set up a film production company with her brother, George, along with her husband at the time and billionaire investor, Ronald Perelman. She also starred in the movie ‘This boy’s life’.

Barkin appeared in her Broadway debut as Dr. Brookner in The Normal Heart, for which she won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

Most recently, Barkin has received acclaim for her performance in Another Happy Day. IndieWire have cited her turn as one the best female performances of the year and have shortlisted her as an Academy Award for Best Actress contender.

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Nora Ephron – Self Help

This list kills me, reminds me. focuses me, shuts me up, angers me, softens me, and inspires me to grab life and wring every last drop out of it.  It forces me to look at the time I have wasted and vow to never waste any more.  I love Nora Ephron for so many reasons, but this list is what I think about most when I think about her:

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The great Nora Ephron passed away at the age of 71, following a battle with leukemia that began in 2006. She had many strings to her bow, but most notably wrote the screenplays to some of the best loved films ever to grace the big screen, many of which she also directed and produced. She wrote the following lists — of things she won’t and will miss — in 2010 and used them to close her book, I Remember Nothing.

(Source: “I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections” by Nora Ephron)

What I Won’t Miss

  • Dry skin
  • Bad dinners like the one we went to last night
  • E-mail
  • Technology in general
  • My closet
  • Washing my hair
  • Bras
  • Funerals
  • Illness everywhere
  • Polls that show that 32 percent of the American people believe in creationism
  • Polls
  • Fox TV
  • The collapse of the dollar
  • Bar mitzvahs
  • Mammograms
  • Dead flowers
  • The sound of the vacuum cleaner
  • Bills
  • E-mail. I know I already said it, but I want to emphasize it.
  • Small print
  • Panels on Women in Film
  • Taking off makeup every night

What I Will Miss

  • My kids
  • Nick
  • Spring
  • Fall
  • Waffles
  • The concept of waffles
  • Bacon
  • A walk in the park
  • The idea of a walk in the park
  • The park
  • Shakespeare in the Park
  • The bed
  • Reading in bed
  • Fireworks
  • Laughs
  • The view out the window
  • Twinkle lights
  • Butter
  • Dinner at home just the two of us
  • Dinner with friends
  • Dinner with friends in cities where none of us lives
  • Paris
  • Next year in Istanbul
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • The Christmas tree
  • Thanksgiving dinner
  • One for the table
  • The dogwood
  • Taking a bath
  • Coming over the bridge to Manhattan
  • Pie

 

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Happy Birthday Elaine Stritch

Yesterday was the 89th birthday of the phenomenal Elaine Stritch.  Her career and life are inspirational in every way.

Name: Elaine Stritch
Born: February 2, 1925
Birth Place:  Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation: Actress/Vocalist

Elaine Stritch (born February 2, 1925) is an American actress and singer, best known for her work on Broadway. She has appeared in numerous stage plays and musicals, feature films, and many television programs.

She made her professional stage debut in 1944 and her Broadway debut in the comedy Loco in 1946. Notable Broadway credits include her Tony Award nominated roles in the original production of William Inge‘s 1955 play Bus StopNoël Coward‘s 1961 musical Sail AwayStephen Sondheim‘s 1970 musical Company, which includes her performance of the song “The Ladies Who Lunch“, the 1996 revival of the Edward Albee play A Delicate Balance and her 2001 Tony Award winning one-woman showElaine Stritch at Liberty.

In the 1970′s, she relocated to London, starring in several West End productions, including Tennessee Williams‘ Small Craft Warnings in 1973 and the Neil Simon play The Gingerbread Lady in 1974. On television, she starred with Donald Sinden in theITV sitcom Two’s Company, which ran from 1975 to 1979 and earned Stritch a BAFTA Award nomination.

She won an Emmy Award in 1993, for her guest role on Law & Order and another in 2004, for the television documentary of her one woman show. From 2007 to 2012, she had a recurring role as Jack Donaghy‘s mother Colleen on NBC‘s 30 Rock, a role that won her a third Emmy in 2008.

