September 27: Happy Birthday Gwyneth Paltrow and Avril Lavigne
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 Fatman. Greg Morris (1933-1996) was a three-time Emmy nominee for playing Barney Collier on Mission: Impossible. Roger 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 Wales. Jayne 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.
Posted on September 27, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Anna Camp, Arthur Penn, Avril Lavigne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jim Thompson, Shaun Cassidy, Wilford Brimley, William Conrad. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.