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November 21: Happy Birthday Goldie Hawn and Harold Ramis

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Goldie Hawn celebrates her 71st today.  She first became known as a regular on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In during its first three seasons; during her time on the show, she also won an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for the film Cactus Flower.  She appeared in several successful films during the 1970s, and began the 1980s with another Oscar-nominated performance as an unlikely addition to the US Army:

During the 1980s Hawn continued to appear in successful films, both comedies and, belying her image, a few dramatic pictures.  A television variety special she did with Liza Minnelli earned four Emmy nominations, and she made a number of films with Kurt Russell, her main squeeze for over 30 years.  Hawn will return to the big screen for the first time since 2002 next year, starring opposite Amy Schumer in Mother/Daughter.

Harold Ramis (1944-2014), who enjoyed success as an actor, writer and director, launched his career with Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe.  He began his film career as a writer, co-writing the script for Animal House.  He wrote and directed 1980’s Caddyshack and then co-wrote and starred in Stripes.  In 1984, in another film he co-wrote, Ramis made his first appearance in what is probably his best-known acting role:

As a director, Ramis’s greatest successes have been National Lampoon’s Vacation (he had no involvement with any of the sequels), the romantic comedy Groundhog Day, and  the gangster comedy Analyze This, the latter two of which he also wrote.  His efforts during the last 10-15 years of his life were less successful.

Jena Malone turns 32 today.  She played the young Ellie in Contact, had a major role in Donnie Darko, and starred in the Christian high school comedy Saved!  More recently she was in three of the Hunger Games films and will star in next year’s LovesongJimmi Simpson, who currently is a regular in Westworld, has done a variety of films over the past dozen years, including D.E.B.S., Date Night, The Big Bang, and White House Down.  He turns 41 today.  Cherie Johnson, who also turns 41, had notable child and teen roles as Punky Brewster’s friend on the show of that name and as Laura Winslow’s best friend on Family Matters; she has done several indie films in the last decade.

Broadway star Cherry Jones, who turns 60, is a five-time Tony nominee, winning Best Actress in a Play for the 1995 revival of The Heiress, and again for the original production of John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt.  Jones also has an Emmy to her name for playing President Allison Taylor on 24Marlo Thomas, who is 79 today, was a four-time Emmy nominee for starring in the comedy series That Girl, and subsequently won Emmys for Outstanding Children’s Program/Special for Free to Be…You and Me and Free to Be…a Family.  The Sudanese-born actor Alexander Siddig, who turns 51, played Dr. Julian Bashir on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Doran Martell on Game of Thrones; he is also known for films like Syriana and Kingdom of Heaven.  Star Trek fans will remember Laurence Luckinbill, who played Sybok in Star Trek V; the actor is also known for writing and starring in one-man stage shows based on the lives of people like Ernest Hemingway and Theodore Roosevelt.  Luckinbill celebrates his 82nd today.  Juliet Mills, who is turning 75, starred on the early ’70s sitcom Nanny and the Professor, and had a decade-long run on the soap opera Passions as Tabitha Lenox.  Nicollette Sheridan, who is 53 today, had long TV runs as Paige Matheson on Knots Landing and as Edie Britt on Desperate Housewives, and played the title character of the movie The Sure Thing (actually a small role, if you’ve never seen it).  Director Andrew Davis, who turns 70, is known for a number of action and suspense films.  The Fugitive was the most high-profile of them, but he also directed Chuck Norris in Code of Silence and Steven Seagal in Above the Law and Under Siege.

In the music world, Björk is celebrating her 51st.  Her experimental “art-pop” has brought her fourteen Grammy nominations, and she was a Golden Globe nominee for starring in Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark.  Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen turns 31 today.  Her album Kiss was a Top Ten hit in the US and the source of hit singles “Call Me Maybe” and “Good Time.”

