December 8: Happy Birthday Nicki Minaj and Jim Morrison


Hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj turns 34 today.  In a musical genre that tends to be male-dominated, Minaj has been one of the most successful women.  Born in Trinidad, she moved to the US at a young age, and after graduating from high school, she began working as a musician.  Truly a 21st Century musician, she was initially “discovered” through recordings she posted to her Myspace page.  She then released a series of mixtapes that earned increasing attention, and by the end of the 2000s she had a recording contract, releasing several singles and her first album in 2010.

Minaj has released three studio albums to date, all of them reaching #1 or 2 on the Billboard 200.  She has had more singles chart on the Hot 100 than any other female rapper, and has received ten Grammy nominations.  She has made a few film appearances, with supporting roles in The Other Woman and Barbershop: The Next Cut.

In a generation full of legendary figures in music, Jim Morrison (1943-1971) was one of the biggest legends.  A songwriter and poet, he was best known as the lead singer of The Doors.  While studying in the film school at UCLA he met a grad student named Ray Manzarek, who played keyboards; some time after Morrison’s graduation the two connected with guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore.  They began playing at Los Angeles area clubs, and by 1967 Electra had released their first album and singles:

Morrison and The Doors were both a big commercial success—every album they released during Morrison’s life reached the Top 10—and a huge artistic influence.  Unfortunately, Morrison was not only a music legend, he was a legend when it came to self-destructive behavior.  His substance abuse and eccentric behavior put him increasingly at odds with his band-mates.  In the spring of 1971 Morrison took what was meant to be a sabbatical from the group, going off to Paris with his girlfriend.  He never returned, dying of what was apparently an accidental heroin overdose in July of 1971.

WTHH subject Kim Basinger turns 63 today.  Her signature performance remains her Oscar-winning turn in L.A. Confidential; at this blog we must also point out that she was a Bond Girl in Never Say Never Again.  Another former Bond Girl, Teri Hatcher (from Tomorrow Never Dies) is celebrating her 52nd.  Hatcher starred as Lois Lane on Lois & Clark and won a Golden Globe as Susan Mayer on Desperate HousewivesWendell Pierce, who turns 53, currently appears as Teddy on The Odd Couple.  Enormous former wrestler Tyler Mane, who turns 50 today, played Sabretooth in the first X-Men film and Ajax in TroyNancy Meyers, who is 67 today, is a writer, producer and director.  She was Oscar-nominated for the screenplay for Private Benjamin, and more recently produced, wrote and directed the romantic comedy It’s Complicated, which earned her two Golden Globe nominations.

AnnaSophia Robb is 23 today.  She stars on the PBS drama Mercy Street and played Carrie Bradshaw on The Carrie Diaries; she has done films like The Way, Way Back and Soul SurferIan Somerhalder, who is turning 38, stars on The Vampire Diaries as Damon Salvatore and also played Boone Carlyle on LostDominic Monaghan, who celebrates his 40th, played Merry Brandybuck in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and was also in the cast of Lost, as Charlie Pace.  Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts, who is turning 39, won a Cesar Award for the French film Rust and Bone, and has had prominent roles in American films like The Drop and The Danish Girl.

Gregg Allman, who turns 69, is best known for his work with the Allman Brothers Band, the Southern rock ensemble who had a huge hit with “Ramblin’ Man” in the 1970s.  The Irish flutist James Galway, who turns 77 today, is one of the few classical flute players to successfully become a star in the world of solo instrumentalists (such stardom is mostly reserved for pianists and string players).  He has also made a variety of crossover recordings.  Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, who turns 74, and his band Toots & the Maytals, are one of the leading reggae and ska acts in the world.  Finland’s greatest composer was Jean Sibelius (1867-1957), a late Romantic who is famous for his seven symphonies, his violin concerto, and tone poems like Finlandia and The Swan of Tuonela.

