Thursday, December 21
December 21, 1911--January 20, 1947
Today is also the birthday--a full week past the due date, in AD 1953--of one James "Jimbo" Riley, born in the back of a cab on the way to the hospital in Downer's Grove, Illinois, where his parents were appearing in a roadshow revival of Whoops, Dearie!, a series of blackout sketches based on Peter Arno's New Yorker cartoons. Mother had left the show due to being "with child", as the Playbill had it, just a week earlier. The baby's almost supernaturally large cranium caused a cop the cabbie had flagged down to make a crack, and my father spent half the night in jail. The young family was stranded in Indianapolis the following Spring when the promoter absconded with the week's take.
ADDENDUM: At the old Avalon Playhouse, the same place Frances Farmer ended up four years later.