June 8: Happy Birthday Julianna Margulies and Kanye West


Three-time Emmy winner Julianna Magulies is turning 51 today.  She made her screen debut in a small role in Stephen Seagal’s Out for Justice.  Her film career has included roles in the wartime drama Paradise Road, the crime film The Newton Boys, the poorly received horror film Ghost Ship, and the thriller Snakes on a Plane.  While she has not been a big star on the big screen, she has had better success on television.  In 1994 she was cast in what was originally intended to be a one-time guest role in the pilot for a medical drama; however, the writers decided to bring the character of Nurse Carol Hathaway back as a regular, so Margulies would up with a six-season stint on ER.




Margulies was the only member of the show’s regular cast to win an acting Emmy during ER’s 15 seasons.  She was nominated for a Golden Globe for starring in the TNT miniseries adaptation of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon.  In 2009 she was cast in the lead role of Alicia Florrick on CBS’s The Good Wife, and won two Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama during the show’s seven season run.

Kanye West is 40 today.  He dropped out of Chicago State University to pursue a music career in the late nineties.  After working in production for a number of years, most notably for Jay Z’s album The Blueprint, he released his first hit singles, including the #1 hit “Slow Jamz,” in 2003.  He has had six consecutive albums reach #1 on the Billboard 200.  He also ranks among the most influential and critically acclaimed artists to emerge in the 21st century, having won 21 Grammys, which is currently tied for eleventh all-time.

Unfortunately, some of the “other” things in Kanye’s life obscure his very real musical talents.  Some of them, like the excessive attention paid to his marriage to Kim Kardashian, are not really under his control.  Others, like a certain episode involving the words “I’mma let you finish…,” are.

Actor, director and producer Griffin Dunne turns 62 today.  He starred in Martin Scorsese’s After Hours and has had supporting roles in films like Johnny Dangerously and My Girl.  He was nominated for an Oscar for the 1996 short Duke of Groove and directed feature films such as Addicted to Love and Practical Magic.

Jefferson Mays, who turns 52, is best known as a stage actor; he won a Tony for starring in Doug Wright’s I Am My Own Wife and is currently up for another for J. T. Rogers’s Oslo.  Also turning 52 is Frank Grillo, known for playing Brock Rumlow/Crossbones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Sergeant Leo Barnes in two sequels to The PurgeKelli Williams, who turns 47, was a regular on The Practice and more recently on Lie to Me and Army WivesLexa Doig, who is 44, currently stars on E!’s The Arrangement.  She has also been a regular on Andromeda and Continuum, and plays Talia al Ghul in the Arrowverse.

Brazilian singer and actor Seu Jorge, an acclaimed samba star who is also known for films like City of God and The Life Acquatic with Steve Zissou, turns 47 today.  Another Brazilian birthday celebrant is actress Sonia Braga, who turns 67.  She has been a Golden Globe nominee for Kiss of the Spider Woman and Moon Over Parador and an Emmy nominee for the TV movie The Burning Season.

Jerry Stiller, who was one half of the comedy team of Stiller and Meara, and later a regular on The King of Queens, turns 90 today.  Colin Baker, who is 74 today, is best known for playing the Sixth Doctor on Doctor Who in the mid-80s.  He is no relation to Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor.

For about a decade beginning in 1996, Lindsay Daveport, who turns 41 today, was one of the top women’s tennis players in the world.  She won six Grand Slam titles, 3 each in singles and doubles, and an Olympic gold medal, and was the year-end #1 player in the world four times.

Bonnie Tyler, who celebrates her 66th, is known for one of the most distinctive voices in the pop/rock world, and for hits like “It’s a Heartache” and “Holding Out for a Hero.”  Also turning 66 is acoustic guitar legend Tony Rice, one of the biggest names in contemporary bluegrass. Another big name in bluegrass, Sara Watkins, is 36.  The fiddler and frequent lead singer of progressive bluegrass band Nickel Creek, she has also released three solo albums.  Boz Scaggs, who turns 73, spent a few years as lead singer of the Steve Miller Band, and had a huge success in the mid-seventies with his album Silk Degrees.  Nancy Sinatra (daughter of Frank), who is turning 77, had #1 hits with “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” and “Somethin’ Stupid,” and also sang the theme song for You Only Live Twice.  Her cover of Cher’s “Bang Bang” was used in the soundtrack of Kill Bill, Volume 1Robert Schumann (1810-1856) was one of the leading composers of the early Romantic era.  He was known for large-scale works like his symphonies and his piano and cello concertos, as well as more intimate compositions like his songs and solo piano work.  His courting of and marriage to Clara Wieck is one of the great romances in the history of classical music.

John W. Campbell (1910-1971) was a science fiction author and editor, known for his novella Who Goes There?, adapted into film multiple times (as The Thing), and even more so for his over 30 year tenure as editor of Astounding Science FictionSara Paretsky, known for her very successful series of novels about private investigator V. I. “Vic” Warshawski, is turning 70.

