1969: First Airing of ‘Frosty the Snowman’
Frosty the Snowman came to life on this day on CBS in 1969. Though produced by Rankin/Bass who are best known for producing stop motion puppet specials, Frosty was a hand-drawn animation special. Also unlike earlier specials, Frosty featured just one song and was only 30 minutes in length. However, it did feature a celebrity narrator (Jimmy Durante’s final performance in a film). Rankin/Bass wanted the special to have the look of a Christmas card, so Mad magazine and greeting card artist Paul Coker, Jr. was hired to do the job. In 1992, CBS created a “sequel” to the special which doesn’t look or feel like anything like the original. (Image: CBS)
1990: ‘Edward Scissorhands’ Cuts His Way into Theaters
The Tim Burton-directed romantic dark fantasy, Edward Scissorhands, opened in theaters on this day in 1990. The weird story of an artificial man who was created with scissor blades instead of hands starred Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. The film also starred Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Alan Arkin and Vincent Price in his last acting role. In fact, the role of the inventor (the creator of Edward) was specifically written for Price unlike Depp who was not the studio’s pick for the role. They initially wanted Tom Cruise, Gary Oldman or Tom Hanks. The music was written by Danny Elfman and three of Tom Jones’ hits (“It’s Not Unusual,” “Delilah” and “With These Hands”) appeared in the film as well.
- 1904: Clarence Nash (original voice of Donald Duck)
- 1923: Ted Knight (actor)
- 1932: Ellen Burstyn (actress)
- 1956: Larry Bird (basketball player)
- 1979: Sara Bareilles (singer)
- 1987: Aaron Carter (singer)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.