Our final music birthday today is Sinéad O’Connor, who is celebrating her 50th.  Her debut album, The Lion and the Cobra, received a Grammy nomination, and she followed it up with the hugely successful I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.  She has never reached the same level of commercial success again, but has remained in the public view, in part because of her forthright, sometimes controversial opinions on a number of issues.

NBA star Dwight Howard turns 31.  He has been named to eight NBA All-Star teams during his career.  English football fans will want to remember that it is the birthday of Sir Geoff Hurst, who is 75.  Hurst’s hat trick against Germany in the 1966 World Cup final brought England their only Cup title.

Before there was a Brat Pack or a Frat Pack, there was the Rat Pack, of which Sammy Davis, Jr., (1925-1990) was a member.  Best known as a singer and dancer, Davis received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations as a TV performer.  Sam Kinison (1953-1992) was a preacher turned stand-up comedian who became well-known during the 1980s, especially for the penetrating screams which punctuated his routines.  Stage and screen actor Lee J. Cobb (1911-1976) was a two-time nominee for Best Supporting Actor, for On the Waterfront and The Brothers Karamazov, and played Willy Loman in the original Broadway production of Death of a Salesman David Carradine (1936-2009), the eldest of the three acting Carradine brothers, starred in the 1970s series that made many Americans aware of Kung Fu, and also played Cole Younger in The Long Riders, opposite James Keach (who was in yestarday’s article) as Jesse James.  James MacArthur (1937-2010) was also seen a lot on television in the 1970s, usually at the receiving end of the line “Book ’em, Danno!” on Hawaii Five-O.  Comedian Flip Wilson (1933-1998) won a pair of Emmys for his 1970s variety series The Flip Wilson Show.

Maximilian Schell (1930-2014) was a Swiss actor and director who combined a lengthy acting career in English-language films with one as a director of, primarily, German-language films.  He won Best Actor for Judgment at Nuremberg, and was nominated for two additional acting Oscars, for The Man in the Glass Booth and Julia.  He also directed two films that were nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, and won a Golden Globe for playing Vladimir Lenin in the HBO movie Stalin.

Georges Méliès (1861-1938) was one of the early pioneers of filmmaking, who developed a number of important technical and storytelling techniques in movies like A Trip to the Moon.  He was played by Ben Kingsley in Martin Scorsese’s film HugoJames Thurber (1894-1961) was a cartoonist, satirist, and the author of many stories and plays.  His short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” has been adapted to film twice.  Screenwriter Ernest Lehman (1915-2005) was a six-time Oscar nominee, but never a winner.  He scripted a number of musical adaptations, including Best Picture winners West Side Story and The Sound of Music, and also Hitchcock’s North by Northwest.

Mary Stuart, known to history as Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587) was, as her name implies, the Queen of Scotland for most of her life.  She also had a claim to the throne of England, which ended up getting her beheaded for plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I.  She has been played in film by actresses such as Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave and Samantha Morton; a very fictionalized version of Mary, played by Adelaide Kane, is the protagonist of the CW’s Reign.  American inventor and businessman Eli Whitney (1765-1825) made two important contributions to the economic development of the US, one of them the invention of the cotton gin, the other the promoting and popularizing the idea of using interchangeable parts in manufacturing.

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 8, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. I am aware of Nicki Minaj. I know her music plays on the Top 40 channels my wife and kids listen to. I’m sure I know some of her songs without actually being able to name any of them off the top of my head. I have seen her on some commercials for I believe a wireless provider. That’s about the extent of my knowledge on the subject.

    Around the time Oliver Stone’s The Doors came out, I got really into the band. Like embarrassingly so. Eventually, the appeal waned, but I still enjoy some of their classics every now and again.

    I feel like we’re always talking about Kim Basinger around here. So, I’ll just say that once upon a time I was a fan. By her next birthday, her WTHH entry will be updated. You can hold me to that. I was also a big Teri Hatcher fan circa Lois and Clark. Let’s face it, that show was cheesy as hell. The appealing leads were the primary reason to watch. I also watched most of Desperate Housewives, though I’m not sure why.

