This Week in Film History: 28th December – 3rd January

We love to celebrate the history of cinema here at More Movies and we really enjoy delving in to the rich history of film. Each week, we like to highlight some of the most interesting moments in the movie world, including milestone releases, births and deaths of the industry’s most notable characters, along with other historic happenings. This week we cover the period between 28th December – 3rd January.

Filmmakers the Lumiere brothers, hold the first commercial film screening at Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris, France.
28th December, 1895

Rhys Williams, Welsh actor known for How Green Was My Valley, Nightmare and Okinawa, was born in Clydach, Swansea, Wales.
31st December, 1897

Welsh actor Ray Milland known for Lost Weekend was born in Neath, Wales.
3rd January, 1905

Tyrone Power Sr., British actor known for Big Trial, Test of Donald Norton, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, dies at 62.
30th December, 1931

Sons of the Desert film directed by William A. Seiter starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy is released.
29th December, 1933

The film Bright Eyes starring Shirley Temple premieres.
28th December, 1934

English actress Maggie Smith, Known for playing Mrs. McGonagall in the Harry Potter film serieswas born in Ilford, England.
28th December, 1934

American actor Russ Tamblyn known for his role in West Side Story was born in Los Angeles, California.
30th December, 1934

Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins known for his roles in The Elephant Man and Silence of the Lambs was born in Port Talbot, Glamorgan, Wales.
31st December, 1937

American actor Jon Voight known for his roles in Deliverance and Midnight Cowboy was born in Yonkers, New York.
29th December, 1938

American actor Frank Langella known for his roles in Masters of the Universe and Frost/Nixon was born in Bayonne, New Jersey.
1st January, 1938

Of Mice and Men starring Burgess Meredith as George and Lon Chaney Jr. as Lennie, is released.
30th December, 1939

American film editor Thelma Schoonmaker, known for her work on Casino, Cape Fear and Goodfellas was born in Algiers, Algeria.
3rd January, 1940

English actress Sarah Miles known for her roles in Ryan’s Daughter and Blow Up, was born in Essex, U.K.
31st December, 1941

American actor Fred Ward known for Chain Reaction, Thunderheart, and Tremors was born in San Diego, California.
30th December, 1942

English actor Ben Kingsley known for his roles in Gandhi and Sexy Beast, was born in Scarborough, England.
31st December, 1943

Australian actor Vernon Wells knwon for his roles in Commando, Mad Max 2 and Weird Science was born in Rushworth, Australia.
30th December, 1945

American actor Ted Danson known for his roles in TV’s Cheers and Three Men & A Baby was born in San Diego, California.
29th December, 1947

American actor Tim Matheson, known for his roles in Animal House, Fletch and Up the Creek, was born in Glendale, California.
31st December, 1947

American actor Jon Polito, known for his roles in Miller’s Crossing, The Big Lebowski and The Crow, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
29th December, 1950

American actor James Remar, known for his roles in 48 Hours, The Warriors and Django Unchained, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
31st December, 1953

American actor Denzel Washington, known for his roles in Malcolm X, The Equalizer and Training Day, was born in Mount Vernon, New York.
28th December, 1954

American actor and filmmaker Mel Gibson, known for Mad Max, Lethal Weapon and The Passion of the Christ, was born in Peekskill, New York.
3rd January, 1956

American actor Val Kilmer known for his roles in Top Gun, Willow and Tombstone, was born in Los Angeles, California.
31st December, 1959

American film director Todd Haynes, known for his films Far From Heaven and I’m Not There, was born in Los Angeles, California.
2nd January, 1961

Principal photography on the David Lean film Doctor Zhivago begins.
28th December, 1964

Thunderball, the fourth James Bond film starring Sean Connery premieres in Tokyo.
29th December, 1965

American actress Tia Carrere known for her roles in Wayne’s World and True Lies, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
2nd January, 1967

American actor Morris Chestnut, known for his role in Boyz N the Hood, was born in Cerritos, California.
1st January, 1969

Marie Menken, American experimental filmmaker and socialite, dies at 61.
29th December, 1970

Aguirre the Wrath of God written and directed by Werner Herzog, starring Klaus Kinski premieres in West Germany.
29th December, 1972

English actor Jude Law, known for his roles in The Talented Mr. Ripley and Alfie, was born in London.
29th December, 1972

American actor Dax Shepard, known for his roles in CHiPs and Idiocracy, was born in Milford, Michigan.
2nd January, 1975

American actor Danny McBride, known for his roles in Tropic Thunder and This Is The End, was born in Statesboro, Georgia.
29th December, 1976

Mexican actor Diego Luna, known for his role in Rogue One, was born in Toluca, Mexico.
29th December, 1979

American actress Eliza Dushku, known for her roles in True Lies and Wrong Turn, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
30th December, 1980

British actress Sienna Miller, known for her roles in Layer Cake and American Sniper, was born in New York.
28th December, 1981

American actress Kate Bosworth, known for playing Lois Lane in Superman Returns, was born in Los Angeles, California.
2nd January, 1983

Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, known for his films Andrei Rublev, Mirror and Stalker, dies at 54.
29th December, 1986

Farewell My Concubine directed by Chen Kaige from novel by Lilian Lee starring Leslie Cheung, Zhang Fengyi and Gong Li premieres in Hong Kong.
1st January, 1993

The Madness of King George based on the play by Alan Bennett, directed by Nicholas Hytner, starring Nigel Hawthorne and Helen Mirren premieres in the US.
28th December, 1994

American football player and actor Woody Strode, known for his roles in Posse, Cotton Club, Vigilante and Scream, dies of lung cancer at 80.
31st December, 1994

American actor Cesar Romero, best known for playing the Joker in Batman (1966), dies at 86.
1st January, 1994

English actress Florence Pugh, known for Midsommar and Little Women, was born in Oxford, England.
3rd January, 1996

Will Smith marries actress Jada Pinkett in Baltimore, Maryland.
31st December, 1997

US movie box office hits record $6.24 billion for year.
31st December, 1998

English actor Pete Postlethwaite, known for his roles in The Usual Suspects and Inception, dies at 64.
2nd January, 2011

American actor James Avery, known for his roles in License to Drive and The Brady Bunch Movie dies from complications from surgery at 68.
28th December, 2013

American actress Debbie Reynolds, known for her roles in Singin’ in the Rain and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, dies of a stroke at 84 one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher also passed away.
28th December, 2016

Initiative of 300 Hollywood women called “Time’s Up” announced to fight sexual harassment.
1st January, 2018

Well there we have our picks for this week in film history. Be sure to check back next week for some more fun film facts and tidbits. If you think we missed something important, be sure to let us know in the comments.

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Greg Fisher
Greg is a digital content creator, photographer, filmmaker and writer. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @theflyingartist