September 30: Happy Birthday Marion Cotillard and Lacey Chabert


Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard turns 41 today.  From the beginning of her career—when she appeared in an episode of Highlander the same year she appeared in a French series called Étude sur le Mouvement—she has worked in both English-language and European film and television.  She appeared in several French films starting in the mid-1990s, and made her first American film in 2003, Tim Burton’s Big Fish.  She won a Cesar Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2004 for A Very Long Engagement, and then was cast as the famous French cabaret singer Edith Piaf in a 2007 biopic:

Cotillard won a long list of acting awards for La Vie en Rose, including another Cesar, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA Award, and to cap everything the Oscar for Best Actress, making her only the second Best Actress winner for a foreign language role (after Sophia Loren).  Since then Cotillard has kept busy.  She has appeared in a number of high-profile, big-budget films such as Michael Mann’s Public Enemies and Christopher Nolan’s Inception and The Dark Knight Rises.  She has also drawn further critical acclaim for her roles in films like Rust and Bone, The Immigrant, and Two Days, One Night, the latter of which brought her a second Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

WTHH subject Lacey Chabert turns 34 today.  Her career is covered in great detail in her WTHH article; highlights have included starring on Party of Five as Claudia Salinger, doing a variety of voice work, and appearing as Gretchen Wieners in a film about some Mean Girls:

Vondie Curtis-Hall, who starred on Chicago Hope in the 1990s and is now on Marvel’s Daredevil, turns 60 today.  Barry Williams, who is 62, played Greg Brady on The Brady Bunch and in various revival and reunion shows and TV movies.  Crystal Bernard, who celebrates her 55th, played Amy Tompkins for four seasons of It’s A Living, and then had a seven-year run on Wings as Helen Chappell.  Eric Stoltz, who also turns 55, was a Golden Globe nominee for the 1985 film Mask, and has lately gotten into directing, working regularly on Glee and Madam Secretary.  Some may recall or be aware that he was originally cast as Marty McFly in Back to the Future, only to be replaced by Michael J. Fox.  Fran Drescher, who turns 59, was a two-time Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for The Nanny during the 1990s.

Italian actress Monica Bellucci, who celebrates her 52nd birthday, has worked in French and Italian cinema, in British films, and in Hollywood.  She has been nominated for both a Cesar and a Donatello Award during her career.  Among her English-language films, she appeared in the two sequels to The Matrix, and recently was the first “over fifty” Bond Girl in a small role in Spectre.

Ezra Miller, who turns 24 today, has been seen in a variety of mostly indie films since his debut in Afterschool in 2008; these days he’s portraying Barry Allen/The Flash in the DC Extended Universe.  Tony Hale, who celebrates his 46th, is a two-time Emmy winner as Outstanding Supporting Actor for playing Gary Walsh on VeepDaniel Wu, an actor and director-producer in Hong Kong films who stars in AMC’s Into the Badlands, turns 42.  Jenna Elfman, who is 45 today, won a Golden Globe for Dharma & Greg and will be seen in the upcoming TV season on Imaginary MaryAmy Landecker, who celebrates her 47th birthday, is featured in the Amazon web series Transparent and has a role in the upcoming Doctor Strange.

Country singer-songwriter Marty Stuart, who turns 58, had several Top Ten country hits in the early 1990s such as “Tempted” and “Burn Me Down.”  Mexican novelist and screenwriter Laura Esquivel, who celebrates her 66th, wrote the novel Like Water for Chocolate and the screenplay for the highly successful film adaptation.  Tennis star Martina Hingis turns 36.  She was the dominant women’s singles player in the world in the late 1990s, had to withdraw from pro tennis after a series of ankle injuries, and has recently come back to the sport as a powerhouse doubles player.  Marilyn McCoo, who turns 73, was the lead vocalist for The 5th Dimension, who had pop hits like “Up, Up and Away” and their medley “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” during the late 1960s.  Johnny Mathis, who turns 81, is a very successful pop/easy listening singer who has been recording since the 1950s.  He had #1 hits with “Chances Are” and “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late.”

Angie Dickinson celebrates her 85th birthday.  She played one of the classic Hawks heroines in Rio Bravo opposite John Wayne and was a three-time Emmy nominee as Pepper Anderson in the 1970s series Police WomanLen Cariou, who is 77 today, originated the title role in Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd, winning a Tony Award.  He is currently seen in CBS’s Blue Bloods.

Baseball Hall of Famer Robin Roberts (1926-2010) was one of the best pitchers in the National League in the 1950s and led the Philadelphia Phillies to the National League pennant in 1950.  Lewis Milestone (1895-1980) won the Oscar for Best Director for Two Arabian Knights and All Quiet on the Western Front, and also directed The Front Page, Of Mice and Men, and Ocean’s 11Dan O’Bannon (1946-2009) was best-known as a screenwriter.  He wrote the screenplay for Alien based on a story he wrote with Ronald Shusett, and later teamed with Shusett on the writing of Total Recall.  O’Bannon was also involved in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s Dune to film.  Truman Capote (1924-1984) was the author of the short novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s, made into the 1961 film, and the “nonfiction nnovel” In Cold Blood, adapted to screen more than once.  He also had a major acting role in Murder by Death.

