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May 5: Happy Birthday Henry Cavill and Adele

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Henry Cavill turns 36 today.  The English actor made his film debut in 2001 in Laguna.  He spent most of the 2000s appearing in supporting roles of varying importance, in films such as The Count of Monte Cristo, Tristan & Isolde, and Stardust.  His first major role came on Showtime’s The Tudors, where he played Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk.

In the last few years Cavill has appeared as a leading man in several films.  He played Theseus in Immortals and starred in the thriller The Cold Light of Day.  More recently he played Napoleon Solo in Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E.  But his best known role is as Superman in the DC Extended Universe; he has appeared in two films so far with Justice League in the offiing this fall.

Adele Adkins, universally known as Adele, is turning 29.  Her singing career began when a friend posted a three-song demo she had made on Myspace (remember Myspace), and she was signed to a record contract in 2006.  Her first album, 19, came out in 2008 and was highly successful, selling 7 million copies worldwide, and bringing her a pair of Grammys.

That success paled, however, next to her follow-up album, 21.  It has sold over 30 million copies, and includes three singles that reached #1 on the Hot 100.  Adele won Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for 21, while the #1 single “Rolling in the Deep” won Record of the Year and Song of the Year.  Adele then won an Oscar for composing and performing the theme to Skyfall, and her latest album, 25, has been another huge success; she made another cleanup at the 2017 Grammys.

Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies is celebrating his 73rd.  Most movie viewers would known him best as either Indy’s friend Sallah from two Indiana Jones pictures or as Gimli from The Lord of the Rings (he also provided the voice of Treebeard the Ent).  James Bond fans will also remember him as Gen. Pushkin in The Living Daylights.

Veteran character actor Lance Henriksen is turning 77 today.  He is probably best known for playing the android Bishop in Aliens; some of his other prominent film roles came in The Terminator, Near Dark, Hard Target, and Dead Man.  On television he was a three-time Golden Globe nominee for starring on Millennium.

Michael Murphy, who is 79 today, is known for his numerous films with Robert Altman, including M*A*S*H, Brewster McLoud, Nashville, and several others; he also had major roles in An Unmarried Woman and Woody Allen’s Manhattan.

Michael Palin, who turns 74, was a member of the Monty Python troupe.  He played Sir Galahad and several other roles in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Pontius Pilate in Life of Brian.  He also appeared in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil as Jack Lint and conquered a stutter as Ken Pile in A Fish Called Wanda.

Vincent Kartheiser, best known for his starring role as Pete Campbell on Mad Men and for playing Connor on Angel, turns 38 today.  Danielle Fishel, who is turning 36, played Topanga Lawrence-Matthews on Boy Meets World and returned to the role on the recently-cancelled Girl Meets World; she also hosted Style Network’s The Dish.  Tina Yothers, who played Jennifer Keaton on Family Ties, turns 44.  Santiago Cabrera, who is 39 today, played Isaac Mendez on season 1 of Heroes and Aramis on the BBC’s The MusketeersKurt Sutter, who is celebrating his 57th today, was a writer and producer on The Shield before going on to create FX’s Sons of Anarchy; he also was an executive producer and wrote and directed several episodes.  Richard E. Grant turns 60.  He was recently seen as Dr. Zander Rice in Logan and Izembaro on Game of Thrones.

Rapper Chris Brown turns 29 today.  His debut single “Run It!” reached #1 on the Hot 100 in 2005, and he has had a number of subsequent Top Ten hits.  He has also faced a variety of legal problems through the years, most notoriously pleading guilty to felony assault on Rihanna in 2009.  Tammy Wynette (1942-1998) is often ranked alongside Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton among the leading female country singers of the seventies.  She had sixteen #1 country singles, including her signature tune “Stand By Your Man,” and also recorded a number of hits with George Jones.

Tyrone Power (1914-1958) was a leading star of the late thirties and forties.  He is remembered as one of the great swashbuckler heroes for starring in films like The Mark of Zorro, The Black Swan, and Prince of Foxes.  He also starred in other action/adventure films, playing the title role in Jesse James, a matador in Blood and Sand, and a submarine officer in Crash Dive.  But he was also known to venture away from matinee idol status, in riskier films like Nightmare Alley.

