Classic TV Birthdays: March 15

Jimmy Baio leads off today’s classic TV birthday list. The 52 year old was a regular on Soap and also happens to be the cousin of actor Scott Baio (Happy Days).

Also celebrating a birthday: Craig Wasson (guested on The Bob Newhart Show, Hart to Hart, Lou Grant, Phyllis) is 60, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart turns 79 and Judd Hirsch (Delvecchio, Taxi) is 79.

March 15 was also the birthday of a number of since departed classic TV favorites. Macdonald Carey guested on Burke’s Law, Police Story and Thriller. He was a longtime cast member of the daytime soap Days of Our Lives and his voice is still heard in the show’s opening: like sands through the hourglass… Frank Coghlan Jr. was a child film actor who later appeared on The Beverly Hillbillies and Shazam! Joe E. Ross (ooh! ooh!) is remembered for his roles on Car 54 Where Are You?, Hong Kong Phooey and The Phil Silvers Show.

Other born this day: Nick Stewart (Amos and Andy) and Lawrence Tierney. Tierney appeared in a number of movies (Dillinger, Reservoir Dogs) and classic TV shows (Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Naked City, Peter Gunn). He also had a memorable role on an early episode of Seinfeld, playing Elaine’s father.

This was also the day we said farewell to some classic TV friends. Gail Davis starred in the early western series Annie Oakley. Ron Silver guested on McMillan & Wife and The Rockford Files. He was a regular on Rhoda and later The West Wing. Ann Sothern starred in The Ann Sothern Show and Private Secretary. She also provided the voice of My Mother The Car, a cult classic sitcom about a woman who is reincarnated as her son(Jerry Van Dyke)’s vehicle!