July 30: Happy Birthday Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hilary Swank

Swank and Schwarzenegger'

One of our birthday headliners is a two-time Oscar winner and the other was crowned Mr. Universe.  You can probably figure out which is which.  Despite vastly different career trajectories, Hilary Swank and Arnold Schwarzenegger have a couple things in common.  They both came from humble beginnings to conquer Hollywood in vastly different ways.  But ultimately, they both ended up as subjects in the “What the Hell Happened?” series.

Ladies first.  Hilary Swank was fired from Beverly Hills 90210 before winning two Best Actress Oscars for Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby.  Outside of her Oscar wins, Swank has struggled to find a hit or another prestige picture that can add to her collection of statues.  Like a lot of victims of the Oscar curse, Swank ended up with her own WTH article and an accompanying gallery.  Swank is celebrating her 42 birthday today.

Arnold Schwarzenegger dominated the sport of body building before heading out to Hollywood to reinvent himself as a movie star.  Despite a think accent, language barrier and a look that greatly limited the roles he could be cast in, Schwarzenegger became the top action star in the world with hits like The Terminator, Total Recall and Twins.  In 1990, Movieline interviewed Schwarzenegger just as his career was hitting its zenith.

But what comes up must come down.  Eventually, the kind of action movies that made Schwarzenegger a star fell out of favor.  The actor left showbiz for a career in politics.  Schwarzenegger managed to get himself elected governor of California, but after two terms in office, he returned to movies.  His comeback hasn’t been as successful as he probably would have liked.  As a result, the Austrian Oak has his own WTHH article as well as a properly pumped up gallery.  Schwarzenegger is 69.

Also celebrating a birthday today is Friends star Lisa Kudrow.  The singer of “Smelly Cat” turns 53.

Joey King who played Ramona in the movie adaptation of Ramona and Beezus, turns 17 today.  King can also be seen in movies like The Conjuring, Reign Over Me, White House Down and Crazy, Stupid, Love and in the first season of the FX TV show, Fargo.  Former NFL player turned actor, Terry Crews, is celebrating his 48 birthday.

Yvonne Strahovski from the TV show Chuck is 34 and model-turned actress Vivica A. Fox is 52.  Celebrity chef Alton Brown turns 54 today.  Brown can be seen on several shows on the Food Network, but Cutthroat Kitchen is by far the most entertaining.  Mentalist star Simon Baker is looking very dapper at 47 and Canadian comedian Tom Green is less so at 45.  Green is best known to readers here for winning several awards at the Golden Raspberries in 2001 for his directorial debut, Freddy Got Fingered.

Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan turns 46 today and Jaime Pressly from My Name is Earl turns 39.  Star of The Matrix and CSILaurence Fishburne, celebrates his 55th birthday.  And singer-songwriter Paul Anka turns 75.  Also born on this day in 1863 was Henry Ford, creator of the Model T.

If today is your birthday, congratulations on sharing your big day with these notable names.  Birthday wishes to everyone celebrating a big day today.  Come back tomorrow for more celebrity birthdays.


Posted on July 30, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. A happy birthday once again to everyone born today. As usual I have a few names to add to the list: 🙂

    -Sid Krofft, along with his younger brother Marty, was a big name in children’s television of the 1970s. I am sure I am not the only one here who recalls H. R. Pufnstuf, Sigmund the Sea Monster, Land of the Lost, etc.

    -Peter Bogdanovich was once one of the hot new faces in film, part of the “New Hollywood” that emerged at the end of the 1960s. But while Coppola, Lucas, Scorsese, Spielberg, and others were changing the nature of film, Bogdanovich seemed in love with the movies’ past. Any fan of classic cinema, especially in the style of Ford or Hawks, would love his The Last Picture Show and/or What’s Up Doc.

    -Character actor William Atherton was the industry’s go-to guy if they needed a sorta-villain who was not really threatening, but a serious asshole nevertheless–Walter Peck in Ghostbusters, Jerry Hathaway in Real Genius, Dick Thornburg in the first two Die Hard films.

    -Jean Reno is a major star of French cinema who has made frequent crossovers to Hollywood, often as a sidekick or adversary in major action films: Mission Impossible, Ronin, The DaVinci Code, etc. He was the lead in Leon/The Professional, Natalie Portman’s debut feature.

    -Director Richard Linklater has made some very interesting films over the years. I know him best for what I think of as the “Jesse and Celine” trilogy–Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight. Others may be familiar with films like Dazed and Confused, Waking Life, School of Rock or Boyhood.


    • I really like the “Jesse and Celine” trilogy from Linklater, but also “Waking Life” (I never got into “Dazed and Confused” hardcore, because it was one of those ubiquitous pop culture deals like “Beavis and Butthead”; back in its day, it would’ve been redundant for me to talk about it or get too engaged. Good film though, and I can appreciate it more that we’re out of the 1990’s).


  2. Big day for the “What the Hell Happened To…” series when it comes to birthdays, a real two-fer here. Heavy hitters, both; one with the muscles, the other who got an Oscar for playing a boxer.
    Vroom vroom to Henry Ford, who got the wheels rolling (good, since horses are expensive to maintain and sometimes have to go poop at inopportune times).
    Yeah, William Atherton, the adult bad guy to William Zabka’s teenage bad guy in the 1980’s. Even in “Looking For Mr. Goodbar”, when he was supposed to be a decent guy, there was still something shifty & creepy about him.
    Yvonne Strahovski I remember most from her playing plant enthusiast Hannah McKay in “Dexter” (I viewed “Chuck” a few times, mostly when Linda Hamilton was guest starring). Some fans of the show didn’t care for her character, but I liked her role as the “fiendish florist”:-).


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