1984: First American to Win Gold for Downhill Skiing
In January of 1984, Bill Johnson was the first American man to win a World Cup downhill race, at Wengen, Switzerland. So impressed with himself, he boasted that he would take home a gold medal the following month at the Olympic Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. On February 16, 1984 he did just that and became the first American man to win Olympic gold in downhill skiing. He practically became an American hero which was short lived. He didn’t make the 1998 Olympic ski team and suffered a terrible crash in 2001 in training for the 2012 games. The crash put him in a coma and left him with brain damage.
1938: Bringing Up Baby
Many years ago RKO Radio Pictures released the Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant screwball comedy, Bringing Up Baby. The story involves a paleontologist, a scatterbrained heiress and a leopard named Baby. Based on a short story written by Hagar Wilde (and published in Collier’s Weekly magazine), it is said that the script was written specifically for Hepburn and her part was tailored to her personality. It is also said that the film went over schedule because of uncontrollable laughter between the two leads. Unfortunately, the film tanked in the box office and Hepburn became known as “box office poison.” Both her career revived when she appeared in The Philadelphia Story in 1940 and the movie made a profit when it was rereleased during the 1940’s. Ironically, it was selected as the 88th on the American Film Institute’s 100 greatest American films of all time list.
- 1903: Edgar Bergen (ventriloquist)
- 1909: Hugh Beaumont (actor)
- 1935: Sonny Bono (singer)
- 1954: Margaux Hemingway (model)
- 1957: LeVar Burton (actor)
- 1958: Ice-T (actor)
- 1959: John McEnroe (tennis player)
- 1967: Keith Gretzky (hockey player)
- 1990: The Weeknd (singer)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.