    I have never cared much for Nancy Meyers’ movies, but I have always understood that I was not the intended audience. I’m glad others enjoy them. We have two Lost birthdays today. I watched that show from start to finish, enjoyed it for what it was and will never revisit it. Not worth the commitment for that ending.

    Sinéad O’Connor was quite the provocateur. I don’t think she was prepared for the backlash tearing up a picture of the pope on national TV would bring. Sammy Davis, Jr. was one of those performers I knew primarily from appearances on variety shows in the 70’s. I knew he was famous, but I wasn’t entirely sure what for. Sam Kinison was great in Back to School.

    Lee J. Cobb was of course one of the jurors in 12 Angry Men. Maximilian Schell, I know from Disney’s The Black Hole. We had a Movieline interview with Ernest Lehman a while back.


    • Is “LA Confidential” really Kim Basinger’s most signature role? Yes, it was the role that brought her an Oscar, but I always assumed that Vicki Vale in “Batman” was the role that most people commonly associate her with. Maybe because, it’s the most successful (from a commercial standpoint) film of her career and was the movie that pretty much officially made her an A-list star (at least for the short while).


      • I don’t know that Batman is all that relevant any more. Nolan’s Batman movies dislodged the originals from their perch. If you think about the original Batman – which I don’t think many people do – you probably think of Jack Nicholson and that Keaton was a good Batman. After that, you’re likely to think about the visuals or the score. Vicki Vale is further down that list.

        Don’t get me wrong. Batman was very important to making Basinger a star. But I don’t think I’d say it’s the part she’s best known for. It’s one of her best-known roles. I’d say probably top three. (The other two being LA Confidential and 9 1/2 Weeks.) If I had to pick one, I’d probably give LA Confidential the edge largely due to the accolades that came with it. Almost no one saw Batman and talked about Basinger’s role in it.


        • I think to a degree, the 1989 movie (while whether or not it hasn’t held up all that well in age is debatable on its own terms) is still quite relevant since it along with Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman movie are pretty much the godfathers of the modern day superhero movie genre. I suppose that the ’89 movie and “The Dark Knight” are usually first and foremost referred to when taking under consideration the supposedly “definitive” live-action Batman movie.

          Kim Basinger in “Batman” pretty much filled-in the rather standard love interest/damsel-in-distress role (and to a lesser extent, an avatar/perspective character for the audience). Of course one will always play the big “what if game” regarding how Sean Young would’ve interpreted Vicki Vale. But her loss was Kim Basinger’s gain. Maybe I figured that was her most commonly known role since it’s the one that most causal film goers would’ve likely had seen her in.


        • I mean, it’s a matter of opinion. Your mileage may vary.


        • Not to repeat what I’ve said about Kim Basigner on this blog, but with all of that being said in itself, I think that the general reasons for her ultimate fall off of the A-list (without going into too much detail as there’s enough of that on her own WTHHT article) and entry into sheer and utter irrelevancy was a unique combination of her getting older, producers/directors likely getting fed up with her alleged diva antics and news-making marital problems, Kim herself not really wanting to “court” celebrity (not to be too cliched, but Kim in essence, didn’t seem to really want to “play the game”) due to her supposed “shyness”/social anxiety issues, and her poor film choices post-“Batman” and post-“LA Confidential” respectively,


        • Even if the Nolan Batman never existed, people moved on long ago from Batman ’89 and beyond, as “Batman and Robin” just did a real number on them. I’ll never forget Batman ’89 though, as I saw it in a theater & also had some initial struggles with my first VHS copy (it barely worked; worst VHS copy of anything I’ve ever had, and a sign that particular Batman franchise was headed for trouble. Kidding).


      • L.A. Confidential is definately not her signature role, what a thing to say! She had her biggest splashes with Batman, Nine 1/2 Weeks and Never Say Never Again – in that exact ranking. And the notion that she wasn’t “A-list” (whatever that means) until Batman is absurd. She had been earning seven figure fees since No Mercy.


        • “And the notion that she wasn’t “A-list” (whatever that means) until Batman is absurd.”

