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July 8: Happy Birthday Anjelica Huston and Kevin Bacon

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Oscar-winner Anjelica Huston, who is 66 today, is the first member of her very prominent movie family to headline our birthday articles.  The daughter and granddaughter of Oscar-winners John and Walter Huston had her first prominent role in the 1969 film A Walk with Love and Death, with her father directing.  She worked as a model for most of the 1970s before returning to film in the eighties.  She had roles in the 1981 remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice and the cult sci-fi film The Ice Pirates.  However, it was when she re-teamed with her father for a blackly comic gangster film that she made her big breakthrough.

Huston won Best Supporting Actress, and a lengthy list of other honors, as Maerose Prizzi in Prizzi’s Honor.  She has received two additional Oscar nominations, for Enemies: A Love Story and The Grifters.  Some of her other notable films have been The Dead, Crimes and Misdemeanors, the Addams Family films from the 1990s, Ever After, and The Royal Tenenbaums.  She has received four Emmy nominations for her television work, and won a Golden Globe for the HBO film Iron Jawed Angels.

Kevin Bacon, of “six degrees” fame, is turning 59 today.  He made his film debut in a small role in Animal House in 1978 (“Remain calm—all is well!”), and became better known as part of the ensemble cast of Barry Levinson’s Diner a few years later.  While Bacon is known mostly as a supporting or character player, during the 1980s he had several chances to play romantic leads, in films like Footloose, She’s Having a Baby, and also in a sci-fi/monster movie that is a cult classic.

Bacon is known for the wide variety of films he has appeared in (which, of course, is what makes the whole “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” business work).  He has played major roles in JFK, A Few Good Men, Apollo 13, Wild Things, and Mystic River, just to name a few.  More recently he played Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class and had prominent parts in Black Mass and Patriots Day.  He won a Golden Globe for the HBO movie Taking Chance.

Billy Crudup turns 49.  He has had major roles in films such as Without Limits, Almost Famous, Mission: Impossible III, Dedication, and most recently Alien: Covenant.  He is also a prominent stage actor with four Tony nominations, winning Best Featured Actor in a Play for Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia: Part 1—Voyage.

Michael Weatherly, born the same day as Crudup, played Tony DiNozzo on NCIS for 13 seasons; he previously starred on Dark Angel and currently headlines CBS’s BullMilo Ventimiglia, who is 40 today, first became known as Jess Mariano on Gilmore Girls, played Peter Petrelli on Heroes, and stars as Jack Pearson on This Is UsSophia Bush, who starred on One Tree Hill as Brooke Davis, is 35 today.  She currently stars on Chicago P.D., with periodic crossovers to other series in Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise.  Kathleen Robertson, who is 44, may be remembered for her stint as Clare Arnold on Beverly Hills, 90210, and more recently starred on TNT’s Murder in the First.

Joe Russo, who turns 46, is half of the Russo Brothers filmmaking partnership, along with his older brother Anthony.  Until recently the two were best known for their television work, on Arrested Development and Community.  In the past few years, however, they have directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, and they are now at work on the next two Avengers films.

Jeffrey Tambor, who is 73 today, has been nominated for eight Primetime Emmy Awards.  He has won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series twice as Maura Pfefferman on Transparent and has previous nominations for The Larry Sanders Show and Arrested DevelopmentKim Darby, known for film roles such as Mattie Ross in the 1969 version of True Grit and Barbara Blandish in The Grissom Gang, is turning 70.

Alt-rocker Beck (born Bek David Campbell) is celebrating his 47th.  His album Morning Phase won three Grammys at the 57th Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.  He had won three previous awards, including receiving Best Alternative Music Performance twice, for his albums Odelay and MutationsToby Keith, who is turning 56, worked in the oil fields of Oklahoma before beginning his music career.  He has had twenty singles reach #1 on the US Country chart.  Steve Lawrence, who with his wife Eydie Gormé made up a very durable traditional pop duo, is 82.  The two recorded hits such as “Party Doll,” “Footsteps,” and “Go Away Little Girl,” which was a #1 single in 1962.

Robbie Keane, one of Ireland’s best footballers ever, is 37.  He starred for Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premiership for nearly a decade and his 68 international goals are an Irish national team record.

