February 11: Happy Birthday Jennifer Aniston and Sheryl Crow


Our two headliners today are apparently good friends, and have been photographed together on a few occasions, as at this fundraising event where they are joined by Courtney Cox and OmniPeace founder Mary Fanaro.

Jennifer Aniston celebrates her 48th today.  Both her parents had some acting experience; her father, John Aniston, has had a recurring role on Days of Our Lives for over 30 years.  She began acting after finishing high school, doing some Off-Broadway plays and landing roles in several short-lived television series, including Ferris Bueller (based on the movie), where she played Ferris’s sister Jeannie.

In 1994 her persistence with series television paid off as she landed a role on a new NBC sitcom, playing a runaway bride who moves in with an old friend from high school, and becomes one of a group of Friends.  Aniston played the role of Rachel Green for the show’s ten season run, and received five Primetime Emmy nominations during that time, winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2002; she also won a Golden Globe in 2003.

Aniston is the one member of the main cast of Friends to have a major career in film.  She has been in major box office successes like Bruce Almighty, The Break-Up, Marley and Me, and We’re the MillersCake brought her a Golden Globe nomination, and her performances in films like The Good Girl and Life of Crime have been very well received.

Sheryl Crow turns 55 today.  She spent several years “in the trenches,” doing everything from teaching music in an elementary school to being a backup vocalist for Michael Jackson, before recording her first album, Tuesday Night Music Club.  It sold over seven million copies and brought her three Grammys, and also included the most successful single of her career:

Crow has been nominated for over thirty Grammys, winning nine during her career.  Our readers who are James Bond fans know that she wrote and recorded the title song for Tomorrow Never Dies.  She is scheduled to release her ninth studio album, Be Myself, later this year.

English actor Damian Lewis, who is 46, has had a very successful career on American television.  Early in the 2000s he starred on HBO’s miniseries Band of Brothers.  He won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for playing Nicholas Brody on the first four seasons of Showtime’s Homeland and currently stars on Billions, airing on the same network.  Taylor Lautner, who played Jacob Black in the Twilight films and now is featured on the BBC series Cuckoo (aired by Netflix in the US), is 25 today.  For those who may have trouble keeping the acting Lawrence brothers straight, Matthew Lawrence, who turns 37 today, is the one who co-starred for several seasons on Boy Meets World.

Natalie Dormer, who celebrates her 35th, is known for her television work.  She played Anne Boleyn on The Tudors, Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones, and Jamie Moriarty on Elementary.  Bond Girl Carey Lowell turns 56 today.  Aside from her role as Pam Bouvier in Licence to Kill, she is known for playing Jamie Ross on Law & OrderTina Louise, who turns 83, made her Broadway debut in the original production of Li’l Abner, and won a Golden Globe for her film debut in God’s Little Acre.  However, her name will always be associated with Gilligan’s Island, where she played “a movie star,” Ginger Grant.  Georgia May Foote, who played Katy Armstrong on the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street for five seasons, turns 26 today.

Sarah Palin, who has been honored with being impersonated by Tina Fey, and who I believe once sought political office of some kind, turns 53.

Burt Reynolds, who is turning 81, was one of the biggest stars of the 1970s, know for films such as the dramatic thriller Deliverance and the sports/prison film The Longest Yard, for playing cops in films like Fuzz and Hustle, as well as rebels against authority in Smokey and the Bandit and Cannonball Run.  More recently he starred in the winner of our Movies of 1997 bracket game, Boogie Nights.

Kelly Rowland turns 36 today.  She first became known as a member of Destiny’s Child, one of the most popular girl groups ever, and has since had a successful career as a solo R&B and dance-pop artist.  Brandy Norwood, usually known simply as Brandy, is celebrating her 38th.  She had considerable success as a pop star in the 1990s and also starred on the UPN’s Moesha.  Her recording career since then has been uneven, and she has had legal issues to contend with, but in 2015 she made her Broadway debut as Roxie Hart in ChicagoGerry Goffin (1939-2014) was a highly successful lyricist who was especially known for his partnership during the 1960s with his then-wife, Carole King.

For those who have trouble keeping the acting Gabor sisters straight, Eva Gabor (1919-1995) was the one who starred on Green Acres.  She also did voice work for Disney, as Duchess in The Aristocats and Miss Bianca in the Rescuers films.  Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010) had a lengthy acting career in serious roles, starring in the science fiction classic Forbidden Planet and the disaster film The Poseidon Adventure.  Then, starting in 1980, he reinvented himself as a comic actor; he started by playing a doctor who did not like to be called Shirley in Airplane!  Billy Halop (1920-1976) spent many years as one of the Dead End Kids (also known as the East Side Kids or the Little Tough Guys at times); one of the most notable films they appeared in was Angels With Dirty FacesMax Baer (1909-1959) was a boxer who once held the heavyweight championship of the world.  He also had an acting career which included films such as The Prizefighter and the Lady, where he got to romance Myrna Loy, and The Harder They Fall, Humphrey Bogart’s final film.  Baer was played by Craig Bierko in the 2005 film Cinderella Man.  His son, Max Bare, Jr., played Jethro Bodine on The Beverly HillbilliesSidney Sheldon (1917-2007) won an Oscar for screenwriting for The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer and a Tony for the musical Redhead.  He worked on television shows like The Patty Duke Show and Hart to Hart, and in his fifties, began writing extremely successful novels like The Other Side of Midnight and Rage of Angels.

Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909-1993) had a lengthy career as a producer, writer and director.  He was twice honored with Oscars for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for the same film, for A Letter to Three Wives and then for All About Eve.  His son Tom Mankiewicz is known for his work as a writer on several James Bond films and for his contributions to Superman: The Movie.

