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November 1: Happy Birthday Lyle Lovett and Toni Collette

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Four-time Grammy winner Lyle Lovett turns 59 today.  Though he’s usually classified as a country artist, Lovett is also often compared with more eclectic songwriters such as Randy Newman or Townes van Zandt.  He began recording in the mid-1980s and has released several successful albums and singles in a career of some three decades.

In addition to his musical career (and a short-lived marriage to Julia Roberts), Lovett has done a fair amount of film and television acting.  He appeared in several of Robert Altman’s films of the 1990s, including The Player and Short Cuts, and also other films like The New Guy and The Open Road, and a number of guest appearances on television.

Emmy and Golden Globe winner Toni Collette turns 44 today.  She began working in Australian films such as Spotswood and Muriel’s Wedding (for which she was a Golden Globe nominee).  Her first major Hollywood role came in the 1996 film The Pallbearer; a few years after that she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in The Sixth Sense:

Although Collette has never become a top-rank star she has continued to work steadily and earn positive reviews.  Some of her notable films have included About a Boy, The Hours, Little Miss Sunshine and The Way, Way Back.  She won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for playing the title character in United States of Tara; her stage career has included a Tony nomination for the musical The Wild Party.

Nine-time Oscar winner Dennis Muren turns 70 today.  He has worked for some 40 years at Industrial Light & Magic, where he is Creative Director and Visual Effects Supervisor.  His Oscars in the area of visual effects include The Empire Strikes Back, E.T., Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Terminator 2, and Jurassic Park.

Penn Badgley, who played Dan Humphrey on Gossip Girl, turns 30 today.  Stage actor Anthony Ramos, known for his work in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musicals (In the Heights, Hamilton), turns 25.  Logan Marshall-Green turns 40 today; he played Charlie Holloway in Prometheus and stars on Cinemax’s QuarryNatalia Tena is 32 today.  She played Nymphadora Tonks (“it’s Tonks”) in four Harry Potter films, and the wildling Osha in Game of Thrones; in her film debut she appeared with Toni Collette in About a Boy.  Jenny McCarthy, former Playmate of the Month turned TV host and actress (and Razzie winner) turns 44.

Barbara Bosson, who turns 70, was a two-time Emmy nominee, for her roles on Hill Street Blues and Murder One; her film roles included Alex Rogan’s mother in The Last StarfighterAnthony Kiedis, the longtime lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, turns 54 today.  Actress Rachel Ticotin is 58 today.  She is known for roles in films such as Total Recall (1990 version) and Con Air.  Animator and writer Brenda Chapman celebrates her 54th; she was the co-writer and co-director of Best Animated Feature winner BraveJeannie Berlin was an Oscar and Golden Globe nominee in 1972’s The Heartbreak Kid (directed by her mother, Elaine May), and recently returned to the screen in films like Inherent Vice and Cafe Society.

Singer-songwriter and record producer Jim Steinman turns 69.  His songwriting credits include Bonnie Tyler’s hits “Holding Out for a Hero” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” the songs “Nowhere Fast” and “Tonight Is What It Means to be Young” from the movie Streets of Fire, Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” and many more.

Model and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai turns 43.  She is a ten-time Filmfare award nominee with two wins and has appeared in a few Western films like The Last Legion and The Pink Panther 2.  A rising Bollywood star, Ileana D’Cruz, turns 29 today; she won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut in 2013.

Baseball fans who are of my generation can remember “Fernandomania,” the awe-inspiring debut of Fernando Valenzuela in the spring and summer of 1981, when the rookie pitcher won his first eight starts, five of them by throwing shutouts, for the Los Angeles Dodgers, en route to a Cy Young Award and a World Series victory.  Valenzuela turns 56 today.  Another sports birthday is golf great Gary Player, who turns 81.  Player is one of only five golfers to win the Career Grand Slam—winning at least once at the US Open, British Open, the Masters and the PGA—and the only non-American among the five.

Laura La Plante (1904-1996) was a major silent film star, said to be Universal’s biggest star in the 1920s.  She did everything from Westerns with Tom Mix and Hoot Gibson, to the silent horror classic The Cat and the Canary, to the part-talkie 1929 version of Show BoatMarcia Wallace (1942-2013) was known for two great comic roles, as receptionist Carol Kester on The Bob Newhart Show, and as the voice of Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons, for which she won an Emmy.  Spanish soprano Victoria de los Ángeles (1923-2005) was a favorite in opera houses around the world in the 1940s and ’50s, known for roles like Bizet’s Carmen, Rosina in Rossini’s Barber of Seville, and Puccini heroines like Mimi in La Boheme and the title character in Madama ButterflyStephen Crane (1871-1900) was a poet and novelist best remembered for his Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage.

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.

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Posted on November 1, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. While we don’t have any really big names today there are a few interesting ones. I have some memories of watching The Bob Newhart Show when I was younger and I can definitely recall Marcia Wallace being an absolute stitch as Carol Kester.