          If you’re not certain of the definition of “A-list” then how can the notion that Kim Basinger didn’t meet the criteria prior to Batman be absurd? It is admittedly an ill-defined term. In any discussion of A-list, I am always the first to say that I take a very strict approach. Salary is a factor, but not the only one. The “A-list” is first and foremost a measure of power. Prior to Batman, Basigner was a sought-after actress. But she wasn’t a power player. She couldn’t get movies greenlit based solely on her involvement. After Batman, she could.

          As a Bond fan, I’d say Never Say Never Again is among Basinger’s better known parts. But get outside of Bond fans and I think most people would forget she was ever a Bond girl. For me, Basigner’s Oscar win and the overall merits of the movie and her performance put L.A. Confidential ahead of Never Say Never Again.

          As I told Terrence, this is purely a matter of opinion. There’s no good way to quantify a signature role. But think about this. When Basigner passes on and the Academy includes her in their “memorial” montage, which movie(s) do you think will make the cut? I guarantee L.A. Confidential will be on it.


        • You’re right about it being an ill-defined term. In practical terms, these are the categories: Working actor – Up and comer – Star – Superstar. If Basinger wasn’t A-list then, who was? I can’t think of another actress who made as big an impression during the decade on the whole. She received worldwide attention for each of the 3 cited films. Her part in L.A. Confidential is simply too brief to rival any of them.


        • It’s a supporting role as opposed to a lead. And I don’t think LA Confidential is anywhere near as relevant today as it used to be. But at the time, the movie made a big impression and Basinger was hailed for an impressive comeback. There aren’t a lot of comeback stories that rival hers. Of course her comeback ended almost immediately after the Best Supporting Actress win, but it’s still her most heralded role by a lot. Easily one of her most memorable movies and parts. You couldn’t possibly discuss her career without touching on it. Whether or not it is her “signature role” would depend on how you define that phrase. I think it is on the short list of parts I would consider if I were trying to name a signature role for Basinger.

          Who was an A-list actress in the late 80s? Off the top of my head, Cher. Kathleen Turner. Possibly Glenn Close. It’s a pretty short list. Look at the three movies Basinger was stuck in prior to Batman; Blind Date, Nadine and My Stepmother is an Alien. These were not the sought-after parts an A-lister would be offered. And remember, she wasn’t even the first choice for Batman. She got it after Sean Young was injured and largely because she was available at the last minute. A-list actresses are rarely available at the last minute. Their dance cards are booked.

          Post Batman, Basinger had some clout. She started throwing her weight around. Unfortunately, this resulted in movies like Cool World. But the success of Batman gave her that cache.


        • I wonder if it’s often easy to forget that Kim Basigner was once a Bond Girl because “Never Say Never Again” really isn’t part of the official canon (i.e. the ones made by Cubby Broccoli/EON Productions). Plus, it was in a movie that was essentially a remake of one of Sean Connery’s earlier Bond movies, “Thunderball”. So it’s quite easy for Kim not make the role enough of “her own” or make enough of a huge impression right from the start.


        • I think that’s a part of it. When I am talking about Bond movies, I rarely include NSNA.


        • Terrence, now is a different story, but she made a massive impression on worldwide audiences at the time. The pre-publicity was huge as well. Before the movie even came out she was on the cover of People magazine (albeit in a corner photo) and Playboy (the pictorial had actually been shot 2 years prior and held from publication until she had something substantial to promote).

          Nine 1/2 Weeks had huge pre-publicity as well. A full page People cover almost a year before the movie came out. Despite being a box office disaster domestically (no doubt due to the pushed back release date) it gained a massive following in a short time. Not to mention it’s still indisputably the best role she has ever had. She is in practically every frame of the film. It’s her movie, and one she can be proud of.

          Batman’s cultural impact has already been discussed to death. I’m surprised Basinger didn’t make the top of this article since every other comment on this site seems to be about her.


