November 6: Happy Birthday Sally Field and Emma Stone
Two-time Oscar winner Sally Field celebrates her 70th birthday today. She began acting over 50 years ago, starring as the title character in the short-lived but well-remembered (by some, at least) ABC series Gidget. A second ABC comedy followed, with Field playing Sister Bertrille in The Flying Nun.
By the late 1970s Field was moving into feature films, starring in the #2 film of 1977, Smokey and the Bandit. At the same time she was working hard to break away from being typecast as a plucky ingenue. A first step was her Emmy-winning role in the 1976 miniseries Sybil, but she really made a break with her past when she starred in a 1979 film based on the experiences of a textile worker and union activist named Crystal Lee Sutton:
Field won the Oscar for Best Actress for Norma Rae, along with a long list of other acting awards. She won a second Oscar and a second Golden Globe five years later for Places in the Heart (her Oscar win was the occasion of the famous “you like me” speech), and received Golden Globe nominations for four other 1980s films, including Absence of Malice and Steel Magnolias. During the 2000s, she won her second and third Emmys, for a guest role on ER and for starring in Brothers & Sisters, and recently she received her third Oscar nomination for playing Mary Todd Lincoln in Lincoln.
Emma Stone is 28 today. After a few TV guest roles, she made her film debut in 2007’s Superbad. In the next three years her film roles included a zombie apocalypse survivor with trust issues in Zombieland, and her first really big lead role in an updating of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter:
Stone received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for Easy A. Since then she has played Gwen Stacy in two Amazing Spider-Man films, and made two films with Woody Allen, Magic in the Moonlight and Irrational Man. She also received her first Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actress in Birdman. She will star later this year in the musical-romance La La Land, and next year will play Billie Jean King in a film about tennis’s Battle of the Sexes.
Ron Underwood, who is 63 today, broke out as a director in the early 1990s with the cult classic Tremors, followed by the big commercial success of City Slickers. The bomb that was The Adventures of Pluto Nash pretty effectively ended his big budget directing career; he works primarily in television today. British television veteran Nigel Havers, who turns 65, was a BAFTA Award nominee as Andy Lindsey in Chariots of Fire and has appeared with Sally Field in Brothers & Sisters. Lori Singer, who turns 59, had a brush with stardom in the early 1980s on NBC’s Fame for two seasons and in films like Footloose and The Man With One Red Shoe. She shows off her skills as a Juilliard-trained cellist on Fame and in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts. June Squibb, who is 87 today, worked in theater for many years before getting her first film role in 1990. She was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for Alexander Payne’s Nebraska.
Michael Cerveris, who turns 56, is one of Broadway’s most talented actors. He is a six-time Tony nominee, winning Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Assassins, and Best Leading Actor in a Musical for Fun Home. He has also made a couple of Americana-country albums, while his most notable screen role is the recurring role of Marvin Frey on HBO’s Treme.
Thandie Newton celebrates her 44th birthday today. Her film debut was in the 1991 Australian film Flirting, and she has appeared in films such as Beloved (adapted from Toni Morrison’s novel), Mission Impossible II, and Crash. She currently stars on HBO’s Westworld. Rebecca Romijn also turns 44. She played Mystique in three of the X-Men films and currently stars as Eve Baird on TNT’s The Librarians. Taryn Manning, who turns 38, plays Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett on Orange is the New Black. Ethan Hawke is 46 today. He is a four-time Oscar nominee, for Best Adapted Screenplay for Before Sunset and Before Midnight, and for Best Supporting Actor for Training Day and Boyhood. Peter DeLuise, the son of Dom DeLuise and Carol Arthur, played Officer Doug Penhall on 21 Jump Street and wrote and directed several episodes of Stargate: SG-1.
Patina Miller is a rising star on stage with a nice screen career as well; she won a Tony for starring in the Broadway musical Pippin, plays Daisy Grant on Madam Secretary, and played Commander Paylor in the Hunger Games films. She turns 32 today. Adam Devine, who turns 33, has been in the two Pitch Perfect movies and plays Andy Bailey on Modern Family. Katie Leclerc, who celebrates her 30th, plays Daphne Vasquez on Switched at Birth, which begins its final season in January.
Music birthdays today include Glenn Frey (1948-2016). Frey was one of the members of the Eagles, a frequent lead vocalist who also shared songwriting duties with Don Henley on most of the group’s hits. As a solo performer Frey was known for “The Heat is On,” from the film Beverly Hills Cop, and several other hits. Country and folk singer-songwriter Guy Clark (1941-2016) won a Grammy for his final album, My Favorite Picture of You, and wrote a lot of songs that became hits for artists like Ricky Skaggs and Rodney Crowell. Finally, John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), the “American March King,” wrote patriotic march tunes that most of us would instantly recognize, like “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and “Washington Post.”
Mike Nichols (1931-2014) was an enormously successful stage director who also had a very good career in film. He was a six-time winner of the Tony for Best Direction of a Play, not to mention winning Tonys twice as a producer, and once for Best Direction of a Musical. He received several Oscar nominations, winning Best Director for The Graduate. His trophy shelf (I hope it’s a big one) also has Emmy and Grammy awards on it, making him one of the small number of winners of the unofficial “EGOT.”
Fans of 1960s television may remember Jonathan Harris (1914-2002) as Dr. Zachary Smith on Lost in Space. Brad Davis (1949-1991) co-starred with Sally Field in the TV movie Sybil, and won a Golden Globe for his part in the film Midnight Express. Basketball fans will know the name of James Naismith (1861-1939), the man usually credited with inventing the sport. And perhaps we have a few history buffs among our readers who know the name of Queen Joanna of Castile (1479-1555), known as “Joanna the Mad,” although there is some doubt today as to whether she was truly mentally ill. She has been portrayed in fiction many times, including a 2001 film starring Pilar López de Ayala.
Novelist James Jones (1921-1977) was best known for his trilogy of novels based on his experiences in the Pacific during World War 2—From Here to Eternity, The Thin Red Line, and Whistle, the first two of which have been made into Oscar-nominated movies. He also wrote the novel Some Came Running (adapted into a film in 1958), and his daughter Kaylie became a writer herself; she is the author of A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries.
Finally, Rebecca Schaeffer (1967-1989) is the sad note to today’s article. Schaeffer, who starred in the late 1980s TV series My Sister Sam, and was just beginning a promising film career, when she was shockingly murdered by an obsessed fan. Her death prompted the passage of the nation’s first anti-stalking laws.
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 November 6, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Emma Stone, Ethan Hawke, Glenn Frey, James Jones, John Philip Sousa, Lori Singer, Michael Cerveris, Mike Nichols, Patina Miller, Rebecca Schaeffer, Sally Field, Thandie Newton. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.