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September 19: Happy Birthday Jeremy Irons and Trisha Yearwood

0919ironsyearwood

Jeremy Irons turns 68 today.  He first became known for his stage work, appearing on the West End in a number of Shakespearean roles as well as the original London production of Godspell.  He won a Tony Award in his Broadway debut, playing Henry in Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing.

Irons made his film debut in the romantic drama The French Lieutenant’s Woman in 1981.  He has never shied away from playing villains or unsavory protagonists, as seen in his roles in David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers, and even more so in his Oscar-winning portrayal of Claus von Bülow in Reversal of Fortune:

A brief sampling of Irons’ many film roles in the last 25 years would include voicing Scar in The Lion King, playing Humbert Humbert in Adrian Lyne’s Lolita, and Antonio in The Merchant of Venice opposite Al Pacino as Shylock.  He was seen earlier this year as Alfred Pennyworth in Batman v. Superman.  In 2005 he appeared as the Earl of Leicester in the miniseries Elizabeth I, winning an Emmy Award to go with his Oscar and Tony wins, and joining the select list of winners of the Triple Crown of Acting.

Three-time Grammy winner Trisha Yearwood celebrates her 52nd birthday today.  She went to work for a record company after graduating from college, and took advantage of the access to make some demo tapes of her own, which eventually got her a contract with MCA.  Her first single went to #1 on the Billboard Country charts:

Yearwood had 17 Top Ten country hits in the 1990s, including four more that reached #1.  Her singles haven’t sold as well since 2000 but she has had a pair of #1 albums.  Before Yearwood signed with MCA, she did some backup vocals on an early Garth Brooks album or two.  The two remained friends for many years and eventually married in 2005.

Danielle Panabaker, who plays Caitlin Snow on The Flash, celebrates her 29th today.  She was also in the acclaimed HBO miniseries Empire FallsKatrina Bowden, who is 28 today, is best known for playing Cerie Xerox, Liz Lemon’s sexy assistant on 30 Rock.  Stage actor Ramin Karimloo, who turns 38, was chosen as part of the 25th Anniversary casts for both Les Misérables (as Enjolras) and The Phantom of the Opera (as the Phantom); he has since moved up to play Valjean in Les Miz on both Broadway and the West End.  Alison Sweeney, who plays Sami Brady on Days of Our Lives, and hosted The Biggest Loser from 2007-15, turns 40 today.

Jimmy Fallon, the current Tonight Show host, star of Fever Pitch opposite Drew Barrymore, and former host of Late Night, turns 42 today.  Sanaa Lathan, who celebrates her 45th, has starred in a variety of films including Love & Basketball, Brown Sugar and The Family that Preys, and was a Tony nominee for the 2004 revival of A Raisin in the SunKim Richards was a busy child actress in the 1970s, starring in several Disney films such as Escape to Witch Mountain and its sequel; she was also a regular on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  She is 52 today.  Twiggy (real name Leslie Hornby), who is 67 today, was one of the most famous models of the 1960s and then did a number of movies and plays.  Baseball Hall of Famer turned broadcaster Joe Morgan turns 73; he was one of the stars of the “Big Red Machine,” the Cincinnati Reds team that won the 1975 and ’76 World Series.

In music, Lita Ford, the lead guitarist for The Runaways who went on to an intermittent solo career, celebrates her 58th.  Songwriter Paul Williams, who wrote hits like “We’ve Only Just Begun” for The Carpenters and also wrote “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie, is 76 today.  Rex Smith, who had a top 10 hit with “You Take My Breath Away” and starred in Joseph Papp’s famous revival of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, turns 66.  Disco fans may take note of Nile Rodgers’ 64th birthday; he was the cofounder of the disco band Chic.  And twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin—the indie pop duo Tegan and Sara—celebrate their 36th birthdays today.

Rosemary Harris, who turns 89 today, is a nine-time Tony nominee, winning Best Actress in a Play for The Lion in Winter.  She played Aunt May Parker in three Spider-Man movies.  David McCallum, who celebrates his 83rd, became known in the sixties as Eric Ashley-Pitt (“Dispersal”) in The Great Escape and Illya Kuryakin in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  More recently he has been a regular on NCIS for all 13 seasons.

It may be hard to grasp today, when we have seen five different movie Batmans  (Batmen?) in just over 25 years, but there was a long window of time where the one and only image people had of a live-action Batman (unless you dug up some very obscure old movie serials) was this:

Cheers to Adam West on his 88th birthday.

