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December 3: Happy Birthday Julianne Moore and Brendan Fraser

1203moorefraser

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 MisérablesAnna 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 WitchHeather 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 NostromoMorgan 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.

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Posted on December 3, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Happy Birthday to Brendan Fraser! As you all know, I’m a big Fraser fan. The first two “Mummy” movies were awesome, (I refuse to watch the third) and I also liked him in “Gods and Monsters” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. I think he could’ve had a good second career in voice work (like Julie Kavner and Phil Hartman). It’s sad what happened to Fraser, but I hope for the best.

    I’m also a Daryl Hannah fan. The only movie I’ve ever seen her in was “Splash”, but she and Tom Hanks (who I’m also a fan of) make the movie.

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    • Since you mentioned Fraser’s voice work, I’ll thrown in the fact that in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which one or two of us here are a bit fond of, Fraser provided the voice of the Tasmanian Devil.

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    • If you like Daryl Hannah, I’d recommend watching Roxanne. It’s a charming rom com starring Steve Martin. It’s an 80’s update on Cyrano De Bergerac. Also, if you are into science fiction/noire, check out Blade Runner. Hannah’s role is small, but it’s just a great movie.

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  2. Brendan Fraser is underrated for the range that he has as an actor. Fraser was terrific in serious dramas like School Ties and With Honors, but he can also pull off zany comedy with Encino Man and George of the Jungle, while also being more than capable as the traditional action leading man in The Mummy.

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    • The Quiet American is another film where Fraser is terrific in a dramatic, and in fact antagonistic role.

      In the WTHH article on Fraser, lebeau explores the possibility that Fraser’s range may have actually hurt his career as an actor.

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      • Range can be an obstacle for a movie star rather than an asset. Actors are supposed to have a wide range. It’s generally considered to be a positive for an actor to be versatile. But movie stars are supposed to sell tickets and a big part of that is making your own brand. If I ask if you want to go see the latest Tom Cruise or Jim Carrey movie, you have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting into without knowing anything more than who is in it. With Fraser, there’s no telling what the movie might be. You might get The Mummy, Gods and Monsters, George of the Jungle or Monkey Bone.

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  3. Happy birthday to me! I’m very happy to share my birthday with many people that I love; Brendan Fraser, Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Anna Chlumsky, Daryl Hannah… even Ozzy Osbourne! haha.. 🙂
    They’re all favourites of mine. Especially Brendan, he’s such a talented actor, I really wish we’d see more of him in quality mainstream movies.

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  4. The first time I ever saw Julianne Moore was in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie. Of course I had no idea who she was at the time. She popped up in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and The Fugitive, but I didn’t really put a name to her until Short Cuts. Nine Months and Jurassic Park Lost World were the movies that were supposed to make her a star, but I’m not sure that ever happened. Fortunately, she hasn’t needed mainstream Hollywood to support her.

    Any day that sees multiple WTHH subjects celebrating a birthday is a good day in my book. Brendan Fraser is one of the most asked about actors in the series. He was such an unusual mix of handsome leading man good looks and goofy charm, most movies didn’t know what to do with him. Daryl Hannah was arguably just another pretty face, but she made a big impression in a few movies. I saw on FB one of my cousins dressed as Hannah in Kill Bill for Halloween.

    We talked on Rachel McAdams’ birthday about the Mean Girls cast and what happened to them. Amanda Seyfried. Even after Mean Girls, Seyfried wasn’t a household name. Apparently she spent some time on Veronica Mars and Big Love. It wasn’t until Mama Mia in 2008 that most people took an interest in Seyfried as a movie star. Jennifer’s Body was supposed to make Seyfried and Megan Fox into stars, but it didn’t pan out. Fox crashed and burned soon afterwards, but Seyfried got a few more grasps at the brass ring (including Chloe which costarred Julianne Moore.) I see she’s going to be in the Twin Peaks reunion along with all the other cool kids.

    I remember My Girl and for years I wondered whatever happened to Anna Chlumsky. I recently watched the first couple seasons of Veep and was pleased to see her doing so well. I never watched Charmed, so Holly Marie Combs was always the sister whose name I didn’t know. You wrote about Andrew Stanton without mentioning John Carter. I’m sure he appreciates that! 😉

    I saw Katarina Witt circa 1988. My buddy was smitten.

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  5. As someone who is a fan of hard rock and heavy metal, I gotta give a nod to Ozzy Osbourne. Music historians regard Black Sabbath’s 1970 debut album as the very first heavy metal album ever. Ozzy, along with his Black Sabbath bandmates, literally created a brand new form of music that still thrives today. How often does that ever happen in music, that you can pinpoint who create a musical genre?

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  6. Even though I first saw Julianne Moore in “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle”, I first remember her from “Nine Months”. I think she’s an elegant, outstanding performer with a varied filmography. I think my favorite role of hers is 2009’s “Chloe” (the name of the character that Amanda Seyfried plays; didn’t know they shared a birthday). Oh yeah, and freckles rule.
    Brendan Fraser left an impact on me with “School Ties”, and I really liked “Airheads” too, while I feel that “Looney Tunes: Back in Action” is unfairly disrespected.
    Anna Chlumsky, she clearly did the smart thing getting an education, then re-entered entertain on her own terms.
    I remember Heather Menzies from the 1973 film “Sssss”, and being married to Robert Urich, who I thought was awesome.
    Daryl Hannah, , I guess “Splash” will come to many people’s minds when thinking for her, but I never cared for that film, for I’ll stick with “Blade Runner” or “Roxanne”. I’ve never minded Hannah; I don’t think she’s the greatest, but I feel she’s pleasant enough.
    Ozzy Osbourne, I used to have a few of his solo albums, and I still like a lot of his songs (“Mr. Crowley” and Crazy Train” automatically come to mind, plus his duet with Lita Ford for “Close My Eyes Forever”), plus there’s his Black Sabbath years. Also, I actually enjoyed the Osbourne reality show (though it’s success probably set up some future horrors to follow).

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  7. Here something: Daryl Hannah once played a mermaid, and in the previous decade Julianne Moore posed for a “Disney Dream Portrait Series” photo as an Ariel-inspired mermaid (swimmer Michael Phelps also posed as well). I knew this for some time, but I just never knew these two women shared a birthday, so it’s a little more significant to me.

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