Give 'em a cheer while they're still here!

It’s Peter Gabriel’s birthday! He’s 74 today.

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A salute to the surviving members of the cast of Barney Miller

Hal Linden is 92. In addition to his breakout role as the lovable police detective captain, his credits also include voice work for the English language versions of Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster and Destroy All Monsters. He was nominated 7 times for an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Barney Miller, but never won. He did however win 3 Daytime Emmy Awards and a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for The Rothschilds.

Barbara Barrie is also 92. She was on the show only from 1975-78, portraying Mrs. Barney Miller. After that she seemed to be cast most frequently as mothers. For her portrayal of a mom in Breaking Away she garnered a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. She also played Private Benjamin’s mom and went on to play Brooke Shield’s grandmother in the TV series Suddenly Susan. She was married to the late Jay Harnick, brother of Fiddler on the Roof lyricist Sheldon Harnick.

Maxwell Trowbridge Gail, Jr. is 80. He made his acting debut playing Chief Bromden in the original stage production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. He was twice nominated for a Supporting Actor Emmy Award for his work as Det. Wojciehowicz and would later go on to win 2 Daytime Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor for his work on General Hospital.

Linda Lavin is 86. Her Det. Wentworth was a recurring character in the first two seasons of Barney Miller before she departed to take a chance on a series of her own, Alice. For her work in that popular series she won 2 Golden Globe Awards. She always remained active in the theater and earned 6 Tony Award nominations in her career, winning the Best Leading Actress Tony Award in 1987 for Broadway Bound. She also won 2 Drama Desk Awards and 2 Obie Awards.

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National treasure James Hong turned 95 two days ago, and has been playing an old man in movies for almost half his life. He’s sort of the Chinese William Hickey.

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James Hong was born in Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota.

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So you’re saying he’s less of a Chinese William Hickey and more of a Chinese Peter Graves.

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Hong is so good. Not everything about Big Trouble in Little China aged super great but Carpenter really allowed his Fu Manchu-type villain to have so much personality and fun than one might expect. Him “getting pissed off to no end” is a classic bit of line delivery.

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Also celebrating a birthday today…?

ric-flair-woo

WOOOOO!!!

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I’m sure it’s been mentioned elsewhere, but today is Mary Jo Pehl’s birthday! Happy birthday, Pearl Forrester!

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From the world of sports…

Dickie Post is 78 (he’ll be 79 in Sept) - I was thinking of him, and players who come and go, their careers cut short because of injury - but for a brief spell he was on top of the football world - a blast to watch, as elusive as Robert Denby.

So, for all the forgotten ones, a cheer!

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Happy birthday to Catherine O’Hara, who turns 70 today! SCTV, Home Alone, Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Dog Show, A Mighty Wind, Schitt’s Creek, and so many other wonderful performances.

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Here’s hoping Ben Murphy has a mellow 82nd birthday today.

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Happy birthday to the incomparable Liza Minelli! She’s 78 today.

liza minelli speech GIF by The Academy Awards

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Happy birthday to a man who, at 91 years of age, is arguably still cooler than you or I will ever be, Michael Caine!

Michael Caine Ciao GIF

Here’s a video of him hanging out with The Muppets.

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91 years and he has yet to blow the bleedin’ doors off.

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His “Do you know who I am? Have you got any idea how many anonymous henchmen I’ve killed over the years?” line is the best thing in the third Austin Powers movie. (Low bar, I know.)

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I saw it on cable, during the subtitles scene, and I couldn’t last 5 minutes.

I love the bumper on Turner Classic Movies narrated by him where he’s talking about Cary Grant. “I see him, and I say, ‘Oh my God, you’re Cary Grant’, and he says, ‘… I know.’”

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By the way, my favorite Michael Caine film is the lesser-known Sleuth. He was actually in the remake too, playing Olivier’s role, but that version was disappointing.

Edit: Also, what the frick? From the trivia-

The reason this film is so difficult to find on streaming is because it fell into the hands of a pharmaceutical company called Bristol-Myers Squibb, who dissolved their entertainment division shortly after creating it, leaving this movie’s distribution rights in limbo. It has since never been re-acquired or restored as of early 2022.

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Oh, no, not those bas— er, yeah, there’s a few like that, a favorite of mine, Elaine May’s The Heartbreak Kid is hard to find for the same reason.

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Considering that he took out an entire private army in Billion Dollar Brain, that wasn’t an idle boast.

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In honor of Michael Caine’s birthday, the dueling Michael Caine impression scene from The Trip:

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