Two of the all-time greats of Olympic track and field shared today as a birthday.  Emil Zátopek (1922-2000) was a great distance runner known as the “Czech Locomotive.”  At the 1952 Olympics, Zátopek won gold medals in the 5000 and 10000 meter runs, and then decided to enter the marathon at the last minute, despite never having run a marathon before.  His strategy for the race was to run alongside world record holder Jim Peters of England.  At about the 10 mile mark, Zátopek asked Peters what he thought of the race so far.  Peters responded that he thought it was “too slow,” whereupon Zátopek accelerated and ran away with the race.  Al Oerter (1936-2007), an American discus thrower, was a surprise winner in that event at the 1956 Olympics.  It was a bit less of a surprise when he won it again in 1960.  And 1964.  And 1968.  Oerter was the first athlete ever to win the same event at four consecutive Olympics; since 1968, Carl Lewis and Michael Phelps have also accomplished the feat.

Sir William Golding (1911-1993) was a Nobel Prize Winner in Literature; he was famous for, among other works, the controversial novel Lord of the Flies.  Porter Hall (1888-1953) was one of the character actors who enlivened the first two decades or so of sound films.  He was a cynical reporter in His Girl Friday, a confused train passenger in Double Indemnity, and gave Kris Kringle a “psychological evaluation” in Miracle on 34th StreetHelen Carter (1927-1998), the oldest of the three daughters of Maybelle and Ezra Carter, performed with her mother and sisters (June and Anita) as the second incarnation of The Carter Family.  William Hickey (1927-1997) was Oscar-nominated as the aging Don Corrado Prizzi in Prizzi’s HonorCass Elliot (1941-1974), sometimes called “Mama Cass,” was a member of the folk-rock group The Mamas & the Papas, and also had an acting and solo recording career, before falling victim to a heart attack.

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 September 19, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Dead Ringers was my introduction to Jeremy Irons. He gave two great performances in one weird, disturbing movie. Reversal of Fortune really put him on the map. He’s probably best known for having voiced Scar in The Lion King and battled Bruce Willis in Die Hard 3.

    Anyone else watching The Flash? Fun show. Looking forward to the hinted-at villain turn for Danielle Panabaker’s character. Kim Richards is on one of my wife’s favorite shows. Yep, she’s a Real Housewife. I think of Orange County, but who can keep track? Growing up in the 70’s, I was somewhat confused by Twiggy’s fame. She kept popping up in things and we were obviously expected to recognize her. I eventually figured out who she was.

    “The Rainbow Connection” never fails to put a smile on my face. Thank you, Paul Williams.

    Adam West was my Batman for a long, long time. The sixties Batman was my favorite show as a kid. I know it fell out of fashion in the eighties, but it’s still a lot of fun. Frankly, I’d rather watch Batman 66 than the current movies.

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  2. Wow, I had absolutely no idea that Adam West is 88. I’m working on the math in my mind….. yeah, that would have made him in his mid-to-late 30’s when he starred on the Batman tv show, I guess that sounds right.

    The thing is, I grew up on the Batman series in repeats as a kid. It was campy and silly sure, but it was great fun for a little kid. I’ve grown older, but I still find a certain tongue-in-cheek charm to the show even now.

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  3. I will always remember William Hickey as the one and only customer in the bar across the street from the theater in Mel Brooks’ The Producers. when Zero Mostel announces that he’ll buy a drink for everyone there.

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  4. It is also Randolph Mantooth’s Birthday. He played Fireman/Paramedic Johnny Gage in the 1970’s television show Emergency! He is 71 today.

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    • Oh yeah, “Emergency!”: good show, good cast. Along with Mantooth, his paramedic partner was Kevin Tighe (Tighe? Do you like shirt?), with Robert Fuller, Bobby Troup, and Julie London at the hospital. I remember the show from reruns as a kid, then caught up to it when I had access to RTV a few years ago.

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  5. Well look at the old chum, Adam West, here. Batman!
    It’s crazy, but I know Kim Richards best from the 1985 film “Tuff Turf” with James Spader (“T-U-F-F you’re so tough”).
    I have Lita Ford’s “Kiss Me Deadly” video on one of my YouTube playlists, along with her duet with Ozzy Osbourne. “Close My Eyes Forever”.

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  6. Adam West, the original screen Batman for a whole generation or more, has died at 88.

    https://www.yahoo.com/movies/adam-west-tv-batman-dies-88-151922879.html

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