Stritch’s voice and vocal delivery are spoofed in the Forbidden Broadway songs “The Ladies Who Screech” and “Stritch,” parodies of “The Ladies Who Lunch” and “Zip”, songs she performed in the musicals Company and Pal Joey. In 2009, a parody by Bats Langley entitled “How the Stritch Stole Christmas” (loosely based on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”) appeared on YouTube. On The Big Gay Sketch Show, she was spoofed as a Wal-Mart greeter who’s still a theater gal at heart. (“I’m heeere. I’m still heeeerrre.” “Here’s to the ladies who shop… at Wal-Mart!“) This draws inspiration from footage of D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary film, Company: Original Cast Album, in which she says “I’m just screaming”, self-critiquing during recording “The Ladies Who Lunch”. The sketch also spoofs Elaine Stritch Live at Liberty in which she refers to her feat, as a young stage actress and understudy for Ethel Merman in Call Me Madam, where she had to check in with Merman at half hour to curtain in New York, then commute to Connecticut for the out of town tryout of Pal Joey, and on some days make the round trip twice when there was a matinee and evening performance of both shows. In a subsequent episode of The Big Gay Sketch Show, Stritch is spoofed as an airport security guard, who’s still “on” and isn’t able to tone down her over-the-top antics. In yet another episode, “Stritch” is promoting her self-titled perfume, “Stritchy” in dramatic fashion when she’s confronted by the real-life Elaine Stritch, who makes a cameo appearance.

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Happy Birthday Carol Channing

Today is the 93rd birthday of Seattle’s very own Carol Channing.  Do yourself a favor and watch the 1967 version of “Thoroughly Modern Milly” sometime, it is brilliant and Carol rips through every scene she has.

NAME: Carol Channing
OCCUPATION: Theater Actress
BIRTH DATE: January 31, 1921
PLACE OF BIRTH: Seattle, Washington

BEST KNOWN FOR: Carol Channing starred as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on Broadway in 1949. She received a Tony lifetime achievement award in 1995.

Born January 31, 1921 in Seattle, Washington. The daughter of a prominent newspaper editor who was very active in the Christian Science movement, Channing attended high school in San Francisco before enrolling at Bennington College in Vermont. She majored in drama and dance for one year before dropping out to try her luck as an actress in New York.

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Channing made her Broadway debut in 1941′s Never Take No for an Answer. With her megawatt wide-eyed grin and raspy voice, Channing made a name for herself in 1949 when she starred as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It was in this role that she immortalized the anthem Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. Though she lost the Lorelei Lee role to Marilyn Monroe in the 1952 film version, she remained active in nightclub and review appearances throughout the 1950s and early 1960s.

Her next Broadway hit did not arrive until 1963, when she landed the role of Dolly Gallegher Levi in the blockbuster musical Hello, Dolly!. She won a Tony Award for her performance, but again forfeited the on-screen role to a young Barbra Streisand. In 1966, Channing was awarded an Emmy for the 1966 TV special An Evening With Carol Channing, and received an Oscar nod for her supporting performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie in 1967.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Channing has lent her signature voice to animated films, including Shinbone Alley, Happily Ever After and Thumbelina. She has also supplied voices for the animated television series Where’s Waldo?, The Addams Family and The Magic School Bus. In 1995, Channing was honored at the Tony Awards with a lifetime achievement award.

Channing was married to Charles Lowe from 1956 until his death in 1999. She married her junior high school sweetheart, Harry Kullijian, at the age of 82 in 2003.

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Happy Birthday Tallulah Bankhead

Tomorrow is the 112th birthday of Tallulah Bankhead.  She was a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed broad who’s brilliance may very well have been in being Tallulah Bankhead.  She is what the world needed:  a smart, quick-witted shit-kicker that made us laugh uncomfortably at her brave observations and truths. 

 

NAME: Tallulah Brockman Bankhead
OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Theater Actress
BIRTH DATE: January 31, 1902
DEATH DATE: December 12, 1968
PLACE OF BIRTH: Hunstville, Alabama
PLACE OF DEATH: New York City, New York

BEST KNOWN FOR: Tullulah Bankhead was an American stage and film actress, popular from the 1920s through the 1950s.

