Today’s birthday list starts off with Morgan Fairchild, who turns 64. The lovely blonde actress made appearances on such 1970s classics as The Bob Newhart Show, Kojak and Mork & Mindy. She was later in the cast of primetime soaps Falcon Crest, Flamingo Road and Paper Dolls.
Others celebrating birthdays today: Pamela Franklin (guested on Green Acres, Medical Center, The Six Million Dollar Man) turns 64, Stephen McHattie (appeared on Adam-12, Centennial, Kojak…later played Elaine’s controlling psychiatrist-boyfriend on Seinfeld) is 67, and Aussie actress-singer Trisha Noble is 70. Noble was a regular on the 1976 series Executive Suite and later appeared on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and The Love Boat. One of her more memorable guest roles was on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, where she played a reporter trying to seduce Ted Baxter.
Also on the birthday list is 71-year-old Blythe Danner, who starred in 1973’s Adams Rib sitcom and guested on Columbo and M*A*S*H. Danner is the widow of producer Bruce Paltrow (St. Elsewhere, The White Shadow) and the mom of actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Bridget Hanley (Harper Valley PTA, Here Come The Brides) is 73 and Shelley Berman (Bewitched, Emergency!, The Twilight Zone and recently Curb Your Enthusiasm) is 88.
Classic TV stars born February 3 but no longer with us: singer-actor Russell Arms (Perry Mason, Your Hit Parade), Joey Bishop (The Joey Bishop Show, guest on The Tonight Show and numerous game shows), Victor Buono (King Tut on Batman, The Odd Couple, The Wild Wild West), Peggy Ann Garner (child star who later guested on Batman, Lou Grant, The Untouchables) and Robert Earl Jones. The father of actor James Earl Jones guest starred on shows like The Defenders, Kojak and Lou Grant. The elder Jones also worked on the big screen, appearing in The Sting and Trading Places.
John Fiedler was also born this day. You may not recognize the name, but his bespectacled face and distinctive voice are easily recognizable. He guested on TV classics The Odd Couple and The Twilight Zone, voiced characters in Disney movies and had recurring roles on The Bob Newhart Show (Mr. Peterson) and Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
A number of classic TV favorites passed away February 3, including producer Harry Ackerman (Bewitched, Dennis The Menace, Father Knows Best), actor-director John Cassavetes (starred in 1959 series Johnny Staccato, guested on Burke’s Law, Columbo, The Virginian…also starred in the movie The Dirty Dozen), Nancy Kulp (The Beverly Hillbillies, Sanford & Son), Al Lewis (Car 54 Where Are You?, The Munsters), Audrey Meadows (The Honeymooners) and Anna May Wong (guested on The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp).
Ben Gazzara (pictured) also died on this day. The film, stage and TV actor-director starred in the 1960s dramas Arrest and Trial and Run For Your Life, later appearing in the 1974 TV miniseries QB VII. Gazzara also appeared in three 1970s era movies that were directed by the aforementioned John Cassavetes. Ironically, both men died on February 3.