October 17: Happy Birthday Felicity Jones and Eminem
Felicity Jones turns 33 today. She began acting in her teens, and for several years worked in British television, not making her film debut until 2008. Since then she has worked very steadily—in 2011, for example, she had five films come out, including playing Miranda in Julie Taymor’s version of The Tempest and Beth Fischer in Albatross, opposite Jessica Brown Findlay. Her career took a bit step forward in 2014, when she was cast as Jane Wilde Hawking in The Theory of Everything:
Jones was nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress for The Theory of Everything. After a little bit of quiet time in her career, she will be all over the multiplexes the next few months. She costars opposite Tom Hanks in an adaptation of Dan Brown’s Inferno, which opens at the end of this month, and appears with Nicholas Hoult in an action thriller called Collide, which will be out early next year. And in case you’ve missed the tiny little bits of advance publicity that have trickled out, she will star in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will open in December.
Eminem (given name Marshall Mathers) turns 44 today. Known as the “King of Hip-Hop,” he is very probably the biggest-selling rap artist of all time; while many find his lyrics controversial (to put it mildly), there’s no doubt he has been extremely successful and influential. He has won 15 Grammy Awards, along with an Oscar for Best Original Song, for “Lose Yourself,” from the soundtrack to 8 Mile (a movie he also starred in), which also happens to be his best-selling single:
Susan Stroman, who celebrates her 62nd today, is a five-time Tony winner, four times as a choreographer and once as a director, as well as a two-time Olivier Award winner. She choreographed the dances for the 1998 West End revival of Oklahoma! that starred Hugh Jackman, winning one of her Olivier Awards, and won Tonys for both directing and choreography for the original production of the musical adaptation of The Producers. Rob Marshall, who turns 56, has also been successful as both a director and choreographer, for both stage and screen. He is a five-time Tony nominee for his stage work, won an Emmy for choreography for a 1999 TV movie version of Annie, and was nominated for Best Director for Chicago.
Julie Adams, who turns 90 today, had a long film and television career, but will probably be most remembered for her role in Creature from the Black Lagoon. George Wendt is 68 today. He received six consecutive Emmy nominations for playing Norm Peterson on Cheers. Sir Cameron Mackintosh, turns 70 today. He is one of the most successful theatrical producers in the world in the last 40 years, known for producing the original productions of Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, and Miss Saigon, just to name a few. Appropriately, Margot Kidder, who celebrates her 68th today, was born the same day as one of Superman’s creators (see below), as she was Lois Lane in four Superman feature films. She recently won a Daytime Emmy for R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour.
Max Irons, who turns 31, has starred in films like The Host (adapted from Stephenie Meyer’s non-vampire novel) and the British series The White Queen. Mike Judge, who is 54 today, is the creator of Beavis and Butt-head and co-creator of King of the Hill, and has moved into live-action television with his acclaimed series Silicon Valley. Sharon Leal, known for her regular role on Boston Public and major supporting role in Dreamgirls, turns 44; she has recently been on Supergirl as Miss Martian. Mark Gatiss, who celebrates his 50th, is the co-creator of Sherlock and plays Mycroft Holmes in that series, and has acted and written for Doctor Who as well as writing several original Doctor Who novels. Matthew Macfadyen starred in the BBC series Spooks, played Mr. Darcy in the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice, and currently stars in the British series Ripper Street.
In music, Ziggy Marley, who is 48 today, has followed in the footsteps of his father (a certain Bob Marley) in becoming a prominent reggae artist. Three-time Grammy winner Wyclef Jean, who turns 47, is certainly the second-biggest hip-hop star born today. Country star Alan Jackson has had 15 albums and over 30 singles reach the #1 position on the country charts. He turns 58 today. Stephen Kovacevich, who celebrates his 76th, has been one of the world’s top classical pianists for over 40 years, known for his interpretations of Beethoven and Brahms.
For the second day in a row it’s the birthday of one of America’s greatest dramatists, this time Arthur Miller (1915-2005). Miller was the author of over thirty stage plays, including the Pulitzer Prize winning Death of a Salesman, along with The Crucible, his most frequently performed play. He also wrote several screenplays, including The Misfits, which starred Marilyn Monroe, who was married to Miller at the time of filming (they divorced before it was released).
Two major authors of fantasy also shared today as a birthday. Alan Garner, who is 82 today, has written a number of children’s fantasy novels, the most highly-regarded being The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and its sequel The Moon of Gomrath. Robert Jordan (1948-2007) was the author of the huge epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time, which consisted of 14 novels plus a prequel (of which the final three were completed by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan’s death).
Rita Hayworth (1918-1987) was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 1940s, dubbed the “love goddess” by the press. Her most famous role was playing the title character in the film noir classic Gilda; another big one was as Elsa Bannister in The Lady from Shanghai. One of Hayworth’s first notable roles was a supporting part in Only Angels Have Wings, in which Jean Arthur (1900-1991) played the female lead. Arthur was one of the finest comic actresses of that comedy-rich period, playing lead roles in three of Frank Capra’s best films: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can’t Take It With You, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. In the early 1940s she starred in two more great comedies, The Talk of the Town and The More the Merrier (for which she received her only Oscar nomination).
Montgomery Clift (1920-1966) was a four-time Oscar nominee and one of the first “method” actors in Hollywood. He starred in some of the most notable films made from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, including Red River, From Here to Eternity, and the aforementioned The Misfits. Robert “Evel” Knievel (1938-2007) was famous for his motorcycle stunts, involving ramp-to-ramp jumps of increasing length and difficulty, and his failed attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon in 1974. Novelist Nathanael West (1903-1940) was little-known during his lifetime but after his death, his novels Miss Lonelyhearts and Day of the Locust acquired very good reputations. Irene Ryan (1902-1973) was a two-time Emmy nominee for playing Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies. Comic book artist Jerry Siegel (1914-1996) is known for being the co-creator of Superman, and for the legal battle he and Joe Shuster had to wage to get recognized in later years as such.
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 17, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Alan Jackson, Cameron Mackintosh, Eminem, Felicity Jones, Jean Arthur, Jerry Siegel, Julie Adams, Mark Gatiss, Mike Judge, Montgomery Clift, Rita Hayworth, Susan Stroman, Wyclef Jean. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.