        • Well, a lot of those Basinger comments come from Terrence. 😉


        • With such limited screen time the role barely qualifies as supporting. The film itself is good, but she had nothing to do in it besides stand around looking sexy, which is why her Academy Award is cited on almost everybody’s list of worst Oscar wins. As a career move it was an essential movie because it has bought her work for the last 18 years (mostly in indies, but hey that’s still a huge step above the Hallmark fare she’d most likely be doing if not for the Oscar).

          Re: A-list actresses, Cher is a good example, I didn’t think of her. But I would say in 1987 she was neck and neck with Basinger rather than above. Their asking prices were the same, but Cher was losing roles because of age discrimination, for instance she was not even allowed to audition for Legal Eagles because Robert Redford at 50 thought a 40 year old woman was too old to play his love interest (!!).

          Glenn Close is such a different type than Basinger I can’t imagine them ever competing for similar roles. Turner is probably the closest peer to Basinger at that time. She did have more hits but apart from Body Heat they were routine films and overall I do not feel she left as big an impression, but that is just my opinion. The fact that she had such a tiny role in The Accidental Tourist when seemingly at the peak of her career says a lot.

          Streisand, Fonda and Hawn were also getting bigger paychecks than Basinger even at the very end of the decade, but only because they had retained such high standing from their 1970s to very early 80s hits (especially Hawn who didn’t have a single hit after Private Benjamin until the Mel Gibson film in 1990). Meryl Streep was a cut above.

          Basinger is the only actress among all these women who was a conventional movie star for the 80s, bursting into the mainstream at the beginning of the decade with a lot of hype, and that hype actually materializing due to commercial popularity.


        • I can agree with pretty much everything you said here. Good analysis.

          With regards to Kathleen Turner, I would say she peaked mid-80’s with Romancing the Stone and Prizzi’ Honor for the prestige factor. But she rode that through the rest of the decade with Peggy Sue Got Married (not great, but earned some awards notice), Roger Rabbit (just a voice over, but got her a lot of press), The Accidental Tourist (yes, Geena Davis stole the movie but it was more about reuniting with Lawrence Kasdan and William Hurt plus the whole prestige thing again) and finally War of the Roses which was a big old critical and commercial success. After that, it was all downhill for Kathleen Turner. But I do think she was in a power position for the latter half of the decade.

          I thought about mentioning Meryl Streep, but while she has always been one of our most respected actresses, the late 80’s were kind of a rough patch for her. She was looking for commercial success with movies like She-Devil, and that didn’t work out for her. Her Oscar bait, Heartburn, Ironweed, wasn’t clicking either. She struggled to find her footing through the late 20th century.


        • I agree with you about Meryl Streep in the late 1980’s: I like “Ironweed” (I recently learned that Margaret Whitton passed away a few days ago, bummer), but I think “Heartburn” is kinda blah (I sure like Carly Simon’s “Coming Around Again” though), and what was she doing with “She-Devil” (I didn’t like the later “Death Becomes Her” either)?


        • A while back in Kim Basinger’s IMDb message board, I asked why Kim in effect “ruined her career” (to the point in which she’s now “slumming it” in “Fifty Shades of Whatever” in order to restore her relevancy)? I’ll be the first to admit, that maybe I was being a tad bit too harsh. But it seemed like she went out of her way to just about bulldoze whatever goodwill (both post “Batman” and post “LA Confidential”) that she had w/ her behind the scenes behavior and choice of roles.

          I also said recently on here, that Kim Basinger could be considered a female variant of John Travolta regarding making an impressive late ’90s comeback (“LA Confidential” being Kim’s “Pulp Fiction”) only for it not to last (to the point in which their relevancy and credibility now might never truly recover).


        • Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” music video I think is a better known part for Kim Basinger than “Never Say Never Again”. And no, I’m not at all trying to be factitious.


        • It seems like outside of “Batman”, “Nine & 1/2 Weeks”, and “LA Confidential”, much of Kim Basinger’s filmography (to really little fault of her own) has been cast aside or are treated as anomalies now. Part of this has to do w/ many Basinger’s movies failing to make a profit at the box office. And another part may have to do w/ said movies simply not standing up to the test of time. People also will likely remember “The Natural” and “8 Mile”, but they weren’t exactly seen as “her movies” if that makes sense.

          “Blind Date” is pretty much now just looked at as bridge for Bruce Willis to go from “Moonlighting” to “Die Hard”. “The Marrying Man” should only be watched just for the sheer curiosity factor if you’re aware of the infamous production background (and if you actually care to her Kim Basinger sing).

          “Cool World” is another one of Kim Basinger’s movies that is hard to watch unironically (if you’re aware of Kim’s apparent meddling with the script to make it more “kid friendly”) and an early “pre-stardom” role for Brad Pitt.

          I suppose that “The Getaway” can be enjoyed if you want to see Ms. Basinger get naked and have engage in some steamy sex scenes (a la “Nine & 1/2 Weeks”). But the fact that it was w/ her then, real life husband Alec Baldwin, kind of makes it an uncomfortable buzzkill.

          “Cellular”, while perhaps Kim Basinger’s last big leading role in a major motion picture, none the less sets Kim up to look foolish and demeaned and has a very dated premise. It’s like “Blind Date” and Bruce Willis, “Cool World” for Brad Pitt, and “The Burning Plan” for Jennifer Lawrence, could really now just be looked as vehicle for the future Captain America, Chris Evans.

          “The Sentinel” (where Basinger plays America’s hottest First Lady, this side of Jackie Kennedy), “Charlie St. Cloud” (or as Lebeau started off in her WTHHT entry as a sign of how low her career had sunk, “that movie where she played Zac Efron’s mom”), and “Grudge Match” seemed to be on the surface, Basinger cashing in a quick paycheck.


        • I think that after “Batman”, Kim Basinger slowly started to become a “marked woman” of sorts. As LeBeau indicated, “Batman” arguably gave Basinger some clout that she likely didn’t have before that. But she started to waste it away do to her attitude and on-set behavior.

          There was that incident where she purchased that Georgia town, which I don’t think endeared her to most common folk. And then there was her little outburst at the 1990 Oscars, where she said that the Academy messed up when failing to nominate “Do the Right Thing” for Best Picture. While Kim may have had a point in hindsight, it none the less, made her out a loose cannon of sorts, who just said whatever was one her mind w/o any inkling of the possible repercussions. This naturally, goes into her 1991 Movieline interview, which made her come across as needlessly bitter, full of herself and entitled.

          We all know about all of the “horror stories” involving Kim and what went on behind the scenes of “The Marrying Man” and “Cool World”, so I’m not going to try to go too much into that again. But what made matters worse was when she hooked up w/ Alec Baldwin. Baldwin was himself, becoming despised around Hollywood due to his frequent temper tantrums and ego-centricism that got him booted off of the Jack Ryan franchise in favor of Harrison Ford. By the time that the two did “The Getaway”, it seemed like most people were rooting for them to fail.

          I don’t think that many had much sympathy for Kim Basinger over the “Boxing Helena” case, because of her building reputation of being a diva, and her not having the foresight right from the jump to know that a movie like that was trash.

          I think that Kim knew that she was being put into Hollywood jail for a while due to all of her box office flops and lawsuits, and disappeared for a while to “lick her wounds”. She manages an impressive comeback w/ “LA Confidential” but proceeds to wound up back to where she was before that by first, killing her heat and momentum by not releasing another movie for three years. And then following “LA Confidential” up w/ junk like “Bless the Child” and “I Dreamed of Africa” (which seemed like a vanity project in which Kim wanted to do her own version of Meryl Streep’s “Out of Africa”).


        • I think some people act out of turn or come off all wrong because mentally they expected their life to go a different way, but with Kim Basinger I just don’t think she really considered the repercussions of her actions affecting her public perception and film career. It appears she’s never really practiced being deliberate of positively strategic in her moves. I don’t know, maybe she felt things would remain the same for her.


