Actor Harry Anderson died in his sleep on this day in 2018 in Asheville, North Carolina, just a few months after suffering a series of strokes. Anderson was born on October 14, 1952 in Newport, Rhode Island and had a love for magic at a very early age. When he moved to Los Angeles, California, he joined the Dante Magic Club when he was a teenager and later became a street magician in San Francisco. For the first half of the 1970’s, Anderson lived in Ashland, Oregon and went back and forth performing with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and performing magic. Anderson appeared on Saturday Night Live and portrayed “Harry The Hat” on Cheers before landing his most memorable role, Judge Harry Stone on Night Court which ran on NBC from 1984 to 1992. The following year he stared in CBS’ sitcom Dave’s World which was based on the life of humor columnist Dave Barry which aired through 1997. In 2002, he moved to New Orleans and opened a magic shop, “Spade & Archer Curiosities by Appointment” which was later called “Slideshow.” He opened the nightclub Oswald’s Speakeasy in 2005 and then became a victim of Hurrican Katrina and sold it in 2006. He and his wife then moved to Asheville, North Carolina. Anderson’s last acting role was for the independent faith-based film, A Matter of Faith which was released in 2014.
No Book Won the Fiction Prize
As the Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on this day in 2012, no books in the fiction category won. The three books nominated were The Pale King by David Foster Wallace, Swamplandia! By Karen Russell and Train Dreams by Denis Johnson. Because none of the book received a majority of the votes, the Pulitzer Prize Board decided to not award any of the three. The really odd thing is this wasn’t the first time for this to happen. The last time was in 1977 and there were 10 other times before that in Pulitzer history where no fiction book won. Pulitzer Prizes first began giving awards in 1917.
Charlie Chaplain is Born
On this day in 1889, Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in London, England. When he was very young, Charlie and his brother danced on the streets to collect money. The two were sent to an orphanage and joined a children’s dance troupe. By age 17, Charlie created a trademark with a bowler hat, out-turned feet, mustache and walking cane. His first film was Making a Living where he played a villain and learned to direct on his 12th film. It is said that Chaplain resisted the arrival of sound movies. His 1931 City Lights only featured music and he didn’t speak on film until 1940’s The Great Dictator where he made fun of fascism. Chaplin never became a U.S. citizen. In fact, he, like many others in Hollywood, was accused of having communist ties (which he denied) and was detained while trying to re-enter the country after a vacation trip. He, his wife and eight children lived in Switzerland for 20 years before returning to America to accept a special Academy Award in 1972. He died in 1977.