December 3: Happy Birthday Julianne Moore and Brendan Fraser
Oscar-winner Julianne Moore is celebrating her 56th birthday today. After graduating from Boston University, she was active in the 1980s both in off-Broadway theater and on television, winning a Daytime Emmy for her role on As the World Turns. She began to get supporting roles in films, most notably as part of the ensemble cast in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts, and then moved to lead roles, starring opposite Hugh Grant in Nine Months.
From about 1997 to 2002 Moore had a lot of success. It began with starring in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, the biggest commercial success of her career. She followed that up with Boogie Nights, for which she received a Best Supporting Actress nomination, and in 2000 she was nominated for Best Actress for The End of the Affair. In 2002 she was nominated for two Oscars in the same year, for Far From Heaven (Best Actress) and The Hours (Best Supporting Actress). She also had roles in The Big Lebowski and Magnolia during this period.
Moore then appeared to hit just a bit of a dry patch for the rest of the 2000s, appearing in several films that were not well-received (Children of Men was an exception). But as the decade turned, she received Golden Globe nominations for A Single Man and The Kids Are All Right in consecutive years. She then won her first major acting honors since that Daytime Emmy in 1988—a Primetime Emmy for starring as Sarah Palin in the HBO movie Game Change, and then the Oscar for Best Actress for the title role in Still Alice.
Brendan Fraser turns 48 today. His first major film role was in Encino Man, as the revived caveman Link; that film, along with other early roles in films like Airheads and The Scout, showed a comic side that would be the core of Fraser’s career. But a few other early films like School Ties allowed him to display a bit of range. In 1997, he had an unlikely first major hit, a film based on a short-lived Jay Ward cartoon series:
In 1999, Fraser had another success with The Mummy, the first in the trilogy of action-comedies about, well, mummies. During the early 2000s he also displayed a talent for serious roles in films like The Quiet American and Crash. So why don’t we see much of him these days? That’s what WTHH articles are for.
Another WTHH subject with a birthday today is Daryl Hannah, who is turning 56. Hannah had a number of notable roles during the 1980s, in films like Blade Runner, Splash, and Steel Magnolias, and also had a bit of a resurgence early in the 2000s, with roles in the Kill Bill films and a pair of John Sayles films.
Amanda Seyfried is 31 today. She first began to be noticed in a supporting part in Mean Girls, and went on to star in HBO’s Big Love. She has had major roles in Mamma Mia!, Letters to Juliet, and as Cosette in Les Misérables. Anna Chlumsky is celebrating her 36th today. She was a child star in the My Girl films in the early 1990s, but took several years off to attend the University of Chicago. She returned to acting about 10 years ago and currently plays Amy Brookheimer on Veep, a role that has brought her four Emmy nominations. Jenna Dewan Tatum is also turning 36 today. She starred opposite her husband-to-be, Channing Tatum, in the dance romance Step Up, and currently plays Lucy Lane on Supergirl.
Holly Marie Combs, who is known for playing Piper Halliwell on Charmed and Ella Montgomery on Pretty Little Liars, turns 43 today. Andrew Stanton, who is 51 today, is the writer and director of A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory and WALL-E, and also wrote the Toy Story films. Director Adam Wingard, who turns 34, is known for horror films like Pop Skull, You’re Next, and Blair Witch. Heather Menzies, who is 67 today, made her film debut as Louisa von Trapp in The Sound of Music, and later starred on the television series Logan’s Run.
Two major figures in European cinema share today as a birthday. Jean-Luc Godard is celebrating his 86th. His Breathless, from 1960, is one of the most influential and innovative films of all time and helped kick off the French New Wave that Godard was a big part of. He is also known for films such as My Life to Live, Contempt, Pierrot le Fou and Band of Outsiders. Swedish cinematographer Sven Nykvist (1922-2006) was one of the greats of his field. He was particularly known for his long collaboration with Ingmar Bergman; he was behind the camera for over a dozen of Bergman’s films, winning Oscars for Cries and Whispers and Fanny and Alexander.
The Polish-born English novelist Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) was considered a master of English prose style despite not becoming fluent in the language until he was in his twenties. His best-known works include the novels Heart of Darkness (which inspired Coppola’s film Apocalypse Now), Lord Jim, and Nostromo. Morgan Llywelyn, who turns 79, is an Irish-American author known for her historical fantasies. Novels such as Red Branch, based on the Ulster cycle of Irish mythology, and Finn Mac Cool, based on the Fenian cycle, retell classic Irish folk stories in a modern style.
In music, composer and conductor Nino Rota (1911-1979) was best known as a film composer. He scored several films of the famed Italian directors Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti, and also The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II, winning an Oscar for the latter. Ozzy Osbourne, who turns 68 today, is know as the “Godfather of heavy metal” for his work as lead vocalist for Black Sabbath and as a solo performer. Ralph McTell, who is 72 today, is a folk and blues singer-songwriter known for his “Streets of London,” which reportedly has been covered by over 200 different artists. Mickey Thomas, who celebrates his 67th, is best-known for his work as lead vocalist of Jefferson Starship. Anton Webern (1883-1945) was one of the leaders of the so-called Second Viennese School of composers, along with Alban Berg and Arnold Schoenberg. Andy Williams (1927-2012) was one of the biggest stars of traditional pop music in the 1960s and ’70s. He was nominated for six Grammys, hosted a successful variety show on NBC for around a decade, and is most famous for his cover of “Moon River.”
Our sports birthdays today include Katarina Witt, who is 51. Witt was one of the most successful figure skaters of all time. She is one of only two women to win consecutive Olympic gold medals (along with Sonia Henie), and won four world titles and six consecutive European championships. Auto racer Rick Mears turns 65. He is one of only three drivers, along with Al Unser, Sr., and A. J. Foyt, to win the Indianapolis 500 four times. Another racing great is retired NASCAR star Bobby Allison, who turns 79. Allison was a three-time winner of the Daytona 500 and the 1983 Winston Cup champion.
Sean Parker, who turns 37 today, is one of the leading entrepreneurs of the digital age. He was the founder or co-founder of online services and platforms like Napster, Plaxo and Causes and served as the first president of Facebook.
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 December 3, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Amanda Seyfried, Andrew Stanton, Andy Williams, Anna Chlumsky, Brendan Fraser, Daryl Hannah, Holly Marie Combs, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Joseph Conrad, Julianne Moore, Nino Rota. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.