        • gluserty, the infamous voice mail incident involving Alec Baldwin yelling and insulting his and Kim Basinger’s daughter almost 10 years ago is arguably the best case or example of Kim not really considering the repercussions of her actions (if you believe that she deliberately leaked that audio the media as a way of betting revenge against Alec Baldwin) affecting her public perception and film career. Kim seems to be the type of person who lives in her own bubble and is always (for the most part) in the right.

          I’ve said several times in the comments section of her WTHHT article, that it made Kim out to be a woman who didn’t have any problems using her own child as a pawn in her won childish BS game against her ex-husband. Also, it made Kim (if you ask me) out to be a woman who was willing to sacrifice (and humiliate) her own daughter’s name and integrity to the general public. Let’s be honest, whenever you think of Ireland Baldwin the first thing that comes to mind is her being the little girl that her father, called a “Rude, thoughtless little pig”.

          And the fact that Kim in a recent interview said that she let her daughter write on walls as a means of “making up” to her over the nasty divorce between her and Alec Baldwin, just made her out to be an ineffectual, permissive parent, who doesn’t set boundaries for her child.


        • I have to agree with you, she came off looking pretty bad as a parent. She’s not the first or last person to use her offspring as a human shield to get back at a spouse, but it’s just not a good look.


        • The voice mail incident probably officially marked the point of no return for Kim Basinger. In other words, it when you get right down to it (even though Alec Baldwin obviously came off looking extremely bad himself), forever ruined her public image (it was already an open secret that Alec Baldwin was/is a hot-head so as unfair and inexcusable as it was, this sort of thing wasn’t that surprising for him) and her relevancy as a result, never truly recovered.

          I think that Kim will still get work here and there simply because she’ll always have the caveat of being an Academy Award winner, and she’s still reasonably beautiful enough that people who grew up loving her in the ’80s will be willing to see her. But I seriously doubt that Kim at her age and w/ her well documented personal/emotional baggage, will ever be the lead/marquee, headlining star (or one of them) in a major, widely released film again. And the sad thing now, is that she doesn’t have a Curtis Hanson to “bail her out”.


        • I’m willing to bet that Kim thought that 100% of the general public would’ve sided w/ her in her custody battles w/ Alec Baldwin since she claims she was abusive towards her. But what Kim didn’t take for account, is that she herself, came across as a vindictive, calculating, master manipulator. It’s just that Kim will play the shy, “timid” act for the sake of public perception and sympathy.

          Apparently what set Alec off on his infamous rant was Kim fooling around with the visitation schedule for weeks and making it hard for him to reach Ireland directly via phone, so it was up to Ireland to return Alec’s phone calls. Not that it justifies what he said to his daughter (because it absolutely doesn’t), but it seems that Kim knew how to push his buttons.

          The two of them were a recipe for disaster because both Kim and Alec seem like emotionally immature, self-centered people.

          I’m guessing that Kim never truly got over being humiliated that lawsuit she lost wiped out a lot of her fortune besides the apparent post-traumatic stress that she likely suffered from her marriage to Alec. Hence why, she has virtually disappeared from the limelight for the past 10 or so years.

          I’m also sure that working on “9 & 1/2” was an initial spark that set Kim (who was already quite fragile) off on her mental breakdown. Supposedly, Adrien Lyne, the director, played a lot of mind games w/ Kim in order to “enhance her performance”. Kim also apparently agonized over whether or not to take the role because it required to rather dehumanize herself.


    • I don’t care too much for Nancy Meyers’ films either. I’m glad someone is telling stories about older women, but she only ever tells the same stories about the same type of woman over and over again. Something’s Gotta Give and It’s Complicated are basically bookend films: in each film, there’s a wealthy white woman with a quirky-ish personality in entering the twilight years who’s experiencing a romantic rut. In both films the women own lavish real estate and have a penchant for white clothing. In both films, the women are leading charmed lives and have everything they could want except for a man. In both films, an unexpected affair develops between themselves and someone they initially don’t get along with. In both films, they have younger women as rivals. In both films, there are ethical dilemmas to pursuing the central relationship in the film. In both films, they are torn between are nice guy and a cad. In both films, they have a brief period of turmoil before everything works out for them in the end. Both films involve a cardiac event in the plot. The biggest difference is that in the former film the heroine ends up with the cad and in the latter she chooses the nice guy. As separate films they’re pleasant fluff, but if you have seen both it seems like Meyers can do little but copy herself. It might be interesting to see stories about women over 40 are not privileged or not white, or experience problems that aren’t enviable, and aren’t starring one of the same handful of actresses.