Comedian Joan Rivers (1933-2014) won a Daytime Emmy for hosting The Joan Rivers Show and a posthumous Grammy for the audio version of her book Diary of a Mad DivaAlexis Smith (1921-1993) began a good run as a leading lady in the forties by starring opposite Errol Flynn in Dive Bomber and Gentleman Jim, and later won a Tony in the original Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies.

Robert Preston (1918-1987) had a long film and stage career, which began in the late thirties, with films such as Union Pacific and Beau Geste, and ran until the eighties, when he made his final film appearance in The Last Starfighter.  He was an Oscar nominee for Victor/Victoria, but will surely be best remembered for one great role he had on both stage and screen, as Harold Hill in The Music Man.

Byron White (1917-2002) was known as “Whizzer” White as a football star at Colorado, but later was better known for his over thirty years as an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court.  Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) is one of the most important American architects ever.  He is famous for designing a wide range of private homes as well as the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan and the Marin County Civic Center in California.

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 June 8, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Today’s headliners are two people who I know more by reputation than personal familiarity with their work. Julianna Margulies is a bit star on the small screen, but since I rarely watched ER, and didn’t watch The Good Wife at all, I have seen very little of her. And since I’m not especially into hip-hop, I’m mostly aware of Kanye West when he makes the headlines. His 21 Grammys seem like they would speak for themselves—if only he would let them.

    One of many reasons to watch City of God is to see Seu Jorge as Mané Galinha (or Knockout Ned, in the English subtitles). One of his costars in that film was Alice Braga, who is Sonia Braga’s niece.

    When I was getting into popular music in the seventies, two songs that stuck with me were Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s a Heartache” and Boz Scaggs’s “Lido Shuffle.” More recently, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Sara Watkins’s work.

    Robert Schumann’s story has a sad ending. He had to misfortune to develop a serious mental illness at a time when care for mental patients was still several decades away from becoming primitive.

    John W. Campbell did some good work as a writer, but it was as an editor that he had a huge influence on science fiction. While he was at Astounding Science Fiction (now titled Analog Science Fiction and Fact), he published early stories from authors such as Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Hal Clement, and A. E. van Vogt.

    Robert Preston as Harold Hill has to be one of the most absolutely perfect pieces of casting in the history of theater and film.


    • I agree with you about the headliners. We all know Kanye has a horrible reputation. I watched “The Good Wife” for a little while until Will Gardner died. I read somewhere Juliana Marguiles was a prima donna on the set, and she drove Josh Charles (Will) and Archie Panjabi (Kalinda) away.

      I mostly know Robert Preston from “The Music Man”. Preston also has memorable roles in “Victor/Victoria” and “The Last Starfighter”.

      However there was someone you missed. Don Grady (1944-2012) was best known for playing Robbie Douglas on the sitcom “My Three Sons”. I haven’t seen too many episodes of the show, but I liked it. (Grady and Fred MacMurray) are my favorite actors on the show. Here’s a blast from the past:


      • I will make a note to include Don Grady in next year’s article. 🙂 I’m going through a very busy patch at work right now so my time for writing the articles is tight.


        • It’s alright. It’s summer, and it’s the time where EVERYONE is busy with something.

          Thank you for your kind response.


  2. Julianna Mergulies, I never viewed much of the two main TV series she’s probably best known for, but I did like 2002’s “Ghost Ship”.
    Griffin Dunne, I was pretty used to watching him in the 1980’s: I think “After hours” is great, but when it comes to “Who’s That girl?”, I only like the song. I believe “An American Werewolf in London” (ahh hooooo!!!) is pretty awesome too, but yeah, definitely “After Hours” for me, anytime.
    Kelli Williams, yes, I’ve seen “Zapped Again!” (on Comedy Central, an early morning in 1999). I viewed “The Practice” a few times (we’re talk’n about “The Practice”).
    Sonia Braga, I liked her in “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, “Moon Over Parador”, and “The Milagro Beanfield War”.
    Jerry Stiller: “Seinfeld”! Later, I learned he’s Ben stiller’s father.
    Bonnie Tyler, I’d like to mention that in her “Total Eclipse of the Heart” music video, but has a bit of a wardrobe malfunction while running in a scene (VH1’s “Pop Up video” pointed that out). I like that song and the two others mentioned here (“Holding Out for a Hero” was in the opening intro for the 1980’s TV series “Cover Up” the climax of John Candy’s “Who’s Harry Crumb?”, and included in the climax of the video game “Saints Row the Third”).
    Nancy Sinatra, I learned of her hit song through Austin Powers, and I like it.
    Sara Paretsky, I’ve never read her books (viewed the “V.I. Warshawski” film though, in which Wayne Knight from “Seinfeld” is in) but she was one of the authors that contributed to the show “Hardcover mysteries”, so I really know her from that.
    Frank Lloyd Wright, out here in Western New York, we have a decent amount of his architecture around.


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