David Oistrakh (1908-1974) was one of the most gifted violinists of the 20th Century.  He was one of the first Russian musicians, along with the pianist Emil Gilels, allowed by Soviet authorities to tour extensively in the West after World War 2.  He made brilliant recordings of much of the Classical and Romantic violin repertoire but also was a proponent of 20th Century music—Dmitri Shostakovich dedicated both of his violin concertos to Oistrakh.  Buddy Rich (1917-1987), often billed as the “world’s greatest drummer” during his career, was a self-taught musician.  He made his name as a member of Tommy Dorsey’s band, and was one of the most sought-after jazz musicians for recording sessions.  He was known for his performances of the  “West Side Story Medley” and “Channel One Suite,” and for a TV guest appearance where he faced off with another famous drummer:

Michael Powell (1905-1990) was one of the most brilliant directors in British cinema.  He is best known for his partnership with writer Emeric Pressburger.  The duo, known as “The Archers,” made some of the most memorable films of the 1940s, including 49th Parallel, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, I Know Where I’m Going, A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes.  After their partnership dissolved, Powell went on to make the brilliant and controversial film Peeping Tom.

Two of the Archers’ classics from the 1940s starred Deborah Kerr (1921-2007).  She played a triple role in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and then had the lead role, Sister Clodagh, in Black Narcissus.  She then moved to Hollywood and became one of the top leading ladies of the 1950s, appearing in films like From Here to Eternity (with the famous beach scene with Burt Lancaster), as Anna Leonowens in The King and I, and as another nun in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison.  She was nominated for Best Actress for all three of these films (and three others).

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 30, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. That Lacey Chabert write-up was definitely the most tongue-in-cheek of the “What the Hell Happened To…” series, and it really had me going for a second. As for her career other than “Mean girls”, I kind of like the remake of “Black Christmas”, because it’s so different from the original (although the original may be too slow, and the remake spells too much out; I say both have problems).
    I find it interesting that Marion Cotillard & Monica Bellucci share a birthday, since both have had a strong presence in films from their native country, although Cotillard has had more American film mainstream success (the only American films I’ve seen Bellucci in is 2000’s “Under Suspicion” and 2007’s “Shoot ’em Up”, but wow, do I think she’s a real stunner!).
    Angie Dickinson; yeah, in the 1980’s my mother used to watch reruns of “Police Woman” before going to work, and my father was a fan of hers as well. A few years ago, I asked actress Kelli Maroney on IMDB on what it was like to work with Dickinson on the sequel to “Big Bad Mama” (a really unnecessary sequel), and she said good things.
    Lebeau was right about Fran Drescher; she is a knockout:-).
    It seems to me that after the sequel to 1986’s “The Fly” (tough to call that a remake of the 1958 picture; more of a modernizing), Eric Stoltz stuck to the independent film scene. I’ve seen quite a few of those indies, and rather like them, but I’ll always remember Stoltz best from “Mask” and “Some Kind of Wonderful”.


    • I won’t claim expertise in many subjects, but I know my knock outs. Fran Drescher was a total babe, but she ruined the image with that nasally voice.


      • I think Fran Drescher didn’t need to use a nasal voice as a signature, just stick with the New York accent. Plus, a schtick like that either gets old or could offend people, and has an expiration date in any best case scenario.


  2. I’m catching up after a few days away, so I’m going to try to keep my comments short. I still have a FTWD write-up to get to. (It’s going to be late.)

    Marion Cotillard’s name vexed me back when Daffy and I were doing the podcast. I had taken four years of French and my pronunciation wasn’t too bad back in the day. But I had this mental hang-up any time I tried to spit out “Cotillard”. I think it was an Oscar themed episode, but I know I butchered it. I don’t have strong memories of Big Fish. The first movie I remember her from was Inception. She was decent in a pretty thankless role in Dark Knight Rises. I liked her best in Midnight in Paris, but then I really like that movie a lot.

    Believe it or not, the Lacey Chabert article is the one that has brought me the most grief. I was actually contacted by an attorney for the removal of comments by a certain nefarious individual. It was a bizarre experience. I was unaware at the time of what I was stepping in when I wrote that article – which I did mostly as a gag. Hopefully Ms. Chabert, who had nothing to do with the whole mess, had a lovely birthday.

    I guess the Matrix sequels really were the first time I saw Monica Bellucci. I thought I had seen her in something else prior to those movies. It’s faint praise to say she is the best thing in them. I was mildly disappointed to see her underutilized in Spectre. But then, I was mildly disappointed by Spectre in a number of ways.

    Ezra Miller is going to have big shoes to fill as The Flash. Grant Gustin makes for a very winning Scarlet Speedster on TV. Arrested Development is one of my favorite TV shows ever. I recently caught up with Tony Hale on Veep via streaming. Dan O’Bannon probably doesn’t get enough credit for his role in creating Alien.


  3. The Dark Knight Rises: Marion Cotillard on Fan Criticism

    Marion Cotillard responds to criticism of one moment from The Dark Knight Rises…


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