October 26: Happy Birthday Seth MacFarlane and Keith Urban
Seth MacFarlane turns 43 today. While a senior at the Rhode Island School of Design, he created an animated short film called The Life of Larry, which led to his being hired by Hanna-Barbera after his graduation. At Hanna-Barbera he worked on several series, including Johnny Bravo and Dexter’s Laboratory. He also began developing an idea for an animated sitcom, which he was eventually able to sell to Fox. Its name—Family Guy:
Family Guy is now in its 15th season; it has won six Primetime Emmy awards and three Annie awards. MacFarlane has gone on to create another animated sitcom, American Dad!, now in its 13th season, and feature films like the enormously successful Ted, the not as successful Ted 2, and the not very successful A Million Ways to Die in the West.
Keith Urban is 49 today. Following in the tradition of other Australian singers who have been successful in the US, he has been a successful country artist since the late 1990s. His last 7 albums have all reached #1 or 2 on the US Country chart, with two of them hitting #1 on the Billboard 200. He has had a long list of Top Ten country singles, and has won the Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance four times, one of them for this:
Jaclyn Smith celebrates her 71st today. She played Kelly Garrett on Charlie’s Angels for five seasons, the only Angel to stay with the Townsend Agency for the series’ entire run, and then became a successful businesswoman, developing her own lines of clothing, perfumes and more. Rita Wilson turns 60 today; she had supporting roles in some significant 1990s films like Sleepless in Seattle and Runaway Bride, was the producer of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and is one of several people in today’s article to have a famous spouse.
Dylan McDermott, who turns 55, was a Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee for The Practice, and recently starred on CBS’s Stalker for its single season. Julian Schnabel, who is 65 today, directed The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (starring Mathieu Amalric) and is also a well-known painter. Shelley Morrison, who celebrates her 80th, was known to 1960s audiences as Sister Sixto on The Flying Nun, and to more recent viewers as Rosa Salazar on Will & Grace. Pat Sajak, who turns 70, is known as the longtime host of Wheel of Fortune—the daytime version from 1981-89 and the syndicated evening version since 1983. Cary Elwes, who is 54 today, seemed like a possible star after playing Westley in The Princess Bride; it was not to be, although he did go on to play a Robin Hood who, unlike some, could speak with an English accent. Tom Cavanagh, who turns 53 today, currently plays Dr. Harrison Wells on The Flash, and starred as Ed Stevens on NBC’s Ed.
Jon Heder, who celebrates his 39th, played the title character in Napoleon Dynamite and currently does a lot of voice acting. Florence Kasumba, who turns 40, played Ayo in Captain America: Civil War and will reprise the role in Black Panther; she is also slated to be in the cast of Wonder Woman. Rosemarie DeWitt, who celebrates her 45th, played Charmaine Crane on United States of Tara and the title role in the critically acclaimed Rachel Getting Married. Kelly Rowan, who played Kirsten Cohen on The O. C. and more recently a dual role on Perception, turns 51.
Anthony Rapp, who turns 45, is well-known on Broadway. He originated the role of Mark Cohen in Rent, played Charlie Brown in the 1999 revival of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and played Lucas in the recent musical If/Then; some might also remember him as next-door neighbor Darryl from Adventures in Babysitting. Roger Allam, who is 53 today, is a London stage/musical theater veteran who has won multiple Olivier Awards. He played Javert in the original London cast of Les Misérables, while his Shakespeare roles have included Brutus in Julius Caesar, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, and Macbeth. He is also part of the enormous cast of Game of Thrones as Illyrio Mopatis.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton turns 69 today. The former Senator and Secretary of State leads in most polls as of this writing. Which means we can perhaps look forward to future Amy Poehler impersonations of her.
Director Don Siegel (1912-1991) began his career with two Oscar-winning shorts, Star in the Night and Hitler Lives, in 1945. Highlights of his long career directing features include the original version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, several of Clint Eastwood’s films including Dirty Harry and Escape from Alcatraz, and John Wayne’s final film, The Shootist. Bob Hoskins (1942-2014) made his name in English films like The Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa, winning a Golden Globe and receiving an Oscar nomination for the latter, before going on to star in Who Framed Roger Rabbit as Eddie Valiant. The short-lived Ted Demme (1963-2002) was known for directing feature films like Beautiful Girls and Blow, and for his documentary about 1970s cinema, A Decade under the Influence, released after his death. Jackie Coogan (1914-1984) was a child star in silent films, notably Chaplin’s The Kid, and many years later played Uncle Fester on The Addams Family. Margaret Wycherly (1881-1956) played memorable screen mothers to characters played by Gary Cooper (Mother York in Sergeant York, for which she won an Oscar nomination) and James Cagney (Ma Jarrett in White Heat). Fred Graham (1908-1979) was a stuntman for several decades, including working regularly as John Wayne’s double for a period of nearly 20 years; he also, like most stunt performers, picked up lots of minor acting parts.
Classical music fans will recognize the name of Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), who has the distinction of being the third greatest composer born in the year 1685—which isn’t bad when y0u consider that #1 is J. S. Bach and #2 is G. F. Handel. Giuditta Pasta (1797-1865) was one of the greatest singers of the 19th century, known for roles like the title character in Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, one of the most challenging soprano roles ever written.
Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972) is often considered the greatest gospel singer ever. Aside from her musical accomplishments, which were considerable and included four Grammys, she was known for her strong commitment to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s. Rumors about a biopic about her have been floating around for some time but I couldn’t find any definitive information.
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 26, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Bob Hoskins, Dylan McDermott, Hillary Clinton, Jaclyn Smith, Jon Heder, Keith Urban, Kelly Rowan, Mahalia Jackson, Roger Allam, Seth MacFarlane. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.