March 10: Happy Birthday Sharon Stone and Carrie Underwood


Sharon Stone turns 59 today.  She is another WTHH subject, so readers eager for a detailed account of her career can go right here.  After appearing in a run of, to be honest, mediocre-at-best films in the 1980s, Stone began to emerge as a star in 1990’s Total Recall.  Her most famous, or infamous, role was as Catherine Tramell in Basic InstinctThat scene that you all have at least heard of would definitely be NSFW, so no video, sorry.  Instead, I will remember Stone’s most critically acclaimed performance (Golden Globe winning, Oscar nominated), as Ginger McKenna in Casino.

High points of the last 20 years for Stone have included Golden Globe nominations for The Mighty and The Muse and winning a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress on The Practice.  Low points have included becoming a bit of a Razzie target, for films like Catwoman and Basic Instinct 2.

Country singer Carrie Underwood is celebrating her 34th.  The winner of the 4th season of American Idol, she has had one of the most successful careers of any of the show’s alums.  her records have sold in the vicinity of 60 million copies worldwide, and she has won seven Grammys and countless country music awards.  Each of her albums—five studio albums and a greatest hits compilation—has reached #1 on the Country charts, and she has had over twenty Top Ten Country singles.

Underwood is also reportedly a fan of The Walking Dead.

Olivia Wilde, who is 33 today, played Dr. Remy “Thirteen” Hadley on the last five seasons of House.  She appeared in Alpha Dog with Sharon Stone and has also had major roles in Bickford Schmeckler’s Cool Ideas, Tron: Legacy and Cowboys & AliensRafe Spall, the son of actor Timothy Spall, is 34 today.  He has appeared in Edgar Wright’s “Cornettos” trilogy and is making a name for himself in films like Life of Pi, The Big Short, and Swallows and AmazonsEmily Osment, who is celebrating her 25th, currently stars on Freeform’s Young & HungryEdi Gathegi, who is 38 today, played Darwin in X-Men: First Class and currently stars on NBC’s The Blacklist: RedemptionThomas Middleditch, an Emmy nominee as Richard Hendrick’s on HBO’s Silicon Valley, is turning 35 today.

Martial artist turned actor Chuck Norris, who is turning 77, starred in 1980s action films like Lone Wolf McQuade, Missing in Action, and Firewalker, was the lead on television’s Walker, Texas Ranger, and came out of retirement for a cameo in The Expendables 2.  Also turning 77 is playwright and screenwriter David Rabe, a four-time nominee for the Tony for Best Play in the seventies (he won for Sticks and Bones), who also wrote screenplays for films such as State of Grace and The Firm.  Canadian filmmaker Paul Haggis, who is 64 today, wrote and produced two consecutive Best Picture winners, Million Dollar Baby and Crash (and also directed the latter).  Screenwriter Scott Frank, who is turning 57, was Oscar-nominated for the screenplay for Out of Sight and also wrote or co-wrote Get Shorty, Minority Report, The Wolverine, and Logan.  Belgian filmmaker Luc Dardenne, who works in tandem with his brother Jean-Pierre, turns 63.  The Dardennes have produced, directed and written a long list of award-winning European films; Marion Cotillard was nominated for Best Actress for their Two Days, One Night.  Cinematographer Robert Yeoman turns 66.  He was an Oscar nominee for The Grand Budapest Hotel, part of his long collaboration with Wes Anderson.

Jon Hamm, who is 46 today, won an Emmy and two Golden Globes for starring as Don Draper on Mad MenJasmine Guy, who turns 55, starred on NBC’s A Different World for six seasons and later was a regular on Dead Like MePaget Brewster, best known for playing Emily Prentiss on Criminal Minds, turns 48 today.  Bree Turner, who played Rosalee Calvert on NBC’s Grimm, is turning 40.

