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Koster, born Hermann Kosterlitz in Berlin, Germany, was a Jewish film director who escaped Nazi Germany and… [More] moved to Hollywood. He discovered Abbott and Costello (William “Bud” Abbott and Lou Costello) working at a nightclub in New York. He returned to Hollywood and convinced Universal to hire them. Their first picture, which featured the Who’s On First? vaudeville comedy routine, was “One Night in the Tropics.” [Less]
1923: Joseph Heller
Heller was an American satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His best known work is… [More] “Catch-22,” a novel about US servicemen during World War II. The title of this work entered the English lexicon to refer to absurd, no-win situations. Although he is remembered primarily for “Catch-22,” his other works center on the lives of various members of the middle class and remain exemplars of modern satire. He was born in Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, to poor Jewish-Russian immigrants. [Less]
1962: Maia Morgenstern
Morgenstern s a Romanian film and stage actress, sometimes described as the symbol of Romanian theater and… [More] film. In the English-speaking world, she is probably best known for the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” In Romania, she has been nationally known since her 1992 role as Nela in Balanţa, a film known in the United States as “The Oak,” which was set during the final days of Communist Romania. [Less]