Thursday, February 16, 2012

On This Date: February 17

1925: Actor George Kennedy was born in New York City. He won an Academy Award for his role in Cool Hand Luke (1967), appeared in Airport (1970), and much later portrayed Grandpa Johnson in Dennis the Menace Strikes Again (1998).

1935: The comic strip King of the Royal Mounted launches. Created by radio. film, and television producer Stephen Slesinger, the series followed the exploits of Dave king of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The strip inspired four live-action adaptations—King of the Royal Mounted (a.k.a Romance of the Royal Mounted) (1936), King of the Royal Mounted (1940), The Yukon Patrol (1942), and King of the Mounties (1942)—before it ended in March of 1955.

1936: Lee Falk’s The Phantom first appears. The long-running action hero comic strip was the basis for an eponymous movie serial in 1943. (In 1955, a planned sequel was shot but was later repackaged and released as The Adventures of Captain Africa.) Other live-actions versions include The Phantom (1996), an unaired 1961 television pilot, and a two-part mini-series that ran on Syfy in June of 2010.

1954: John Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey. The star of Saturday Night Fever (1977)  and Pulp Fiction (1994), he also played himself in Boris and Natasha: The Movie (1992) and crime boss Howard Saint in The Punisher (2004).

(Image: King of the Royal Mounted by Allen Dean, May, 5, 1935)

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