If you know anything about mythology you probably learned about it first from Edith Hamilton, born on this date in 1867. Hamilton’s book Mythology, written after she had retired as a school head mistress, was published in 1942.
George Hamilton is 70 today.
Mark Knopfler is 60. Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free.
Pete Sampras is 38.
Cantinflas, the great Mexican comedian, acrobat and musician — and bullfighter — was born on this date in 1911. His actual name was Fortino Mario Alfonso Moreno Reyes. Cantinflas was Passepartout in Michael Todd’s 1956 Around the World in Eighty Days. In English-speaking countries, David Niven was billed as the star. Elsewhere Cantinflas took top billing — he was the highest paid actor in the world at the time. He saved the movie from the stiff Niven if you ask me.
The movie producer Cecil B. DeMille was born on August 12th in 1881. Known for his extravaganzas (e.g., The Ten Commandments), DeMille won his only Oscar for The Greatest Show on Earth.
And it’s the birthday of Zerna Sharp, born in Hillisburg, Indiana, on this date in 1889. According to The Writer’s Almanac a few years back, Ms. Sharp is the woman who —
invented the characters Dick and Jane to help teach children how to read…Sharp’s idea was to use pictures and repetition to teach children new words. She took her idea to Dr. William S. Gray, who had been studying the way children learn to read, and he hired her to create a series of textbooks. She didn’t write the books, but she created the characters Dick, Jane, their sister Sally, their dog Spot, and their cat Puff. Each story introduced five new words, one on each page.