Born to a prestigious family (her father became a prominent congressman), she made her Broadway debut in 1918 and achieved fame on the London stage in The Dancer (1923). Her vivid presence and throaty voice contributed to her singular performances in the hit plays The Little Foxes (1939), The Skin of Our Teeth (1942), and Private Lives (1946). She made films such as A Woman’s Law (1928) and Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat (1944) but remained primarily a stage performer. Her final stage appearance was in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (1964).

Personal Quotes:

“Say anything about me, darling, as long as it isn’t boring.”

“It’s the good girls that keep diaries. Bad girls never have the time.”

Tallulah Bankhead died in St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City of double pneumonia, complicated by emphysema and malnutrition, at 7:45 A.M. on December 12, 1968, aged 66. She was buried in Saint Paul’s Churchyard, Chestertown, Maryland. Her last coherent words reportedly were “Codeine… bourbon.”

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Tallulah Bankhead has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6141 Hollywood Blvd.

Rock star Suzi Quatro portrayed Bankhead in a musical named Tallulah Who? in 1991. The musical was based on a book by Willie Rushton. Quatro co-wrote the music with Shirlie Roden. The show ran from 14 February to 9 March at The Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, UK and received favourable reviews.

Valerie Harper starred as Bankhead in Looped, which originated at The Pasadena Playhouse. It opened on Broadway on March 14, 2010 at the Lyceum Theatre, and closed on April 11, 2010.

Other actresses to portray Bankhead include Eugenia Rawls (in her one-woman stage show “Tallulah, A Memory”), Kathleen Turner (in Sandra Ryan Heyward’s one-woman touring show “Tallulah” in the late 1990s), Carrie Nye (on television in The Scarlett O’Hara War) and Helen Gallagher in an off-Broadway musical, Tallulah!

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Happy Birthday Charles Nelson Reilly

Today is the 83rd birthday of Charles Nelson Reilly.  He studied with Uta Hagen, won three Tony Awards, wore some of the largest eyeglasses I have ever seen, and made millions laugh.

Charles nelson r

NAME: Charles Nelson Reilly
OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Theater Actor, Television Actor, Director, Television Personality
BIRTH DATE: January 13, 1931
DEATH DATE: May 25, 2007
EDUCATION: Hartt School of Music
PLACE OF BIRTH: South Bronx, New York
PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California

BEST KNOWN FOR: Charles Nelson Reilly was a Tony-Award winning actor also known for a variety of roles on TV programs, including The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and The Match Game.

Charles Nelson Reilly was born on January 13, 1931, in the South Bronx, New York. Known to many for his numerous television guest appearances on such shows as Match Game, Hollywood Squares and The Tonight Show, Reilly was also an accomplished stage actor and director. After spending some of his early years in the Bronx, he moved with his Swedish-born mother to Hartford, Connecticut, to live with some of her relatives. Reilly showed an interest in theater early on and worked as an usher in a local theater.

Around the age of 18, Reilly moved to New York City to study with Uta Hagen and her husband Herbert Berghof at their acting school, HB Studio. He landed his first Broadway stage role in the original production of the musical Bye, Bye Birdie (1960) with Dick Van Dyke, Chita Rivera and Paul Lynde. Taking on a more substantial part, Reilly appeared in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in 1961, earning a Tony Award for his performance as Bud Frump, the lackadaisical nephew of the company president and the nemesis of the lead character, J. Pierrepont Finch.

Continuing his success on the Broadway stage, Reilly received another Tony Award nomination for his work on the musical Hello, Dolly! in 1964. By the end of the 1960s, however, he made the move to California to co-star in the supernatural comedy television series The Ghost and Mrs. Muir with Hope Lange and Edward Mulhare. Reilly later appeared as a regular on Dean Martin Presents in 1970. The following season he appeared on the short-lived sitcom Arnie.

