On this day in 2010, at the 82nd Academy Awards, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar, for 2009’s The Hurt Locker. I’ll never forget Barbra Streisand’s glee as she announced, “The time has come.” Now, eleven years later, let’s say “The time has come” for a woman of color. Chloe Zhao won this year’s Golden Globe, for Nomadland; Regina King is also a top contender for a nomination, for One Night in Miami. The Oscar nominations will be announced on Monday, March 15.
Today would have been John Heard’s 75th birthday. An actor that I adored, Heard is most well known for playing Kevin McAllister’s dad in the Home Alone franchise, but he was a reliably great (and ridiculously handsome) character actor in both dramas and comedies, appearing in films like The Pelican Brief, Big, Beaches and a personal favorite of mine, Heaven Help Us. Heard died in 2017 of a heart attack.
Happy Birthday, Bryan Cranston! One of the most versatile actors around, he is the winner of two Tony Awards, four Emmys, a Golden Globe and five SAG Awards. Adept at both comedy and drama, Cranston is, quite simply, one of our greatest living actors. I’m particularly fond of his turn as Hammond Druthers on How I Met Your Mother and his portrayal of Buzz Aldrin in HBO’s magnificent mini-series From the Earth to the Moon.
Yesterday I learned a fun fact about Don McLean’s song “American Pie” – apparently The Levee was a bar in New Rochelle, NY, where Don and his friends would drink. When the bar closed, they would go across the river to Rye and look for places to continue the party. This gives new meaning to the lyrics “Drove my Chevy to the levee/But the levee was dry”.
March is Women’s History Month, so all month long I’ll be talking about the glorious women of pop culture, past and present. Stay tuned!