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This Day in WWII 16 November 1940 - 1945


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BudweiserAd-Nov1942.jpgBudweiser Ad - November 1942


1940: 131 RAF Bomber Command aircraft make raids on four Hamburg targets.


1941: The German 11th Army takes Kerch in the eastern Crimea, although Sevastopol still holds out.


Mitzi%20Gaynor1.jpg *Mitzi Gaynor


1942: US and Australian forces join up for the assault on the last Japanese stronghold in Northern Papua, the Buna-Gona bridgehead.


Mitzi%20Gaynor2.jpg Mitzi Gaynor


1943: The RAF bomb the 'heavy water' plant at Telemark, which the Germans are attempting to repair.


1943: Leros surrenders to the Germans.


USRubberCompanyAd-Nov1942.jpg United States Rubber Company Ad - November 1942


1944: 5,689 tons of bombs, a record for one day are dropped by the RAF on the German frontline to the East of Aachen.


1944: The U.S. First and Ninth Armies launch a new attack to the East of Aachen towards the Roer Dams (6 miles away) with four divisions on a 25-mile front. With Antwerp, Marseilles and other liberated ports now available for Allied use, the so-called "Red Ball Express," a relay of U.S. Army supply trucks operating between the front and the Normandy beaches, is finally shut down.


Ex-LaxAd-Nov1943.jpg EX-LAX Laxative Ad - November 1943


1945: Eighty-eight German scientists, holding Nazi secrets, arrive in the United States.


Mitzi%20Gaynor3.jpg Mitzi Gaynor

*Gaynor was born as Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber on September 4, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois. She trained as a ballerina as a child and began her career as a chorus dancer. She sang, acted and danced in a number of film musicals, often paired with some of the biggest male musical stars of the day.

Notable early roles included "There's No Business Like Show Business" (1954) which featured Irving Berlin's music and also starred Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Marilyn Monroe, Donald O'Connor, and Johnnie Ray.

She also appeared in "Les Girls" (1957, directed by George Cukor) with Gene Kelly and Kay Kendall, and the remake of "Anything Goes" (1956), co-starring Bing Crosby, Donald O'Connor, and Zizi Jeanmaire, loosely based on the musical by Cole Porter, P.G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton.

Gaynor's biggest international fame came from her starring role as Ensign Nellie Forbush in the film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" (1958), one of the most financially successful musicals of all time, although it was largely panned by critics. For her performance, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for best actress.

Mitzi%20Gaynor4.jpg Mitzi Gaynor

She made films with many other well-known stars, including Ginger Rogers, Frank Sinatra, David Niven, Dan Dailey, Betty Grable and Oscar Levant. She made her last film to date in the early 1960s. One of her last films was the United Kingdom production "Surprise Package" (1960), a musical comedy thriller directed by Stanley Donen. Her co-stars were Yul Brynner and Noel Coward. The film had a theme song by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn.

Following her film work, Gaynor remained a popular favorite. She often performed songs at Academy Awards ceremonies. At the 1967 Oscar telecast, she sang the theme from the film "Georgy Girl". Gaynor later added the number to her concert repertoire. Throughout the 1960s and '70s Gaynor starred in nine acclaimed television specials that garnered 16 Emmy nominations. As an interesting historical footnote, Gaynor appeared between two sets by The Beatles when they made their second appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show of February 16, 1964. She performed for an unprecedented nine-minute segment from the stage of the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach, separated with one commercial break. She sang "Too Darn Hot" and a blues medley.

Gaynor also recorded for albums for the Verve label, one called Mitzi and the second called Mitzi Gaynor Sings the Lyrics of Ira Gershwin. It is estimated that she earned more from the record royalties on the South Pacific soundtrack album than her salary for the movie. She also recorded the title song from her film, Happy Anniversary for the Top Rank label as well as 2 albums with Mario Giamei and Same.As.Never.

For several decades, Mitzi Gaynor was a top attraction in Las Vegas and at nightclub and concert venues throughout the United States and Canada.[neutrality is disputed] During the 1990s, Gaynor also became a featured columnist for the influential newsmagazine The Hollywood Reporter. During her nightclub years, Gaynor rehearsed and broke in her night club routines at The Cave, a popular night club in Vancouver. She developed an affinity for the city and was much appreciated by both the local media and the viewing public, frequently making guest appearances on local television for interviews. "Mitzi's back in town" became an annual slogan when Gaynor would come to the city for a number of weeks each year to break in her Las Vegas routines.

On December 4, 2006, Jack Bean, Gaynor's husband of 52 years, died of pneumonia in the couple's Beverly Hills home, aged 84. A producer and personal manager, Bean guided Gaynor's career, most notably securing her the lead role in "South Pacific", even over the character's creator on Broadway, Mary Martin.

Mitzi%20Gaynor5.jpg Mitzi Gaynor

On July 30, 2008, Mitzi, along with Kenny Ortega, Elizabeth Berkley, Shirley MacLaine and cast members from High School Musical, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars and a host of others, participated in the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences TV Moves Live, a celebration of 60 years of dance on television. Gaynor appeared performing the final few bars of Poor Papa (with her original dancers Alton Ruff and Randy Doney), a song-and-dance number from her 1969 TV spectacular, Mitzi's 2nd Special.

On November 18, 2008, City Lights Pictures in Association with Green Isle Inc. released Mitzi Gaynor Razzle Dazzle: The Special Years, a new documentary celebrating Miss Gaynor's annual television specials of the 1960s and '70s. The film, which was broadcast on public television and released on DVD, includes showstopping moments from the original specials (digitally remastered in 5.1 stereo) along with newly taped interviews with Gaynor colleagues, friends, and admirers including Bob Mackie, Carl Reiner, Kristin Chenoweth, Rex Reed, Tony Charmoli, Alton Ruff, Randy Doney, and Kelli O'Hara.

Gaynor's one-woman show, "Razzle Dazzle: My Life Behind the Sequins", toured the United States throughout 2009 and 2010 (including an acclaimed 2 week engagement in NYC).

Mitzi is actively involved in various charitable initiatives including The Professional Dancers Society, where she  has served as President since 2003.  The organization helps both active and inactive professional dancers and  works with the Actors Fund of America to provide low income housing, retirement and nursing facilities for  entertainment professionals.


Measurements: 35 1/2C-23-37 (in 1953), 36C-21 1/2-36 1/2 (measured in 1956), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)

ElectricLightandPowerCompanies-Nov1943.j Electric Light & Power Companies Ad - Nov. 1943

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