Skip to content

This Day in Pop Culture for December 18

The Pink Panther

1963: Pink Panther’s First Animated Short

Although the Pink Panther was first brought to people’s minds during the opening and closing credits of the comedy film The Pink Panther in 1963, it was on this day in 1964 that the cat first appeared in his own animated short. The Pink Phink featured the panther and “little man” (aka “big nose”) working as painters and arguing if a house should be painted pink or blue. Directed by Friz Freleng and produced by David H. DePatie (aka DePatie-Freleng Enterprises) the short featured the classic music from Henry Mancini. It won the Academy Award for Animated Short in 1964 and was the first of many other “pink” cartoons. A laugh track was added to the shorts when they were brought to television, but was later dropped many years later.

1946: Steven Spielberg is Born

Steven Allan Spielberg was born on this day in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1946. He started his directing career making 8mm adventure films with his childhood friends and charging them a quarter to view the films. At age 13, he won a prize for a 40-minute war film he created Escape to Nowhere which was based on a battle in east Africa. Three years later, he wrote and directed his first independent film, Fireflight which served for inspiration for the later Close Encounters of the Third Kind. His first “big” film was the made-for-TV flick, Duel that starred Dennis Weaver being chased by a mysterious Peterbilt tanker truck. His first big screen film was The Sugarland Express in 1974. Even though it didn’t do well in the theaters, he was still offered the job to direct Jaws in 1975.

Birthdays

  • 1916: Betty Grable (actress)
  • 1950: Leonard Maltin (movie critic)
  • 1954: Ray Liotta (actor)
  • 1963: Brad Pitt (actor)
  • 1964: Steve Austin (wrestler)
  • 1968: Rachel Griffiths (actress)
  • 1975: Sia Furler (singer)
  • 1978: Katie Holmes (actress)
  • 2001: Billie Eilish (singer)

Return to December Page >>>

Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: