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August 4: Happy Birthday Barack Obama and Billy Bob Thornton

Obama

The 44th President of the United States celebrates his 55th birthday today.  Barack Obama‘s approval rating has been hovering around 50% which sounds pretty bad.  About half the country doesn’t approve of the president’s performance.  But when you compare Obama’s approval rating to those of other politicians, you realize that 50% is actually on the high end these days.  Of course, the Commander in Chief trails his wife who is polling in the mid-sixties.  Maybe she should run for office?  No matter where you are on the political spectrum, let’s set aside our political differences long enough to sing a few bars of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.”  This will all be someone else’s problem when Mr. Obama celebrates his 56th birthday next year.

The president is a hard act to follow, but Billy Bob Thornton may be up to the task.  The eccentric actor rose to fame when he wrote, directed and starred in the 1996 drama, Sling Blade.  At the height of his fame, he was one half of a power couple with then-spouse Angelina Jolie.  Thornton has alternated between starring roles like in Bad Santa and supporting parts in movies like Armageddon.  In 2015, he won a Golden Globe for his performance in the FX TV series, Fargo.  The actor who once claimed he was afraid of antiques turns 61.

Also celebrating birthdays today are the Sprouse twins.  Dylan and Cole Sprouse played David Schwimmer’s son on seven episodes of Friends.  Then they played Adam Sandler’s son in the movie, Big Daddy.  From 2005 to 2008, the brothers costarred on the Disney Channel show, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.  Today, the Italian-born actors turn 24.

Lost actor Daniel Dae Kim celebrates his 48th birthday.  These days, Kim can be found (get it?) on the CBS show Hawaii Five-OMeghan Markle, from the USA channel drama Suits, and Abigail Spencer, from the upcoming NBC sci-fi series Timeless, both turn 35.  Actress, screenwriter and Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig celebrates her 33rd birthday.

Irish folksinger Moya Brennan, the longtime lead singer of Clannad, turns 64 today.  Novelist and screenwriter Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Gone, Baby, Gone, celebrates his 51st birthday.

Three notable character performers celebrate birthdays today.  Carol Arthur, Dom DeLuise’s widow, turns 81; you may remember her as “esteemed schoolmarm” Harriet van Johnson from Blazing SaddlesFrank Vincent turns 77 today; he played “made man” Billy Batts in Goodfellas (“go home and get your shinebox”).  And Richard Belzer, who has portrayed Det. John Munch on TV for 23 years (in Homicide: Life on the Street and then Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), celebrates his 72nd birthday.

In the world of sports, NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon speeds into his 45th year.  Gordon has won the Winston Cup Series and the Daytona 500.  I know this because a coworker won’t shut up about him!  Baseball Hall of Famer Roger Clemens, aka “Rocket,” turns 54 today.  And NHL great Maurice Richard, known as “the Rocket,” was born on this day in 1921.

Singer and actress Helen Kane, known as the “Boop-Boop-a-Doop Girl” from a line in her signature song “I Wanna Be Loved By You,” and a model for cartoon character Betty Boop, was born on this day in 1904.  Actress Anita Page was born in 1910; she had a shooting star of a career, becoming a star at about 18 and retiring almost completely from show business at 23, but at her peak she got more fan mail than any actress except Greta Garbo.

And we’ll give the last word today to a genuine legend: born on this day in 1900 was the “Father of Jazz”, Louis Armstrong.

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.

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Posted on August 4, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Do these articles feel fuller and more comprehensive? That’s thanks to Jestak’s efforts. He’s been fleshing out the articles I had already scheduled. I think the difference is noticeable. I wish there was a way to share a byline on WP. Just know that he’s contributed to all the birthday articles leading up to next week when he actually takes over the byline. Thanks again, Jestak!

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  2. any chance bob will get a page. Billy bob career has been dwindling long time now

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  3. Billy bob never fully lived up to his potential after sling blade. People thought he would become a huge star but it never happened . He balanced indies and drama but none of them where hits. After bad santa billy bob became typecast as plaiyng real life carnation of himself

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  4. Bad santa ,School for Scoundrel and woodcock where pretty much how is in the public eye. HArd drinking tough smart asses

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  5. lol good one. I like billy bob throtn good actor. My friend one time described him as a poorman tommy lee jones lol.

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  6. Richard Belzer, comedian/actor; he’s sometimes worked alongside another performing hybrid, Ice-T. “Homicide: Life on the Street” was an excellent show, it really went about its business differently.
    Yeah, Frank Vincent is really known as playing a mob guy, and to cement that he voiced the character of Mob Don Salvatore Leone in the games “Grand Theft Auto III”, “Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories”, and “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” (you work with him in one, whack him in another, and screw him over big time in another).

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  7. Do u guys agree billy bob is a poorman tomy lee jones. IT seems like the parts tomy lee turns down billy bob takes. I can picture them in eachother roles

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    • I really see them as two totally different actors; Billy Bob Thornton has a certain eccentricity to him, while I think Tommy Lee Jones has that disciplinarian vibe, even when his character is making a joke. He’d make a fine principal.

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      • I guess, Tommy Lee Jones’ turn as Two-Face in “Batman Forever” is a perfect example of him trying to play an eccentric character (even though it’s generally excepted that he was trying to “out crazy” Jim Carrey’s Riddler.)

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        • Yeah, I thought about the Two-Face role, but I see that as a total exception. I think he could’ve made a great Two-Face, if he played it a different way. Two-Face the character isn’t exactly a load of laughs.

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  8. Both actors play that tough guy and grumpy type characters. they also have played their fair share of working class charactors. I could see tommy lee in bad santa and billy bob in fugtive. I am sure you can at least see similiatres in nic cage and michael caine career both alternate between oscar winning roles and lame popcorn flicks. Both are poster boys for flops . Lets not forget the quantity intake of films between them are high

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  9. His charactor in jfk had a wild crazy side to him SO not every role he does is calm and reserved. bofh actors have played a lot of mahco tough guys that are kind of

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