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Charlton and Rex Harrison in the Carol Reed film THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY (1964), still one of the best examinations of the unique relationship between artists and producers

A fond farewell to actor Charlton Heston, our favorite Moses, Ben Hur, Omega Man, gun nut, Major Dundee, John the Baptist, and his Michelangelo was terrific. There is a publicity still of Heston standing next to the only portrait of the great artist, and the ressemblance was spot on. When I was growing up in Brooklyn, going to see Chuck in Sam Peckinpah's violent MAJOR DUNDEE at the Floyd Bennett Field Navy Base movie night, was one of my treasured movie experiences.

Charlton Heston didn't do much animation,a narrator in Disney's HERCULES, but students like me who attended the Art Students League in NYC heard the stories of him as a nude model in the 1940s. At Dreamworks he was considered for a role in THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, as Pharoah Seti, but the powers that be passed on Charlton and went for Patrick Stewart. He was good too, but using Chuck would have been really interesting.

Adieu Big Chuck!

Question: Why were Pirates also called Buccaneers?

Answer to yesterday’s question below; What is a fait accompli?
History for 4/7/2008
Birthdays St. Francis Xavier, William Wordsworth, Mongo Santamaria, Francis Ford Coppola, Walter Winchell, David Frost, Percy Faith, Daniel Ellsberg, Jerry Brown, Alan Pakula, Billie Holiday, Ravi Shankar, Irene Castle, Wayne Rogers, Olikirk Christenson-the inventor of Lego toys, Russell Crowe is 44, Jacky Chan is 54

1805- Ludwig Van Beethoven premiered his Symphony # 3 Eroica at Vienna’s Theater-an-der-Wein. It marks his break with the gentle styles of Mozart and Haydn and the evolution of his full mature sound. He originally intended to dedicate it to Napoleon but scratched out the dedication page when he heard Napoleon had renounced Republican liberal values and made himself an emperor. Of all his symphony’s it remained his favorite despite the opinions of music critics-“ Strange modulations and violent transitions… undesirable originality.”

1891- Showman P.T. Barnum died of old age. The last words of the man who invented kiddie matinees, the Greatest Show on Earth and coined the word “Jumbo” were "How were the box office receipts today?"

1927- An audience at the Bell Laboratory watched a three inch television screen broadcast an image of US Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover with sound.

1927- Abel Gances classic film Napoleon premiered at the Paris Opera. Gances active camera and wild editing were years ahead of their time, climaxed by a triptych of large images on three movie screens linked by synchronized projectors. One American man in the audience was inspired to invent the Panavision lens, used by many modern movies today.

1933-The Prohibition 18th Amendment is repealed. My grandmother remembered jumping on a beer wagon as they paraded down Fifth Ave. in New York City. Canadian cities like Moose Jaw Saskatchuan, where Al Capone had set up huge distilleries to run-rum across Lake Michigan, went into mourning. Bootleggers like Josef Bronfman of Seagrams and Joe Kennedy Sr. had to look for other sources of income.

1933- Hitler's regime passed the Professional Civil Service Restoration Act, which ordered Jewish and other political undesirables must be fired from all government posts including university professorships and museum curators and arts funded grants. The mass exile of Germany's intellectual elite began- Bertholdt Brecht, Billy Wilder, Kathe Kollwitz, George Gropius, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, George Grosz, Kandinsky, Fritz Lang, Lazslo Moholy-Nagy, Max Reinhardt and Otto Klemperer -Colonel Klink's dad.

1939-"The Ugly Duckling" the last Disney Silly Symphony short cartoon.

1970- The film Midnight Cowboy with Dustin Hoffman and John Voight won the Best Picture Oscar. The first x-rated film to do so.

1972-Gangster "Crazy Joe" Gallo was machine gunned while celebrating his birthday at Umberto's Clam House in the Little Italy section of Manhattan. He had been disturbing the gang peace in New York set up by the council of the Five Families, under the leadership of Godfather Carlo Gambino. Crazy Joe’s headquarters was in the President’s Street section of Brooklyn where supposedly he kept a live African lion as a pet. Finally when Gallo had hit rival don Joe Columbo in broad daylight at a Columbus Day Italian Unity rally the Five Families decided he had gone too far. Ownership of the restaurant was returned in 1994 by the city prosecutors office to the original owner Manny "the Horse" Ianello. Despite the bullet holes in the wall, you gotta try their fried calamari-yumm!

1990- The Cincinnatti Contemporary Art Center opened a show of the photographs of Robert Maplethorpe that the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC cancelled. Maplethorpes explicit depictions of gay and s/m lifestyles shocked neoconservative critics of government national endowments for the arts. A media debate on whether government should subsidize or censor art raged and Dennis Barry the museum director was tried for obscenity. His acquittal was seen as a victory for free expression but the argument cast a pall on future funding of controversial art.

1998- Pop star George Michael was busted after exposing himself for gay sex to an undercover policeman in a public park men’s room in Beverly Hills.

1998- Lead singer for the Plamatics, Wendy O.Williams, committed suicide with a shotgun. The outrageously mohawked punk rocker was known for stunts on stage like destroying her amplifiers with a chainsaw, skydiving in the nude, autoeroticism with a sledgehammer and crashing a flaming public school bus into a wall of television sets.

Wendy O Williams in one of her more modest outfits.

2155- According to the show Babylon 5 today marked the first contact between humans and the Centauri Alliance.
Yesterday’s question: What is a fait accompli?

Answer: something that has already happened, and even though you’re hearing about it now, it's already too late to do anything about it.