Classic TV Birthdays: March 28

Happy Birthday to Ken Howard (70) and Conchata Ferrell (71). Howard starred in the classic 1978-81 drama The White Shadow. Ferrell guested on BJ and the Bear, Good Times, Maude and The Rockford Files. She was also a regular in Norman Lear’s short-lived 1975 sitcom Hot L Baltimore.

March 28 was also the birthday of some classic TV faces no longer with us. Screenwriter Edward Anhalt worked on several 1970s TV movies and the ’74 miniseries QBVII. Freddie Bartholomew was a child film star in the 1930s (David Copperfield) who went on to work as a producer/director on several TV daytime dramas. Jimmie Dodd was the emcee of The Mickey Mouse Club and wrote the show’s iconic theme song. Marlin Perkins was the longtime host of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

Today was the day we said goodbye to a number of classic TV contributors. Film and TV actor Richard Arlen guested on Bat Masterson, The Lucy Show and Perry Mason. Stage and film star Virginia Gilmore appeared on The Defenders, Studio One and Suspense. Actress-dancer June Havoc guested on McMillan & Wife, The Outer Limits and The Untouchables. British actor Patrick Troughton was the second Doctor Who. Character actor Robert J. Wilke had roles on such classic westerns as Bonanza, Daniel Boone, Gunsmoke and Rawhide.

Classic TV Birthdays: March 27

A pair of classic TV contributors are celebrating a birthday today. 74 year old actor-playwright Austin Pendleton guested on Good Times and Love American Style. 78 year old Jerry Lacy was in the cast of a number of daytime soaps, including As The World Turns, Dark Shadows, Love of Life and The Secret Storm. He’s married to another former soap performer, Julia Duffy, best known for her role as Stephanie the maid on Newhart.

March 27 was also the birthday of many familiar classic TV faces since passed on. Richard Denning worked in film, radio and television. He played Lucille Ball’s spouse on My Favorite Husband, the radio predecessor to I Love Lucy. Denning later starred on TV’s Michael Shayne and Mr. & Mrs. North, but many classic TV fans remember him best as the Governor on Hawaii Five-0. Announcer Fred Foy is well-known for his opening introduction of The Lone Ranger. David Janssen starred in a number of classic shows, including The Fugitive, Harry-O and Richard Diamond Private Detective.

Others born this day include Anne Ramsey (guested on Ironside and Wonder Woman, best known for her movie roles in The Goonies and Throw Momma from the Train), film legend Gloria Swanson (starred in Sunset Boulevard, hosted an early TV talk show and guested on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Ben Casey) and character actress Mary Treen. Treen’s familiar face appeared on such classic TV shows as The Donna Reed Show, Gomer Pyle USMC, Laverne & Shirley and The Andy Griffith Show. She had a memorable guest appearance on The Brady Bunch (Kay the maid) and in the classic holiday movie It’s A Wonderful Life (Cousin Tilly).

Today was also the day we said farewell to a number of classic TV friends. Producer-director Dan Curtis worked on daytime gothic soap Dark Shadows. Farley Granger acted in movies (Rope, Strangers on a Train) and television (As The World Turns, Get Smart, Ironside, The Love Boat). Diana Hyland guested on Happy Days Naked City and Twilight Zone. Her final role was as the original mom on 1970s family drama Eight Is Enough. Sadly, she passed away just 4 episodes into the series long run.

Also passing March 27: game show host Art James (Blank Check, The Magnificent Marble Machine, The Who What or Where Game), longtime NBC News correspondent Irving R. Levine, Aldo Ray (guested on Ben Casey, Bonanza, Naked City) and Warren Stevens (Bonanza, M*A*S*H, Star Trek, Twilight Zone).

Today was also the day we lost a true TV pioneer. Milton Berle was known by many early TV viewers as Mr. Television and Uncle Miltie. The vaudeville and radio veteran was a dominant force in early television, later appearing in movies (It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World) and guesting on 1960s and 70s TV classics like Batman, I Dream of Jeannie, Love American Style and The Love Boat.

