PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today in Theatre History: AUGUST 30

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and Ernio Hernandez, Robert Viagas
30 Aug 2014

1898 Birthday of actress Shirley Booth (1898-1992), who will appear in more than 30 Broadway plays in between film and TV stints. Her major stage roles include A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Philadelphia Story, Three Men on a Horse, The Time of the Cuckoo, Goodbye, My Fancy and Come Back, Little Sheba, the latter three winning her Tony Awards for acting.



1939 Future stage and film actress Elizabeth Ashley is born Elizabeth Ann Cole today in Ocala, Florida. She will win the Tony Award for her performance in Take Her, She's Mine, and will also appear on Broadway in such plays as Barefoot in the Park, Agnes of God and a revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Ashley will also be a regular on the CBS series "Evening Shade."

1940 Superstar performers Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier are married today. Leigh, an Academy Award winner for the previous year's "Gone With the Wind" and Olivier, a celebrated Broadway star and director, will team up professionally on several occasions. Among their work together will be a production of Anthony and Cleopatra and the London production of A Streetcar Named Desire. In the latter, Leigh will star as Blanche DuBois, and Olivier directs his wife in the role she will soon immortalize on film.

1982 Following an extended run at the Kennedy Center, Arthur Kopit's adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts opens on Broadway for a limited engagement at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The production stars Liv Ullmann as Mrs. Helen Alving, and features — in his Broadway debut — Kevin Spacey as her son Oswald.

2000 Broadway's child prodigy Daisy Eagan brings Stephen Spoonamore's new play Where Everything Is Everything to Off-Broadway's New York Performance Works. The actress, who at age 11 earned the title of "youngest actress ever to win a Tony Award" for her portrayal in the 1991 production of The Secret Garden, now at 20 stars alongside Paul Sparks. The play directed by Spoonamore focuses on a relationship between a slick financial consultant and a sweet, shy graphic designer.

2001 Terrence Mann, once the uptight police inspector Javert, loosens up as the "sweet tranvestite" Dr. Frank 'n' Furter in the Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show, replacing Tony nominee Tom Hewitt.

More of Today's Birthdays: Raymond Massey 1896. Joan Blondell 1906. Fred MacMurray 1908. William Duell 1923. William Ivey Long 1947.