Aug 27: Happy Birthday Aaron Paul and Paul Reubens
Aaron Paul, who celebrates his 37th birthday today, moved to Los Angeles after graduating from high school to pursue an acting career. He spent nearly a decade “paying his dues,” as the saying goes, appearing in guest roles on over twenty TV series and playing mostly small parts in feature films. His break came when he was cast as Jesse Pinkman, who teams with his former high school chemistry teacher to go into the meth business, in the AMC series Breaking Bad:
Breaking Bad was a huge critical success, and Paul shared in that success—he won three Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama series in five years. Since the series ended its run, Paul seems to be concentrating on his film career. This year he has been seen in, among other projects, the ensemble crime thriller Triple 9, and in a supporting role in the action comedy Central Intelligence.
Paul Reubens turns 64 today. He is one of several alumni of the Groundlings comedy troupe who have celebrated birthdays this month. During his years with the Groundlings, he came up with an idea for a fictional character, a would-be comedian who was so inept he couldn’t even tell a joke properly:
Pee-wee Herman became Reubens’ meal ticket for about a decade. First came the stage show, The Pee-wee Herman Show (one episode of which was aired on HBO). Next came a financially successful movie, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. After that, CBS gave him a Saturday morning TV slot for Pee-wee’s Playhouse. However, a 1991 arrest for indecent exposure, while it did not lead to Reubens serving any prison time, did seem to permanently tarnish his image. For many years after the incident, Reubens kept a low profile. In 2010, Reubens revived the stage show, first in Los Angeles, then for a limited engagement on Broadway. Last year, Netflix released his new movie, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.
We have our sixth and final Bond Girl birthday of the month today, as Barbara Bach turns 69. She was born in the US, but married an Italian businessman when she was about 19 and moved to Italy, so she started her film career in Italian cinema. When she appeared as Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me, it was actually her first English-language film. Her first marriage ended in divorce and she has been married for 35 years to former Beatle Ringo Starr.
G.W. Bailey turns 72 today; he is known for begin Staff Sergeant Rizzo on the final seasons of M*A*S*H and for playing a variety of tough-talking but incompetent cops and security types in the 1980s, such as Lt./Capt. Harris in the Police Academy films. Charles Fleischer, who turns 66, is an actor and comedian, but is best known for his voice work, in particular on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where he voiced the title character, Benny the Cab and two of the weasels. Diana Scarwid, who is 61 today, has worked in film and television for forty years. She has an Oscar nomination for Inside Moves, an Emmy nomination the HBO movie Truman—and a Razzie for Mommie Dearest. Tuesday Weld, who celebrates her 73rd birthday, was a child actress of the 1950s who successfully transitioned to adult roles, earning Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy nominations over the years. Peter Stormare, who turns 63 today, was the laconic killer Gaear Grimsrud in Fargo and also was featured in two seasons of Fox’s Prison Break.
Patrick Adams, who plays Mike Ross on the USA Network’s Suits, turns 35 today. Alexa PenaVega, who turns 28, is best known for playing Carmen Cortez in the Spy Kids films (she was billed as Alexa Vega then). Sarah Chalke, known for TV work on shows like Roseanne and Scrubs, celebrates her 40th birthday. Kayla Ewell, who turns 31 today, is known for her regular roles on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful and the supernatural drama The Vampire Diaries.
Stephan Elliott is an Australian director and writer who works in both his home country and in England. Internationally, his best-known film is probably The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. He turns 52 today. Robert Richardson, who turns 61 today, is one of three living cinematographers with three Oscars—in his case, for JFK, The Aviator and Hugo. Richardson was Oliver Stone’s regular cinematographer for nearly a decade and more recently has worked regularly with Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.
Ira Levin (1929-2007) was an American novelist and playwright. Several of his novels—A Kiss Before Dying, Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives and The Boys from Brazil—have been adapted to film (some more than once), as has his play Deathtrap. Leo Penn (1921-1998) is probably best known today as Sean and Chris Penn’s father, but he had a long career in television, as an actor and even more as a director. He worked on series such as Bonanza, Dr. Kildare, Kojak, Matlock and many more.
Finally, Martha Raye (1916-1994) was a comic actress and singer with a long film and television career. However, what she was best known for, what earned her the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993, were her tireless efforts as a USO member during three wars. During the eight years of the Vietnam war, Ray reportedly spent 25 months over in Vietnam entertaining American troops; she was nicknamed “Colonel Maggie.”
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.