In 1973, Reilly began making appearances on such games shows as Match Game ’73 (which later became Match Game PM and then The Match Game) as well as lending his distinct, nasal-sounding voice to the animated adaptation of the E. B. White novel, Charlotte’s Web. Reilly found time for stage work, directing Julie Harris in the one-woman show about Emily Dickinson, The Belle of Amherst in 1976. Again working with Harris, he directed the 1979 comedy Break a Leg. But his talents as a director and serious actor were often lost in the shadow of his wacky, witty television persona. While his serious theatrical career may have suffered, Reilly remained a popular guest on game shows and talk shows, making more than 90 appearances on The Tonight Show alone.

Along with his television work, Reilly had roles in a few films as well as voiced some characters for animated films.

He appeared with friend Burt Reynolds in Cannonball Run II (1984) and voiced the dog Killer in All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989). A well-regarded acting teacher for years, he also returned to stage work. He starred in the 1980 play Charlotte and directed the original comedy The Nerd, starring Mark Hamill.

In the later part of his career, Reilly continued to work on television and the stage. He made numerous guest appearances on such programs as The X Files and The Drew Carey Show and lent his voice to several animated series, including Hercules and SpongeBob SquarePants. In 1997, he received his third Tony Award nomination for his direction of a revival of The Gin Game starring Julie Harris and Charles Durning. Reilly himself became the subject of one of his final productions – Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly. He began performing his autobiographical one-man show in 2000.

Charles Nelson Reilly died of complications from pneumonia on May 25, 2007, in Los Angeles, California. He was survived by his partner, Patrick Hughes. Around the time of his death, friend and director of Reilly’s one-man play, Paul Linke, told the Los Angeles Times, “The world is a slightly less funny place now. He made people laugh along the way, and that’s a legacy that lives on long after the game shows.”

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Happy Birthday Judy Holliday – Style Icon

The woman that starred in “Born Yesterday” was born today, some 92 years ago.  She died 48 years ago and I am so very glad that people are still talking about her.  (It should be no surprise that I fear that brilliant people will be forgotten, this  blog is mostly dedicated to remembering and learning from amazing people that have passed through this place before us.  It is named after my great-grandmother, people.)

There isn’t a bad movie that Judy Holliday doesn’t make better and honestly, I cannot think of one that she does not make great.  Watch “Adam’s Rib” and “It Should Happen To You” and she will steal your heart for the rest of your life. Watch some of the videos below.  I can never choose a favorite actor or movie, but she and hers are in the top ten somewhere.  Happy birthday Judy Holliday, a true style icon.  GLADYS GLOVER!

NAME: Judy Holliday
OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Theater Actress
BIRTH DATE: June 21, 1921
DEATH DATE: June 07, 1965
EDUCATION: Julia Richman High School
PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York
ORIGINALLY: Judith G. Tuvim

BEST KNOWN FOR: Actress Judy Holliday was know for playing dumb but good-natured characters. She won an Academy award for best actress in the film Born Yesterday.

Judy Holliday was an American actress.

Holliday began her career as part of a night-club act, before working in Broadway plays and musicals. Her success in the 1946 stage production of Born Yesterday as “Billie Dawn” led to her being cast in the 1950 film version, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. She appeared regularly in film during the 1950s. She was noted for her performance on Broadway in the musical Bells Are Ringing, winning a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical and reprising her role in the 1960 film.

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In 1952, Holliday was called to testify before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee to answer claims that she was associated with communism. Although not blacklisted from films, she was blacklisted from radio and television for almost three years.

Holliday died from breast cancer on June 7, 1965. She was survived by her young son, Jonathan Oppenheim, and by her ex-husband, clarinetist, conductor and educator, David Oppenheim, whom she had married in 1948 and divorced in 1958. She also had a long-term relationship with jazz musician Gerry Mulligan. Holliday was interred in the Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

Jonathan Oppenheim grew up to become a documentary film editor of note, editing Paris Is Burning, Children Underground, and Arguing the World.

Holliday has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Blvd.