Today in History: Marilyn Monroe born in 1926

Today in History: Marilyn Monroe born in 1926
Today is the birthday of American actress, model and sex-symbol, Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson). A supporting role in the film “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950) marked Monroe’s breakthrough in Hollywood. Films like “Niagara” (1953), “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953), and “Some Like It Hot” (1959) made her to one of the most successful movie stars of the 1950s.Monroe was found dead from a drug overdose on August 5, 1962 in her home in Brentwood, California. She was 36 years old.

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Today in History: The Premiere of the “Blue Angel”

Today in History: The Premiere of the “Blue Angel”

88 years ago today, the German movie Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) celebrated its premiere in Berlin and introduced the world to a new movie star, Marlene Dietrich. The opening was completely sold out, possibly helped by rumors that the movie may not have been allowed to be shown at all due to its disreputable plot: a disciplinarian professor falling for a cabaret singer.

Josef von Sternberg was brought in from Hollywood to be the film’s director; Emil Jannings, who had just won an Oscar, was hired to play the professor. But filling the role of cabaret singer Lola-Lola turned out to be more problematic. Sternberg wanted Metropolis star, Brigitte Helm but she was booked; Jannings preferred theater singer Lucie Mannheim but Sternberg considered her too serious. Author Heinrich Mann would have liked to have seen his girlfriend Trude Hesterberg in the role but she was not sufficiently well-known.

Enter Marlene Dietrich. Supposedly, Sternberg was immediately fascinated by this inexperienced woman from a local drama school. It seems that the young Dietrich embodied Lola-Lola, a seductress with the longest legs and the right smile. It is said that Dietrich did not even prepare a song for her first audition, telling Sternberg that she assumed she would not be seriously considered for the role. Her flippant behavior intrigued the director and because Dietrich was behaving like the film character Lola Lola, she was hired.

Nobody could have predicted the film’s enormous success. A new star was born and immediately following the triumphant premiere in Berlin, the blue angel and her director went off to pursue a career in Hollywood.

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Today in History: King Kong Premiere in 1933

Today in History: King Kong Premiere in 1933

The black and white movie marked a milestone in the history of film, especially due to Willis O’Brien’s stop-motion effects.

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Today in History: Audrey Hepburn died in 1993

Today in History: Audrey Hepburn died in 1993

25 years ago today, screen legend Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston) passed away. The British film and fashion icon was one of Hollywood’s largest movie stars during the 1950s and 1960s. Hepburn shot to stardom through her Oscar-winning lead role in Roman Holiday in 1953. She went on to star in a number of successful films, such as Sabrina (1954), The Nun’s Story (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Charade (1963), My Fair Lady (1964) and Wait Until Dark (1967). Hepburn devoted much of her later life to UNICEF. She died of appendiceal cancer at her home in Switzerland at the age of 63. Source: wikipedia.org

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Today in History: Charlie Chaplin dies in 1977

Today in History: Charlie Chaplin dies in 1977

40 years ago today, Charlie Chaplin passed away. Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona “The Tramp” and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood until a year before his death in 1977. Source Wikipedia.org.

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History: Casablanca premieres in New York City in 1942

History: Casablanca premieres in New York City in 1942

75 years ago today, the movie “Casablanca” had its world premiere screening at the Hollywood Theater in New York City. While it enjoyed unspectacular success after its initial run, the movie went on to win three Academy Awards and is today consistently ranked near the top of lists of the greatest films in history.

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Today is Columbus Day

Today is Columbus Day

In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail on a voyage to find a shorter trade route to Asia. He traveled west and accidentally landed in the Americas, spawning the era of European exploration in the New World. The first celebration of his discovery did not take place until October 12, 1792—exactly 300 years after his landing. In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, observed each year on the second Monday of October. Happy Columbus Day!