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September 27: Happy Birthday Gwyneth Paltrow and Avril Lavigne

0927paltrowlavigne

Gwyneth Paltrow celebrates her 44th birthday today.  The daughter of Blythe Danner and the late Bruce Paltrow, she made her film debut in her late teens, and first attracted notice playing the wife of Brad Pitt’s character in Se7en.  She followed up by playing the lead in an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, and then appeared as the lead in no less than five films released in 1998, including one about a fictitious love affair between a young woman and an English playwright:

Paltrow won a host of acting honors for playing Viola de Lesseps in Shakespeare in Love, capped with the Oscar for Best Actress.  Her subsequent career has been uneven, but highlights include a Golden Globe nomination for 2005’s Proof, an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Star for playing Holly Holliday on Glee, and her four appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Pepper Potts.

Avril Lavigne, who turns 32 today, was only 16 when she signed her first record contract with Arista.  Her first album, Let Go, came out in 2002 and brought Lavigne eight Grammy nominations over a two year period.  Two of them were for this song, nominated for Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance:

Lavigne’s next two albums, Under My Skin and The Best Damn Thing, both reached #1 on the Billboard 200, and “Girlfriend,” off of the latter album, became her first #1 single in the US.  Her two most recent albums have not sold as well, but both reached at least #5 on the Billboard 200.

Maria Schrader, who turns 51 today, is a German actress who is best known for Aimée & Jaguar, for which she and costar Juliane Köhler shared Best Actress awards for 1999 at the Berlin Film Festival and the German Film Awards.  Michael Aday, better known as Meat Loaf, turns 69 today; he is known for the Bat out of Hell series of albums.  Rapper Lil Wayne, a four-time Grammy winner, turns 34 today.  Shaun Cassidy, a singer-actor turned television producer, celebrates his 58th.  He starred in The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, had three top 10 singles in the late 1970s, and is an executive producer of the upcoming NBC series Emerald City.

Anna Camp, who celebrates her 34th birthday, played Sarah Newlin for three seasons on True Blood and co-starred in the two Pitch Perfect movies. Lola Kirke, who stars in the web series Mozart in the Jungle and was a lead in Noah Baumbach’s Mistress America, turns 26.  Grace Helbig, the co-producer and star of Camp Takota and Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, is 31 today.  Monica Puig, a rising star in the tennis world who won the gold medal in women’s singles at this year’s Olympics, celebrates her 23rd.

Tamara Taylor, who plays Dr. Camille Saroyan on Bones and voiced Wonder Woman in Justice League: Gods and Monsters, turns 46.  Andy Lau, a singing and film star in Hong Kong who starred in House of Flying Daggers, celebrates his 55th.  Randy Bachman, who turns 73, was a founder and lead guitarist for The Guess Who and then the Bachman-Turner Overdrive.  Stage director Peter Sellars is 59 today; he is known for his contemporary stagings of classic opera and drama.  Comedian Marc Maron, who starred in the IFC’s Maron and hosts the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, turns 53 today.

Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, possibly the greatest third baseman in baseball history, led the Philadelphia Phillies to the 1980 World Series and was a three-time National League MVP.  He is 67 today.  Steve Kerr, who is 51 today, won five NBA championships as a player and a sixth in 2015 as coach of the Golden State Warriors.

Wilford Brimley, who celebrates his 82nd birthday, was 40 when he got his first significant acting part, as a recurring character on the 1970s hit The Waltons.  He became a prominent supporting player in the 1980s and ’90s, in films such as The Natural, The Firm, and My Fellow Americans.  His most famous role was probably as Ben Luckett in the two Cocoon films, but my personal favorite Brimley role was as a no-nonsense government attorney in Absence of Malice:

Vincent Youmans (1898-1946) was a leading Broadway composer.  His most notable musical was probably No, No, Nannette, while he also wrote the music for Flying Down to Rio, the first film to pair Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  Stephen Douglass (1920-2011) was one of the top leading men in musical theater in the 1950s and ’60s.  He was a Tony nominee as Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees and played Gaylord Ravenal in a famous 1966 revival of Show Boat.

William Conrad (1920-1994) made his film debut as one of the titular hitmen in The Killers and starred on TV on Cannon and Jake and the FatmanGreg Morris (1933-1996) was a three-time Emmy nominee for playing Barney Collier on Mission: ImpossibleRoger C. Carmel (1932-1986) is remembered by Star Trek fans for his appearances as Harcourt Fenton “Harry” Mudd in the original series and the animated series.  Native American actor Will Sampson (1933-1987) was memorable as Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and as Ten Bears in The Outlaw Josey WalesJayne Meadows (1919-2015) was seen in 1940s features like Lady in the Lake and Song of the Thin Man, and received three Emmy nominations in a lengthy television career.