  2. I am a huge Doors fan but I didn’t start out that way. During my teens for whatever reason I was indifferent to them; I’d hear some of their stuff and think it was just ok. However shortly after the release of Oliver Stone’s film The Doors a buddy of mine talked me into watching it. I wasn’t a fan of the band but I had nothing better to do so I said what the hell, why not. I thought the movie was great, but also for the first time I realized what great music they made together. Been a fan ever since.

    It’s really amazing what a rich history The Doors created in just four short years. Their debut album released in early 1967, and Jim Morrison died in July 1971. One trivia bit I find fascinating: the very last song they ever recorded together was “Riders On The Storm”, which was also the very last single the band released.


  3. I’ve seemed to misplaced my “The Best of The Doors” album, I just don’t know where it is. If I had to choose one song from that compilation, it would be “When the music’s Over”. Heck, the music won’t even begin if I don’t locate it.
    Gregg Allman, I thought he was an eerie presence in the 1991 film “Rush”, but I’ve never really listened to The Allman Brothers. i know he was married to Cher though.
    I like “Nothing Compares 2 U” as sung by Sinead O’ Connor; it moves me.
    David Carradine, he had a weird ending to what had to be an eventful life.


  4. Interesting to have had James Keach and David Carradine, two of the stars of The Long Riders, with birthdays back to back. When I first encountered The Long Riders, I had a bit of a hard time looking beyond what seemed like gimmicky casting—real-life brothers playing characters who were brothers. But it’s actually quite good, probably the best movie about the James-Younger gang.

    Also, has anyone else noticed that we’re having a bunch of days in a row with one or more birthdays of people from famous entertainment families? On Tuesday, we had Ira Gershwin, yesterday we had the Keaches, the Hustons and the Chapins all represented, and today it’s the Carradines, the Allmans and the Schells. And wait until tomorrow. 🙂


  5. nine and 1/2 weeks underperformed domestically it did great worldwide though. it is a cult favorite now. her costar mickey rourke has some classics under his belt but like kim he never really reached his full potental he never became a huge star. mickey got greedy took projects only for money and also ventured into to boxing more


    • “My Stepmother is an Alien” is pretty much another one of Kim Basinger’s movies that might as well be only watched for the purely ironic train-wreck factor. As Lebeau said in her WTHHT retrospective, it’s one of those weird ideas that only Dan Aykroyd seems to think is funny (such like “Nothing But Trouble” and “Ghostbusters” had Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis not intervened to tone down his more “out there” ideas).

      Well on second thought, here’s one good reason to watch that movie if you’re a Kim Basinger fan: 😉

      I don’t know how true is this, but Basinger was apparently a replacement for Shelley Long. Also, the movie was originally meant to be an allegory of sorts for child abuse. using the concept of an evil alien to build as a metaphor for this touchy topic.


      • When I was a kid, I had a friend named Larry (not a cable guy) who one day showed that scene to where Basinger’s character seduces Aykroyd’s character in the bedroom, then proceeded to rewind the tape back to the scene like 6 times. What I recall most now from that is the expression on Aykroyd’s face, and the music in the background. I mean, the scene was played silly, not sexy anyway, though Larry was obviously very impressed with it (I was fine with it, but it wasn’t exactly Linda Hamilton’s love scene in “The Terminator” for me either, which remains something of a gold standard for me after all this time).


      • I think “9 1/2 Weeks” is pretty good, but it’s one of those 1980’s films that I didn’t see until much later (2002 was the year I left my hat on for the film).


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