Many people will remember Ann B. Davis (1926-2014) for playing housekeeper Alice Nelson on The Brady Bunch.  Fewer will likely recall, or even be aware, that she also was a two-time Emmy winner on The Bob Cummings Show in the late fifties.

Charles “Chief” Bender (1884-1954) is a Baseball Hall-of-Famer.  A star for the Philadelphia A’s from 1903-1914, he was one of the greatest World Series pitchers in the history of Baseball, helping the A’s win the Series three times.  Elizabeth Seaman was better known by her pen name of Nellie Bly (1864-1922).  She was one of the first great investigative reporters, famous for exploits like feigning insanity to investigate inhumane conditions in a 19th century asylum.

Two very big names in the history of ideas were born on this date.  Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was a Danish philosopher and theologian.  Known for a number of essays published under the title Upbuilding Discourses, he is usually considered the first existentialist philosopher.  Karl Marx (1818-1883) was the co-author of the Communist Manifesto and the author of Das Kapital.  He is one of the most influential economic thinkers of all time and one of the founders of sociology as an academic discipline.

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.

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Posted on May 5, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Happy Cinco de Mayo to all!

    Henry Cavill’s two DCEU films so far have not impressed, but it’s hard to lay too much of the blame at his door—he isn’t writing or directing them. I did like The Man From U.N.C.L.E., although it was not a box office success.

    Adele was pretty much a no-brainer. A very talented musician.

    Then we have a crew of veteran character actors. Michael Palin is a great comic talent, and John Rhys-Davies and Lance Henriksen between them have been involved in several of the biggest franchises of our time. Michael Murphy doesn’t have as high a profile but he is also a talented guy.

    A John Rhys-Davies footnote—since one of his most high-profile roles is as a dwarf in Lord of the Rings, it was kind of goofy to see him playing a faux-Tolkien elf in MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles last year.

    Chris Brown definitely seems to have some talent—also, a few issues.

    Tyrone Power ranks alongside Errol Flynn and Burt Lancaster as one of the three great swashbuckler heroes of the studio era.

    Like

    • Agreed that the modern day cinematic Superman’s shortcomings are not entirely Henry Cavill’s fault. If your casting criteria is tall, dark and handsome, Cavill fits the bill. He strikes a heroic profile. That’s only a small piece of the overall equation in my book. Unlike Batman who can hide behind a mask for most of the movie, whoever you cast as Superman had better have some charisma. That’s what made Christopher Reeve the definitive Man of Steel. Cavill has yet to exhibit an ounce in anything I have seen him in. But the Zach Snyder movies require him to glower, so even if he was the most charming actor ever to don a cape, we’d never know.

      I don’t think John Rhys-Davies turns down a lot of work. He always seems to be at every comic book convention. I’m pretty sure he’d swing by your house to sign autographs if you paid his travel expenses and offered a hot meal.

      LOL on Chris Brown. You have a gift for understatement.

      Like

  2. Henry Cavill, in looks he reminds me of a younger Mel Gibson.
    Adele, I really like “Rolling in the Deep”.
    John Rhys-Davies, I liked him in the mid-1990’s series “Sliders”.
    Lance Henriksen, I’m always glad to see him pop up in something; I remember being very surprised to see him in “Dog Day Afternoon” when I first viewed that film in 2001.
    Michael Murphy, how about that 1980’s HBO political spoof “Tanner ’88”? I like that action.
    Michael Palin, I think he’s pretty funny, and he really know how to keep busy; writing plays, children’s books, travel books, speaking engagement. I hope he keeps doing it, since it appears he loves it.
    I remember Vincent Kartheiser from “Alpha dog”.
    Tina Yothers, I see similarities with her and Kelly Osbourne, except Yothers had a less famous family.
    Tyrone power, aw yeah, the original “The Razor’s Edge” with Gene Tierney (I have nothing against the Bill Murray/Theresa Russell version though), loved him in that. Born with a great name, It’s just too bad that he didn’t live a long life.

    Like

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