This week in history: 17th February- 23rd February

The actor Alan Rickman.

Image via:

This week’s TWIH post showcases the births of three fantastic actors and actresses.

On the 18th of February, 1954, John Joseph Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey. In 1977 he starred as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, and in 1987 he starred as Danny Suko in Grease. Since then, he has starred in a number of fantastic films, including 1994’s Pulp Fiction, directed by Quentin Tarantino.

On the 21st of February, 1946, Alan Rickman was born. Originally from Hammersmith in London, Alan Rickman has starred in a number of fantastic films, including Love Actually and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Most famously, Alan Rickman starred in all of the Harry Potter films as the ambiguous Professor Snape.

Lastly, born on the 23rd of February, is Dakota Fanning. She was born in Conyers, Georgia and starred in her first film role at the age of seven, in 2001’s I Am Sam. Her performance in this film gained her a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, making her the youngest ever nominee. Since then, she has performed in War of the Worlds (2005) and Charlotte’s Web (2006).

This week in history: 9th – 15th December

Alan RIckman carries a discheveled Kate Winslet through a grassy field
Alan RIckman carries a discheveled Kate Winslet through a grassy field

Image via

Almost half a century ago on December 11th 1967, Stanley Kramer’s comedy Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was released. The film pushed boundaries by positively portraying an interracial marriage between Joanna (Katherine Houghton) the daughter of a liberal upper-class parents, and John (Sidney Poiter) a young black physician.

This was rare for a film at the time, in 1967 interracial marriage was still illegal in 17 states of the USA. Sidney Poiter was also the first black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.

On December 13th 1995, Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility was released, it was the first cinematic Austen adaptation in 50 years. The adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel has a large cast of well known actors, including a young Emma Thompson, a very young Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman.

Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay for the film. While working on the script her computer developed a problem and she lost the file. She took the computer to Stephen Fry for help. After seven hours he managed to retrieve the file.