Rick Rubin, who turns 54, is one of the most important music producers of the last three decades.  He founded both Def Jam Records and American Recordings and has worked with an incredible range of artists running from Public Enemy and Run-D.M.C., to Johnny Cash, to Shakira.  Timothy Mosley, aka Timbaland, who is 45 today, has won four Grammys in the Dance Recording and R&B categories.  Singer and producer Robin Thicke, who is celebrating his 40th, has produced albums for a variety of artists and received three Grammy nominations for his album Blurred Lines and its title track.  Dean Torrence, who is 77 today, is most famous as one half of the “vocal surf” duo Jan and Dean, who had mid-sixties hits like “Surf City” and “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena.”  Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931) was one of the biggest names of the early days of jazz, a cornetist and pianist who ranks close to, if not equal with Louis Armstrong as a leading jazz soloist of his time.

Sports birthdays today include two big names in American gymnastics.  Mitch Gaylord, who turns 55 today, was one of the leaders of the 1984 US Men’s team that won the team gold medal.  Gaylord also won three medals in individual events.  He later had just a bit of a film career, most notably as Chris O’Donnell’s stunt double in Batman ForeverShannon Miller, who won a total of seven medals at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics with the US Women’s team (including team and balance beam gold medals in 1996), turns 40 today.  Another sports birthday is Marques Haynes (1926-2015), one of the most famous members of the exhibition basketball legends known as the Harlem Globetrotters.  Finally, NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson turns 52.  One of the greatest defensive backs ever to play the game, he starred for the Pittsburgh Steelers for a decade and later helped the Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV.

Barry Fitzgerald (1888-1961) holds a unique place in the history of the Oscars; in 1945 he was nominated for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor as Father Fitzgibbon in Going My Way (he won the latter, while Bing Crosby won in the former category).  The quintessential Hollywood Irishman, he appeared in several of John Ford’s films, including as Michaleen Flynn in The Quiet Man, and also was a wise homicide detective in The Naked CitySam Jaffe (1891-1984) was an Oscar nominee as the criminal mastermind Doc Riedenschneider in The Asphalt Jungle, an Emmy nominee on Ben Casey, and played the title character in Gunga DinRichard Haydn (1905-1985) appeared in Ball of Fire as Professor Oddley, was in And Then There Were None with Barry Fitzgerald, and played Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music.  Director Gregory La Cava (1892-1952) was a two-time Oscar nominee for the classic 1930s comedies My Man Godfrey and Stage Door.  Sara Montiel (1928-2015), also billed sometimes as Sarita Montiel, worked for over 60 years in Spanish and Mexican film, and also appeared in a few Hollywood films like Vera Cruz and Run of the Arrow.

Finally, today at le Blog we send birthday best wishes to Daffy Stardust.

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 10, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Our Daffy isn’t 76, but you get the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Birthday Daffy! Hope you have a great day.


  3. AND DaffyStardust!!


  4. I always felt like Sharon Stone got a bit of a raw deal. When she started off, she was pretty terrible. But she worked really hard at improving and gosh darn it she got better. Then, Basic Instinct made her a star and unfortunately that’s all anybody wanted her to do. But she was capable of more. The Muse showed she was quite good at light comedy. Casino demonstrated what she could do with the right material and director (even if that movie suffered in comparison to Goodfellas). I saw Stone not too long ago in Lovelace and I didn’t even recognize her. I thought she was terrific, but almost no one watched that movie. A lot of projects that could have extended her career just never caught on the way they might have.

    I am hardly a Carrie Underwood fan, but I am familiar with some of her songs. Is it too faint praise to say I don’t mind her at all?

    Olivia Wilde deserves better projects than she is getting. I hear there is another Tron sequel in the works. She should be the only carry-over from the last one.

    I saw the name Emily Osment and asked myself “Where do I know that name from?” She’s Haley Joel Osment’s younger sister, but that’s not it… Hannah Montana. Yep. My kids streamed reruns last summer. That’s it.

    I know the Internet thinks it’s funny to fall all over Chuck Norris but I think that joke got old about 10 years ago.

    I am a big Mad Men fan. As Don Draper, Jon Hamm delivered one of the most memorable leading characters in recent television memory. But post Mad Men, Hamm has been hysterical on television (not movies). If Hamm is on a talk show, I’m watching. Those stupid commercials for whatever tax prep he’s endorsing? Love them. My favorite was a recent cameo on Last Man on Earth in which he appears just long enough to be killed by former costar January Jones.

    Oh my. Robin Thicke. He really stepped in it, didn’t he?

    Of course the biggest star of the bunch is our own Daffy Stardust. Happy birthday, buddy.