Classic TV Birthdays: March 26

Canadian-American actor-comedian Martin Short is first up on today’s lengthy birthday list. The 64 year old was in the cast of 1979 sitcom The Associates, then later a regular on Second City Television and Saturday Night Live.

Also celebrating birthdays today: Vicki Lawrence (The Carol Burnett Show) and Ernest Thomas (What’s Happening!!) are 65, Johnny Crawford (The Rifleman) turns 68, film and TV actor James Caan (guested on Ben Casey, The F.B.I., Route 66) is 74 and Alan Arkin turns 80. Arkin has appeared in movies (Catch-22, The Russians Are Coming, Wait Until Dark) and on television (Carol Burnett & Company, Sesame Street, What’s My Line?) He has 3 sons who are also actors, including Adam Arkin (Busting Loose).

Two more March 26 birthdays: Leonard Nimoy (83) and Bob Elliott (91). Nimoy is best known as Spock in the original Star Trek, later joining the cast of Mission: Impossible and hosting the syndicated 1970s sci-fi series In Search Of…Elliott is 1/2 of the comedy duo of Bob and Ray. He’s also the father of comedian Chris Elliott (Get A Life, Late Night with David Letterman).

Today was also the birthday of some classic TV favorites no longer with us. Sterling Hayden worked in film (Dr. Strangelove, The Godfather) and classic TV (Banacek, Playhouse 90, Wagon Train). Animator T. Hee’s work was used in the opening credits of early sitcom The Life of Riley. Harry Kalas was the longtime voice of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. Strother Martin had memorable movie roles (Cool Hand Luke) and also guested on TV shows like Baretta, Bonanza, Gunsmoke and Perry Mason. Character actor Ed Peck appeared on TV from the 1950s to the 1970s, including roles on Barney Miller, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Happy Days and The Munsters.

We also said goodbye to some familiar faces on March 26. Stage, film and TV actress Jan Sterling appeared on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Guiding Light, Little House on the Prairie and Mannix. Garry Walberg had roles in two Jack Klugman series, playing poker buddy Speed on The Odd Couple and Lieutenant Monahan on Quincy M.E.

Classic TV Birthdays: March 25

Hey, Hey, Hey! Happy 54th birthday to actor Haywood Nelson, best known for his role as Dwayne on the 1970s sitcom What’s Happening!! and the 1980s sequel What’s Happening Now!!

More familiar faces celebrating a birthday today: Bonnie Bedelia (a regular on classic soap Love of Life and 1974 drama The New Land, played Bruce Willis character’s wife in the Die Hard movies) is 66, Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky & Hutch) turns 71, screenwriter D.C. Fontana (Star Trek, The Streets of San Francisco, The Tall Man, The Waltons) is 75 and longtime Today show film critic Gene Shalit is 82.

March 25 was also the birthday of a long list of classic TV favorites no longer with us. Singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton guested on Bonanza, I Dream of Jeannie, McCloud and WKRP in Cincinnati. Film actor Ed Begley Sr. also appeared on TV, including Burke’s Law, Gunsmoke, My Three Sons and The Name of the Game. His son, Ed Jr., was a regular on long-running medical drama St. Elsewhere. Character actor Roberts Blossom appeared in movies (Close Encounters of The Third Kind, Home Alone) and television (The Defenders, Naked City).

Also born this day: legendary ABC sports personality Howard Cosell (best known for his work on boxing and Monday Night Football), Scottish-American actor Andy Clyde (Lassie, The Real McCoys), film and TV actress Nancy Kelly (guested on Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Medical Center, Thriller) and British actor Patrick Troughton. He was the second actor to play Doctor Who.

This was also the last day for some classic TV friends. Producer Paul Henning created The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction. Screenwriter-producer Abby Mann created 1970s cop drama Kojak. Singer-songwriter Buck Owens was the co-host of Hee Haw. Helen Martin appeared on Good Times and That’s My Mama, later landing her biggest role on the Marla Gibbs sitcom 227.

