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This Day in WWII 25 February 1941 - 1945


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bendixadfeb1943.jpg Bendix Ad - Febraury 1943

1941: British Commando's land on the Italian held Island of Castelorizzo in the Dodecanese.

1941: The British submarine, HMS Upholder, sinks the Italian Cruiser Armando Diaz to the southwest of Malta.

1941: British Nigerian troops of the 11th African Division occupy Mogadishu, the capital of Italian Somaliland, having advanced up the coast. Meanwhile the 12th African Division pushes up the river Juba in Italian Somaliland towards the Abyssinian border town of Dolo.

annebaxter5.jpg Anne Baxter

1942: The debate in the House of Commons comes to a close with many speakers being sharply critical of government policy, with the bombing of Germany being called in to question.

1942: After the withdrawal of ABDA HQ from Java, Wavell himself now leaves for Australia.

annebaxter4.jpg Anne Baxter

1943: The RAF begins a round the clock bombing campaign in Tunisia, with 2,000 raids in the next 48 hours.

1943: U.S. troops retake the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia, where they had been defeated five days before.

1024.jpg?md=1330164782000 Bendix Ad - Febraury 1944

1944: Convoy JW-57 (43 ships and 19 escorts) sailing the Loch Ewe to the Kola Peninsula, is attacked on 25 February off Norway. One destroyer, HMS Mahratta, is sunk by U-990 for 1,920 tons.

1944: U.S. forces destroy 135 Japanese planes in Marianas and Guam.

1024.jpg?md=1330165462000 Anne Baxter

1945: 400 RAF bombers carry out attacks against Dortmund and Rheine.

1945: Turkey declares war against Germany.

annebaxter6.jpg Anne Baxter

*Anne Baxter was born in Michigan City, Indiana, on May 7, 1923. She was the daughter of a salesman and his wife, Catherine, who herself was the daughter of Frank Lloyd Wright, the world-renowned architect. Anne was a young girl of 11 when her parents moved to New York City, which at that time was still the hub of the entertainment industry even though the film colony was moving west. The move there encouraged her to consider acting as a vocation. At 16 Baxter screen-tested for the role of Mrs. DeWinter in "Rebecca", losing out to Joan Fontaine because director Alfred Hitchcock considered her "too young" for the role, but the strength of that first foray into movie acting secured her a seven-year contract with 20th Century Fox. Her first movie role was in "20 Mule Team" in 1940. She was chosen by director Orson Welles to appear in "The Magnificent Ambersons" (1942), based on the novel by Booth Tarkington. Baxter co-starred with Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney in 1946's "The Razor's Edge", for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In 1950, she was chosen to co-star in "All About Eve", largely because of a resemblance to Claudette Colbert, who had initially been chosen to co-star in the film; the original idea being to have her character gradually come to visually mirror Colbert's over the course of the film. Baxter received a nomination for Best Actress for the title role of Eve Harrington. Later during that decade, Baxter also continued to act in professional theater. According to a program from the production, Baxter appeared on Broadway in 1953 opposite Tyrone Power in Charles Laughton's "John Brown's Body", a play based upon the narrative poem by Stephen Vincent Benét (though the Internet Broadway Database states that Power's co-star was Judith Anderson). In 1953 she appeared opposite Montgomery Clift in Alfred Hitchcock's "I Confess".

Baxter is also remembered for her role as the Egyptian Queen Nefretiri opposite Charlton Heston's portrayal of Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's award winning The Ten Commandments (1956).

annebaxteryulbrynnerten.jpg Anne Baxter as the Egyptian Princess Nefertiri & Yul Brynner as Pharaoh Ramesses II in The Ten Commandments

Baxter appeared regularly on television in the 1960s. For example, she did a stint as one of the "What's My Line?" "Mystery Guests" on the popular Sunday night CBS-TV quiz program. She also starred as guest villain "Zelda the Great" in two episodes of the superhero show "Batman". She appeared as another villain, "Olga, Queen of the Cossacks," opposite Vincent Price's "Egghead" in three episodes of the show's third season. She also played an old flame of Raymond Burr on his crime series "Ironside".

annebaxtervincentpriceb.jpg Anne Baxter as Olga, Queen of the Cossacks & Vincent Price as Egghead in 1960's Batman TV Series

Baxter returned to Broadway during the 1970s in "Applause", the musical version of "All About Eve", but this time in the "Margo Channing" role played by Bette Davis in the film. (She was replacing Lauren Bacall, who won a Tony Award in the role.)

In the 1970s, Baxter was a frequent guest and stand-in host on the popular daytime TV talk-fest "The Mike Douglas Show", since Baxter and host Mike Douglas were friends. She portrayed a homicidal movie star on an episode of "Columbo" called "Requiem for a Fallen Star."

In 1983, Baxter starred in the television series "Hotel", replacing Bette Davis in the cast after Davis was taken ill.

In the 1950s, Baxter was married to and then divorced from actor John Hodiak. They had a daughter, Katrina. In 1960 Baxter married second husband, Randolph Galt. They left Hollywood to briefly live on a cattle station in the Australian outback before moving to New Mexico and Hawaii and settling back in Brentwood, California. She told the story in her memoir Intermission: A True Story. In the book, Baxter blamed the failure of her first marriage to Hodiak on herself.

Baxter and Galt had two daughters Melissa, an interior designer and Maginel, a Roman Catholic nun in Rome.

Baxter was briefly married again in 1977 to David Klee, a prominent stockbroker, but was widowed when he died unexpectedly due to illness. Baxter never remarried. They had purchased a sprawling property in Easton, Connecticut which was extensively remodeled, but Klee did not live to see the renovations completed. The house was architecturally reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's flat-roofed 'Prairie School Architecture' structures. Baxter remodeled the living-room fireplace to resemble the one in her grandfather's masterpiece, Fallingwater. Although Baxter maintained a residence in West Hollywood, California, she considered her beloved Connecticut home to be her primary residence.

She was a lifelong friend of the late costume designer Edith Head, who she first met on the set of "The Ten Commandments" and who also appeared in a cameo role with Baxter in the "Columbo" episode in which Baxter starred. Upon Head's death in 1981, Baxter's daughter, Melissa, who was also a goddaughter of Head, was bequeathed her extraordinary collection of jewelry.

Baxter died from a brain aneurysm on December 12, 1985, while walking down Madison Avenue in New York City. She was 62. She is buried on the estate of Frank Lloyd Wright at Lloyd Jones Cemetery in Spring Green, Wisconsin. She was survived by her three daughters.

TRIVIA:

Measurements: 34-24-35 (1950 during All About Eve (1950)), 35 1/2-24- 35 (listed 1953) (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).

Height: 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Spouse:

David Klee (30 January 1977 - 15 October 1977) (his death)

Randolph Galt (18 February 1960 - 1968) (divorced) 2 children

John Hodiak (7 July 1946 - 27 January 1953) (divorced) 1 child

1024.jpg?md=1330164789000 Pullman Ad - February 1944

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