September 12: Happy Birthday Ian Holm and Jennifer Hudson
Sir Ian Holm celebrates his 85th birthday today. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he became a mainstay of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where one of his notable roles was Richard III. He made his Broadway debut as Lenny in Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming, winning a Tony Award. During this time he began appearing in British film and television, as well as giving a foretaste of his future by playing Frodo Baggins in a BBC Radio dramatization of The Lord of the Rings.
He was nearly fifty when his first major film role came along—playing a science officer with a secret, on a space freighter called the Nostromo:
Holm followed up Alien by receiving an Oscar nomination for Chariots of Fire. His filmography has a little something for everyone on it. He’s done more sci-fi (The Fifth Element), intense indie drama (The Sweet Hereafter), more Shakespeare (Fluellen in Branagh’s Henry V, Polonius in Zeffirelli’s Hamlet), costume drama (The Madness of King George), horror (Branagh’s Frankenstein), and films impossible to neatly classify (Brazil). And, of course, he was a marvelous Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films.
Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson turns 35 today. After placing seventh on the 2004 season of American Idol, Hudson made an impressive film debut as Effie White in the adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls. Her performance won an Oscar, an Golden Globe and several other acting awards While continuing her acting career, she also pursued one in music. Her first, self-titled album won a Grammy for Best R&B Album, and featured this Grammy-nominated single:
Hudson has continued to build her acting and singing careers. Her third studio album was released in 2014, while she has made guest appearances on series such as Empire and Inside Amy Schumer. She made her Broadway debut in a 2015 revival of the musical The Color Purple.
Emmy Rossum, who stars as Fiona Gallagher on Showtime’s Shameless, turns 30 today. She first attracted notice in Mystic River and played Christine Daaé in the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Australian actress Rachel Ward turns 59. She had a number of lead roles in the 1980s in films like Against All Odds and After Dark, My Sweet. Jennifer Nettles, who turns 42, is the lead vocalist of country duo Sugarland. All five of their albums have reached at least #3 on the Billboard country charts, while 9 of their 15 singles have reached #1 or #2. Country-pop singer Kelsea Ballerini, who celebrates her 23rd birthday today, made an impressive start to her career. Her first two singles both reached #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay charts and her debut album has sold very well, too.
Film composer Hans Zimmer turns 59 today. Besides his Oscar-winning score for The Lion King, Zimmer is known for his scores for the Pirates of the Caribbean series, the Dark Knight trilogy and other Christopher Nolan films, and a number of Ridley Scott’s films. Joe Pantoliano has been one of the industry’s leading character actors for the past three decades; today is his 65th birthday. Known for roles like Francis Fratelli in The Goonies, Cosmo Renfro in The Fugitive and Caesar in Bound, he also had a recurring role on The Sopranos. Louis C. K. (born Louis Székely) is 49 today. He is a six-time Emmy winner, most of them for Louie, the FX series which he created, stars in, produces, directs and edits; he also has an extensive acting and comedy career. Linda Gray, who celebrates her 76th, is best known for her Emmy and Golden Globe nominated work as Sue Ellen Ewing on Dallas.
Paul Walker (1973-2013) appeared in a variety of films from his emergence in the late 1990s to his untimely death in an auto accident, but he will always be most closely associated with the Fast and the Furious franchise, having starred in six of the seven movies so far. Jesse Owens (1913-1980), our sports legend for the day, was the star of the 1936 Summer Olympics, winning 4 gold medals and, as the Games were held in Berlin, delivering a symbolic blow to the Nazis as well. Dickie Moore (1925-2015) was a major child star of the 1930s. He appeared in eight Our Gang films, had the title role in the 1933 adaptation of Oliver Twist, and gave Shirley Temple her first onscreen kiss in the 1942 film Miss Annie Rooney. Moore had trouble adapting to adult roles and retired from film in 1952. He later started his own PR firm and married former MGM musical star Jane Powell.
Two music legends were born today. Barry White (1944-2003) was a major soul, funk and disco star of the 1970s. A three-time Grammy winner, he had several hits cross over to the Hot 100, including his #1 hit “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Baby. George Jones (1931-2013) was known in the last decades of his life as The Greatest Country Music Singer for his impeccable vocals. Although he was never the crossover success that other country stars were, he was a consistent presence on the Country charts from the mid-1950s through the late ’80s. Many of his greatest hits were duets recorded with Tammy Wynette; the two were married from 1969-75:
Herbert Henry Asquith (1852-1928) was Prime Minister of Great Britain for over eight years, including the first 29 months of World War I. His son Anthony was a prominent film director, and actress Helena Bonham Carter is his great-granddaughter. Asquith was portrayed by Tim Pigott-Smith in the British miniseries 37 Days.
Desmond Llewelyn (1914-1999) had over 100 acting credits on his resume, but for many film fans the only one that matters is the role of a man who always wished that 007 would pay better attention:
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 12, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Barry White, Desmond Llewelyn, Emmy Rossum, George Jones, Ian Holm, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie Owens, Paul Walker. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.