DAILY DIRT: Yeah, they’re old, but they’re still with us


Dick Van Dyke, the pride of Danville, Ill., is 98 years old. Photo by Gage Skidmore

Daily Dirt for Wednesday, May 28, 2024

The one real surprise on the ensuing list for me was Chubby Checker. I thought he was much older than 82 … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 963 of The Daily Dirt.

1. I’m often surprised when watching an older film or TV program and finding out one of the stars is still alive.

Here’s a sampling of some of the entertainment industry’s biggest names from an earlier time who are still very with us. Any surprises for you?:

  • John Astin, 94: Many still remember him as “Gomez” on “The Addams Family” in the 1960s. His second wife, Patty Duke, is the mother of actor Sean Astin.
  • Chubby Checker, 82: He’s the last living rock and roll star of the pre-Beatles era. His first big hit, “The Twist,” was actually a cover of a Hank Ballard song.
  • Dick Van Dyke, 98: He’ll forever be Rob Petrie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” in the 1960s. His wife on the program was the not-yet-famous Mary Tyler Moore.
  • June Lockhart, 98: She remains most famously known for being Timmy’s mom on “Lassie” and for her work on “Lost in Space”.
  • Mel Brooks, 97: In the 1960s he created the famed TV comedy “Get Smart” and in the 1970s started making movies, most notably 1974’s “Blazing Saddles”.
  • Gene Hackman, 94: His career spanned for than 60 years, winning two Oscars, and he remains active as a novelist.
  • William Shatner, 93: He’ll always be remembered as the original Capt. Kirk, and for his always-horrible toupee(s).
  • Kim Novak, 91: She first gained fame in 1955 for starring with William Holden in “Picnic”. Surprisingly, she has been retired since the 1960s.
  • Joanne Woodward: She won an Oscar way back in 1957 for her role in “The Three Faces of Eve”.
  • Buzz Aldrin, 94: The famed astronaut was one of the first two people to set foot on the moon.
  • Tippi Hedren, 94: She was the actress in “The Birds,” arguably director Alfred Hitchcock’s finest film. Hedren still acts occasionally.

Here are two others you may not be familiars with:

Caren Marsh Doll, 105: She had a small, uncredited part in “Gone With The Wind” and was Judy Garland’s stand-in for two movies

Eva Marie Saint, 99: She is the oldest living Oscar winner. She was a co-star in the 1954 classic “On The Waterfront” with Marlon Brando.

2. There is a new No. 1 in our Great Plate Debate 2024 rankings.

U DRUNK, a submitted entry (with picture, thank you), has taken over the gold-medal position, toppling CO XIST from its two-month hold on the catbird seat. It may take a mighty entry to knock U DRUNK from the gold. But beware! We have eyes everywhere across West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.

  • Gold medal: U DRUNK
  • Silver medal: CO XIST
  • Bronze medal:  US-MALE

This week’s special mentions include:

  • U BABE 1
  • CY GY 71
  • NANNY 38
  • MASTR 4

3. Here’s our weekly birthday wishes to five of our favorite celebrity types:

  • Actress Lisa Kudrow of “Friends” fame will be 61 on Thursday. How is that possible?
  • Country singer Wynonna Judd turns 60, also on Thursday. Best song from the Judds? How about “Mama He’s crazy” or “Why Not Me” … or maybe “Love Can Build A Bridge”.
  • Former NFL quarterback Joe Namath will be 81 on Friday. I still remember Super Bowl III like it was yesterday.
  • Actor Morgan Freeman turns 87 on Saturday. The. Best. Voice. Ever.
  • Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood reaches 77, also on Saturday. He’s been with the band since 1975.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — Did you know pro wrestler Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair’s birth name was Fred Phillips?

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News.

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