Classic TV Birthdays: March 4

Canadian actress-writer Catherine O’Hara starts off today’s birthday list. The 60 year old is best known for her work with Second City Television (SCTV), a Canadian sketch comedy show that aired in syndication and later on NBC.

Also celebrating birthdays: Kay Lenz (guested on Gunsmoke, Ironside, McCloud…was the first wife of actor-singer David Cassidy) is 61, Ji-Tu Cumbuka (Daniel Boone, Ironside, Roots) turns 72, John Aprea (starred in short-lived 1975 sitcom The Montefuscos, later a regular on Matt Houston) is 73 and Paula Prentiss is 76. Prentiss co-starred in the 1967 sitcom He & She but is best known for her movie work, including The Stepford Wives.

March 4 was also the birthday of many classic TV favorites no longer with us. Edgar Barrier appeared on 77 Sunset Strip, Lux Video Theatre and Zorro. Wally Bruner hosted What’s My Line? and Wally’s Workshop. Actor-voice artist Thayer David was best known for his role on gothic soap Dark Shadows. Larry Keith was a regular on All My Children, Another World and the syndicated Norman Lear series The Baxters.

Others born this day include Disney animator Ward Kimball, singer-actress Barbara McNair (guested on Dr. Kildare, Hogan’s Heroes, Vega$) and Elaine Shore (appeared on Kojak and Love American Style, had a recurring role on early 1070s sitcom Arnie).

Today was also the day a number of classic TV stars said goodbye. Canadian actor-comedian John Candy was in the cast of SCTV and starred in such movies as Home Alone, Spaceballs and Uncle Buck. Del Close was an actor (guested on Get Smart and My Mother The Car) and acting teacher, whose students included John Belushi, John Candy, Bill Murray and Shelley Long. Stuntman Carey Lofton worked on such 70s classics as BJ & The Bear, Movin’ On and The Rockford Files.

Also passing this day: Nan Martin (guested on The FBI, The Fugitive and The Twilight Zone, later had a recurring role on The Drew Carey Show), singer-comedienne Minnie Pearl (Hee Haw), composer Leonard Rosenman (worked on Combat!, Garrison’s Gorillas, Marcus Welby M.D.) and Joan Taylor. Taylor played shopkeeper Milly Scott on The Rifleman and was married to Hawaii Five-0 creator Leonard Freeman.