    Jestak, I hope when your big day rolls around you will share it with us.


  5. Thanks everybody! It’s really a lot of fun being involved here and you guys are a huge part of what makes it that way.


  6. Happy Birthday Daffy!!!
    Yeah, I agree with what Lebeau said about Sharon Stone, as she obviously put a lot of work into her career on an artistic level, while many critics & a large part of film audiences really seemed to just want to focus on the superficial aspects (she’s beautiful! she’s a sex siren!) or unsubstantiated rumors (she slept her way to the top!). For sure, her 1980’s fare was pretty weak (terrible material to work on and with), but I thought she did well in the 1990’s (1996’s “Last Dance”, 1999’s whimsical “The Muse”, the other, more acknowledged films). Actually, she’s probably on my list of favorite actresses of all time, if I ever dared make such a list (I won’t, not enough ink in the world).
    Carrie Underwood, I’m more familiar with her husband, NHL player Mike Fisher, than her, but from what I can tell she has some real bona fides.
    Olivia Wilde, I actually like “TRON: Legacy” (and the “TRON: Evolution” video game that’s an in-between for the two films storywise), and I’ve had some sessions with “House” in the past. I think she’s pretty good, and completely understand her appeal.
    Chuck Norris, I think his best film is 1985’s “Code of Silence”; I recommend that film without reservations (as a guilty pleasure, I also like 1982’s “Silent Rage, with Sweet Cheeks, Ron Silver, and an unstoppable killer. I like my chuck silent and with silence).
    Jon Hamm, I never watched “Mad Men”, but when I’ve seen him in films like “The Town”, I thought he was good.
    Jasmine Guy, I liked her character in “Dead Like Me”; she went full postal.
    Mitch Gaylord, I have a hard time forgetting the 1986 film “American Anthem”, which I think served him better than 1985’s “Gymkata” did Kurt Thomas, another gymnast.



      ON 6/2/2017 AT 11:57 AM, AMARANTA SAID:
      I used to think Jon Hamm would pull a post-ER Clooney and have a similar trajectory in film after Mad Men. That doesn’t seem to be happening. I wonder if he doesn’t translate well to the big screen or if it’s poor choices in projects? Anyway, I though there would be more going on for him.

      Hamm said that for many years before Mad Men, he struggled to get roles in Hollywood. His looks actually went against him. Hamm’s handsomeness is a type that would have made him perfect for the 1930s-1960s or the Golden Age. In the 90s when he was coming up, he wasn’t pretty enough and he looked too old to play most roles in his category. He was perfectly cast for Mad Men as a result. It’s also a role that showed he could act.

      He has been in movies on some comedic (Bridesmaids) and dramatic (The Town) roles as well, but largely kept to indie films. I think part of it is that casting does not know what to do with him. I think he’s a character actor with leading actor looks, but the route to being a lead actor is not the same as it use to be. He’d need to be in a franchise or to become an action star to make a lot of money nowadays. He is also older than Clooney was when he left ER and Clooney had an exceptional sort of rise to fame. He was in a couple of rom-coms and romantic movies that boosted him. There aren’t enough of those.

      I’d love to see more from Hamm and I know he’s in a lot of indies and he does pick quirky projects. I love movies, but I think for Hamm, he’d do well to find ensemble critically acclaimed show. TV is doing better than movies these days with interesting roles and stories.


      • Why Jon Hamm Hasn’t Become a Movie Star, Yet

        What they fail to mention is that “Mad Men” wasn’t watched by very many people. It was a massive hit with the press that won a ton of awards, but that never translated to much interest outside the media bubble.

        Hamm is kind of like Lena Dunham in this way (and this way only): he is a celebrity far more interesting to people who write about Hollywood than people who consume its products.


        reply 2 6 hours ago

        Pay attention to [R2]’s post. There is a ton of insight there.

