Everyone is buzzing about Annie Live!, NBC’s live musical extravaganza with an all-star ensemble that includes Taraji P. Henson, 51, as Miss Hannigan; Harry Connick Jr., 54, as Daddy Warbucks; Nicole Scherzinger as Grace; Tituss Burgess as Rooster; Megan Hilty as Lily St. Regis; and Celina Smith in the title role. While you may be able to hum “Tomorrow,” the much-loved show’s optimistic takeaway tune, we bet you won’t know all the fabulous trivia that this spunky little orphan with the big eyes has collected along her journey from 1920s comic strip heroine to American cultural icon. See how much you know about Annie, and we’ll see you at the show!
Watch it: Annie Live! (NBC, Dec. 2, 8 p.m. ET)
1. A real polio survivor is stepping onto the stage to play polio survivor Franklin D. Roosevelt — for the first time in history.
Alan Toy, 71, plays Franklin D. Roosevelt, making him the first polio survivor to play the 32nd president in any production. Both Toy — a prolific actor of stage and screen and a key voice in the disabled persons community — and Roosevelt contracted polio resulting in paralysis.
2. The 1982 film version cost a Daddy Warbucks-style fortune to make … and didn’t earn it back.
The 1982 movie Annie was at the time the most expensive movie musical ever made, with a cost of about $40 million. A large chunk of that, about $9.5 million, was spent buying the rights to the popular 1977 Broadway show the film was based on. The movie’s revenue didn’t even come close to recouping its expenses.
3. Annie made her first screen appearances all the way back in the 1930s.
That “original” Annie movie was not the first big-screen appearance for the little orphan. In the 1930s, two Annie adventure movies were made based on the Annie from the comic strip created in 1924 by Harold Gray.