On this day in pop culture history: ‘Misery’ opened in theaters
25 years ago today, Kathy Bates thoroughly creeped us out when her breakthrough film “Misery” opened in theaters.
The film is based on the 1987 psychological horror novel by Stephen King about a famous author who’s rescued from a car crash by his fan (more like fanatic), Annie. Soon the romance novelist (played by James Caan) realizes Annie is less caretaker and more psychotic captor.
“Misery” earned Bates an Academy Award for her role as Annie. She’s since returned to the genre that gave her an Oscar with a starring role in Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story.”
Bates recently showed how much she embraces the legacy of her “Misery” character when she told Entertainment Weekly, “‘I decided when I die, it’s going to be Kathy ‘Misery’ Bates. You know how they do, in People magazine, it’ll be ‘Kathy ‘Misery’ Bates passed away.’”
Other notable November 30 happenings in pop culture history.
• 1968: Diana Ross & the Supremes’ “Love Child” topped the Billboard Hot 100, knocking off The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” from the No. 1 spot, which it had held for nine consecutive weeks.
• 1969: Controversial Simon & Garfunkel TV special “Songs of America” had its first and only broadcast on CBS. Original sponsor Bell Atlantic (a subsidiary of AT&T) backed out over disagreements about showing footage of the Bobby Kennedy funeral and the Vietnam War.
• 1972: First production Pong arcades begin to ship. Priced at $1095, Pong began to sell to distributors and dealers to show up in bars, bowling alleys and malls.
• 1977: David Bowie appeared on Bing Crosby's 42nd (and last) Christmas special on CBS. The two sing a medley of “Little Drummer Boy” and “Peace On Earth.” Crosby had died on October 14 that year, five weeks after recording the special at Elstree Studios near London.
• 1982: Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album was released.
• 2013: “Fast and Furious” actor Paul Walker died in a car accident.
Birthdays: “Zoolander” actor Ben Stiller (50), “Happy Endings” actress Elisha Cuthbert (33), “The Big Bang Theory” actress Kaley Cuoco (30), “Y Tu Mamá También” actor Gael Garcia Bernal (37), “The Tree of Life” director Terrence Malick (72), “The Princess Bride” actor Mandy Patinkin (63), “Blade Runner” director Ridley Scott (78), “The Nightmare Before Christmas” director Henry Selick (63)