June 18: Happy Birthday Paul McCartney and Roger Ebert
Our two headliners today were both born on this date in 1942.
Sir Paul McCartney turns 75 today. In 1957 he joined a band that had recently been started by John Lennon; within a year or two a guitarist named George Harrison had joined them and by 1960 they were performing as The Beatles. In 1962, they let drummer Pete Best go and added Ringo Starr, and history was about to be made.
The Beatles remained together, as you probably know, until 1970. Since then, McCartney has been recording and touring as a solo artist or as a member of Wings. To the record-setting sales of Beatles records, he has added another 100 million or more post-breakup. He is a 21-time Grammy winner—12 with the Beatles, 8 as a solo artist or with Wings, and one other collaboration. He has written or co-written 32 singles that reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Roger Ebert (1942-2013) was probably the best-known film critic in the world for much of the last 40 years or so. He became the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967, and won a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1975, the first Pulitzer awarded for film criticism. That same year, he and Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune began co-hosting their first televised film review show, Sneak Previews. That show was later succeeded by various incarnations of At the Movies. Ebert was also the author of over a dozen books (not counting collections of his reviews), most of them on film.
Isabella Rossellini, who celebrates her 65th, was famous almost from birth, as the daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini. She is known for a variety of films, including White Nights, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, and Death Becomes Her. She was a Golden Globe nominee for the TV movie Crime of the Century and an Emmy nominee fo a guest appearance on Chicago Hope.
Belgian actress Marie Gillain, who primarily works in French film, is 42 today. She made her debut in the original French version of My Father the Hero (in the role played by Katherine Heigl in the American remake), for which she received the first of her four Cesar nominations. She has had major roles in films like the swashbuckler Le Bossu (receiving another Cesar nomination), the French adaptation of Absolutely Fabulous, and the crime thriller Not For, or Against. She also appeared in Female Agents, where one of her costars was Julie Depardieu, who turns 44 today. She has won Cesar Awards for the films Little Lili and Un Secret, and is the daughter of Gérard Depardieu.
Richard Madden, who turns 31, is known for playing Robb Stark on Game of Thrones and Prince Kit in the live-action Cinderella. Meaghan Rath, also 31 today, has starred on SyFy’s Being Human and Fox’s short-lived Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life. Willa Holland, who currently plays Thea Queen/Speedy in the Arrowverse, is turning 26. Renee Olstead, who is 28, has had regular roles on Still Standing and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Also 28 today is Mallory Jansen, who was a regular as Madalena on the short-lived Galavant and now is a recurring character on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Kerry Butler, who celebrates her 46th, is primarily known for her stage work; she played Belle in Beauty and the Beast for over 2 years and was a Tony nominee for starring in Xanadu, a reasonably successful musical adapted from a flop of a movie. Alana de la Garza, who is turning 41, has been involved in three major police procedural franchises of our time, as Connie Rubirosa on Law & Order, Marisol Delko on CSI: Miami, and Clara Seger on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. David Giuntoli, who is 37, was the star of NBC’s Grimm, which recently concluded its six-season run.
Carol Kane, who currently is a regular on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, is turning 65. She was a two-time Emmy winner on Taxi, an Oscar nominee for Hester Street, and played Miracle Max’s wife, Valerie, in The Princess Bride. Brian Benben, who is 61 today, currently stars on Bravo’s Imposters, and has been a regular on HBO’s Dream On and on Private Practice. He and Madeleine Stowe have been married for 35 years. Kim Dickens, who is 52, currently stars as Madison Clark on Fear the Walking Dead, and had regular roles on Deadwood and Treme. Philip Jackson, who is turning 69, has worked in British television and film for decades, notably as Chief Inspector Japp on Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Barbara Broccoli, who with her half-brother Michael G. Wilson has been running Eon Productions and producing the James Bond films for over 20 years, turns 57 today.
American playwright Philip Barry (1896-1949) was the author of the plays Holiday and The Philadelphia Story, both of which were adapted into films that starred Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. E. W. Scripps (1854-1926) was the founder of the newspaper and media company which bears his name, and of the United Press International. Journalist Tom Wicker (1926-2011) was a reporter and columnist for The New York Times for around 30 years; he covered John Kennedy’s assassination and later made Richard Nixon’s “enemies list.”
Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock is turning 78 today. He spent most of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he was a six-time All-Star and helped the Cards to two World Series victories, and set a number of stolen base records. Glenn Morris (1912-1974) won the men’s decathlon at the 1936 Olympics, and then became the fourth Olympic medalist to play Tarzan, starring in Tarzan’s Revenge in 1938.
Blake Shelton, who is turning 41, release his eponymous debut country album in 2001. He was a success from the start, and has had at least one Top Ten Country single every year from 2008 on. Lyricist Sammy Cahn (1913-1993) wrote over two dozen songs which received Oscar nominations, usually with music by Jimmy Van Heusen or Jule Styne; four of his songs ended up winning Oscars. He and Style also wrote the ever-popular Christmas tune “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.”
Jeanette MacDonald (1903-1965) found her niche in Hollywood after an indifferent Broadway career. She is remembered for the musicals she made at Paramount and MGM, many of which paired her with either Maurice Chevalier (Love Me Tonight, The Merry Widow) or Nelson Eddy (Naughty Marietta, Rose Marie); she also was Clark Gable’s leading lady in San Francisco.
Richard Boone (1917-1981) was particularly known for his work in Westerns; he starred as Paladin on CBS’s Have Gun—Will Travel and in films like The Tall T, Hombre, Big Jake and The Shootist. E. G. Marshall (1914-1998) had a long film and television career, largely in character roles. One of them was Juror #4 in Twelve Angry Men. Keye Luke (1904-1991) was the first Chinese-American contract player at RKO, Universal, and MGM at different points in his career. He was known for playing Lee Chan, Charlie Chan’s Number One Son, and later Master Po on Kung Fu. Hungarian actress Eva Bartok (1927-1998) worked all over Europe, frequently in British or Italian films, but also made a handful of Hollywood pictures like The Crimson Pirate (with Burt Lancaster) and Ten Thousand Bedrooms.
Robert Stewart, Lord Castlereagh (1769-1822) was a British statesman best known for his decade of service as Foreign Secretary; during that time he was one of the chief architects of the post-Napoleonic Wars order in Europe. Red Adair (1915-2004) was quite possibly the most famous firefighter in history; the fires he was famous for fighting were oil well fires. The movie Hellfighters, starring John Wayne, was loosely based on Adair’s life and exploits. The Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna (1901-1918), the youngest daughter of Nicholas II of Russia, was the object of considerable speculation and theorizing for decades until forensic evidence showed conclusively that she did die in 1918 with her parents and siblings.
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 18, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Blake Shelton, Carol Kane, Isabella Rossellini, Jeanette MacDonald, Kerry Butler, Marie Gillain, Paul McCartney, Richard Madden, Roger Ebert, Sammy Cahn. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.