November 19: Happy Birthday Jodie Foster and Meg Ryan
Two-time Best Actress honoree Jodie Foster turns 54 today. She made her screen debut in an episode of Mayberry R.F.D. which aired one day before her 6th birthday, and her feature film debut in the 1972 Disney film Napoleon and Samantha. She appeared in some additional Disney features later in the 1970s, such as Freaky Friday and Candleshoe. But she also began appearing in roles that gave hints of her success as an adult, such as Bugsy Malone, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, and especially Taxi Driver, which brought her an Oscar nomination for playing the pre-teen prostitute Iris.
Starting in 1977, Foster apparently made a deliberate decision to scale her acting career back for several years, partly because she was attending Yale at that time. In the mid-1980s, her career seemed stalled, as films like Siesta and Stealing Home were failures. But in late 1988, in a role that she once described as making “one last try” at getting herself established as an adult actress, she gave one of her two most famous performances:
Three years after she won Best Actress as Sarah Tobias in The Accused, Foster was honored a second time for portraying Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. Since then her career has been a little uneven, although she did pick up another Oscar nomination for Nell, and Golden Globe nominations for that film as well as Contact, The Brave One, and Carnage. She received an Emmy nomination for directing an episode of Orange is the New Black, and her latest feature as a director, Money Monster, was out earlier this year.
Meg Ryan, a WTHH subject, turns 55 today. She first became well-known for her supporting role in Top Gun in 1986, and then had major roles in films like Innerspace and D.O.A., a remake of the 1950 film noir. But her first major success in a lead role was in a
dark, brooding drama romantic comedy, playing one Sally Albright:
Ryan received the first of three Golden Globe nominations for When Harry Met Sally. She was also nominated for Sleepless in Seattle and for You’ve Got Mail. Films like those, as well as I.Q., Addicted to Love, and others, might leave you thinking that Ryan’s talents were limited to romantic comedy. In fact, she seemed good at any kind of romance, including romantic drama (When a Man Loves a Woman) or romantic fantasy (City of Angels). In the past two years Ryan has returned to feature films with Fan Girl and Ithaca; what happened between the 1990s and now is covered in her WTHH article.
Allison Janney, who turns 57, is a 7-time Emmy winner: four times for her work on The West Wing, twice for the CBS sitcom Mom, and once for Showtime’s Masters of Sex. Kathleen Quinlan, who celebrates her 62nd, was an Oscar and Golden Globe nominee for playing Marilyn Lovell in Apollo 13. Robert Beltran, who is 63 today, played the title character in the black comedy Eating Raoul, and was Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager. Star Trek fans will also remember Terry Farrell, who was Jadzia Dax on Deep Space Nine. She is 53 today. Reid Scott, who stars on HBO’s Veep, turns 39 today. Adam Driver, who celebrates his 33rd, is a three-time Emmy nominee for HBO’s Girls, a fact that many people who know him only as Kylo Renn are doubtless unaware.
Writer, director and producer Charlie Kaufman is turning 58. He is a four-time Oscar nominee for screenwriting, winning Best Original Screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That script as well as those for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation are on the WGA’s ranking of the 101 greatest screenplays.
Dancer and choreographer Savion Glover, who turns 43 today, has worked on Broadway, in film, and on television. He was nominated for two Tonys for the 1996 musical Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk, winning for Best Choreography. One of Broadway’s newest stars is Laura Osnes, who celebrates her 31st today. She played Hope Harcourt in the much-acclaimed 2011 revival of Anything Goes and was a Tony nominee for playing Bonnie Parker in the musical adaptation of Bonnie & Clyde. Mezzo-soprano Agnes Baltsa, who turns 72, shared a Grammy for Best Opera Recording for Strauss’s Ariadne Auf Naxos, and was one of the most-renowned Carmens of her time.
Douglas Henshall and Mark Bonnar are known for the British television work, where they both currently star on the crime drama Shetland. Henshall is 51, while Bonnar turns 48. English television and stage actress Katherine Kelly turns 37; she is known for her long run on the British soap opera Coronation Street. English-born actress Sandrine Holt, who celebrates her 44th, has roles on House of Cards and Fear the Walking Dead on her filmography.
In sports, Roy Campanella (1921-1993) is a Baseball Hall-of-Famer and was a three-time National League MVP with the Brooklyn Dodgers. French footballer Laurent Blanc turns 51. He starred for the French side that won the 1998 World Cup and went on to a successful career as a manager. Ahmad Rashād, who turns 67 today, was a star wide receiver in the NFL who became a broadcaster and was married for 16 years to Cosby Show star Phylicia Ayers-Allen. Sprinter and hurdler Gail Devers, who turns 50 today, won the women’s 100 meter dash at two consecutive Olympics, 1992 and 1996. She was a world champion in the event in 1993, and also won 3 world championships in the 100 meter hurdles. Gymnast Kerri Strug, who is 39 today, competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, and will always be remembered for the memorable vault she turned in, despite an ankle injury, to clinch the team gold medal for the US team in 1996.
Dick Cavett, who turns 80, is a ten-time Emmy nominee, winning three times, for his famous talk/interview show The Dick Cavett Show. Another famous television host and interviewer, Larry King, turns 83 today; he is a two-time Peabody Award winner. Ted Turner, who celebrates his 78th, is one of the most important media businessmen of the last fifty years; as the founder of CNN, he created Larry King’s primary television home. Calvin Klein, who turns 74, is one of the leading fashion figures of the past century and the founder of the clothing company that bears his name.
Gene Tierney (1920-1991) was one of the most beautiful actresses of the 1940s, if not all time. She also was the victim of a famous Hollywood tragedy—in 1943 she gave birth to a daughter who was born deaf and mentally ill, as a result of Tierney’s being infected with German measles by an overzealous fan. Tierney was known for her roles in films such as Tobacco Road, Heaven Can Wait, Night and the City, and her Oscar-nominated role in Leave Her to Heaven, but most of all as the title character in Laura:
One of Tierney’s costars in Laura was Clifton Webb (1889-1966), who was Oscar-nominated for that film as well as for The Razor’s Edge and Sitting Pretty. Dan Haggerty (1942-2016) was an actor and animal trainer best known for starring in the film The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams and the TV series of the same name. Alan Young (1919-2016) played Wilbur Post, an man with a talking horse named Mister Ed in a 1950s TV series and also voiced Scrooge McDuck in a variety of Disney productions. Richard Alexander (1902-1989) spent the 1930s alternating between small roles in classics like Queen Christina and Modern Times with featured parts in serials like Flash Gordon and Zorro Rides Again.
Anton Walbrook 1896-1967) was an Austrian actor who emigrated to England and was best known for roles in films by the “Archers,” Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, such as The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and The Red Shoes. Gillo Pontecorvo (1919-2006) was best known for his 1966 classic about the Algerian War, The Battle of Algiers, and later in his career won a pair of Donatello Awards for Best Director.
Tommy Dorsey (1905-1956) was a noted trombonist and conductor. However, he was best remembered as bandleader, one of the foremost figures of Big Band jazz from the 1930s to the 1950s. The long, long list of musicians who played or sang with Dorsey and his band included Buddy Rich, Jo Stafford and Frank Sinatra.
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 19, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Adam Driver, Allison Janney, Charlie Kaufman, Clifton Webb, Dick Cavett, Gene Tierney, Jodie Foster, Kathleen Quinlan, Laura Osnes, meg ryan. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.