Nancy Walker also died on March 25. She had roles on Family Affair, The Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda, later starring in a pair of short-lived sitcoms of her own: The Nancy Walker Show (1976) and Blansky’s Beauties (1977). Walker also served as Rosie, the longtime spokeswoman for Bounty paper towels.

Classic TV Birthdays: March 24

The youngest member of a legendary acting family is celebrating a birthday. Robert Carradine (son of John, brother of Keith) turns 60 today. He guested on Bonanza and Kung Fu and co-starred in a 1974 western series called The Cowboys. He is perhaps best known for his role in the Revenge of the Nerds movies.

Also on today’s birthday list: Donna Pescow (Angie, One Life to Live) is 60, fashion designer Bob Mackie (The Carol Burnett Show) turns 74 and William Smith is 81. Smith appeared on numerous classic shows of the 1960s and 70s, co-starring in the western series Laredo. He also played Kimo in the final season of Hawaii Five-0.

March 24 was the birthday of many classic TV favorites no longer with us. Animator Joseph Barbera was co-founder of Hanna-Barbera, creators of The Flintstones, Scooby Doo and Yogi Bear. Richard Conte appeared in movies (Call Northside 777, The Godfather) and on television (77 Sunset Strip, The Donna Reed Show, The Name of the Game). Veteran character actor Norman Fell is remembered as Mr. Roper on Three’s Company and spinoff The Ropers. Murray Hamilton had roles in films (The Graduate, Jaws) and television (BJ & The Bear, Cannon, The F.B.I., The Untouchables). Connie Hines played Wilbur’s wife Carol on Mister Ed. Disney animator Ub Iwerks was co-creator of Mickey Mouse.

Others born this day: Steve McQueen and Gene Nelson. McQueen starred in the classic TV western Wanted: Dead or Alive before becoming a major film star. Nelson was an actor (77 Sunset Strip, Gunsmoke, The Streets of San Francisco) and director (The Donna Reed Show, I Dream of Jeannie, Mod Squad, The Rookies).

We also said goodbye to a number of classic TV friends this day. Robert Culp starred in Trackdown and I Spy. Peter Duryea guested on Combat!, Dragnet and The Outer Limits, also appearing in the original pilot for Star Trek. Ray Goulding was 1/2 of the comedy duo of Bob and Ray. Sam Jaffe co-starred in classic medical drama Ben Casey. Veteran film actor Richard Widmark (The Alamo, Judgment at Nuremberg) starred in the 1972 mystery series Madigan.

Classic TV Birthdays: March 23

Character actress Barbara Rhoades leads off today’s birthday list. The redheaded Rhoades (67) was a familiar face on 1960s and 70s TV, guesting on such classics as It Takes A Thief, Mannix, McMillan & Wife, Mod Squad, The Odd Couple and Sanford & Son. She also co-starred in the 1977 Adam Arkin sitcom Busting Loose.

Others celebrating birthdays: Mark Rydell (86) and Marty Allen (92). Rydell has acted in such classics as The Phil Silvers Show and daytime soaps As The World Turns and The Edge of Night. He has also directed movies (The Cowboys, On Golden Pond) and television programs (Ben Casey, Gunsmoke). Actor-comedian Allen has guested on The Big Valley, Love American Style and Night Gallery, along with numerous talk, variety and game shows (The Hollywood Squares, What’s My Line?)

March 23 was also the birthday of since passed Kenneth Tobey. The stage, film and TV actor appeared on TV from the 1950s to the 90s, guesting on such shows as Adam-12, Barnaby Jones, Emergency!, Gunsmoke, I Spy, Perry Mason and The Rockford Files.

Today was the day we bade farewell to a pair of big screen talents who also graced the small screen. Peter Lorre (Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon) guested on 77 Sunset Strip, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Playhouse 90 and Route 66. Elizabeth Taylor appeared as herself on a number of classic shows, including The David Frost Show, Dinah!, Here’s Lucy and What’s My Line?

Classic TV Birthdays: March 22

Singer-actress Stephanie Mills is first up on today’s birthday list. The 57 year old Broadway star and singer (best known for her 1980 hit ‘Never Knew Love Like This Before’) appeared on a number of 1970s series including Captain Kangaroo, The Mike Douglas Show and Musical Chairs.

