June 11: Happy Birthday Hugh Laurie and Peter Dinklage
Hugh Laurie is turning 58 today. While attending Cambridge, he became involved in the Footlights theatrical club; fellow club member Emma Thompson introduced him to Stephen Fry, and a decades-long comedy partnership was formed. In the next several years, the Fry and Laurie duo worked together on a variety of projects in British television, including Blackadder, Jeeves & Wooster (with Laurie as Bertie Wooster and Fry as Jeeves), and their own sketch comedy series, A Bit of Fry & Laurie. Laurie also made a number of feature film appearances, such as the live action 101 Dalmatians and the Stuart Little films.
In 2004 Laurie was cast in the lead role of an American medical drama, playing a physician who combines intellectual brilliance, a genius for diagnosis, and a bedside manner that is probably best described as misanthropic.
During House’s run, Laurie was nominated for six Emmys and six Golden Globes for playing Dr. Gregory House, winning two of the latter as Best Actor in a Television Drama. He is a talented musician who has released a pair of successful blues albums. In the past few years he has appeared in the feature film Tomorrowland and in a recurring role on Veep. He currently stars as another medical professional on Hulu’s Chance and will appear in the upcoming film Holmes and Watson.
Peter Dinklage celebrates his 48th birthday. Born with achondroplasia, he made his film debut in 1995 in a supporting role in Living in Oblivion. He slowly built a career and made a big breakthrough when he starred in Tom McCarthy’s The Station Agent in 2003. Audiences may remember him for playing Trumpkin the dwarf in the second Narnia film, Prince Caspian, or Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past. He also had significant roles in films such as Penelope, Death at a Funeral, and Pixels.
However, his most significant role began in 2011, when he began appearing as Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Dinklage has been nominated for six consecutive Primetime Emmys as Tyrion, winning twice, and also has a Golden Globe for the part.
Shia LaBeouf turns 31 today. He was a Daytime Emmy winner for Even Stevens in the early 2000s and headlined the first three Transformers movies. He has appeared in a range of films including Disturbia, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Lawless and Fury, and will play tennis great John McEnroe in the upcoming Borg vs. McEnroe. Joshua Jackson, who is 39, first became known as Charlie Conway in the Mighty Ducks films and then starred as Pacey Witter on Dawson’s Creek. He is currently a regular on Showtime’s The Affair.
Ivana Baquero, known for her performance as a child actress in Pan’s Labyrinth and for starring as Eretria in The Shannara Chronicles, is 23 today. Claire Holt, who celebrates her 29th, was a regular on the Australian series H2O: Just Add Water, and plays Rebekah Mikaelson on The Originals after appearing in the same role on The Vampire Diaries. Eugene Simon, who is 25, played Lancel Lannister on Game of Thrones. Saxon Sharbino, who turns 18, is known for her roles in films like Trust Me and the 2015 remake of Poltergeist. Also turning 18 is Katelyn Nacon, who plays Enid on The Walking Dead and Elisia Brown on the web series T@gged.
Adrienne Barbeau, who is turning 72, was a Tony nominee for originating the role of Betty Rizzo in Grease. She played Carol Traynor on Maude and had roles in eighties films like The Cannonball Run, Swamp Thing, and Escape from New York.
Big sports names born today include Vince Lombardi (1913-1970). One of the greatest coaches in NFL history, Lombardi never had a losing season as a head coach, and led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships in the sixties and victories in the first two Super Bowls. Lombardi is joined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame by Joe Montana, who turns 61 today. Montana was the NFL’s most successful quarterback of the eighties, making eight Pro Bowls and leading the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl triumphs. Scottish auto racer Sir Jackie Stewart is 78. The “Flying Scott” won three Formula One World Driver’s Championships in his career and was runner-up twice, and then went on to a successful sportscasting career.
Our music birthdays today are from the classical world. American composer Carlisle Floyd, who celebrates his 91st, is best known for his opera Susannah, which is performed more often than any American opera other than Porgy and Bess. Richard Strauss (186-1949) was one of the greatest composers of the last generation of German Romantics, known for operas like Salome, Elektra, and Der Rosenkavalier, and for his tone poems like Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Don Juan, and Also Sprach Zarathustra (which many would recognize from the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey). Risë Stevens (1913-2013) was the leading mezzo-soprano at the Met for over 20 years, and also made periodic film appearances, including a featured role in Going My Way opposite Bing Crosby.
English poet and playwright Ben Jonson (1572-1637) is overshadowed to some degree by a contemporary, one W. Shakespeare, but is remembered for satirical plays such as Every Man in His Humour and The Alchemist. William Styron (1925-2006) was the author of acclaimed novels like Lie Down in Darkness and Sophie’s Choice—the latter was adapted into the 1982 movie starring Meryl Streep—and also was known for his memoir Darkness Visible. Henry Hill (1943-2012) was most famously the subject of a book, Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi (the source for the movie Goodfellas), and also wrote a few of his own, such as The Wiseguy Cookbook. Jane Goldman, who turns 47, has written a variety of advice books for pre-teens and teens, but is better known as a screenwriter. She has worked with Matthew Vaughn on most of his films, such as Stardust, Kick-Ass, and the Kingsmen films, and also wrote the screenplay for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Michalis Kakogiannis (1921-2011) was a Greek Cypriot director known for his Best Picture nominee Zorba the Greek and for directing seven films nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, two of which were also part of his “Greek trilogy” of film adaptations of tragedies by Euripides. Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) was a French conservationist, oceanographer, author and filmmaker. He was the co-inventor of the Aqua-Lung and became famous for his book and documentary The Silent World, the first in a long series of documentary films and related books about his researches on the underwater world. The Silent World was the first documentary to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes. In 1975 John Denver released his hit single “Calypso” as a tribute to Cousteau.
Gene Wilder (1933-2016) was an Oscar nominee as an actor, for The Producers, and a screenwriter, for Young Frankenstein, played the Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles, and won an Emmy for a guest appearance on Will & Grace. Chad Everett (1937-2012) had a long career, mostly on television, highlighted by his starring role on CBS’s Medical Center from 1969-76, for which he received two Golden Globe nominations. Richard Todd (1919-2009) was most famous for starring as Wing Commander Guy Gibson in the very successful British war film The Dam Busters. The Death Star attack in Star Wars is an explicit homage to the dam attack sequences in the British film. Prior to his death at 34 in an auto accident, Ryan Dunn (1977-2011) was best known for his involvement in the MTV reality series Jackass and its feature film offshoots, to which he contributed as a writer, stunt performer and more.
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 11, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Adrienne Barbeau, Gene Wilder, Hugh Laurie, Ivana Baquero, Jacques Cousteau, Peter Dinklage, Richard Strauss, Shia LaBeouf, Vince Lombardi. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.