November 22: Happy Birthday Jamie Lee Curtis and Scarlett Johansson
Jamie Lee Curtis celebrates her 58th birthday today. We’ve had quite a bit of content about her here previously—a pair of Movieline interviews, along with a Comeback Kid article.As many know, she is sort of “Hollywood royalty,” as the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, not to mention being the wife of Christopher Guest (which officially makes her Lady Haden-Guest as he is a for-real baron).
Curtis began her film and television career in the late 1970s. She did guest spots on several TV shows such as Columbo and Charlie’s Angels. Her film debut in John Carpenter’s Halloween began the “scream queen” phase of her career, as she starred in several horror/slasher films in a row, including Halloween II, The Fog, Prom Night and others. But she then began to display a talent for comedy in films like Trading Places (which she won a BAFTA Award for) and, a few years later, A Fish Called Wanda:
Curtis received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for playing Wanda Gershwitz, and later won a Golden Globe as Helen Tasker in True Lies. She won another Golden Globe for starring in ABC’s Anything But Love, and recently has been a Golden Globe nominee yet again for Fox’s Scream Queens. She has also authored a number of children’s books in collaboration with illustrator Laura Cornell.
Scarlett Johansson turns 32 today. She began acting before her 10th birthday, and drew favorable notice for her juvenile and teen roles in films like Manny & Lo, The Horse Whisperer, and Ghost World. She started transitioning to adult roles when she was still in her late teens, with a pair of acclaimed 2003 performances, in Lost in Translation and Girl with a Pearl Earring. She was nominated for Golden Globes for Best Actress for both films (one in the Musical/Comedy category, the other in drama) and won a BAFTA Award for the former.
Subsequently, Johansson was the apple of Woody Allen’s eye for a few years, starring in three of his films. She has done action films like Michael Bay’s The Island and Luc Besson’s Lucy, literary adaptations like The Other Boleyn Girl, and period pieces like The Black Dahlia and Hitchcock. Her Broadway debut, as Catherine in the 2010 revival of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, brought her a Tony. This year she was in the Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! and voiced Kaa in The Jungle Book. But the role that more people have seen her in than any other is as a certain red-haired ex-assassin:
Mark Ruffalo, who is 49 today, is another familiar face to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he plays a man who sometimes transforms into an enormous green rage monster. Ruffalo, who first drew notice in the 2000 film You Can Count on Me, has been an Oscar nominee for The Kids are All Right and Spotlight, and a Tony nominee for the 2006 revival of Clifford Odets’ Awake and Sing! Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen is turning 51. He has had a distinguished career in European cinema and is known to American audiences for playing Le Chiffre in Casino Royale and for starring in NBC’s Hannibal, and recently joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe himself as Kaecilius in Doctor Strange. Mariel Hemingway, granddaughter of a certain novelist, celebrates her 55th. She made a big splash as a teenager, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for Lipstick and an Oscar nomination for playing Woody Allen’s teenage girlfriend in Manhattan; however, she never really lived up to that early promise.
Jamie Campbell Bower, who turns 28, made his film debut as Anthony Hope in the film version of Sweeney Todd. He appeared as Caius in several Twilight films and as Jace Wayland in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, adapted from the novels by Cassandra Clare. Clare’s novels have also been made into a Freeform television series; Katherine McNamara, who turns 21 today, stars as Clary Fray. Madison Davenport, who celebrates her 20th, plays Kate Fuller on the TV series From Dusk till Dawn. Tyler Hilton, who turns 33, is an indie rock and folk singer also known for acting in films like Walk the Line (as Elvis Presley) and Charlie Bartlett. Adèle Exarchopoulos, who is turning 23 today, is best known for starring in the award-winning French film Blue Is the Warmest Color.
Terry Gilliam turns 76 today. He first made his reputation as the sole American in the Monty Python troupe, contributing to the writing of all their work and co-directing Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Post-Python, he has directed a number of features, including Time Bandits, Brazil, The Fisher King and 12 Monkeys. One striking thing about his filmography is the number of Oscar nominations his films have received in categories like Art Direction, Costume Design and other categories related to the “look” of the films. Sir Peter Hall, who celebrates his 86th, spent nearly six decades directing for the stage before retiring in 2011. He founded the Royal Shakespeare Company and was later director of the National Theatre in London. Although he did most of his work in England, his forays onto Broadway brought him two Tonys. He also worked at many of the world’s leading opera houses, including Covent Garden, the Met and Bayreuth.
