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May 28: Happy Birthday Kylie Minogue and Carey Mulligan

0528MinogueMulligan

Singer and actress Kylie Minogue turns 49 today.  She was cast as tomboy Charlene Mitchell (later Robinson) on the Australian soap opera Neighbours in her late teens; during her two years on the show she won four Logie Awards (Australian Emmys), while the episode featuring her character’s marriage was one of the most-watched in Australian TV history.  During her time on the show she signed her first recording contract.  Her first studio album, Kylie, came out in the summer of 1988 and included a cover of a Gerry Goffin-Carole King song that became her first big hit.

Minogue has won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording for “Come Into My World” and has won seventeen ARIA Awards in her native Australia.  She has had a number of #1 hits on the US Dance Charts and at least two that have made the Top Ten on the Hot 100, and has sold an estimated 80 million records.  She has continued her acting career and will star in the upcoming Australian film Flammable Children.

Carey Mulligan celebrates her 32nd today.  She made her stage debut in 2004 in Kevin Elyot’s play Forty Winks and her film debut a year later in the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, as Kitty Bennet.  That same year she also appeared in a BBC adaptation of Dickens’s Bleak House, as Ada Clare.  In 2008 she made her Broadway debut in a production of Chekhov’s The Seagull, receiving a Drama Desk Award nomination.   A year later came her breakthrough film role, as the lead character of Jenny Mellor in An Education, which brought her an Oscar nomination and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress.

Mulligan received more critical acclaim for her 2011 film appearances as Irene in Drive and Sissy Sullivan in Shame.  She played Daisy Buchanan in the 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby and received another round of critical accolades for starring in the 2015 film Suffragette.  She has starred on Broadway in a stage adaptation of Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly and in a revival of David Hare’s Skylight, receiving Drama Desk Award nominations for both and a Tony nomination for the latter.

Alexa Davalos, who currently stars on Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle as Juliana Crain, turns 35 today.  She is also known for films such as The Chronicles of Riddick and Clash of the TitansRomain Duris, who turns 43, has received five Cesar nominations, including three for Best Actor, for films such as The Beat My Heart Skipped and HeartbreakerElisabeth Hasselbeck, the one-time Survivor contestant and long-time co-host of The View, turns 40 today.

Laura Bailey, who is 36 today, is an award-winning voice actress and a very busy one, providing voices for Black Widow in a variety of Marvel animated adaptations, for the English dubs of a long list of anime series, and for a very long list of video games.  Just for starters.  Jake Johnson, who stars on Fox’s New Girl as Nick Miller, is celebrating his 39th.  Megalyn Echikunwoke, who is 34, provides the voice of the title character of the animated web series Vixen, part of the Arrowverse, and has played the character in live action on Arrow; she also starred on A&E’s short-lived DamienCameron Boyce, who is turning 18, is known for his Disney Channel roles as Luke Ross on Jessie and Carols in the Descendants TV movies, the second of which will air this summer.

Carroll Baker, who is 86 today, worked on screen and stage for fifty years.  In the 1950s she was both a respected actress—an Oscar nominee for Baby Doll—and a popular pin-up.  Sondra Locke, who turns 73, was an Oscar nominee in her film debut, as Mick Kelly in an adaptation of Carson McCullers’ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.  She later starred with Clint Eastwood, her significant other for over a decade, in films like The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, and Sudden Impact.  Also 73 today is Jean-Pierre Léaud, who made his debut as Antoine Doinel in Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, and reprised the character in several sequel films over a 20-year period.

Nostalgia fans of a certain age will probably say “FAB” to celebrate Shane Rimmer’s 88th birthday; he was the voice of Scott Tracy on Thunderbirds, and has also made several appearances in the James Bond films.

Jerry Douglas’s brilliance with the dobro is the big reason for the 14 Grammys he has won through the years.  Several of them are as part of Alison Krauss and Union Station, but he has recorded with an incredibly long list of artists as well as making over a dozen solo albums.  Douglas is 61 today.

