September 8: Happy Birthday Martin Freeman and Pink
Martin Freeman celebrates his 45th birthday today. He began acting in British television, where his first major role was in the BBC’s mockumentary sitcom The Office. He appeared in films like Love, Actually and as Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He got another plum British TV role in 2010 when he was cast in a series that updated some famous detective fiction to the 21st century:
In the wake of his portrayal of Dr. John Watson in Sherlock (which earned him an Emmy), it has seemed that doors have opened all over the place for Freeman. He was Bilbo Baggins in the three films that were somehow squeezed out of Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and was one of the leads in the first season of the FX series Fargo, adapted from the Coen Brothers’ film. This year, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Everett Ross in Captain America: Civil War.
Pink (given name Alecia Beth Moore) turns 37 today. Her debut album, Can’t Take Me Home, came out when she was only 20, and led to her winning an American Music Award for Best New Artist in the R&B/Soul category. Every studio album of hers since then has reached the Top Ten in the US. She has won a shelf-full of awards, including three Grammys—two for collaborations, the third for this:
David Arquette, one of the five acting Arquette siblings, turns 45 today. He is remembered as Deputy, later Sheriff Dewey Riley in the Scream films and also had a rather comical pro wrestling career. Director Kimberly Peirce, who is 49 today, received a lot of critical acclaim for her debut feature, Boys Don’t Cry, but has made only two additional features, Stop-Loss and the remake of Carrie. Larenz Tate, who celebrates his 41st, was in Paul Haggis’s Crash and the FX series Rescue Me. Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who played the middle Taylor son, Randy, on Home Improvement, turns 35.
Mexican actress Esmeralda Pimentel, who turns 27 today, is a popular performer in her home country’s telenovelas. German actor Thomas Kretschmann, who turns 54, has worked a great deal in European cinema, including in two films, made 20 years apart, titled Stalingrad. He also has a lengthy Hollywood resume, often as European-accented characters like Baron Wolfgang von Strucker in Avengers: Age of Ultron. French actor Pascal Greggory, who is 62 today, appeared with Kretschmann in the French film La Reine Margot and has received three Cesar nominations in his career.
Singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, who turns 56, released three albums in the 1980s as part of ‘Til Tuesday, and another eight as a solo artist. She is also heard on the soundtracks of films like Jerry Maguire and Magnolia. Songwriter and rapper Wiz Khalifa celebrates his 29th birthday today. His last four studio albums have reached the Top Ten in the US, and his single “See You Again,” written for the soundtrack of Furious 7 as a tribute to the late Paul Walker, was #1 on the Hot 100.
Today was the birthday of three musicians who shared both talent and death at a young age. Jimmie Rodgers (1897-1933) was known as “The Singing Brakeman” from his railroad career. One of the pioneering stars of country music, he covered many traditional tunes but also wrote many of his own before dying of TB at 35. Patsy Cline (1932-1963) was one of the first female stars in country music, following in the wake of Kitty Wells (see the August 30 article). She had several hit singles—including “Crazy,” an early Willie Nelson song—before, like Buddy Holly, dying in a small plane crash. Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (1945-1973) was a founder of the Grateful Dead, a vocalist who played keyboards and harmonica, until his alcoholism caught up with him.
Since he’s probably the least known of the three, how about a little Jimmie Rodgers, doing one of his own songs:
Sid Caesar (1922-2014) was one of the great innovating pioneers of the early days of television. His two shows, Your Show of Shows, followed by Caesar’s Hour, were in a sense laboratories where sketch comedy was developed as a particular television art form. Another thing Caesar did was to bring a group of very talented writers onto his shows, many of whom went on to make big names for themselves. A partial list of the writing roster on Caesar’s shows includes Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart, Carl Reiner, and Neil Simon.
Peter Sellers (1925-1980) was, like Sid Caesar, a great comic performer, mostly but not entirely on film. Not many people remember his albums, such as Songs for Swingin’ Sellers, but they were popular in England in the late 1950s. His first notable film role was in The Ladykillers, and his Oscar nominations were for Doctor Strangelove and Being There. However, the role that he is probably most associated with is Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the Pink Panther films. Sellers made five films as Clouseau in his lifetime, but it wasn’t until the second film, A Shot in the Dark, that things started to click, with the addition of Herbert Lom and Burt Kwouk to the cast as Clouseau’s foils:
Richard I (1157-1199 is another English monarch who is often portrayed in film, by actors including Ian Hunter, Anthony Hopkins, Richard Harris, Sean Connery, and Patrick Stewart.
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 September 8, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged David Arquette, Jimmie Rodgers, Martin Freeman, Patsy Cline, Peter Sellers, Pink, Sid Caesar, Thomas Kretschmann. Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.