Friday, July 27, 2007

United in Death - July 27

Today's Clog Almanac Friday Mash-up juxtaposes a pair of actors with a Middle Eastern ruler, each of whom died on a July 27th.

2003 Bob Hope - American Vaudeville headliner/actor/entertainer
Thanks for the memories. Explore an overview of Hope's career at this great Library of Congress site.

1984 James Mason - Yorkshire-born actor/director
I first became aware of James Mason through his portrayal of Captain Nemo in the 1954 Disney production of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. His 1959 performances in Journey to the Center of the Earth and Hitchcock's North by Northwest marked him in my young mind as a great actor. His unique and compelling voice and measured diction greatly added to his characterizations and brought him roles as narrator in several works.
[Trivia: Mason played Mr. Jordan alongside Warren Beatty in Heaven Can Wait (1978). That film, which dealt with the afterlife, was a cult-favorite at Brigham Young University for years after its release.]

1980 Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi - Shah of Iran
See this 2003 BuzzFlash interview where author Steven Kinzer (All the Shah's Men) provides a summary of events of the Shah's regime that are very relevant to America's present involvement in the Middle East. The cast of characters is interesting: The CIA, represented by Teddy Roosevelt's grandson Kermit; the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company - predecessor of British Petroleum; and Presidents Truman and Eisenhower.
The events proceed from the American sponsorship of the 1953 coup to the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the spread of militant religious fundamentalism and anti-Western terrorism of today. Relevant indeed.

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