Jim Thompson (1906-1977) was one of the leading authors of hard-boiled crime fiction.  He did his best work in the 1950s and early ’60s, with several of his novels being adapted to film (some of them more than once): The Killer Inside Me, After Dark My Sweet, A Hell of a Woman, The Getaway, The Grifters and Pop. 1280 are some examples.  Director Arthur Penn (1922-2010) was nominated for the Oscar for Best Director three times, for The Miracle Worker, Bonnie and Clyde, and Alice’s Restaurant.  He is also known for films like his revisionist Western Little Big Man and the contemporary noir Night Moves.

Louis XIII of France (1601-1643), like his wife Anne of Austria, is a character in Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and hence has been portrayed on film several times, by actors such as Edward Arnold, Frank Morgan, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and recently on TV by Ryan Gage.  Samuel Adams (1722-1803), one of the leaders of the American Revolution, has been played on television by Danny Huston and Ben Barnes in recent miniseries on HBO and The History Channel.

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 27, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. The headliners today are two women with more than their share of detractors. I get why they rub people the wrong way, but I don’t necessarily feel the same way. Paltrow may be an entitled flake, but I usually enjoy her on screen. Lavigne may have been a spoiled brat, but some of her songs were undeniably catchy.

    Oh, but I think we can all agree Shakespeare in Love was an undeserving Oscar winner. (I can say that cause I’m pretty confident Daffy won’t be reading today!) 😉

    I was trying to remember why we were talking about Meat Loaf recently. Then I remembered… Cheesetastic Classic. As for Shaun Cassidy, I remember watching the Hardy Boys. He was quite the 70’s teen heartthrob back in the day.

    I watched most of True Blood, but never saw the last few seasons. I heard they were extremely disappointing. I didn’t realize Anna Camp was in the Pitch Perfect movies. I remember watching Marc Maron doing stand-up in the early days of Comedy Central (or whichever channel he was on before the two comedy channels merged). I’m not much of a podcast guy, but I do enjoy Maron on IFC.

    My personal favorite Wilford Brimley role was in The Thing. Just goes to show you, anyone who eats that much oatmeal can’t be trusted.

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  2. In honor of @GwynethPaltrow’s birthday, we’re throwing it back to her amazing first appearance on #Glee: https://t.co/bUCnmiXsRn

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  3. Great choice of clip for Wilford Brimley in “Absence of Malice” (I think it’s an excellent film). I was first introduced to Brimley through the 1980’s television series “Our House” (in the middle of the street?). I once knew a female who was obsessed with the guy, and this is long before those diabetes t-shirts and such.
    I’ve never had a problem with Avril Lavigne; I’ve liked some of her songs and those Proactiv commercials were okay. There’s a lot of people that aren’t too crazy about her estranged husband though.
    Gwyneth Paltrow is not a fav of mine, but I think she has talent and can watch her.
    Arthur Penn, yeah, I’m a big fan of 1987’s “Dead of Winter”, and “Bonnie and Clyde” is a definite classic. I recently learned about “Alice’s restaurant” through Good Bad Flicks, and I have to check that film out someday.

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    • Gwyneth Paltrow…I don’t hate her work, but even before she was known as the queen of basic white bitches, somehow her mojo just didn’t work on me. Her performances have always been competent but have never drawn me in. I see her in movies, she says words and does things, she’s just there, she’s not bothering me, and that’s absolute all I can say about her. I don’t feel any charisma. There are many less lauded actresses I would rather watch. Darryl Hannah, Rose McGowan, whatever… even at her very best, Paltrow’s as interesting to me as a baked potato. I only liked her a little in The Royal Tannenbaums, take or leave her in anything else.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The 10 Most Overrated Actors Working Today

        http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2016/the-10-most-overrated-actors-working-today/2/

        Gwyneth Paltrow

        Gwyneth Paltrow did not deserve that Oscar in 1999. Even though she was radiant in Shakespeare in Love, not only that year had best performances in the race, the Oscar gave her leeway to become terribly self-involved, and that led to terrible projects that never really explored her best qualities.

        And we’re not judging – if being the head of Goop (whatever that is, honestly) is what she wants to do, she should go for it, but truth be told> she was never as great as the Oscar promised us she’d be.

        And thing is, she was occasionally great before that. 1996 brought to great and vastly different performances in Emma and Sydney, for example. It’s a shame that the incredible entitlement and security that comes from an Oscar win brought Gwyneth down quickly with terrible turns in films like View from the Top, Possession, Shallow Hal, Sylvia and even John Madden’s own Proof. Those early flashes of brilliance never came through.