    Jim Steinman certainly has had a knack for turning out pulsing, anthem-ish rock tunes that stick in your brain.

    Fernando Valenzuela set the baseball world on fire back in 1981. After the middle of that season he was never really as dominant, and since Tommy Lasorda, the Dodgers’ manager at the time, tended to work his best pitchers into the ground, he was really only a top level star for about six seasons, but that big start to his career was amazing.

    No superhero film or series related birthdays, but we do have the first of several Game of Thrones birthdays for November; in this case it’s also a Harry Potter related birthday.

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    • I was too young to experience Fernandomania (I also think that’s a feeling people get when listening to certain ABBA songs), but I have a great sports moments of the 80’s tape when narrator Al Michaels describes him thusly: “With a look to the heavens and a wicked screwball…”. Yeah, I remember the tail end of his career, when he was hanging on, but history shows he was a big part of that 1981 championship Dodgers team.

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  2. Toni Collette is a terrific actress, one of my favorites. Her performances in Sixth Sense, Muriel’s Wedding and About A Boy are real stand outs.

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  3. It’s not often that a special effects artist actually becomes a household name but Dennis Muren accomplished that, no thanks to the mega-success of Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park and others. Dennis Muren actually received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first special effects artist ever to be honored with a star.

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  4. Collette’s a favorite of mine also, although what the hell she was doing is Krampus is anybody’s guess.

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  5. Toni Collette is a big name to me; I found out about her about viewing “Muriel’s Wedding”. I think she’s good, and even made that “Fright Night” remake more tolerable for me.
    I think Lyle Lovett is alright; I remember people talking trash about him when he was married to Julia Roberts because of his unconventional looks. So what? Seems like he has talent.
    Until this article I never knew a thing about Jim Steinman, but that’s awesome that he wrote “Holding Out For a Hero” (a song I know from John Candy’s film “Who’s Harry Crumb?”, the video game “Saints Row The Third”, the 1980’s TV show “Cover Up”, and of course that above music video) and “Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young” (that and “Nowhere Fast” really rock out “Streets of Fire” for me).
    Speaking of Jenny McCarthy, before I got “Streets of Fire” on DVD, I recorded it off of Encore on a tape which cover box is the box for Jenny McCarthy’s Playboy Playmate video from back in the day (the box came from a friend of my father’s, the tape was once just a blank tape. Yeah, whatever).
    Yeah, I remember Rachel Ticotin, probably best from 1993’s “Falling Down” and “Total Recall”.

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    • Even if you don’t like the movie Streets of Fire, it’s pretty hard to watch it and not wind up with “Tonight is What it Means To Be Young” stuck in your head.

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      • I’m a fan, but I still think it’s worth a look for the music (it even has Dan Hartman’s “I Can Dream About You”, which is played right before” Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young”) & the look of the film.

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  6. I think I mentioned about a week ago that I was about to have some time off from work and that I hoped to get in some major blogging during my time off. Well, that didn’t happen. In fact once I did my Walking Dead recap, I was pretty far away from Le Blog. Did you guys miss me? Thankfully Jestak and Daffy got in some articles to keep the light on during my absence. Thanks, guys.

    What was I up to, you ask? The last week has been a very productive staycation. So no pictures or tans, but I got a lot of projects done including cleaning out the garage which was more or less the last lingering part of our move-in from earlier this year and assembling a new furniture set for my oldest. She now has a nicer bedroom set than I have ever had in my life. I tell you, these kids don’t know how good they have it!

    I’m back at work tomorrow, so I am going to catch up on comments today. That way, I can go in with a clean slate. Going forward, I;m going to establish a daily writing schedule so I can get some long simmering projects done here just like I did at home.

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  7. On to Tuesday’s birthdays…

    Not being a country music fan, I knew Lyle Lovett from his highly publicized and short-lived marriage to Julia Roberts. Like everyone else, I was scratching my head over that one. It’s easy to forget that Roberts spent much of the 90’s having a pretty public meltdown while she adjusted to fame. This followed the Jason Patric-Keiffer Sutherland debacle.

    I first saw Toni Collette in Muriel’s Wedding. She had gained some weight for that movie, so it was surprising to see her at her usual weight in The Sixth Sense a few years later. Her contribution to that movie really can’t be underestimated. She grounds the human element of the story.

    Yeah, I used to watch Singled Out for Jenny McCarthy. Who knew she would ever wield so much influence? (Or do so much harm?) If you’re confused by that last bit, McCarthy was the face of the anti-vaxxer movement though she now tried to downplay her stance. Don’t take scientific advice from a former playmate, people.

    When I saw the video, I assumed it was Bonnie Tyler’s birthday. This is what I get for making assumptions. Jim Steinman has written a lot of songs I enjoy most of which could be considered cheesetastic classics.

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