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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 18, 1952

Okay, so you may have noticed that I've changed the look of this blog again.  I can be quite indecisive that way.  But I think that this golden look will be staying around for the remainder of the year.  I really like how it turned out, and besides...there's a reason why I decided to make gold the predominant colour for the foreseeable future.  If I still have Internet access on the 28th of August, I'll reveal the reason then.  If not, it will be shortly after that.

But I'll also admit that this change was not exactly planned.  I kind of thought of it in the time frame of all of twelve seconds.  You see, when I was writing up today's edition of the TUESDAY TIMELINE entry, I realized that I did something by accident.

Every month or so, I delete all of the pictures that I used for the blog from my computer's hard drive to free up space for the next month's post...and I accidentally deleted the background that I used for the Tuesday Timeline postings!  So, I had to choose a different background, and the one I liked the best was gold, and we are in a golden bloggers paradise.

And on this golden day of August 18, I have found a subject whose heart was made of gold.  And even though he's been gone for a few years now, I think that he's still fondly remembered even today.

For now though, let's have a look at what else took place on August 18th...

1587 - Virginia Dare becomes the first English child born in the Americas

1783 - A fireball meteor is seen across Great Britain as it passes over the east coast

1834 - American businessman and founder of Marshall Field's, Marshall Field (d. 1906) is born

1868 - The element of helium is discovered by Pierre Janssen

1877 - Asaph Hall discovers the Martian moon, Phobos

1891 - Seven hundred people lose their lives when a hurricane slams into Martinique

1920 - Actress Shelley Winters (d. 2006) is born in St. Louis, Missouri

1934 - Baseball player Roberto Clemente (d. 1972) is born in Puerto Rico

1938 - President Roosevelt dedicates the Thousand Islands Bridge which is suspended over the St. Lawrence River, connecting Southeastern Ontario with Upstate New York

1958 - The controversial novel "Lolita" is first published in the United States

1963 - James Meredith becomes the first African American person to graduate from the University of Mississippi

1971 - Australia and New Zealand withdraw troops from Vietnam

1983 - Hurricane Alicia slams the Texas coast, killing 22, and causing a billion dollars in damages

1999 - American blogger Talia Castellano (d. 2013) is born

2005 - A massive blackout knocks out power to over 100 million people on the Indonesian island of Java

2014 - Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo passes away at the age of 96

And I also want to wish the following famous faces a very happy birthday today - Amelia Boynton Robinson, Rosalynn Carter, Roman Polanski, Robert Redford, Martin Mull, Joseph Marcell, Nigel Griggs, Dennis Elliott, Elayne Boosler, Denis Leary, Diana Castle, Madeleine Stowe, Glenn Plummer, Bob Woodruff, Adam Storke, Craig Bierko, Jim Florentine, Sarita Choudhury, Erik "Everlast" Schrody, Edward Norton, Christian Slater, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Jacob Vargas, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Carmen Serano, Kaitlin Olson, Mizuo Peck, Andy Samberg, Mika, Mika Boorem, Maia Mitchell, and Max Charles.

Okay, so let's debut the new Tuesday Timeline logo while seeing what date we'll be looking at this week.

Ah, August 18, 1952.  That's a great date.  And, check out the new logo.  I used Souvenir Black font in black, and placed it against a gold star background.  I think it stands out.  Plus, the numbers are easier to read.

Anyway, today we're going to celebrate the life of a man who did a lot of things in his acting career.  He tried to save the United States when it was invaded in "Red Dawn".  He dirty danced his way to stardom.  He played with a pottery wheel as a ghost. 

But that's just a few of the things that Patrick Swayze did in his career.  He would have been 63 years old today if he were still here, which completely boggles my mind.  If anything, Swayze was a man who held his age quite well, as least until the end when he was battling pancreatic cancer - which eventually took his life on September 14, 2009 when he was 57.

So, in celebration of Swayze's birthday, I thought I would provide 57 facts about the late actor - one for every year he lived.

1.  Patrick Wayne Swayze was born in Houston, Texas.

2.  His brother Don is also an actor.

3.  He was the second of five children born to Patsy and Jesse Swayze.

4.  He initially wanted to go to college on a football scholarship, but a knee injury prevented him from doing so.

5.  He moved to New York City in the early 1970s to complete training in ballet dancing.

6.  His first "role" was as a dancer for Disney On Parade.  He played Prince Charming.

7.  His film debut was in a terrible roller-disco film called "Skatetown U.S.A." which also starred Scott Baio, Maureen McCormick, and Ruth Buzzi.