One of the people Douglas has worked with is John Fogerty, who is 72.  The roots-and-country rocker was the lead guitarist and vocalist of Creedence Clearwater Revival and since they disbanded has had a successful solo career.  Gladys Knight, the Empress of Soul, turns 73 today.  A seven-time Grammy winner, she is best known for her years with Gladys Knight & the Pips, who had some very big hits like “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.”  Wendy O. Williams (1949-1998), sometimes called the Queen of Shock Rock, was a punk rocker known as much for her onstage antics as her music.  Colbie Caillat, who is 32, became known during that brief window of time that was the “Myspace Era.”  She saw her first three albums reach the Top Ten and has shared in a pair of Grammys.  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (1925-2012) may have been the greatest singer of lieder of the 20th Century, especially of Schubert.  He was also a distinguished singer in opera ranging from Mozart to Wagner.

Here’s a little bit of “the Fish” singing Schubert:

One of the most legendary figures in sports history was Jim Thorpe (1887-1953).  Thorpe was famous for his exploits in football, starring for the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and in the early NFL, and in track and field, winning two gold medals at the 1912 Olympics.  The International Olympic Committee stripped Thorpe of his medals when they discovered he had played semipro baseball, but restored them posthumously in 1983.

Other sports birthdays include NBA great Jerry West, who turns 79.  “Zeke from Cabin Creek” starred for the Los Angeles Lakers, making 14 All-Star teams and leading the Lakers to the 1972 NBA title.  He later served as the Lakers’ coach and general manager.  Ekaterina Gordeeva, who celebrates her 46th birthday, was one of the greatest pairs skaters in history, winning two Olympic gold medals and four world titles with her late husband and partner Sergei Grinkov.

Ian Fleming (1908-1964) served during World War 2 as assistant to Admiral John Godfrey, the Director of British Naval Intelligence, and drew on that experience after the war, when he began to write a novel titled Casino Royale, the first in a series of tales about a British agent named James Bond.  Walker Percy (1916-1990) was one of the great literary chroniclers of the American South, particularly the New Orleans area, in novels like The Moviegoer and Love in the RuinsMaeve Binchy (1939-2012) was known for her novels and stories, such as Scarlet Feather and A Week in Winter.

Gordon Willis (1931-2014) was ranked as one of the most influential cinematographers ever by the International  Cinematographers Guild.  He worked on some of the definitive films of the seventies, such as The Godfather I and II, Annie Hall, and Manhattan, and was a two-time Oscar nominee.

Our main historical birthday today is William Pitt the Younger (1759-1806), so called to distinguish him from his father, also William Pitt, and also a Prime Minister of England.  The Younger Pitt first became Prime Minister at the age of only 24, and held the office for much of the remainder of his life.  He made a number of important administrative and financial reforms, but is best remembered for his policies dealing with the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

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 28, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Kylie Minogue, I really only know of her “The Locomotion” cover, but that’s fine, since I really like it (I recorded it off off Music Choice the decade past).
    Laura Bailey, I chose her voice every time I create a female character in the Saints Row 3 & 4 games, although I deepen it slightly (just to make it a bit more smoky-sounding).
    Sondra Locke, she grew on me as an actress (especially in “Sudden Impact”), and I thought she did a great job in the director’s chair for “Impulse”, a film which I think is underrated (come to think of it, the slightly deeper voiced Laura Bailey sounds a lot like Theresa Russell with a bit of a cold).
    John Fogerty, I don’t know anything about his solo work, but I like his CCR output a lot.
    Wendy O. Williams, I knew of her from her role in “Reform School Girls” before I learned that she was a Punk Rocker, but I’ve heard she would put on quite a show, especially when it came to wreaking things (that’s VERY Punk Rock).
    Jim Thorpe, when I used to watch & record “NFL’s Greatest Moments” shows, I saw his segment and still remember it. For the great all-around athlete that he was, sports kind of left him hanging due to pro sports being less organized back then, and frankly, because he was (half) Indian.
    Jerry West, great player, great general manager, plus, the silhouette that represents the NBA league logo is him, which I’ve always found to be pretty neat.

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  2. Happy Birthday Carey Mulligan! 🙂

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  3. Time and space limits prevented me from mentioning in the article that both our headliners today had stints on Doctor Who. Kylie Minogue appeared as Astrid Peth, the one-off companion to the Tenth Doctor. Carey Mulligan also appeared in the Tenth Doctor’s period, as the guest character of Sally Sparrow.