Sports birthdays today include Ken Griffey, Jr., who is celebrating his 47th.  The Baseball Hall-of-Famer played most of his 22 seasons with the Seattle Mariners and the Cincinnati Reds, hitting over 600 home runs and making 13 All Star games.  Stan “the Man” Musial (1920-2013) is also in baseball’s Hall of Fame.  Musial won three National League MVP awards and led the St. Louis Cardinals, for whom he played his entire career, to three World Series titles.  Musial’s near-contemporary Sid Luckman (1916-1998) is in football’s Hall of Fame.  The star quarterback for the Chicago Bears for over a decade, Luckman led the team to four NFL championships.  Michael Strahan, who turns 45, is another NFL Hall of Famer.  He anchored the New York Giants’ defensive line for 15 seasons and capped his career by, in his final game, helping the Giants upset the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl.  Strahan went on to a television career, co-hosting Live! with Kelly and Michael (with Kelly Ripa) for four years and winning a pair of Daytime Emmys.

Vivian Blaine (1921-1995) was a stage and screen actress.  She originated the role of Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls both on Broadway and on the West End, and then reprised the role in the 1955 feature film.  Another actress known for playing Miss Adelaide is Lorna Luft (Judy Garland’s daughter), who turns 64 today and has had a long career performing on stage, screen and in the recording studio.  Eleanor Powell (1912-1982) starred in several of MGM’s musicals of the 1930s and early 1940s; she was one of the great tap-dancers of movie history.  Broadway Melody of 1940, in which she co-starred with Fred Astaire, was one of the high points of her career.

Jobyna Ralston (1899-1967) was best known as silent comic Harold Lloyd’s regular leading lady; she starred opposite Lloyd in films such as Girl Shy, The Freshman, and The Kid Brother, and also appeared in Wings, the winner of the first Oscar for Best Picture.  Paul Bogart (1919-2012) directed films like Torch Song Trilogy and Class of ’44, but was best known for his TV work—he won five Emmys for directing on shows like All in the Family and The Golden GirlsRalph Meeker (1920-1988) originated the role of Hal Carter in William Inge’s Picnic on Broadway, and starred in Kiss Me Deadly as Mike Hammer, Mickey Spillane’s famous fictional private eye.

The big literary name today is Francois-Marie Arouet, better known by his pen name of Voltaire (1694-1778).  One of the leaders of the French Enlightenment, Voltaire wrote some 2000 published books and pamphlets in his lifetime, ranging from novels to works of history to philosophical tracts.

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 21, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Man, do I miss Harold Ramis. He made me laugh. Goldie Hawn was always so beautiful and charming, but I really can’t think of any movies she made that I liked very much. Jena Malone was the best thing about Sucker Punch which admittedly isn’t saying much.

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    • Butterflies Are Free is probably Hawn’s best film. I’ve seen about half her filmography. Deceived is also very good.

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      • I have never sought out Goldie Hawn movies, so I haven’t seen Butterflies Are Free. I’ll have to check it out. Off the top of my head, I liked Cactus Flower way back when I saw it. A lot of Goldie Hawn’s movies are watchable in the “I guess I’ll leave this on” kind of way. But I really can’t think of any that I actually want to watch again.

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        • I’ve watched several just cause she’s in them. She has done movies that were underwhelming or crap. Two of her better comedies, Foul Play and Seems Like Old Times disappoint with their lame endings, right in the middle of scenes that were apparently conceived just to wrap the story up in a happy way.

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        • I watched those two as a kid when I was going through my Chevy Chase phase. I mentioned to Daffy that I thought Seems Like Old Times was underrated, but that I hadn’t seen it in years. He suggested I revisit it. Turns out, he was right. There were a lot fewer laughs than I remembered. Foul Play is okay for a slick, high concept 70’s rom com. It gets by mostly on the chemistry between Hawn and Chase.

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  2. Troy Aikman, former Dallas Cowboy quarterback and current FOX NFL announce, turned 50 today. I’m big on Aikman, in his era he was my favorite player. Very study, steady, and consistent player. I still have his jersey, although it took a couple beatings through a washing machine.
    If not for Aikman, i would’ve mentioned Harold Ramis first. Wow, “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day” are enough for me, but I still wish he was around.
    I second Lebeau in his opinion of Goldie Hawn; the only films I kinda liked from her are “Private Benjamin” (which I think sags badly towards the end) and “Wildcats” (in reality, a mediocre high school football film, but with a tremendous cast). Goldie brought personality to a lot of project, but rarely did much of a script follow.
    Lots of other people to cover; maybe I’ll come back later and mention a few other names here.

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