January 14: Happy Birthday Faye Dunaway and Emily Watson
Faye Dunaway is celebrating her 76th birthday today. She made her Broadway debut as Margaret More in A Man For All Seasons shortly after graduating from Boston University. A few years later came her film debut in The Happening in 1967; that same year she received her first Oscar nomination as Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde. A year later, she co-starred with Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair:
Dunaway was one of the top leading ladies of the 1970s, picking up two more Best Actress nominations, as Evelyn Mulwray in Chinatown and Diana Christensen in Network, winning for the latter film. She also starred in Little Big Man, Richard Lester’s Three Musketeers duology, Three Days of the Condor, and Eyes of Laura Mars. Her star clearly declined in the 1980s—around the time she starred as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest—although she did get some good roles in later years in TV miniseries like Ellis Island and Gia, both of which she won Golden Globes for.
Two-time Oscar nominee Emily Watson turns 50 today. Like Faye Dunaway, she began her acting career on stage, and made several appearances with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the early nineties. She made her feature film debut in Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves in 1996. She won several film critics circle acting awards, and was nominated for an Oscar and several other major awards, for the role of Bess McNeill. Two years later, she delivered another acclaimed performance, in a biopic of the brilliant but short-lived cellist Jacqueline du Pré:
Since Hilary and Jackie, Watson has had well-received performances in films such as Angela’s Ashes, Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, Red Dragon, and The Proposition. She has done a number of television movies, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, and later winning a BAFTA Award for Appropriate Adult. She was an Olivier Award nominee for Sam Mendes’ production of Uncle Vanya, and recently has appeared in films like The Book Thief and The Theory of Everything.
Two big names in directing—one screen and one stage—share today as a birthday. Steven Soderbergh, who turns 54, burst on the scene when he won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1989 for Sex, Lies, and Videotape. He had a great year in 2000, when he received Best Director nominations for both Erin Brockovich and Traffic, winning for the latter film. He is also known for the terrific Elmore Leonard adaptation Out of Sight and for the Ocean’s Trilogy of caper films. Sir Trevor Nunn, one of the leading stage directors of our time, turns 77 today. He has served as Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. He has won three Tonys for directing, for the musicals Cats and Les Misérables, and the play The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and has also won three Olivier Awards for his directing on the West End.
Lawrence Kasdan, who turns 68, has also directed (films such as Body Heat and The Big Chill) but is best known as a writer. He wrote the screenplays for Raiders of the Lost Ark and three Star Wars films, and has been Oscar-nominated for the screenplays for The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist, and Grand Canyon. Carl Weathers, who is 69 today, played Apollo Creed in several of the Rocky films and also was in Predator, part of our current bracket game. Mark Addy, who is turning 53, was a BAFTA Award nominee for The Full Monty and played King Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones. Holland Taylor turns 74. She was an Emmy winner on The Practice and was a regular for all 12 seasons of Two and a Half Men. Kerri Green’s short acting career included appearances in The Goonies and Lucas; she celebrates her 50th. Jason Bateman, who is turning 48, was a Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee for starring on Arrested Development; he has recently starred in Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief.
Grant Gustin, who turns 27, stars as Barry Allen on The Flash and has also appeared in the same role on Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. Kevin Durand played Little John in the 2010 version of Robin Hood (with Mark Addy as Friar Tuck) and Fred Dukes in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He turns 43. Emayatzi Corinealdi, who is turning 37, starred in Ava DuVernay’s acclaimed film Middle of Nowhere, and more recently co-starred opposite Don Cheadle in Miles Ahead, Cheadle’s biopic of Miles Davis.
Don Garlits, known in the drag racing world as “Big Daddy,” is our big name in sports today. A pioneer in making drag racing an organized sport and the winner of 17 world championships, he turns 85.
In music, rapper LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith) turns 49. He has had nine studio albums (out of 13 total) reach the Top Ten and won two Grammy awards. Joseph “T Bone” Burnett is 69 today. He has toured with Bob Dylan and done some solo recording and performing but is best known for producing records and film soundtracks. He won four Grammys for his work on the soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and two more for his work on Alison Krauss and Robert Plant’s Raising Sand. Dave Grohl turns 48 today. He was the drummer for Nirvana and has been the frontman for Foo Fighters for over 20 years. Allen Toussaint (1938-2015) had a recording and performing career in R&B but was most remembered for the hits he wrote for others, including “I Like it Like That” for Chris Kenner, “Working in the Coal Mine” for Lee Dorsey, and “Southern Nights” for Glen Campbell.
Several prominent names in journalism of all sorts were born today. Andy Rooney (1919-2011) worked in print and broadcast journalism for nearly seventy years; he was best known for the “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” segments he did for over 30 years on 60 Minutes. Nina Totenberg, who is turning 73, has been with NPR for over 40 years, primarily as their legal affairs correspondent. She won a Peabody Award for her reporting on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court. Maureen Dowd, who turns 65 today, has worked for the New York Times since the early eighties and won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1999. Independent journalist and historian Taylor Branch, who celebrates his 70th, is best known for his three-volume series America in the King Years, the first volume of which, Parting the Waters, won the Pulitzer Prize for History.
Director Joseph Losey (1909-1984) worked for a short time in Hollywood before running afoul of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Unlike some blacklist victims, he was able to continue his career abroad with great success, receiving two BAFTA Award nominations for English films, and winning a Cesar for the French film Monsieur Klein. Hal Roach (1892-1982) worked in film for several decades, most notably as a producer of the Our Gang shorts and the Laurel and Hardy films. Bebe Daniels (1901-1971) began working as a child actress in the silent era and starred in early sound musicals like Rio Rita and 42nd Street. William Bendix (1906-1964) starred opposite Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake in The Glass Key and The Blue Dahlia and in Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat, and then played the title role in The Babe Ruth Story and starred on television’s The Life of Riley. Warren Mitchell (1926-2015) won two Olivier Awards in a long British stage career, along with a BAFTA Television Award for starring on the BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part, the inspiration for All in the Family (Mitchell’s character was the counterpart to Archie Bunker).
Novelist John Dos Passos (1896-1970), part of the “Lost Greneration” of writers who came of age during World War One, was best known for his “USA trilogy,” consisting of the novels The 42nd Parallel, 1919, and The Big Money. Hugh Lofting (1886-1947) was the author of the Doctor Dolittle books, classics of children’s literature.
Our infamous person born today is Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), the American Revolutionary War general who changed sides and tried to betray a key American post to the British. Our benefactor to mankind is Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian medical work in Africa and was also a noted theologian and musicologist.
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 14, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Carl Weathers, Emily Watson, Faye Dunaway, Holland Taylor, Lawrence Kasdan, LL Cool J, Steven Soderbergh, T Bone Burnett, Trevor Nunn. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.