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December 1st Today in History

Famous People & Celebrities Born on December 1st:

  • Woody Allen
    (1935) - The filmmaker and comedian was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg. In 1997 Allen -- who was 62 at the time -- married Mia Farrow's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. She was 27. Farrow says she thought something was "weird" after she discovered Allen taking nude pictures of Soon-Yi. He once told a French magazine that he's too sophisticated for Americans because "...they spend too much time watching television, going to church and to shopping malls." Allen once said, "I can't understand why more people aren't bisexual. It would double your chances for a date on Saturday night." Allen wishes he had become a baseball player instead of a comedian. He says when he was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, he was known for his baseball ability, not his jokes. In fact, he was so good, neighbors figured he would someday play second base for the New York Yankees. Although Allen planned to try minor league ball at the age of 16, he started selling jokes to TV and radio shows and made so much money so quickly, he quit playing altogether. Flicks: Anything Else (2003), Hollywood Ending (2002), Deconstructing Harry (1997), Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Bullets Over Broadway (1994), Radio Days (1987), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Manhattan (1979), Annie Hall (1977), Sleeper (1973), Play It Again, Sam (1972), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972), What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966).
  • Lou Rawls
    (1936) - Singer. "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" (1976)
  • Lee Trevino
    (1939) - In 1975 the pro golfer was struck by a bolt of lightning during the second round of a golf match in Chicago. Trevino says he's still frightened of lightning storms and even the flash from a camera makes him jump.
  • Richard Pryor
    (1940) - Comedian. In 1980 Pryor became a human inferno while freebasing cocaine. The comedian combined ether and cocaine and deliberately ignited the solution. Pryor suffered third degree burns over half his body and spent six weeks in the hospital. Pryor trivia: He might not have developed his own style of comedy had Groucho Marx not yelled at him at a 1967 party. Groucho's temper tantrum occurred after Pryor and Jerry Lewis got into a spitting match on the Merv Griffin Show. Groucho later cornered Pryor and asked him point blank: "Do you want a career you're proud of? Or do you want to end up a spitting wad like Jerry Lewis?" Pryor says that's all he needed to hear. Pryor flicks: Harlem Nights (1989), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
  • Bette Midler
    (1945) - Midler has a real trashy hobby -- literally. In her spare time she loves to don overalls and boots and comb parks and sidewalks for garbage. However, Bette admits her beautifying projects have unearthed a few ghastly pieces of garbage, including a dead body. Other trivia: Midler tells US Weekly magazine that she doesn't think any other actresses her age are working these days. She says a few guys are still working, and a couple of women are directing, but, "hardly anybody's working as an actor." The "Divine Miss M." says she avoids watching TV shows like Friends because she makes it her policy to "...never watch anything that's more stupid than she is." Although Madonna is credited as being the first sexy singer to wear underwear as outerwear, it was Midler who did it first. She says she's devastated no one has given her credit for starting the lingerie-as-outerwear trend. Midler flicks: The Meddlers (2004), The Stepford Wives (2004), What Women Want (2000), Isn't She Great (2000), Drowning Mona (2000), The First Wives Club (1996), Hocus Pocus (1993), For the Boys (1991), Scenes from a Mall (1991), Beaches (1988), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Ruthless People (1986), The Rose (1979).
  • Keith Thibodeux
    (1950) - Played Little Ricky on I Love Lucy. Keith is now the executive director of a Jackson, Mississippi-based Christian ballet company known as "Ballet Magnificat." He says he has few regrets about his child star past and says he's still friends with Desi Arnaz, Jr., who was his best friend while growing up. Thibodeux states he was born December 1, 1950, not December 13 or December 18 as reported by some sources.
  • Treat Williams
    (1951) - The actor was born Richard Williams.
  • Charlene Tilton
    (1958) - Played Lucy Ewing on Dallas.
  • Carol Alt
    (1960) - Model and actress
  • Matthew Laborteaux
    (1966) - Played Albert Ingalls on Little House on Prairie
  • Nestor Carbonell
    (1967) - Played Luis on Suddenly Susan.
  • Stephen Blackehart
    (1967) - The actor is the son of Marlon Brando and is also known as Stefano Mosca Brando. Flicks: Echoes of Enlightenment (2000).
Famous and Noteworthy Events on December 1st:
(1913) - The first automobile service station in the United States opened in Pittsburgh. The 24-hour drive-in station was owned by Gulf Oil and featured free crankcase service. The station sold 30 gallons of gas on its first day.

(1942) - Gasoline rationing went into effect during World War II.

(1953) - The first issue of Playboy appeared on newsstands across America. A 27-year-old Hugh Hefner selected Marilyn Monroe to appear on the cover of the first Playboy, which sold more than 50,000 copies. Hefner purchased an accompanying nude photo of Marilyn from a nudie calendar company. A mint-condition copy of the very first Playboy is now worth more than $10,000. By the way, the term "Playmate of the Month" didn't start until the second issue of Playboy with "Miss January." Hefner's total investment in the first issue was less than $10,000. (Note: Some sources incorrectly claim that December 10 is the date Playboy first went on sale. However, according to Mr. Hefner, copies of the first issue started rolling off the presses at the end of November and copies of Playboy were being sold as early as December 1.)

(1955) - Rosa Parks, a 42-year-old black woman, was arrested and fined $10 after she refused to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of a Montgomery, Alabama, bus. It was the beginning of the modern civil rights movement and a year later the Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. One of the first blacks to legally ride in a Montgomery bus was Martin Luther King, Jr.

(1958) - Music producer Phil Spector scored his first No. 1 hit with The Teddy Bears' "To Know Him Is To Love Him." He made his first million dollars by the time he turned 21.

(1960) - Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee were married.

(1969) - The U.S. government held the first draft lottery since World War II.

(1970) - After a 155 year ban on divorces, Italy legalized its first divorce since 1815.

(1973) - After winning the Disney World Open, Jack Nicklaus became the first golfer to hit a career total of $2 million.

(1985) - Barbi Benton set a record when she appeared for the fourth time as a Playmate in Playboy magazine.

(1990) - England and France were finally connected via the Channel Tunnel. It was on this day in 1990 that British and French workers met after knocking out a passage in a service tunnel.

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