Others celebrating birthdays today: NBC sportscaster Bob Costas (he worked NFL games for CBS in the 70s) is 62, William Shatner (Star Trek) turns 83 and Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson is 84.

Veteran character actor M. Emmet Walsh turns 79 today. He guested on such classics as All in the Family, Baretta, Bonanza, Ironside and Starsky & Hutch. Walsh was a regular on James Garner’s 1971 western Nichols and the 1972 sitcom The Sandy Duncan Show. He also had a memorable role in the Steve Martin movie The Jerk (he hates these cans!)

There is a long list of classic TV favorites born March 22 but longer with us. Actor James Brown (no relation to the singer) appeared in The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Virginia Grey guested on Ironside, Love American Style, Marcus Welby M.D. and Wagon Train. Werner Klemperer starred in Hogan’s Heroes. Ross Martin played master-of-disguise Artemis Gordon on The Wild Wild West. English actor Larry Martyn was a regular on classic Britcom Are You Being Served?

Also born this day: western author Louis L’Amour (his stories were used on classic TV westerns including Hondo, Maverick, Sugarfoot), Karl Malden (The Streets of San Francisco), Chico Marx (the oldest Marx Brother), longtime NBC announcer Bill Wendell (The Ernie Kovacs Show, Late Night with David Letterman, various game shows) and Austrian-American actor Joseph Schildkraut. The latter appeared in movies (The Diary of Anne Frank) and on television (77 Sunset Strip, Twilight Zone, The Untouchables).

March 22 was also the day we said goodbye to some classic TV friends. Olive Deering was a film and stage actress who guested on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Ben Casey and The Outer Limits. Animator Walter Lantz was the creator of Woody Woodpecker. Fellow animator William Hanna teamed up with partner Joseph Barbera to create such classic cartoons as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby Doo and Yogi Bear.

Classic TV Birthdays: March 21

Veteran daytime soap actress Kathleen Widdoes turns 75 today. She was in the cast of Another World, Ryan’s Hope and Young Doctor Malone. Widdoes guested on such primetime shows as The Defenders, Here Come The Brides and Kojak, but is best-known for her longtime role on another daytime soap: As The World Turns.

March 21 was also the birthday of some since passed classic TV favorites. Philip Abbott played Assistant Director Arthur Ward on The F.B.I. James Coco starred in a pair of short-lived sitcoms: Calucci’s Apartment (1973) and The Dumplings (1976). Al Freeman Jr. was a regular on One Life to Live and the 1975 sitcom Hot L Baltimore. Canadian-born actor Jonathan Hale guested on The Adventures of Superman, The Cisco Kid and Our Miss Brooks.

Also born this day was character actor Logan Ramsey. He worked in television from the 1940s to the 1990s, appearing in such classics as Mannix, Mission: Impossible, Quincy M.E., The Rookies and Route 66. Ramsey was also in the cast of the 1975 jailhouse sitcom On The Rocks.

Today was also the day a number of classic TV friends died. Macdonald Carey was a longtime cast member of the daytime soap Days of Our Lives. Canadian John Ireland appeared on such classics as Gunsmoke, Little House on the Prairie, Quincy M.E., Rawhide and Thriller. Veteran character actor Barney Martin is perhaps best remembered as Jerry Seinfeld’s father Morty on Seinfeld. Robert Preston worked in movies (The Music Man, How The West Was Won) and television (Climax, The Chisholms, Playhouse 90). British comedian Ernie Wise was 1/2 of the comedy duo of Morecambe & Wise.

Dack Rambo also passed away March 21. He guested on such shows as Fantasy Island, Gunsmoke and The Love Boat. Rambo co-starred in several series, including The Guns of Will Sonnett and 1974’s Dirty Sally. He later starred in a short-lived action series Sword of Justice (1978):

Classic TV Birthdays: March 20

Actor William Hurt is first up on today’s birthday list. The 64 year old guested on Kojak and went on to star in such feature films as Altered States, Body Heat and Broadcast News.