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), arguably the greatest inventor in American history, held over 1000 patents during his lifetime.  He is credited with major inventions like a practical electric lightbulb, the phonograph, the stock ticker, and the motion picture camera.  Moreover, his inventions had major social effects—it’s hard to imagine modern society without electric power and lighting, or without audio and video recording.  He has been played in film by Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy, and Benedict Cumberbatch will portray him in the upcoming The Current War.

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 February 11, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I kind of remember Jennifer Aniston in the Ferris Bueller show. She was never one of my favorite “Friends” (I prefer Joey, Phoebe, and Chandler) but I really liked her in 2002’s “The Good Girl”.
    Sheryl Crow, I like a decent amount of her songs, but my favorite is “Leaving Las Vegas” (“All I Wanna Do” was played like crazy by the radio, but I think that song is better).
    Even though I watched “Boy Meets World” a decent amount, it was before he was on the show, so I remember Matthew Lawrence best from “Mrs. Doubtfire”.
    Yeah, I remember Carey Lowell from “License to Kill”, and if one has a TV, it’s difficult to miss “Law & Order”. She was also married to Richard Gere for a while.
    Sarah Palin, I thought she was kinda hot.
    Burt Reynolds, I could do without so many of his race car films, as I think he went a little overboard with that conceit in his films (like films that aren’t even that well-regarded, like “Sharky’s Machine” and “Stick”), but otherwise I’ve enjoyed a lot of his work. I’ve also liked some of his voice work in video games such as “Gun”, “Saints Row The Third”, and “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City”.
    Kelly Rowland, I never really listened to Destiny’s child, but I knew who they were, and I remember Rowland from “Freddy vs. Jason”.
    Leslie Nelsen, I viewed him in suspense fare like “Prom night” and that one episode in “Creepshow” (which is probably my favorite one in the first two films), so I was surprised at first with the comedy of the Naked Gun series, but I got used to it pretty quickly, and I strongly like the first two films in that series, and I’m okay with 33 1/3.
    Sidney Sheldon, I remember when viewers were bombarded with TV adaptations of his books; I can’t remember what it was called, but I recall a scene in one of those flicks in which this woman throws her hairdryer into a bathtub and it electrocutes the guy taking a bath.


  2. I looked up what Sidney Sheldon miniseries that was, and it’s “Windmill of the Gods”, which aired in February 1988 and starred Jaclyn Smith. The woman who tossed the hairdryer in the bathtub was played by Susan Tyrell (thanks for the review, Tom Shales, and the Washington Post for archiving it).


  3. Tina Louise – why wasn’t she a bigger star?

    I’ve encountered her in the markets near the UN in NYC and she’s not pleasant.


    reply 1 7 hours ago

    I worked backstage on a play she did in the early 90s in Columbus, OH. Awful person.


    reply 2 7 hours ago

    She tried to stretch as an actress by joining the Actors Studio, but when you’re tall, statuesque, and beautiful like she was in her day, you can’t really expect many acting opportunities outside of playing tall, statuesque, and beautiful.

    reply 6 7 hours ago

    She has a history of being a self-centered diva. She blames Gilligan’s Island for stifling her career, when the reality is that most producers probably never wanted to work with her.


    reply 7 7 hours ago

    She was a gifted comic actress whose skills exceeded the job description for GILLIGAN’S ISLAND. I know nothing of her personality or reputation, despite the story that she and Dawn “Mary Ann” Welles hated each other, allegedly.

    Tina was a native NYer who worked on Broadway (LIL ABNER, then with Carol Burnett in FADE IN, FADE OUT) after studying with Lee Strasberg.

    It’s too bad she didn’t hit upon another successful TV property after that, because she may have been great. I’m a big fan of Wendie Malick in JUST SHOOT ME and Christine Baranski in anything. Tina would have been great in the right property playing an insecure, crazy, larger than life aging beauty.

    —Sue Mengers’ Stretch Pants

    reply 8 7 hours ago

    I only know her from GI reruns and she seemed one dimensional. Of course I guess that was the role.

    She certainly was beautiful tho. But I guess Hollywood is filled with beautiful


    reply 19 6 hours ago

    What was so bad about her [[R1]] and [[R2]]?
    In a word: ego. She felt she was above doing regional theatre and she never let you forget it. Invariably cold and mean. She was just a grey cloud of misery hanging over the whole production. Wouldn’t socialize or even talk much with the rest of the cast. Her feigned attempts at politeness were the worst. So condescending.

    And she was never quite “there” onstage, either. Her aloofness was palpable. Which is a pity, because she was not without talent.


    reply 20 6 hours ago

    Yes, [R15], I always thought she looked like Suzy Parker or vice Versace, more accurately. When I saw “The Best of Everything” (Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Hope Lange), I first thought Suzy (the fourth lead) was Tina Louise. Up to that point I hadn’t been aware of Suzy Parker and was aware of Tina from Gilligan, and The Stepford Wives. Miss Parker was a good actress.

    Later, I worked on Dallas, many years after Tina had been let go, and they still spoke of her–badly. No one had a nice thing to say of her and said she was a stuck-up, no-talent, humorless “old whore,”


    reply 21 6 hours ago

    Tina’s career hinged mainly on her beauty although she did have some talent. After “Gilligan’s Island” she wasn’t taken seriously be Hollywood. And when she got older and her beauty faded, so did her career. She did fairly well with what she was given but a “bigger star” didn’t seem to be in the cards for her. Lots of other beautiful actresses out there.


    reply 27 6 hours ago

    I usually lump Tina in with Julie Newmar. Talented Broadway veterans who were much too beautiful and too tall to land very many significant movie roles, and ended up playing glamour gals on cheesy sitcoms.


    reply 37 4 hours ago


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