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For several years I taught storyboard at the Cal Arts Character Animation Department in Valencia Ca. While there I met a lot of wonderful and talented teachers as well as students. At the center of that wildly exclectic three ring circus was dept chair Frank Terry and Adminstrator Martha Baxton. For untold years Martha was always on hand to clear up adminstrative problems, arbitrate and advise. For the teachers as well, if there was a glitch in the system, just let Martha know and it was fixed. But Martha was much more than a capable adminstrator. She was the bedrock of the Cal Arts Character animation department, the den mother of a bunch of wildly talented people. Ever providing a ready smile, a nosewipe and a shoulder to cry on. She never asked anything for herself, but tragedy has struck her, and now she needs us. I just found out there is going to be a big charity art auction to help Martha Baxton of Cal Arts. on Sept 9th. They need help and donations. For the complete story Here is the link
I can't begin to list all the top animators, filmmakers, producers, studio heads and Academy Award winners who at one time in their Cal Arts years relied upon Martha. Well, now Martha needs to rely upon us. Let's show what we are made of. Please support and donate for Martha's sake.

Birthdays: Guy de Maupassant, Neil Armstrong, film director John Huston, film star and HUAC fink Robert Taylor, Conrad Aiken, Roman Gabriel, Selma Diamond, Patrick Ewing, John Merrick the Elephant Man, Loni Anderson, Bill Scott -the voice of Bullwinkle Moose, John Saxon, Tawney Kitaen, Jonathan Silverman

1924 Arf, Arf ! the first Little Orphan Annie comic strip drawn by Harold Gray.

1926 – Magician Harry Houdini stays in a coffin under water for one hour.

1927- Victrola Record producer Ralph Peer realized there might be a market for “Hillbilly Music” so he set up a makeshift recording studio above a furniture store in Bristol Tennessee and put an ad in the local papers for talent. In this one session he recorded future stars Jimmy Rogers the Singing Brakeman, The Carter Family, The Tennessee Mountaineers and Ernest Pop Stoneman. This session has been called the “ Big Bang of Country Music.”

1953- The film “From Here to Eternity” opened , starring Deborah Kerr, Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift. But the big story was Frank Sinatra’s Oscar winning performance as Maggio that signaled the turnaround in his slumping career.

1955- The Screen Actor’s Guild strikes Hollywood for television residuals. Between 1955 and 2000 SAG will hit the bricks at around seven times. Their president was Walter Pidgeon who had played Dr. Morbius in Forbidden Planet.

1957- American Bandstand featuring the eternally teenage Dick Clark debuts on television.

1962- GOODBYE NORMA JEAN. Marilyn Monroe found nude in bed, dead of barbiturate overdose. She was 36. Whether you think the starlet committed accidental suicide, or was done in by the Mafia, the Kennedys, a Svengali like personal physician, lesbian physical therapist or space aliens is still a mystery. She made a call to Attorney General Bobby Kennedy’s office in Washington several hours earlier but was rebuffed. Her last call was to her hairdresser Mr. Guilaroff. She left the bulk of her belongings to her drama teacher Lee Strassberg and her funeral was organized by ex-husband Joe Dimaggio. Her cottage suite had a tile over the doorway which read :"All my troubles end Here."

1964 - Actress Anne Bancroft & Comedian Mel Brooks wed.

1966- Caesar’s Palace Hotel & Casino first opened to the public. This was the first of the super-resort casinos, with a total theme park design and three times the space and accommodations of anything yet seen on the Vegas Strip. It’s success ushered in an accelerated era of building for Las Vegas casinos.

1966 –It a moment of youthful indiscretion Beatle John Lennon says his band the Beatles are now more popular than Jesus. This flippant comment provoked a firestorm of nationwide protest among conservative elements in the US and Beatles albums were publically burned in the streets. Lennon apologized and suggested that they were being crucified over the comment. McCartney rush up to the mike to insist that that wasn't the choice of words they preferred.

1984- Welsh actor Richard Burton died of cerebral hemorrhage at 64. With a tumultuous career and sometime marriages to Elizabeth Taylor the hard drinking Burton was the most famous English thespian since Lord Lawrence Olivier and Sir John Gielgud. But unlike them he was never knighted by Queen Elizabeth. As I recall the monarchy objected to their portrayal when Burton starred in a miniseries bio of Winston Churchill.

1986 - It's revealed painter Andrew Wyeth had secretly created 240 drawings &
paintings of his neighbor Helga Testorf, in Chadds Ford, Pa