Eugene Pallette (1889-1954) was a leading man in a few silent films but is best remembered for his character roles in the sound era: a heavy, gravel-voiced man who could be a grumpy paterfamilias in comedies like My Man Godfrey or The Lady Eve, or a “Friar Tuck” character in (of course) The Adventures of Robin Hood or The Mark of ZorroPamela Brown (1917-1975) had some memorable supporting roles before arthritis began to curtail her career, notably as Catriona Potts in Powell and Pressburger’s I Know Where I’m GoingCraig Stevens (1918-2000) is best known as an early television star, particularly as the title character, a private eye, of Peter GunnFaye Emerson (1917-1983) was featured in a lot of 1940s films such as The Mask of Dimitrios and Danger Signal, and later was the star and host of some early TV talk and variety shows, including The Faye Emerson ShowMarty Feldman (1934-1982) won a pair of BAFTA Television Awards for the British sketch comedy series Marty and played major roles in Mel Brooks’s Young Frankenstein and Silent Movie.

Two very prominent members of what is probably the wealthiest family (as opposed to individual) in US History shared today as a birthday.  John D. Rockefeller (1839-1897) got into oil refining at the age of about 20.  When he stepped away from day-to-day management of Standard Oil nearly 40 years later, it had 90% of the oil market in the US, and “Senior,” as he was known once his son became an adult, was the richest man in US history.  He also engaged in philanthropic activities like founding the University of Chicago.  Of Senior’s five grandsons, the one with the highest profile was Nelson A. Rockefeller (1908-1979).  Nelson served in the Roosevelt Administration during World War 2, was elected Governor of New York in 1958 and reelected three times, and made three unsuccessful runs for the Republican nomination for President.  When President Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford became President, Ford named Rockefeller to the vacant Vice-Presidency.

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 July 8, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Anjelica Huston, I’m a big fan of “Prizzi’s Honor” (both the film & book), and I feel the accolades she received there were well-warranted. I think she’s also brilliant in “The Grifters” and “Buffalo ’66” (some say that there was her best performance; I’m not sure, but I heard that Vincent Gallo’s real mom is even more of a Buffalo Bills fanatic than what Huston played, and that’s pretty intense then). I also find “Gardens of Stone” compelling, and i thought she was good there too.
    Kevin Bacon, well he came a long way from playing a character that was a victim of Jason’s mother in the first Friday the 13th film, and I’m not talking about 1985’s “Quicksilver” either (though I kind of like it). “Footloose” was kind of a big thing (I think the soundtrack is awesome) back in the day (let’s hear it for the boy?), but I guess he was never as big of a star as I thought he was. Still, I like his performances in films like “Wild Things”, “Where the Truth Lies”, and “Sleepers”.
    Billy Crudup, he played a character who introduced Kevin Bacon’s character in “Sleepers” to a lead diet. I remember him best from that, “Inventing the Abbotts”, “Waking the dead”, “Almost Famous”, and Public Enemies”. I think Crudup is a lot better than crud.
    Kathleen Robertson, yeah, I remember her from “Beverly Hills, 90210”, but also in the short-lived Kelsey Grammer series “Boss”. Another Canadian import here.
    Jeffrey Tambor, man, I’ve seen him in so many things, but the one character he played that sticks with me is as a lawyer who has a breakdown in “…And Justice For All” (ha ha, ,he tips his wig to Al Pacino’s character at the end of the film; something funny’s going on…).
    Beck, I still own a copy of his ‘Mellow Gold’ album (I like the song “Beercan” the best), but haven’t followed him much since.
    John D. Rockefeller, with railroads and oil, he made a lot of great money. And with great money, came the great power. I guess with the great power comes great life expectancy, because he sure lived a long time. It seems to me that the World still struggles with an oil problem though.

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  2. I have loved Prizzi’s Honor for a long time and it remains my favorite Anjelica Huston performance; she is terrific in The Grifters as well.

    Tremors is likewise still my favorite Kevin Bacon film. He was good in Mystic River but somewhat overshadowed by Sean Penn and Tim Robbins, and Wild Things is one of my guilty pleasures.

    The Russos have done a pretty nice job with the Captain America dimension of the MCU; let’s hope they keep up the good work with Infinity Wars.

    Finally, let’s remember Eugene Pallette.

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