March 8: Happy Birthday Aidan Quinn and Freddie Prinze, Jr.


Today’s article features a number of people who had famous fathers.

Aidan Quinn is turning 58 today.  Early in his career he was an Emmy nominee for the NBC movie An Early Frost, but he was better known for his film work.  He was Rosanna Arquette’s love interest in Desperately Seeking Susan and Madeleine Stowe’s prison-escapee former boyfriend in Stakeout.  He also starred in the revisionist Crusoe, in Barry Levinson’s Avalon, and in the romantic comedy Benny & Joon:

Quinn continued to get good film roles into the late nineties (Blink, Legends of the Fall, Practical Magic), but never really established himself as a major star.  He received a second Emmy nomination for HBO’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and for the past five years has played Captain Thomas Gregson of the NYPD, helping out Jonny Lee Miller as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes on Elementary.

Freddie Prinze, Jr., celebrates his 41st.  The son of actor-comedian Freddie Prinze (who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound when his son was less than a year old), he began acting in the mid-nineties, in films like To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday and The House of Yes.  He then benefited from two of the teen-oriented movie waves of the nineties, starring in the slasher film I Know What You Did Last Summer and the high school rom-com She’s All That, both of them fairly successful.

His career then stalled, as he appeared in flops like Wing Commander and Summer Catch.  In 2002 his star seemed to be resurgent, however, as he starred in the biggest box-office success of his career.

However, Scooby-Doo, and its sequel two years later, turned out to be more of a last hurrah for Prinze’s film career.  For all the details, and what he’s been up to since, check out his WTHH article.

Camryn Manheim, who celebrates her 56th today, is best known for her regular TV roles as Ellenor Frutt on The Practice (which brought her an Emmy) and Delia Banks on Ghost WhispererCynthia Rothrock, who is 60 today, is probably recognized by any fans of martial arts movies, as she after a successful career in martial arts tournaments she made a number of movies designed to show off her skills.  Susan Clark, who celebrates her 77th, had several important film roles in the late sixties and seventies—Coogan’s Bluff, Valdez is Coming, Night Moves—and starred on the 1980s sitcom Webster opposite her husband, ex-football player Alex Karras.

James Van Der Beek, who is 40 today, is known to TV viewers of a certain generation as the title character from Dawson’s Creek; he was most recently a regular on CSI: CyberNick Zano, who celebrates his 39th birthday, was a regular on What I Like About You and the short-lived Minority Report and currently plays Dr. Nathan Heywood on Legends of TomorrowAndrea Parker, known for playing the aptly-named Miss Parker on The Pretender and for her dual role as twin sisters on Pretty Little Liars, turns 47 today.  Boris Kodjoe, who is turning 44, has been a regular on Showtime’s Soul Food and now appears on CBS’s Code Black.  German actress Christiane Paul earned her medical degree at Humboldt University in Berlin before turning to an acting career in films like the romance Im Juli; she recently won an International Emmy Award for the German TV movie Unterm Radar.

Singer-songwriter Carole Bayer Sager turns 70 today.  She made a few albums of her own but is best known for the hits she wrote for others, such as “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and “Midnight Blue” for Melissa Manchester, or “Heartbreaker,” for Dolly Parton.  She is also known for her contributions to film soundtracks, such as co-writing “Nobody Does it Better,” the title song for The Spy Who Loved MeMicky Dolenz, who is 72 today, is best known for being the drummer and frequent lead vocalist for The Monkees.  He also made several solo albums and did a lot of television voice work.  Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) was one of several sons of Johann Sebastian Bach who went on to notable composing careers of their own; of the Bach sons he may be the most important to the history of music, a major transitional figure between his father’s Baroque style and the classical era of Haydn and Mozart.

Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932) wrote the classic children’s novel The Wind in the Willows, which was the source for half of the Disney animated film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and provided the inspiration for the Disneyland attraction Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.  Retired baseball player Jim Bouton, who is 78 today, had a decent playing career, but is more significant as the author of the diary/memoir Ball Four, one of the most important books ever written about baseball.

