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November 6: Happy Birthday Sally Field and Emma Stone

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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 & SistersLori 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 CutsJune 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 WestworldRebecca Romijn also turns 44.  She played Mystique in three of the X-Men films and currently stars as Eve Baird on TNT’s The LibrariansTaryn Manning, who turns 38, plays Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett on Orange is the New BlackEthan 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 BoyhoodPeter 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 FamilyKatie 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 SpaceBrad 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.

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Posted on November 6, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I didn’t know that Sally Field and Emma Stone shared a birthday; I think both are excellent actresses & adorable (Field is more tenacious, while Emma Stone may be sexier).
    Lori, sure, gotta get loose, “Footloose”. I also remember the back of the black dress she was wearing in “The Man with One Red Shoe” (arguably the film’s finest shot).
    I always thought Ethan Hawke had that sleazy slacker vibe going on during some of his work when he was in his 20’s and early 30’s (minus “Before Sunrise”/ “before Sunset” films), but there are a lot of films that I like in which he was featured prominently (even “Gattaca”).
    Mike Nichols: I’n sure film viewers really enjoy at least one of his films, since there’s a lot to choose from that is definitely worth watching.
    Thandie Newton: Thandie is dandy; oddly, I liked her best in “W.”.
    Peter DeLuise; I never knew her was the son of Dom, but now that I know, I’m not surprised.
    Brad Davis; what an actor, although his time was pretty short. I don’t think I could ever forget “Midnight Express”; a true horror film.
    Rebecca Schaeffer is truly a sad story; I remember viewing “My Sister Sam” (I believe it aired alongside “My Two Dads”?) as a kid. Her killer had a fatal compulsion; real tragic.

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  2. I didn’t quite get caught up on comments yesterday as I had hoped. These articles are so dense that comments take some time! You miss a few days and suddenly it takes hours to catch back up. This is why you should read Le Blog daily, folks!

    We talked about Sally Field relatively recently when the Movieline cover story was posted. As a kid, I was vaguely aware of her from her association with Burt Reynolds. I also knew she had done some old TV shows that were cheesy. But by the time I really knew who she was, Field was a respected actress. She was also the butt of a lot of “You like me” jokes. Point being, I kind of missed the comeback part of her career.

    Emma Stone is a terrific young actress. I really expected her to be a bigger movie star by now, but she seems to have gone another route. She’s the new Queen of the Indies I guess.

    I really liked Tremors for what it was and City Slickers was a fun comedy. But Pluto Nash? Yikes. It’s a shame Underwood took the fall for that one as I doubt he was in control. Circa 1984, there was a lot of talk that Lori Singer had a bright career ahead of her. Say it with me “what the hell happened?”

    The same could be said for Thandie Newton. I remember when Mission: Impossible 2 was supposed to make her a star. A few years later she had a bit part in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. But Newton seems to have bounced back. Other than the X-Men movies, I haven’t seen much of anything Rebecca Romijn has done. She pulled off the blue make-up well enough.

    Good lord, I hated “Pennsatucky” on Orange is the New Black! That’s a credit to Taryn Manning. For years, Ethan Hawke has rubbed me the wrong way. But I was probably making assumptions based on his on screen persona. He seems like a nice enough guy in interviews.

    Glenn Frey kind of got glossed over in the high profile celeb passings earlier this year. That will happen when you die around the same time as David Bowie and Prince. Yesterday, when commenting on Art Garfunkel’s birthday I recommended Carnal Knowledge. That is one of the lesser known movies by Mike Nichols.

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    • Funny you should mention that label, “Queen of the Indies,” just now. 🙂

      Anyways, I don’t think Emma Stone’s chances of major stardom are at all finished. She’s only 28, just hitting the stage of her career when there will be enough good roles for more than one or two actresses at a time in her age cohort. Battle of the Sexes could be a big role for her—the story is an interesting one, so how successful it will be will depend on execution.

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      • I’m as confident as I can be that Stone still has a long career ahead of her. It’s certainly possible that she could still break out into mega stardom. But the window for actresses is a lot shorter than the one for actors and fewer and fewer movie stars are born these days as movies shift from star power to CGI-filled concept-driven tent poles. I could see Stone winning an Oscar someday. She could go on to scale great heights creatively. But if starring in two Spider-man movies didn’t make her an A-list movie star, I’m not sure what will.

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        • One thing that Stone has going for her, in my mind anyway, is that of the top actresses in her age cohort—J-Law, Brie Larson, Alicia Vikander, a few others—she is the one who stands out as having a real talent for comedy.

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        • She does. But she hasn’t really sought out the kinds of rom coms that traditionally make actresses into box office draws. Woody Allen comedies are a feather in your cap, but rarely are they a path to stardom. Especially these days. It could still happen. Scarlett Johansson had a similar career and didn’t really take off until after her Woody Allen phase. But she was in her twenties at the time and it was arguably playing Black Widow that did it. Stone’s almost into her thirties and has already done her super hero movies.

          Don’t get me wrong, there’s still time and opportunity. She’s playing Cruella de Vil in another live-action One Hundred and One Dalmatians. That could be a break-out movie. And even if it isn’t, there’s a lot more to a successful acting career than being a box office draw. You can look at Stone’s co-headliner, Sally Field, for proof of that.

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        • I don’t see a ton of similarities in Sally Field’s or Emma Stone’s careers yet, but I feel like I could it the future. They both have charmed me though, just in slightly different ways.
          I failed to mention Glen Frey, but I mentioned him in a comment about a month ago (I know I did because I constantly mention “Miami Vice” and he played the pilot Jimmy in the episode Smuggler’s Blues’). Well, now “You Belong to the city” is in my Head”; that good I say (love that saxophone!).
          Yeah, it’s important to keep up with the Leblog on a daily basis, especially since the birthday articles can really open up the floodgates.

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  3. Congratulations to Emma Stone for winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy this evening.

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