On this day back in 1738, King George III was born. You know, the king we Yankees whooped? The crazy King? I don’t know much about him—there aren’t many kings who are worth studying. But I did see The Madness of King George. And I didn’t much like it. But I did like one line from the film. (In truth, I suspect it works better as a play.) When asked who is to say what is normal in a king, Dr. Willis replies, “Who can flourish on such a daily diet of compliance?” I think about that line a whole lot. Here is America we have all kinds of people who are tortured by their celebrity and wealth. I often think that Howie Mandel, for instance, is only screwed up because he can be. If he had my life, he would not have the luxury of his mental illness. But beyond that, it is not good to be surrounded by sycophants. I have had the experience in a small way, and I find it most disquieting. And bad for me. The only thing that stops me from being a total asshole is the fact that I have wonderful friends who tell me very clearly when I am tending in that direction. So I suspect all kings are crazy, but I will allow that most of them manage to stop themselves from rubbing themselves against the lady-in-waiting. Anyway, the prick still managed to live to the age of 81. It’s good to be king.
Actor Dennis Weaver was born in 1924. I most know him from a remarkable made-for-television film Duel. The film is most associated with its director Steven Spielberg. But I think the direction is completely standard—what any director would have done. What’s great about it is its script, which, like so much of everything worth note in the 60s and 70s was written by Richard Matheson. Of course, as far as I know, Matheson never wrote about a cop on a horse.
Freddy Fender was born in 1937. He was a great songwriter, as you can tell from this:
We all like to think that we are that romantic. We aren’t.
Actor Bruce Dern is 77 today. Author Robert Fulghum is 76. I know: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. But I remember driving out to the river with a friend reading the book and finding it quite amusing. Admittedly, I love it when people read out loud. And I laugh rather easily. Oh, leave me alone! The actors Russell Brand and Angelina Jolie are both 38 today.
But reading out loud and laughing easily aren’t my only weaknesses. As regular readers know, I develop crushes rather easily. And they definitely affect how I judge the contestants in the birthday posts. Still, I don’t think that’s what’s going on today, which belongs to the great actor Rosalind Russell who was born on this day in 1907. That’s because she starred in one of my all time favorite movies His Girl Friday. But even without that, she’d probably win for being Auntie Mame. However, she will always be Hildy Johnson to me:
Happy birthday Rosalind Russell!