Good News On This Day in History – January 14

Happy Birthday to American actress Faye Dunaway, who turns 80 years-old today. Born a farm girl in Florida, Dorothy Faye moved to New York and, a half century ago, shot to stardom as a young starlet alongside Warren Battie in the film release of Bonnie and Clyde.

She later won an Academy Award, three Golden Globes, a BAFTA, and Emmy, starring in some of the greatest films of the ‘70s and ‘80s, including Network, Chinatown, and Three Days of the Condor, co-starring Robert Redford.

Dunaway believed her role in Network as a ruthless TV executive who will do anything for higher ratings was “one of the most important female roles to come along in years.” When the film—which is still discussed today due to its almost prophetic take on the television industry—was nominated for ten Oscars—Dunaway won for Best Actress, after two previous nominations. LEARN what she’s doing lately… (1941)

Photo credits: (2001) by Rita Molnár, CC license; and (1996) by Jimmy E6, CC license – Wikipedia

In 2017, Dunaway reunited with her Bonnie and Clyde co-star Warren Beatty at the 89th Academy Awards, in celebration of the film’s 50th anniversary. She says she she has no intention to retire as an actor: “We live for work. We live for what we do. I just want to keep working. It’s where I’m happiest.”

In 1995, Dunaway co-authored a memoir Looking for Gatsby that earned her great reviews. Entertainment Weekly said, “To read her accounts of her Oscar-nominated performances as the taut, sexy, neurotic femmes fatales of Bonnie and Clyde, Chinatown, and Network is to learn from an expert about the instincts, collaborations, and compromises that go into great film acting.”

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Massachusetts held a day of fasting for wrongly persecuting “witches” (1699)
  • The American Revolutionary War ended when the US Congress of the Confederation ratified the Treaty of Paris establishing the U.S. as a free and independent nation (1784)
  • U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the Kremlin accords to halt the aiming of nuclear missiles at any nation and order the dismantling of the nuclear arsenal in Ukraine (1994)
  • Researchers in Dallas, Texas present findings about an enzyme that slows aging and cell death (1998)
  • The first detailed pictures of the frozen surface of Saturn’s moon, Titan, were sent back by a European space probe (2005)
  • Tunisia, the first nation to establish an Arab Spring uprising, won a victory when their president of 24 years fled the country after thousands of Tunisians protested in a “Jasmine Revolution” against poverty and heavy taxation (2011)

382 years ago today, colonists residing in the Connecticut River towns (including Hartford), adopted what some consider to be the first written constitution that created a government. Desiring to unite and “walk peaceably and lovingly together,” they signed the Fundamental Orders, which gave voters and citizens more rights and established Connecticut as a self-ruled colony… That’s why Connecticut’s nickname today is ‘The Constitution State’. (1639)

Photo of Anthony McGill at Lincoln Center by Steven Pisano, CC license

331 years ago today, the clarinet was invented in Nuremberg, Germany, by Johann Christoph Denner. The tinkerer added two register keys to the deep sounding instrument called the chalumeau to create the clarinet, which could play higher notes.

Also made of boxwood, it was given a better mouthpiece (with its own separate reed) and an improved bell. Slowly, the clarinet replaced the use of the chalumeau after more additions which allowed a chromatic scale to be played. Mozart was the first composer to use a clarinet in a symphony, taking advantage of its range and versatility following Denner’s improvements. (1690)

And, Happy 53rd Birthday to the first rap superstar, LL Cool J. His debut album, Radio (“I Need a Beat”), went platinum when he was 17, and his 1990 LP, Mama Said Knock You Out, is considered one of the best hip-hop albums of all time.

Born James Todd Smith (he abbreviated his stage name from Ladies Love Cool James), the author, actor, and entrepreneur from Queens, New York began rapping at the age of 9. He was signed by Def Jam at 16 after creating demo tapes with $2,000 worth of turntables and sound equipment bought for him by his grandfather, a jazz saxophonist. Currently the TV host of Lip Sync Battle, in 2017 LL became the first rapper celebrated by The Kennedy Center Honors. He is also the author of I Make My Own Rules, and Platinum 360 Diet and Lifestyle: A Full-Circle Guide to Developing Your Mind, Body, and Soul. (1968)

Also Happy 52nd Birthday to Jason Bateman, film and tv actor known for his roles in Horrible Bosses and the cult TV series ‘Arrested Development’. WATCH him break down his top roles… (1969)


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