January 5: Happy Birthday Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton
Our two headliners today appeared together in one of the greatest movies of all time, and fortunately had a few scenes where they were onscreen together.
Robert Duvall, a seven-time Oscar nominee, is turning 86 today. He began acting in a summer theater on Long Island in the 1950s, and was very busy in the next decade plus with theater and television roles. He had his first notable film role as Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird in 1962, but it wasn’t until the end of the sixties that he began to get good film roles regularly—Ned Pepper in True Grit, Frank Burns in MASH, the title character in George Lucas’s THX 1138.
Duvall’s breakthrough as an actor came in 1972. Francis Ford Coppola, the producer of THX 1138, cast Duvall in a central role in a film he was adapting from a best-selling novel about the Mafia:
Duvall was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for playing Tom Hagen in The Godfather, and reprised the role in The Godfather II. Since then he has remained a major actor for over 40 years, although he was never a conventional leading man type; even when he had leading roles they were almost always in character-oriented dramas. He had what could be considered his career peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He received two Oscar nominations for 1979 films, for The Great Santini (Best Actor) and for Apocalypse Now (Best Supporting Actor). He then starred opposite Robert De Niro in Ulu Grosbard’s True Confessions, and in 1983 starred as Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies, the role that brought him the Oscar for Best Actor.
A few highlights of the last couple of decades for Duvall would include late nineties Oscar nominations for The Apostle and A Civil Action, playing Gen. Robert E. Lee in Gods and Generals, starring in Kevin Costner’s Open Range, and receiving his seventh Oscar nomination for the 2014 film The Judge.
Argentine actress Luciana Pedraza, who turns 45, has been married to Duvall for over a decade. They have appeared together in the movies Assassination Tango and Wild Horses.
Diane Keaton celebrates her 71st today. She dropped out of college in the mid-sixties to move to Manhattan and pursue an acting career. She made her Broadway debut in the musical Hair and then starred in a play by Woody Allen titled Play It Again, Sam. By the time she reprised her stage role in the film of the play, she had already become known to movie audiences as Kay Adams-Corleone in The Godfather. She spent much of the rest of the seventies as Woody Allen’s “muse,” starring in five of his films, most notably the one which brought her an Oscar for Best Actress, and even made her a fashion icon:
At the same time as she was starring in Annie Hall and other classic comedies from Allen, Keaton was proving herself as a dramatic actress in films like Looking for Mr. Goodbar and Reds (for which she was Oscar-nominated). She received her third and fourth Oscar nominations for Marvin’s Room and Something’s Gotta Give. A few of her other notable films have included Shoot the Moon, Crimes of the Heart, the 1991 remake of Father of the Bride, and The Family Stone. She currently stars in The Young Pope on HBO.
Bradley Cooper, who is turning 42, has emerged as a top leading man in the last decade. He first became known for his role on Alias, and after several years in supporting film roles had a breakthrough role starring in The Hangover. He has been nominated for acting Oscars for Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and American Sniper, and has rejoined his Silver Linings co-star Jennifer Lawrence in Serena and Joy. But he’s not all about the prestige pictures—he’s also played Templeton “Faceman” Peck in The A-Team and been the voice of Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy. Shea Whigham, who celebrates his 48th, co-starred in Silver Linings Playbook as the brother of Cooper’s character, and is known for his regular TV roles on Boardwalk Empire and Vice Principals.
Chinese actor Jiang Wen, who is 54 today, starred opposite Gong Li in Red Sorghum and won a Hong Kong Film Award for The Soong Sisters; he is currently seen as Baze Malbus in Rogue One. Fans of Stargate: Atlantis will remember Joe Flanigan, who played John Sheppard; he turns 50 today. Vinnie Jones, who celebrates his 52nd, was the captain of the Welsh national football team for several years, and became known as an actor through his appearances in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. January Jones, no relation to Vinnie, received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for starring as Betty Draper on Mad Men, and now stars on Fox’s The Last Man on Earth; her film roles include Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class. Jones turns 39 today. Indian actress Deepika Padukone, who turns 31, has won two Filmfare Awards for Best Actress in the last five years and will make her Hollywood debut in XXX: The Return of Xander Cage, which will be released later this month. Franz Drameh, who is 24 today, co-starred in Attack the Block and currently plays Jefferson “Jax” Jackson on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
Pamela Sue Martin, who played Nancy Drew on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries and Fallon Carrington Colby on Dynasty, is turning 64. Clancy Brown, who turns 58 today, played the Kurgan in Highlander and Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption, and has had an extensive career as a voice actor. Suzy Amis (now known as Suzy Amis Cameron), who turns 55, had some major film roles in the 1980s and ’90s—Rocket Gibralter, The Ballad of Little Jo, The Usual Suspects, a small part in Titanic—before retiring from acting in 1999. She met James Cameron during the filming of Titanic and they were married in 2000. Director Ron Maxwell, who is turning 68, is known for his Civil War era films, including Gods and Generals (in which he directed Robert Duvall) and Gettysburg. Roger Spottiswoode, known for directing Turner & Hooch, Shoot to Kill, and the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, turns 72 today.
Anime and manga fans know the name of Hayao Miyazaki, who celebrates his 76th today. He is known for a string of highly-acclaimed anime feature films. His 2001 film Spirited Away won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and two of his other features, Howl’s Moving Castle and The Wind Rises, were Oscar nominees. His other notable films include Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke.
For the second straight day it’s the birth date of one of the NFL’s most successful coaches. Chuck Noll (1932-2014) was hired in 1969 as head coach of one of the league’s perennial also-rans, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Within four years he had them in the playoffs and in his sixth year, he coached them to the first of four Super Bowl victories in a six-season span. Recently retired NFL running back Warrick Dunn, who is turning 42, was a three-time Pro Bowler who rushed for nearly 11,000 yards in his career.
Marilyn Manson (given name Brian Warner), the controversial lead singer of the industrial rock band of the same name, turns 47. The band has had seven Top Ten albums and received four Grammy nominations in the Hard Rock and Metal categories. Classical pianist Alfred Brendel is celebrating his 86th. During his performing and recording career of about sixty years, Brendel was known as a leading interpreter of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. Country-folk singer-songwriter Iris DeMent turns 56 today. She has recorded six albums, receiving a Grammy nomination for her second album, and was heard on the soundtrack of the Coen Brothers’ True Grit singing “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.”
Jane Wyman (1917-2007) worked in film and television for over sixty years. She was a four-time nominee for the Oscar for Best Actress, winning for 1948’s Johnny Belinda, and starred on CBS’s prime time soap opera Falcon Crest as family matriarch Angela Channing, winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama. George Reeves (1914-1959) had a film career that included a small part in Gone With the Wind, but is best known for playing Superman on the 1950s television series. Ben Affleck played Reeves in Hollywoodland, an 2006 film about Reeves life and the mysterious circumstances of his 1959 death from a gunshot wound.
Umberto Eco (1932-2016) had a long academic career as a philosopher and semiotician, but was best known for his complex, highly intellectual novels, such as The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum.
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 January 5, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Bradley Cooper, Diane Keaton, George Reeves, Hayao Miyazaki, Jane Wyman, January Jones, Marilyn Manson, Pamela Sue Martin, Robert Duvall, Suzy Amis. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.