Lynn Redgrave (1943-2010), a part of the extensive Redgrave-Richardson clan of actors, is the only person ever to have been nominated for all of the “big four” American entertainment awards (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) without ever winning one.  She did win two Golden Globes for film performances, for Georgy Girl and Gods and Monsters (the two films she was Oscar-nominated for), and is also remembered for the CBS sitcom House Calls.

Although Claire Trevor (1910-2000) was never in the first rank of leading ladies in the thirties and forties, she was a three-time Oscar nominee who won Best Supporting Actress for Key Largo and also starred in films like Stagecoach, Murder, My Sweet, and The High and the MightyCyd Charisse (1922-2008) overcame a childhood case of polio to become a very talented dancer who was featured in several 1950s musicals, starring opposite Fred Astaire in The Band Wagon and Silk Stockings and with Gene Kelly in BrigadoonLouise Beavers (1902-1962) was one of the first African-American actresses to have a notable film career, although she found it heard to avoid being typecast in domestic servant roles.  Alan Hale, Jr., (1921-1990) had a long film and television career but is surely best remembered for playing Jonas Grumby, the Skipper, on Gilligan’s Island.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., (1841-1935), who served on the US Supreme Court for nearly 30 years, is one of the most-quoted writers on American law ever.  His most famous opinions for the Court, often written in dissent, defended freedom of speech and the right of the government to engage in broad economic regulation.

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 March 8, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I always thought Aidan Quinn would be a bigger star than he was. Fine actor. But apparently not a movie star. Freddie Prinze, Jr, on the other hand, had the career I expected him to have. He appears to have done very well for himself despite a relatively short career as a movie star.

    James Van Der Beek was very funny on The B- in Apartment 23 in which he played a loopy version of himself. That’s about the only thing I have seen him in. Micky Dolenz was my favorite Monkee as a kid. And I liked the Monkees a lot.


  2. I enjoy several of Aidan Quinn’s movies, especially Blink where he’s paired again with Madeleine Stowe, this time as her detective boyfriend. Good to see him with a regular gig on Elementary.

    I have never seen much of Lynn Redgrave but I recollect that House Calls was a favorite of my mother’s back in the day.

    Claire Trevor, while never an A-lister in her time, did carve out her own nice little niche in film history. Other than Maureen O’Hara, she was probably the most successful romantic lead John Wayne was ever paired with, and she was a very good femme fatale in Murder, My Sweet.


  3. Aidan Quinn, he’s been discussed on occasion on this site; yeah, the two films he did with Madeleine Stowe are pretty memorable to me, I think played an important and likable role in “Desperately Seeking Susan” (get into that groove there), and was the right kind of supportive in “Benny & Joon”. i feel he’s had a solid career overall.
    Freddie Prinze Jr. has his own write-up on here, and I think it served him justice. Well, he was big for awhile, but the films were all flash in the pan types, so maybe his career became the sum of his experiences in the business.
    Camryn Manheim, it was a small role, but she played a mean teacher in 200’s “Joe the King” (I like the film and the entire cast, but it’s a real downer). I also remember her book “Wake Up, I’m Fat!”; she’s played a lot of serious characters (like in “The Practice”), but seems to have a funny side as well.
    Susan, oh yeah, “Webster” and being married to Alex Karras; I like “Night moves” too.
    James Van Der Beek, I like him in the 2007 film “Final Draft”, and back in the day I watched a fair amount of “Dawson’s Creek” (the subplot with Pacey & the teacher really reeled me in), but I also think “Varsity blues” was solid.
    Andrea Parker, I was pretty into “The Pretender” (I suppose it was my “Dexter” before that show existed). Her Miss Parker character worked for me; I’m glad The Pretend & her briefly hooked up.
    Sadly, the first film I ever saw Lynn Redgrave in was 1987’s “Morgan Stewart’s coming Home”, but I did like 1975’s “The Happy Hooker”. She didn’t have the career her older sister Vanessa had for sure.


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