Not just another pretty face powerhouse actress Sylvia Sidney was born Sylvia Kosow in The Bronx, New York on this day. Her parents divorced when she was five; with her mother's remarriage, she was legally adopted by her stepfather whose surname was Sidney--hence the name change. Interested in acting from a young age, she was schooled at a theater guild and was acting professionally at the age of 15. Sidney's extremely long career in films and television began in 1927 when she was cast in the romantic drama Broadway Nights, which also happened to mark the film premiered of one Barbara Stanwyck; Sidney's part was small--as one of four "Performers"--but at least it was a credited role (that is more than Stanwyck or Ann Sothern got!). It was of only two films in which she appeared in the 1920's and the only silent. Thru Different Eyes--released on the 14 of April, 1929--was an early all talking Fox drama; it marked Sidney's debut in a full supporting role. Sidney started out the new decade with a role in a 14 minute short, Five Minutes from the Station; while her first lead role came next in City Streets (1931), an early noir; Sidney starred opposite Gary Cooper. She quickly became a needed fresh face during the Depression; very much in demand as a leading lady. Her career, though, slowed significantly during the 1940's, this was in no small part due to fact that in the later 30's she gained a reputation (deserved or not) for being difficult to work with--this was coming from directors like Fritz Lang and Hitchcock--still she was one of Hollywood's most highly paid and her movies brought in really good box office returns. As a result of this slowing, she both turned to character acting and to making guest appearances on television. Her small screen debut came in 1952 in a third season episode of Cameo Theater (The Gathering Twilight) a live series that presented a different story every week. Her early television appearances were heavily weighted in such shows, although she did appear on shows such as Tales of Tomorrow. All of her acting credits from the first half of the 1960's were in television. She then took five years off from any sort of filmed acting. Her first real love was the stage, and she had worked on the stage all through her career, having made her Broadway debut in 1926. When she returned to her film career, she made a number of made for television films and had guest appearances on very popular television series (my personal favorite of her made-for-TV film roles is in the NBC "creature feature" Snowbeast in 1977). Her first real recurring series role came in the short lived 1986 family drama Morningstar/Eveningstar. She is, without a doubt, though, known to most people for her appearances in not one, but two Tim Burton films: Beetlejuice (1988) and Mars Attacks (1996). Her last acting gig came in the rebooted Fantasy Island as Clia in seven of the series total of thirteen episodes in 1998. A lifelong chain smoker (as is spoofed a bit in Beetlejuice), she developed a rapidly spreading throat cancer and medical treatments were of no avail. She passed away in Manhattan on the 1st of July in 1999 at almost the age of 89. She had worked up to the very end. She was cremated and her ashes were urned. In 1982 she was given the George Eastman Award for film acting; and she was a Lincoln Center lifetime achievement honoree in 1990.