Thursday, October 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Dad!

You'd have been what... 72 today? Although I suspect had you survived 1979, you wouldn't have made it this far anyway.

In honour of the day, here's a link to one of your favourite movie stars - although he was a bit before your time too, I can only presume the cinemas in the valleys were still playing ancient silent & early talkie films when you were a kid.

Probably still are actually.

Profile on Tom Mix

Tom Mix!Tom Mix died on October 12, 1940, just a day (if my calculations are correct) before your 7th birthday. (Tom's horse Tony died to the day 2 years later).

For the uninitiated, Tom Mix was the most famous movie star (and possibly human) on Earth in his day. Think of him perhaps, as his era's Jackie Chan.

And that comparison is not idly made, Mix was an accomplished horseman & rope wrangler who did all his own stunts & had the numerous injuries to prove it.

He was also a notorious shagger.

Oddly enough, he is also almost completely forgotten these days. Very few, if any of his movies still exist except in fragments & so modern audiences can have almost no idea of his talent & presence, because let's face it, in the existing photos the guy looks like an utter goober. And while "golden age" hollywood autobiographies salaciously reference the exploits of numerous film stars who were his contemporaries - Chaplin, Barrymore, Fairbanks, Pickford et al... no one seems to recount Tom Mix stories.

Although weirdly... science fiction fans may recognise the name & character from Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series of books. Mix (along with Mark Twain, Alice Liddell Hargreaves - Alice in Wonderland actually and other famous dead people) are resurrected in a strange world notable for a large river running through it & try to find out why they're there. Mix shags Alice in the first chapter of the first book.

So there you have it! Tom Mix, the most famous dead guy you've never heard of.

Happy birthday Dad! (By god, you'd have loved Wikipedia)