Others on the birthday list: John de Lancie (guested on Emergency! and McMillan & Wife, later had recurring roles on several Star Trek series) is 66, producer Paul Junger Witt (Benson, Golden Girls, Here Come The Brides, It’s A Living, Soap) turns 71, Hal Linden (Barney Miller) is 83 and comedy legend Carl Reiner is 92. Reiner was a regular on the groundbreaking 1950s variety series Your Show of Shows. He went on to create and co-star in The Dick Van Dyke Show. Carl’s son Rob is an actor-producer, best known for his role as Mike “Meathead” Stivic on All in the Family.

There’s a long list of classic TV favorites born March 20 but no longer with us. Jack Barry was a game show producer and host involved in the infamous Twenty One quiz show scandal back in the 1950s. He resurrected his career in the 1970s as host of Break the Bank and The Joker’s Wild. Ted Bessell is remembered for his role as Marlo Thomas’ boyfriend Donald on That Girl. Edgar Buchanan gave up a career as a dentist to be come an actor…we know him best as slow-movin’ Uncle Joe on Petticoat Junction, Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies.

More familiar faces born today include Wendell Corey (starred in 1957’s Harbor Command, guested on Perry Mason, The Untouchables and The Wild Wild West), Ray Goulding (half of the comedy team of Bob and Ray), veteran character actor Jack Kruschen (worked from the 1950s to 90s, including appearances on Barney Miller, Dragnet, Emergency!, The Rifleman), bandleader-actor Ozzie Nelson (The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet), country singer-actor Jerry Reed (appeared on Alice, Hee Haw, The Tonight Show) and Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers Neighborhood).

We said goodbye to some classic TV friends on March 20. Longtime NBC newsman Chet Huntley was co-anchor of The Huntley-Brinkley Report (now known as NBC Nightly News). Film actress Marilyn Maxwell (Champion, The Lemon Drop Kid) guested on 77 Sunset Strip, Burke’s Law and Here’s Lucy. English actor Brian Wilde is known for his role on long-running Britcom Last of the Summer Wine.

Classic TV Birthdays: March 19

Canadian born actor-writer-producer Burt Metcalfe starts off today’s birthday list. The 79 year old was co-star of a 1961 sitcom Father of the Bride. He later guested on 12 O’Clock High, Perry Mason and Twilight Zone, but is best known as a writer and producer of classic sitcom M*A*S*H.

Others celebrating a birthday today: Nance Malone (a regular on Guiding Light and Naked City, later an executive at 20th Century Fox) is 79, actress-singer Phyllis Newman (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Quincy M.E., Wild Wild West) turns 81 and Renee Taylor also turns 81. Taylor guested on The Defenders, The Love Boat and Mary Hartman Mary Hartman. Her biggest role came later, as the mother of Fran Drescher’s character The Nanny.

We have long list of classic TV friends born March 19 but since passed on. Child actress Peggy Ahern appeared in the Our Gang shorts. Tige Andrews starred in The Detectives and Mod Squad. Pamela Britton starred in a 1957 series version of Blondie, then played the nosy landlady on My Favorite Martian. British actor Eric Christmas guested on Bonanza, The F.B.I., Harry O, McCloud and The Virginian. He later portrayed Principal Carter in the Porkys movies.

Also born this day: Fred Clark, Gail Kobe and Jackie “Moms” Mabley. Character actor Clark appeared on The Addams Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Burke’s Law and I Dream of Jeannie. Kobe was an actress (Gunsmoke, Mannix, Perry Mason, Peyton Place, Twilight Zone) and producer (The Edge of Night, Guiding Light). Standup comedienne Mabley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and The Smother Brothers Comedy Hour.

March 19 was also the day we said goodbye to several classic TV contributors. Italian-American actor Cesare Danova was a regular on Garrison’s Gorillas (1967) and guested on shows from the late 1950s to early 90s (Daniel Boone, The Doris Day Show, The Lucy Show, The Rifleman). Edward Platt was The Chief on Get Smart. Author Edgar Rice Burroughs created the legendary character Tarzan.