Five People Born on May 10

Chris Berman

Today is May 10, 2010 and the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 235 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 956 days till the end of the current cycle. Today is Root Canal Appreciation Day.  Dentists are probably the only ones that celebrate this event.  Here are five people born on this day.
 
 

JOHN WILKES BOOTH

This U.S. actor was the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. He was born into a family of famous actors, he achieved success in Shakespearean roles but resented the greater acclaim enjoyed by his brother, Edwin Booth.  As an interesting side note,  John Wilkes Booth once saved Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln, from falling onto the railroad tracks when he was accidentally pushed from a train platform while watching for his father’s train to return.  A fanatical believer in slavery and the Southern cause, he made plans with co-conspirators to abduct Lincoln; after several failed attempts, he vowed to destroy the president and his cabinet.  On April 14, 1865, he shot Lincoln during a performance at Ford’s Theatre.  Though he broke his leg jumping from the president’s box, he was able to escape on horseback to a Virginia farm.  Tracked down, he refused to surrender and was shot, either by a soldier or by himself.

 

 

DAVID O’ SELZNICK

Selznick was an American motion-picture producer who earned a reputation for commercially successful films of high artistic quality before and after World War II.  Selznick received his early training in motion pictures from his father, Lewis J. Selznick, a Ukrainian-Jewish immigrant and a producer of silent films in New York City. The young Selznick moved to Hollywood in 1926; and, in the next 10 years at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount, and RKO studios, he advanced from script reader and assistant story editor to producer. Many of his outstanding pictures of the 1930s were extravagant melodramas, such as Dinner at Eight (1933) and A Star Is Born (1937), or meticulous adaptations of literary classics, such as David Copperfield (1935), Anna Karenina (1935), A Tale of Two Cities (1935), and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938). He is best remembered for Gone with the Wind (1939), which won 10 Academy Awards in 1940 and was one of the greatest box-office successes in film history.  Other successful Selznick productions included Rebecca (1940), which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and won four major Academy Awards; Spellbound (1945), also directed by Hitchcock; The Third Man (1949), a highly acclaimed thriller coproduced by Alexander Korda and directed by Carol Reed; and Since You Went Away (1944), Duel in the Sun (1946), Portrait of Jennie (1948), and A Farewell to Arms (1957), all of which starred actress Jennifer Jones, whom Selznick married in 1949.
 
 

NANCY WALKER

If you grew up in the 1970s, you probably remember Nancy Walker (born Anna Myrtle Swoyer) as Rosie, the Bounty “Quicker Picker Upper” lady.  The character was a New Jersey diner waitress who used Bounty paper towels to pick up spills.  The commercial was hugely popular.  She was also known as the overbearing mother Ida Morgenstern on the 1970s comedy series Rhoda, Nancy Walker was an established stage performer for decades before making it in television. The daughter of vaudeville comedian, she landed her first Broadway role at the age of 19, appearing in 1941’s Best Foot Forward. Walker went on to star in the original production of On the Town (1944).   She was nominated for an Emmy Award three times for her work on McMillan & Wife and four times for her performance on Rhoda.

 

 

FRED ASTAIRE

This American dancer was born Frederick Austerliz and performed on stage and motion pictures and is best known for a number of highly successful musical comedy films in which he starred with Ginger Rogers. He is regarded by many as the greatest popular-music dancer of all time.  Born into a wealthy family, Astaire studied dancing from the age of four. In 1906 he formed an act with his sister, Adele, that became a popular vaudeville attraction.  When Adele retired after getting married in 1932, Astaire made a screen test, receiving the verdict from executives, “Can’t act, can’t sing. Balding. Can dance a little.”  n 1933 Astaire was paired with Ginger Rogers in the RKO Radio Pictures production Flying Down to Rio. They were a sensation, stealing the picture from stars Delores del Rio and Gene Raymond, and public demand compelled RKO to feature the pair in a classic series of starring vehicles throughout the 1930s, with The Gay Divorcee (1934), Top Hat (1935), and Swing Time (1936) often cited as the best of the lot. Although Astaire worked well with several leading ladies throughout his career, his partnership with Rogers had a special chemistry. Their respective elegance (Astaire) and earthiness (Rogers) rubbed off on one another, and it has often been said that he gave her class and she gave him sex appeal. Their dance routines, often in the midst of sumptuous Art Deco settings, were intricate tap or graceful ballroom numbers that served as sophisticated statements of romantic love. Only once—in Carefree (1938)—did Astaire and Rogers share an on-screen kiss, and then only in a dream sequence.Astaire’s immensely popular dancing style appeared relaxed, light, effortless, and largely improvised. In reality, he was a hard-working perfectionist who tirelessly rehearsed routines for hours on end.  He continued to dance for several Emmy Award-winning television specials throughout the 1950s and ’60s.  He was awarded an honorary Academy Award for his contributions to film in 1950, and he received a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1981. Despite the many accolades for his unquestionable greatness, Astaire remained as modest and elegant as the characters he portrayed.

 

 

CHRIS BERMAN

This television sportscaster is known for his enthusiastic, fast-talking style and strong, booming voice.  Chris Berman has become one of the best known television sportscasters with comical nicknames for the players and his tag line for football, “He. Could. Go. All. The. Way!”  While a student at Brown University, Chris Berman served as a game commentator and the sports director for the school’s radio station. He also worked as a freelancer for NBC Sports. After graduating in 1977, Berman worked for several jobs, covering sports and traffic for a Waterbury, Connecticut radio station and serving as a weekend sports anchor for a Hartford television station—a job that paid only $23 a day. In October 1979, he joined the then-fledging sports cable network ESPN. His first job with the station had him working late hours, serving as an anchor of the 3 a.m. edition of SportsCenter.  Since then, Chris Berman has served as a host, anchor, and commentator on numerous programs on ESPN, including NFL Countdown, NFL Sundays, SportsCenter, and Baseball Tonight. He became famous for his catchphrases and for creating nicknames for numerous athletes. Known for clowning during his programs, Berman also developed a character called “The Swami” who makes predictions about sporting events. But one of the most striking moments of his career was in 1995 when he chose to remain silent during the celebration for Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken’s 2,131 consecutive baseball game, setting a new record.  On air for almost three decades, Chris Berman has received numerous awards over the years. He was named National Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association six times—in 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, and 2001. Berman and his programs have also won several Emmy Awards and CableACE Awards.  A popular media figure, Chris Berman has appeared as himself on numerous television shows, including Arli$$, Spin City, and Coach.