8.  He was also cast as C. Thomas Howell's older brother in "The Outsiders".

9.  And played the role of Jed Eckert in "Red Dawn".

10.  Swayze's biggest role was as Johnny Castle in the 1987 film "Dirty Dancing".  Not only did he act and dance in the movie...

11.  ...but he also contributed a song to the film's soundtrack!  And "She's Like The Wind" did very well on the charts too, peaking at #3.

12.  He was named People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1991.

13.  He married his wife, Lisa Niemi, in 1975, and stayed married to her until his death.

14.  He did not have any children.

15.  Swayze was sidelined from acting jobs in 1997 when he fell off of a horse while filming HBO's "Letters From A Killer" and broke his legs.

16.  His ashes are scattered at his New Mexico ranch.

17.  His mother Patsy was a choreographer, which is how Swayze developed his love of dance.

18.  He also developed a love of performing on stage.  He once played Danny Zuko in a stage performance of Grease!

19.  He turned down a contract to appear as Johnny Castle in a Dirty Dancing sequel.  The contract was worth six million dollars.

20.  But he did make a cameo appearance in "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights".

21.  Patrick's father passed away at 57 - the same age as Patrick when he lost his life.

22.  He is distantly related to actors William Holden and Tom Hulce.

23.  He was initially cast in the 1989 film "Tango & Cash", but dropped out to film "Road House" instead.

24.  He received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997.

25.  This is the 1982 music video for Toto's "Rosanna".  Look closely, and you can see Swayze in the video.

26.  He was quoted as saying "Good looking people turn me off.  Myself included."

27.  He struggled with alcohol addiction for years.

28.  He was a certified pilot.

29.  He starred in the West End theatre production of "Guys and Dolls" in the summer and fall of 2006.

30.  He appeared on stage at the 2008 Stand Up To Cancer benefit where he received a standing ovation following this speech.

31.  His last role was in the A&E television series "The Beast".  His cancer was diagnosed shortly after he filmed the pilot episode.

32.  One of his most talked about roles was in 1995's "To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar", which had Swayze playing a drag queen.

33.  Swayze earned a Golden Globe nomination for playing Vida Boheme in the film.

34.  The pottery scene in "Ghost" that Swayze filmed with Demi Moore was by his own admission the sexiest scene he had ever filmed.

35.  Years after Swayze completed filming for "Ghost", he had women coming up to him asking him to say the word "Ditto" like he did in the movie.

36.  As much chemistry as Swayze had with Jennifer Grey in the movie "Dirty Dancing", Swayze had to practically beg Grey to take the role in "Dirty Dancing", as when they previously worked together in "Red Dawn", she could not stand him!

37.  Patrick Swayze did his own stunts for "Dirty Dancing" - which lead to him having to get fluid drained from his knee after he clobbered it while filming the log scene.

38.  His star sign is Leo.

39.  His co-star in "Road House" - Ben Gazzara - also died of pancreatic cancer, three years after Swayze.

40.  He voiced the character of Cash in "The Fox and the Hound 2".

41.  He was 5'10".

42.  His nickname was "Buddy".

43.  He was given an "in memory of" screenshot in the "Family Guy" episode "Brian's Got A Brand New Bag".

44.  He had a guest appearance in a 1981 episode of M*A*S*H.

45.  He played Bandit in the television series "The Renegades".

46.  He played the role of Orry Main in the "North and South" miniseries.

47.  Swayze was cast in "To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar" because he improvised a monologue that was inspired by the bullying he endured as a child because he took ballet.

48.  According to John Leguizamo, Swayze was so ticked off by his improvisation on the set of "To Wong Foo..." that he threatened to punch him in the face!

49.  During the scene in "To Wong Foo..." where Christopher Penn's character pulls over Swayze in drag, Swayze actually placed a cob of corn down the front of his underwear to make Penn's reaction more believable.

50.  He had a guest appearance on his former co-star Whoopi Goldberg's short-lived sitcom, "Whoopi" in 2004.

51.  Patrick Swayze did his own skydiving in the 1991 movie "Point Break".

52.  He lost his sister, Vickie, in 1994.  The cause of death was suicide.

53.  He starred in two films that had "U.S.A." in their titles - Skatetown U.S.A. and Grandview, U.S.A.

54.  He had a very memorable role in the 2001 film "Donnie Darko"

55.  And he appeared in the family film "Christmas in Wonderland" in 2007.

56.  He and his brother Don only acted in one film project together - 2008's "Powder Blue".

57.  Six years after his death, he is still greatly missed.

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