    When I was in grade school, one of our local TV stations used to show reruns of Thunderbirds for a while; I was seriously into that show. Later on it was interesting to learn of Shane Rimmer’s multiple appearances in the Bond films, most notably as an American sub commander in The Spy Who Loved Me.

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  4. FX should do a Clint/Sondra season of Feud. Someone actually tweeted this idea to show’s creator. It would be epic.

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    • Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke

      https://www.datalounge.com/thread/17006830-clint-eastwood-and-sondra-locke

      The latest Johnny Depp/Amber Heard war reminded me of Clint and Sondra feud decades ago, though it’s not the same but at general it’s the same scenario “The less talented, less liked mistreated woman Daring to go against The powerful wealthy Beloved megastar with the studios and the media behind him” . I always felt sorry for Sondra Locke , Clint treated her ruthlessly and unfairly though she eventually received a financial settlement after Long legal battles but i believe she was ruined by him and was labelled by the media as a gold digger. I know people say she wasn’t talented to begin with, But after her backlash with Clint, even any small opportunity for her to be in any thing in Hollywood was totally Over.
      —Anonymous (88 views)

      9 replies 1 05/31/2016

      She was not a great actress but she was wonderful in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. She and Alan Arkin were terrific in it and she received an Oscar nomination for her performance. She never delivered on her promise. She also directed Impulse starring DL fave Theresa Russell and it’s a pretty good flick.

      —Anonymous

      reply 2 05/31/2016

      Getting on the wrong side of a powerful man in Hollywood is one sure way to end a career and that seems to be the case with her.

      —Anonymous

      reply 6 05/31/2016

      She was very bitter after the breakup, said Clint had killed her career as an actress, director, and producer.

      However, I doubt she would have had much of a career as an actress without Clint’s help, she was only moderately talented and wasn’t pretty enough for most leading-lady roles (a friend always referred to her as “the white rabbit”). And how the hell would she ever have had a chance to produce or direct without Clint behind her? No, if she’d never met Eastwood she’d probably have found her in the same place in middle age, but because of Clint she had a lot more credits and money than she would have had without him.

      —Anonymous

      reply 7 05/31/2016

      [R7] Agreed. She was doing TV in the early 70s less than five years after her Oscar nomination. She got a lot of mileage and negligible film roles being the girlfriend of Eastwood. I think she was fairly talented but it only gets you so far in Hollywood. She never seemed to have luck on her side. Eastwood redeemed her film career for a time but he was also her downfall.

      —Anonymous

      reply 8 05/31/2016

      Her partner of many years strongly persuades her to abort two children she most likely wanted to have very much. Then she gets her tubes tied to please him. A woman wouldn’t do that for a man unless she truly believed they’d be together for life. Then she finds out all that time he was with another woman who gave birth to TWO of his children – (the same number of abortions he insisted she have). Did one of those grow up to be Scott Eastwood? (glad he wasn’t aborted). Obviously Clint had no intention of a life with her but made her think otherwise. I don’t blame her for being bitter. And she showed true promise as a director with two better than decent movies. Much better than a lot of male hacks who get work all the time. The evidence presented made it look pretty obvious Clint prevented her from getting work after he was finished with her, otherwise he wouldn’t have paid her a settlement. She knew she was ruined in the business so why not get all she could? I just hope she came to terms with it all and is living happily somewhere far from Hollywood.

      And I, btw, am a big fan of most of Eastwood’s movies. And I never thought Locke was a particularly good actress. But I definitely don’t think she was a gold-digger. Polanski, Eastwood, and possibly Woody Allen are great examples of men with hideous character who are creative geniuses.

      —Anonymous

      reply 9 05/31/2016

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      • The media coverage of their breakup was a fucking joke. No one mentioned that Clint had secret children, which was the most scandalous aspect of the whole thing. For decades it was unmentionable. This speaks volumes about the unparalleled power Clint has with the media.

        OF COURSE she wouldn’t have gotten the chance to direct if not for Clint. Beside the point! When she sued him (for palimony) he saw to it she would never direct for a studio again. That’s what her fraud suit was all about. He was playing God with her career.

        As for the abortions, she didn’t imply regret in her autobio. What’s unfair, is the choice was made under false pretense. Clint had her believing he never wanted children. Evidently a lie unless you think his 8+ kids are all accidents. He was gladly donating his sperm to grateful women whose silence could be bought.

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