Today’s music birthdays include Steven Van Zandt, who turns 66. The guitarist is a longtime member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, and starred as Silvio Dante on The Sopranos. Tina Weymouth shares a birthday with Van Zandt; she is best known as a founding member and the bassist of the new wave band Talking Heads. Stephen Hough, who is 55 today, is one of the world’s leading classical pianists. He is known for his performances of much of the Romantic piano repertoire, and won the Gramophone Record of the Year Award for his recordings of the piano concertos of Camille Saint-Saens. Hoagy Carmichael (1899-1981) was a pianist, bandleader and composer. He made some major contributions to the “Great American Songbook” of popular, pre-rock songs, such as “Stardust” and “Georgia on My Mind.” He also made a few film appearances, one of them extremely memorable:
Sports birthdays today begin with a pair of tennis greats. Billie Jean King turns 73. She was the top women’s player in the world from about 1966 to 1975, and won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles—12 in women’s singles, 16 in women’s doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles. Her famous Battle of the Sexes with Bobby Riggs will be recreated in the movie of that title next year, with Emma Stone playing King. When Boris Becker, who turns 49 today, won the 1985 Wimbledon Men’s Singles title, he became the youngest men’s winner at Wimbledon ever, a distinction he still holds. Becker won six Grand Slam singles titles and was one of the top men’s players in the world in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Asamoah Gyan, who is 31 today, is the top African goalscorer in the history of the World Cup and Ghana’s all-time leading goalscorer in international play.
The late Robert Vaughn (1932-2016) had some good film roles over the years, such as ambitious politician Walter Chalmers in Bullitt, his Oscar-nominated turn in The Young Philadelphians, and as Lee, the gunfighter who has lost his nerve, in The Magnificent Seven (a role he more or less reprised in the Space Western Battle Beyond the Stars). But his most famous work is probably on television, as Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Gen. Hunt Stockwell in the last season of The A-Team, and Albert Stroller on the BBC’s Hustle. Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004) was a comedian who, he would have told you, “didn’t get no respect.” He also had notable film roles in Caddyshack and Back to School (the former directed by, and both co-written by, Harold Ramis), and was cast very strongly against type in Natural Born Killers.
Director Arthur Hiller (1933-2016) won a Golden Globe for Best Director for the tragic romance Love Story, and was Oscar-nominated for the same film. He directed a wide variety of features in close to five decades behind the camera. Mary Jackson (1910-2005) worked in American television for several decades, including over 60 appearances on The Waltons as Emily Baldwin.
Literary figures born today include Mary Ann Evans, known under her pen name of George Eliot (1819-1880), who was one of the leading novelists of 19th Century England, the author of classics like Silas Marner and Middlemarch. Andre Gide (1869-1951) was a Nobel Prize winner in Literature. The French writer was known for novels such as The Immoralist, Strait is the Gate, and The Pastoral Symphony.
Other world historic notables born today include Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970). The leader of the Free French government in exile and resistance forces during World War 2, de Gaulle went on to head France’s provisional government after the war, and became the President of France when the Fifth Republic was founded in 1958. John Nance Garner (1868-1967) served as Vice President of the US during Franklin Roosevelt’s first two terms of office. Leo Amery (1873-1955) was a leader of the British Conservative Party in the 1920s and ’30s; his biggest moment in history was his central role in the parliamentary revolt in 1940 that brought down Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and brought Winston Churchill into power.
We’ll end with one more acting great. Geraldine Page (1924-1987) was a student of Lee Strasberg, one of the first method actors to make a mark in American theater, film and television. Her first credited film role, opposite John Wayne in Hondo in 1953, brought her the first of eight Oscar nominations; she won Best Actress in 1985 for The Trip to Bountiful. She won Emmys for appearances on CBS’s Playhouse 90 and on ABC Stage 67. She made her Broadway debut in 1952 in Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke, and received four Tony nominations during her career.
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 22, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Adele Exarchopoulos, Billie Jean King, George Eliot, Geraldine Page, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mads Mikkelsen, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Hall, Robert Vaughn, Scarlett Johansson, terry gilliam. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.