April 27: Happy Birthday Sally Hawkins and Jenna Coleman


Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins is turning 41 today.  A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she began working in English theater and television in the late nineties.  On the small screen, she appeared in adaptations of two Sarah Waters novels, Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, and gave an acclaimed performance in an ITV adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.  Her stage roles include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Hero in Much Ado About Nothing.

Her film roles have included a small part in Matthew Vaughn’s Layer Cake, supporting roles in adaptations of Jane Eyre and Great Expectations, and a rare venture into big-budget action cinema in 2014’s Godzilla.  However, her most important film work has been with Mike Leigh and Woody Allen.  Leigh gave her her first credited film role in All or Nothing, a supporting part in Vera Drake, and then cast her in the starring role of Poppy Cross in Happy-Go-Lucky, for which she won a Golden Globe and a long list of additional awards.  She appeared in a supporting part in Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream, and then received a long list of Best Supporting Actress accolades, including Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, as Ginger in Blue Jasmine.

Jenna Coleman, who turns 31 today, is a veteran of over a decade of English television.  She first became known for a four year run on the durable British soap opera Emmerdale, and then was part of an ensemble cast in the 2012 miniseries Titanic.  She played Lydia Wickham in the miniseries Death Comes to Pemberly, adapted from P. D. James’ novel, and stars as the young Queen Victoria on the ITV series Victoria.  She had a small part in Captain America: The First Avenger, and had her first major feature role in last year’s Me Before You.  However, she is probably most famous for playing the “impossible girl,” Clara Oswald, companion to the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors.

Kevin McNally, who is 61 today, played Joshamee Gibbs in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and was an Olivier Award nominee for a revival of Anton Chekov’s IvanovAnna Chancellor, who is celebrating her 52nd, has worked a lot in British television, including a BAFTA-nominated performance in The Hour and appearing with Sally Hawkins in Tipping the Velvet.  She is also a two-time Olivier Award nominee.  William Moseley, who is celebrating his 30th, first became known for playing Peter Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia films, and currently stars on E!’s The Royals as Prince Liam.

French actress Anouk Aimée is turning 85 today.  She has starred in films made all over Europe, including a long list of French films as well as Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and , and was a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award winner and an Oscar nominee for Claude Lelouch’s A Man and a Woman.

Two-time Grammy winner Sheena Easton turns 58.  She is known for hits like “For Your Eyes Only,” the theme song to the James Bond film of that title, and “We’ve Got Tonight,” a duet with Kenny RogersKate Pierson, a co-founder and longtime member of new wave band the B-52’s, is turning 69 today.  Ace Frehley, who is turning 66, was a founding member and longtime lead guitarist of Kiss.  The late Cuba Gooding, Sr., (1944-2017) was the lead singer for many years for the soul and R&B band The Main Ingredient, who had several hits in the early seventies.

Basketball Hall-of-Famer George Gervin is turning 65.  Known as “the Iceman,” he was a nine-time NBA All-Star, not to mention making three ABA All-Star teams, and led the NBA in scoring four times in five years from 1978-82.

Con artist turned FBI consultant Frank Abagnale, Jr., is turning 69 today.  His story, told in his memoir Catch Me If You Can, was adapted into a 2002 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Abagnale, and then into a Tony-nominated musical.

Jack Klugman (1922-2012) was best known for his television work.  He won a pair of Emmys as Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple (a role he also played on Broadway), and later starred as one of the first great TV pathologists on Quincy, M.E.  Sandy Dennis (1937-1992), a leading film and stage actress during the sixties, won an Oscar for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Tonys for A Thousand Clowns and Any WednesdayTheo Angelopoulos (1935-2012) was one of Greece’s most important filmmakers, a winner of film awards all over Europe, including the Palme d’Or at Cannes for his 1998 film Eternity and a Day.

Playwright August Wilson (1945-2005) was best known as the author of the ten plays making up the Pittsburgh Cycle, a chronicle of African-American life in the 20th Century.  Two plays of the cycle, Fences (recently adapted into an Oscar-nominated film by Denzel Washington) and The Piano Lesson, were winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) emerged as the leading general on the Union side in the American Civil War, eventually forcing General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.  His later service as 18th President of the US was less successful, as his administration suffered from corruption and he had the severe downturn of the Panic of 1873 to deal with.  Samuel Morse (1791-1872) was a successful artist who turned inventor, playing a key part in developing the wireless telegraph and creating the Morse code for transmitting messages.

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 April 27, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Not a lot of really big names today. I first saw Sally Hawkins in the BBC adaptation of Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith, and was quite impressed. I have kept an eye on her since then; it’s nice to see her enjoying some real success.

    Jenna Coleman, for me at least, gives off a bit of a “young Sally Field” vibe (only with an English accent).


  2. I don’t know much about Sally Hawkins, but maybe I should begin to; she seems interesting, and I think she looks lovely.
    Sheena Easton, ha, another “Miami Vice” alumni; her Catlin character was shot in the back by Guy Boyd’s Frank Hackman, which began Crockett’s mental descent. As her songs go, I like a few of them, probably “Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair)” the best.
    Ace Frehley, I don’t care for KISS (like what the name actually stands for though) but LOVE his cover of “New York Groove”. I’m back…
    Cuba Gooding Sr., I never knew anything about him, but I heard of his passing on this site.
    George Gervin, that man really knew how to finger roll, and playing for the Spurs when they played run ‘n gun basketball. I always liked his line about when he played in the ABA: “Our goal was to shoot mo’ times than the other team. If they shot 100 times, we’d shoot 130.”
    Frank Abagnale Jr., I keep forgetting his name, but I was thinking of him the other day (as the “Catch Me Ff You Can” guy) when I was watching a program about a guy who began working with the law to thwart those who were doing scams like he used to.
    Jack Klugman, I like “Quincey, M.E.”, but haven’t viewed it in a while. Without that show, I don’t think we would’ve been “Crossing Jordan”.
    Ulysses S. Grant, the guy with the polarizing public career.
    Samuel Morse, I was never very good at his code; maybe I should try Da Vinci.


    • Regarding Jack Klugman as Quincy—you could make an argument that the success of that show helped pave the way for the whole subgenre of medical examiner/pathologist oriented crime fiction. Authors such as Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs probably owe Quincy at least a small thank you note.


      • Now that you mention it, credit probably could extend that far. Klugman’s Quincy show succeeded in a time when forensics weren’t even hot; I think it helped that Klugman was recognizable to many, but that show really was the granddaddy of them all for sure.


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