October 14: Happy Birthday Mia Wasikowska and Roger Moore
Mia Wasikowska, who celebrates her 27th today, began acting as a teenager in Australian television and film. She had supporting roles in films like Suburban Mayhem, Rogue and September, and then was introduced to US audiences in HBO’s In Treatment. After a critically praised performance in the indie drama That Evening Sun, Wasikowska was cast as the title character in Tim Burton’s film based on a classic children’s novel:
Since Alice in Wonderland came out, Wasikowska has kept extremely busy, appearing in over a dozen feature film roles. She has done adaptations of literary classics (Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre, Sophie Barthes’s Madame Bovary, playing the title roles in each), highly acclaimed indie films (The Kids Are All Right), crime dramas (Lawless), and has worked with directors like Gus van Sant (Restless) and Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak). She returned to the role of Alice Kingsleigh in this year’s Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Sir Roger Moore turns 89 today. After working in films in the 1950s without much success, Moore made his name in television, in series like Ivanhoe, Maverick (as cousin Beau, a part reportedly turned down by Sean Connery), and most tellingly as the Robin Hood-like detective/adventurer Simon Templar in The Saint. In the early 1970s, Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman came calling, with a role in a series of films about a certain secret agent:
Moore played James Bond in seven films for Eon Productions, more than any other actor. His portrayal of Bond is not everyone’s favorite, but there’s no denying it was successful—five of those seven films ranked in the top 10 at the box office for their year of release. During his years as Bond, Moore made some other interesting films, including the war movie The Wild Geese, a thriller called North Sea Hijack, and the silly but fun The Cannonball Run, where he played Seymour Goldfarb, who thinks he is Roger Moore and drives an Aston Martin DB-5 (with modifications).
Harry Anderson, who starred as Judge Harry Stone on Night Court and as Dave Barry on Dave’s World, turns 64 today. Lori Petty celebrates her 53rd birthday. She starred in A League of Their Own and as the title character in Tank Girl and currently has a recurring role on Orange Is the New Black. Greg Evigan, who is 63 today, is known for starring roles on television in B.J. and the Bear, My Two Dads, and TekWar. Katy Manning, who turns 70, played Jo Grant on Doctor Who opposite the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, in the early 1970s, and many years later reprised the role on the spinoff series The Sarah Jane Adventures. Carroll Ballard, who is 79 today, directed the Oscar-nominated documentary Harvest and feature films like The Black Stallion and Fly Away Home; he was also the second unit director on Star Wars. British actor Steve Coogan, who celebrates his 51st, has been working in radio, television and film since the late 1980s. He had his biggest success with Philomena, which he produced, wrote and starred in—he received Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
R&B and hip hop singer-songwriter Usher Raymond turns 38 today. In a career of a little over 20 years, he is an 8-time Grammy winner and has had 4 #1 albums and 9 #1 singles. Sir Cliff Richard, who turns 76, is said to be the third biggest selling singer ever in the UK, behind Elvis and The Beatles; American audiences might recall his singles “Devil Woman” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore.” Dan McCafferty, who is turning 70, was the lead vocalist for the Scottish rock band Nazareth from the group’s founding until his retirement in 2013. Blues musician Chris Thomas King has recorded over a dozen albums, and appeared in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? as Tommy Johnson; he is 54 today. New wave singer Thomas Dolby turns 58; he had a hit in 1982 with “She Blinded Me With Science.” And for the second time this week one of the Dixie Chicks celebrates a birthday, as Natalie Maines is turning 42 today.
Appropriately, the birthday of a James Bond is also the birthday of the latest Q, as Ben Whishaw is celebrating his 36th. Max Theriot, who turns 28, has been featured in films like Nancy Drew and Jumper and currently stars in A&E’s Bates Motel. Rowan Blanchard, who plays Riley Matthews on Girl Meets World, turns 15 today. Director Benh Zeitlin, who is 34 today, was nominated for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for his first feature, Beasts of the Southern Wild. Jay Pharoah, who is 29 today, has been a cast member of Saturday Night Live since 2010 and has had a number of small film roles.
Justin Hayward, who celebrates his 70th today, has been a member of the art-rock band The Moody Blues for about fifty years. Hayward is the group’s lead guitarist and frequent lead vocalist, and wrote several of their biggest hits, including “Question,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” and “Nights in White Satin.”
In sports, Russian gymnast Nikolai Andrianov (1952-2011) won 15 Olympic medals from 1972-1980, the most won by any men’s gymnast in Olympic history. John Wooden (1910-2010) was nicknamed “The Wizard of Westwood” when he coached the UCLA men’s basketball team to 10 NCAA championships in 12 seasons, including 7 titles in a row from 1967-73.
Allan Jones (1907-1992) was known for his roles in musicals like the 1936 version of Show Boat (as Ravenal) and for appearing in the first two Marx Brothers films at MGM, A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races. Character actor Robert Webber (1924-1989) had his first major role in 12 Angry Men (as Juror No. 12) and appeared in films like The Dirty Dozen, Midway, The Revenge of the Pink Panther, and Private Benjamin.
Lillian Gish (1893-1993) was one of the biggest stars of the silent film era. She worked regularly with pioneering director D. W. Griffith, starring in Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, Broken Blossoms, and Way Down East. She continued working, although not as regularly, in the sound era; some of her notable films included Duel in the Sun (for which she was an Oscar nominee), The Night of the Hunter, and her final film, made in 1987, The Whales of August, in which she starred opposite Bette Davis.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), known as “Ike,” was the commander of Allied forces in Western Europe in World War II and the 34th President of the US. Arguably the first president of the television age, he won a special Emmy Award in 1956. He has been played onscreen by a number of actors, including Robert Duvall and Michael Moriarty.
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 October 14, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Ben Whishaw, Harry Anderson, Justin Hayward, Lillian Gish, Mia Wasikowska, Natalie Maines, Roger Moore, Steve Coogan, Usher Raymond. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.