January 6: Happy Birthday Eddie Redmayne and Loretta Young
Eddie Redmayne celebrates his 35th birthday today. He made his screen debut as a teenager on British television and began a stage career while studying art history at Cambridge. He made his film debut in the 2006 Anglo-Australian co-production Like Minds, and that same year had a small role in his first American film, The Good Shepherd. He first began to be noticed with his starring role as Colin Clark in My Week With Marilyn, and then played Marius in the feature film version of Les Misérables.
Redmayne then starred as one of the most prominent scientific thinkers of our time, Stephen Hawking, in the biographical romance The Theory of Everything. Redmayne’s highly praised performance gave him a clean sweep of the major Best Actor awards for 2014: Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA Award and SAG Award.
Redmayne’s next film, Jupiter Ascending, brought him a Razzie nomination, but he balanced that out by receiving his second consecutive Best Actor nomination for The Danish Girl. He is currently starring as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Loretta Young (1913-2000) began working regularly in film in the late silent ear, and became an established leading lady in the early sound era while still in her late teens. Platinum Blonde, Taxi! and Zoo in Budapest were some of the early films that established her as a star. She was never, I think, what today we would call an A-list actress, but she had steady work as a leading lady for over 20 years. She worked at all five of the major studios at different times (plus a stint at Columbia), and in almost every genre that was common at the time.
In 1947, she starred in a romance titled The Farmer’s Daughter, and unexpectedly won the Oscar for Best Actress.
When her stream of film offers dried up in the early 1950s, she transitioned smoothly to television, becoming both host and star of an anthology series titled, aptly, The Loretta Young Show. She won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama three times during the show’s run. She came out of retirement in the mid-eighties and won a Golden Globe for starring in the 1986 TV movie Christmas Eve.
Norman Reedus, who turns 48 today, is known for playing Murphy MacManus in The Boondock Saints and its sequel, and for starring on The Walking Dead as Daryl Dixon. Kate McKinnon, who celebrates her 33rd, is a four-time Emmy nominee for her work on Saturday Night Live (she has been a regular since 2012) and appeared earlier this year as Dr. Jillian Holtzmann in the Ghostbusters reboot.
We have a number of actors from around the world born today. The best known is undoubtedly English actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson, who is celebrating his 62nd. He is most famous for starring in the hit British comedy series Blackadder and Mr. Bean, as well as two Mr. Bean movies. Belgian actor Jérémie Renier turns 36. He most commonly works in French film and is a three-time Cesar nominee; he has appeared in English-language films such as Atonement and In Bruges. Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi was born the same day as Renier. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Babel, and may also be known to American viewers from The Brothers Bloom and Pacific Rim. Irish actress Genevieve O’Reilly, who has played Mon Mothma in Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One, is 40 today. Australian actress and model Courtney Eaton, who is turning 21, played Cheedo the Fragile in Mad Max: Fury Road and Zaya in Gods of Egypt. Closer to home (if home is in the US), Canadian actress Tara Spencer-Nairn, who played Constable Karen Pelly on the hit Canadian series Corner Gas, turns 39.
Several directors share today as a birthday. Anthony Minghella (1954-2008) won the Oscar for Best Director for The English Patient. Some of his other notable films include Truly, Madly, Deeply, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Cold Mountain. John Singleton, who celebrates his 49th, received a Best Director nomination for his debut film, Boyz n the Hood; he remains the youngest nominee for that honor ever. His subsequent career and failure to live up to the potential he showed are covered in a WTHH article. Vincenzo Natali, who is 48 today, is known for sci-fi films, often mixed with horror, such as Cube, Cypher and Splice.
Karin Slaughter, who is 46 today, is a very successful author of crime and suspense fiction, who sets almost all her fiction in Georgia. She is known for her Grant County novels, her Atlanta novels featuring GBI investigator Will Trent (the two series were effectively merged beginning with her 2009 novel Undone), and for standalone novels like Cop Town and Pretty Girls. She is also known for putting her characters, especially the women, through nine kinds of hell.
Syd Barrett (1946-2006) was a founding member of Pink Floyd, and the group’s lead singer and principal songwriter until 1968, when his erratic behavior got him forced out of the band. He had a short career as a solo artist and then largely withdrew from the public eye. The German Romantic composer Max Bruch (1838-1920) was responsible for over 200 works, but is best known for two of them, his Violin Concerto No. 1 and his Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra. Earl Scruggs (1924-2012) was a legend of bluegrass, known for popularizing the “Scruggs style” of three-finger banjo picking which is one of the key elements in the sound of bluegrass music. He performed and recorded for over sixty years, but is most famous for his years with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, and then in partnership with Lester Flatt.
Comedian and actor Danny Thomas (1912-1991) was best known as the star of the durable sitcom Make Room for Daddy (later retitled The Danny Thomas Show), which ran on ABC and later CBS for over a decade. Thomas was nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy four times, winning in 1954. Vic Tayback (1930-1990) was best known for playing diner owner Mel Sharples in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore as well as in the television series adaptation Alice. Tom Mix (1880-1940) starred in nearly 300 films in his career, most of them silent Westerns. Along with William S. Hart, Mix was one of the first big stars of film Westerns. Bruce Willis played Mix in the 1988 film Sunset. French model and actress Capucine (1928-1990) was nominated for a Golden Globe for her first English-language film, Song Without End. She starred opposite John Wayne in North to Alaska and with Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther and What’s New Pussycat?
American author Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) was a three time Pulitzer Prize winner. Two were for Poetry, the third was in History, for his Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.
King Richard II of England (1367-1400) reigned from 1377-1399. He was the subject of Shakespeare’s history play Richard II; among the actors who have played him in modern times are Sir John Gielgud, Maurice Evans, Paul Scofield, Derek Jacoby, Kevin Spacey, Ben Whishaw and David Tennant.
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 6, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Anthony Minghella, Danny Thomas, Earl Scruggs, Eddie Redmayne, Jeremie Renier, John SIngleton, Karin Slaughter, Kate McKinnon, Loretta Young, Rinko Kikuchi, Tom Mix. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.