        I don’t think the fact that Jon Hamm has yet to blow up as a movie star has anything to do with him or his talent. As simplistic as it sounds, I think the truth is just that he hasn’t gotten lucky yet. Jon Hamm is basically Gregory Harrison all over again — i.e., a handsome TV star who isn’t just a pretty face but a very good actor but no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t make that breakthrough. Film stardom for some actors is a very elusive thing — why nobody knows. Tom Hanks and George Clooney were also TV stars but apparently had that “it” factor (or just damn good luck) because they were able to make the leap and never looked back. For others it’s a lot longer climb to the top — if they ever make it at all.


        reply 5 5 hours ago

        Hamm is a much better actor than Clooney has ever been. He is a little bit on the old side to hit it big as a major movie star and he looks older than he is. He might have more success as a character actor when he is a little older and less conventionally handsome. I loved him in Mad Men, I should say, and watched every episode. It’s amazing that a guy with his looks even had trouble getting cast before Mad Men apparently. Maybe he ihas more a 1950s type of looks than the last 20 years. But I’m glad he is in the new movie Baby Driver, which looks to be very entertaining (am seeing it this weekend).


        reply 11 5 hours ago

        It’s very hard to transfer Mad Men appeal to movies unless you have something new to offer. Jon Hamm is somewhat appealing but he does not resonate at all as a movie star. He could be good on another TV show that showed off his comedy skills.


        reply 21 4 hours ago

        He didn’t happen to have a big part in a movie which became a hit.

        Example: The Hangover made Bradley Cooper a leading man. Before that, he was on a fairly successful show, Alias. The he got his own TV show, Kitchen Confidential which was cancelled after one season. Got supporting movie parts. It was only the unexpected box office of The Hangover which made him a star.


        reply 26 3 hours ago

        Several reasons:

        Jon Hamm achieved fame on television so he’s not a movie star. He would have to transition to a big film star, and that rarely happens. He achieved fame later in life; not old, but not young enough. Leading man movie stars generally don’t become stars at 40; it usually happens before that. When he could have become a movie star, he would have had to appear in a big, blockbuster special effects movie because that’s what sells nowadays; however, that’s not Hamm’s genre. The competition is tough. Hamm was on TV when Brad Pitt, Chris Pine, Matthew McConnaughey, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, etc., had made and were making movies.


        reply 30 3 hours ago

        Movie stardom could still be in the cards for Hamm. People forget that after he became a television star on “ER,” George Clooney had a lengthy string of underperforming films before finally becoming a real movie star. It certainly didn’t happen quickly.

        But on the other hand, Clooney was always working, even in less-than-successful films. Hamm isn’t consistently being cast in projects. I’m sure there must be a reason why.


        reply 47 2 hours ago

        As per the last Hamm thread, Clooney is the best comparison as they both look older– Hamm, at 46, is younger than Pitt. Cruise, Lowe, McBongo, and only a few years older than Cooper, yet looks much older.

        He needs Clooney’s sorts of roles, where they’re not pairing him with a 28 year old actress.


        reply 50 2 hours ago

        Here’s something to keep in mind, always: people in the media are writing for themselves and their friends, who are also in the media or in the various levels of chattering classes. They treat their tastes and likes as if they are universal, which they most certainly are not. That’s how you get a magazine like Rolling Stone declaring Lena Dunham ‘the voice of a generation’…which generation? The pseudo-artsy aimless narcissistic white chicks who live in Brooklyn and are subsidized by their parents generation? Do you know how small a slice of the population that is?

        Here’s a good example – if you were around during Sex and the City’s heyday, you would have thought that it was the biggest show in America. The press coverage was relentless, the stars were everywhere, and it seemed like everyone in the country must watch the show. But in actuality, its average viewership per episode was in the low, single-digit millions. Contrast that with ER, another show from around the same era, which regularly garnered at least 20 million viewers per week. Or to get more recent: NCIS owns just about every watercooler show’s ass in terms of ratings – it’s not even close. But you hardly hear about that show, or its actors. It doesn’t appeal to the media types. If everyone you know watched Mad Men, that says more about your demographic/income level/location and that of your circle than anything else. Mad Men’s ratings were not anywhere near in step with the amount of coverage and acclaim it received.

        Back to Jon Hamm – I was just thinking recently that it was somewhat ironic that the Mad Men cast member who really seems to have blown up is Elisabeth Moss. She is on a roll and is attracting all kinds of high-quality projects with interesting people. There’s something kind of satisfying about the fact that it’s the one who could really act, and not the best-looking one, that has owned.


        reply 58 25 minutes ago


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