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        • Goop is “lifestyle website” that claims to enrich your spiritual being and help you become your best self. It mostly does so by advertising what insanely expensive clothes Gwyneth Paltrow thinks you should wear and what insanely expensive restaurants Gwyneth Paltrow thinks you should dine at and what incredibly expensive resorts Gwyneth Paltrow thinks you stay in, what incredibly expensive recipes Gwyneth Paltrow thinks you should cook, and what incredibly expensive décor items Gwyneth Paltrow thinks you should put in your home. Plus some stuff about water having feelings.

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        • I’ve seen Gwyneth Paltrow advertising for expensive items, but I didn’t know it was an entire lifestyle website. It all sounds very enlightening…I mean, lightening on the wallet and purse.

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        • How Gwyneth Paltrow became so hated in Hollywood

          http://www.nickiswift.com/35702/gwyneth-paltrow-became-hated-hollywood/

          There is no definitive starting point for the public’s general hatred of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, although some have suggested her 1999 Oscar acceptance speech could have been it. Somehow, her sobbing sincerity evoked the complete opposite response of what one would expect to receive when bearing their true emotions in a heartfelt moment. Since then, Paltrow’s earnestness has been consistently turned against her as a sign of snobbery, although she hasn’t exactly worked to reverse this perception. From her incessant name-dropping to her endless advocacy for haute living, it’s if she becomes more nauseating with each eye roll she induces. Here’s how Paltrow became so hated in Hollywood.

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        • I don’t hate her (I don’t hate anybody really), but I don’t care much for her. I don’t see her as earnest either, more flighty and kind of living in her own world. Seems to work for her though, and I do think she’s a fine performer (I don’t like burying people’s gifts just because they don’t really click with me either).

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    • Deader Than Disco / Music

      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/DeaderThanDisco/Music

      In 2002, Avril Lavigne burst onto the scene at only 17 years old with her Top 10 hits “Complicated”, “Sk8er Boi”, and “I’m With You”, which propelled her album Let Go to 6x platinum status. Lavigne quickly became the face of a movement of singers/songwriters rebelling against the “manufactured” pop and sexual images peddled by the likes of Britney Spears (to the point that she was called the “anti-Britney”) and was viewed as a Spiritual Successor of sorts to Alanis Morissette. She had built a reputation as a girl with an attitude, but also with a sweet spot on the inside, with her combination of rock and Pop Punk with mainstream sensibilities giving her a large magnitude of teenage fans, girls and boys alike. Not only that, she also built up a large following in Asia, especially Japan. In 2004, she released the Darker and Edgier Under My Skin, which was also a massive success and spawned the hit “My Happy Ending”. She even tried her hand at acting in a number of films, such as Over the Hedge and the film adaptation of Fast Food Nation. Her popularity as an artist peaked in 2007 when she released “Girlfriend”, which became her first song to hit #1 on the Hot 100. Its music video was, for a time, the most-viewed video on YouTube, and its parent album The Best Damn Thing was the best-selling album of 2007.

      Unfortunately for her, she simply couldn’t keep up the momentum after “Girlfriend” was released. Her 2011 follow-up Goodbye Lullaby only debuted at #4, and failed to even reach Gold status in the US, while many fans saw it as a sellout that took a far more commercial direction as opposed to her more personal and angsty earlier albums. She’d also long had a brewing hatedom among Punk Rock fans who saw her Pop Punk style (along with that of contemporary artists like Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco) as borderline blasphemy; her increasingly pop-oriented direction only made their charges easier to stick. The album did spawn a Top 20 single with “What the Hell”, but it didn’t have anywhere near the staying power that her previous singles did, while her follow-up singles barely scraped the Top 70 on the chart.

      She seemed to be making a comeback in 2013 with her Top 20 single “Here’s to Never Growing Up”, which managed to attain platinum status in the US, but she went and blew it completely the following year with “Hello Kitty”, an attempt to capitalize on both the dubstep craze and her continued popularity in Japan. It certainly got attention… but not the kind she was looking for. The video, which was filmed in Japan and had emotionless, robotic backup dancers filled with exaggerated Japanese imagery, was widely derided for being racist and stereotypical (or at least Japandering taken to embarrassing extremes), and the song barely charted on the American or Japanese charts. Her self-titled album, which contained both of the previously-mentioned songs, was the biggest flop in her career, selling even worse than her previous release (although admittedly, it was released against the red-hot Marshall Mathers LP 2 from Eminem). Nowadays, Lavigne is seen as a relic of the early-to-mid 2000s who made annoying pop songs like “Complicated” and “Girlfriend” that got stuck in your head for the wrong reasons. The fact that she’s been married to Chad Kroeger, the frontman of Nickelback (a band that’s become Deader than Disco as well), probably doesn’t help matters. The announcement of their separation in September 2015 was a source of Snark Bait among radio DJs, particularly on rock radio, at least when it was mentioned at all.

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