August 8: Happy Birthday Keith Carradine and Robert Siodmak



Keith Carradine, one of the most prominent members of the famous acting family, is turning 68 today.  He made his film debut in a supporting role in Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and later went on to star in the director’s Thieves Like Us and to a major role in the ensemble cast of Nashville.  Some of his other film roles have included starring in Ridley Scott’s first feature, The Duellists, appearing with his brothers David and Robert in Walter Hill’s The Long Riders, as the Younger Brothers, and roles in several of Alan Rudolph’s films.  On television he was an Emmy nominee for the 1983 miniseries Chiefs, and appeared in the early episodes of Deadwood as Wild Bill Hickock.  More recently he has had recurring roles on Dexter and, as President Conrad Dalton, on Madam Secretary.

Carradine has also had a notable stage career.  His first major acting job of any kind was as part of the cast of the Broadway musical Hair.  Subsequently, his musical theater work has brought him two Tony nominations, for playing the title role in Will Rogers Follies, and for the 2013 original production of Hands on a Hardbody.  He also starred as Ben Rumson in a recent City Center Encores! production of Paint Your Wagon.

German-born Robert Siodmak (1900-1973) began directing in his native country in the late 1920s.  When the Nazis came to power, Siodmak first migrated to Paris, where he made a number of features in the mid-thirties, and then to the US in 1939.  He wound up directing for Universal.  He made a horror film, Son of Dracula, and the Jon Hall/Maria Montez “Eastern” Cobra Woman.

Siodmak was best known for film noir.  His first ventures into the genre came in 1944; they were Phantom Lady and Christmas Holiday.  He also directed The Spiral Staircase and The Dark Mirror (which starred Olivia de Havilland).  However, his two greatest contributions to the genre both starred Burt Lancaster as a protagonist doomed by his love for a femme fatale—Ava Gardner in The Killers and Yvonne de Carlo in Criss Cross.

After directing Lancaster a third time, in the delightfully light swashbuckler The Crimson Pirate, Siodmak returned to Europe.  He made another ten or so features before retiring from directing at the end of the 1960s.

We have two Orange is the New Black birthdays today.  Michael Chernus, who is 40, appeared in the recurring role of Cal Chapman, and also is a regular on Amazon Studios’ PatriotJackie Cruz, who plays Marisol “Flaca” Gonzalez, is turning 31.

Connie Stevens turns 77 today.  She starred as photographer and singer Cricket Blake on ABC’s Hawaiian Eye from 1959-1963; the singing she did on the show helped her launch a moderately successful pop career in the sixties.  She made a long succession of TV guest appearances and still works on occasion.

Veronica Falcon, who plays Camila Vargas on Queen of the South, is celebrating her 51st.  Larry Wilcox, who many will recall as Officer Jon Baker from CHiPs, is turning 70.  Richard Anderson, who is 91, played Oscar Goldman on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic WomanMichael Urie, who is 37 today, played Marc St. James on Ugly Betty and is an active stage actor; he appeared earlier this year in a Off-Broadway revival of Gogol’s The Government Inspector.  Also 37 is Norwegian actor Tobias Santelmann, who stars in The Last Kingdom and played Knut Haugland in the 2012 film Kon-TikiMakenzie Leigh, who turns 27, is best known for her role in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

Roger Federer, who turns 36, has been one of the three dominant players in men’s tennis over the last 15 years or so, along with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.  He has won 19 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in history for any men’s player.  NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, one of the game’s best offensive linemen ever, played his entire career for the Houston Oilers and made 14 consecutive Pro Bowls from 1988-2001.  Matthews turns 56 today.  Marcelo Balboa, who is 50, appeared in 128 matches for the US Men’s National soccer team and was an anchor of the defense for the US for most of the 1990s.

A second refugee from Nazi Germany born today was violinist and conductor Adolf Busch (1891-1952).  Busch migrated to Switzerland, where he and his brother Fritz, also a conductor, founded the Lucerne Festival; he then moved to the US where he and his son-in-law, pianist Rudolf Serkin founded the Marlboro Music School and Festival.  Both the Lucerne and Marlboro festivals are still ongoing.

Two Nobel Prize winners in Physics shared today as a birthday.  Paul Dirac (1902-1984) was one of the leading theoretical physicists involved in the breakthroughs of the 1920s and 1930s that culminated in the development of quantum mechanics and quantum electrodymanics.  Ernest Lawrence (1901-1958) was known for being the inventor of the cyclotron and as a leading advocate of “Big Science,” large-scale, expensive research projects almost always funded by governments.

Novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953) was best known for her novel The Yearling, a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1939 which was adapted into a feature film in the late forties.

Rory Calhoun (1922-1999) was a prominent actor from the forties to the sixties, either as a star of second-tier features or as a supporting player in major films such as River of No Return or How to Marry a Millionaire (both of which starred Marilyn Monroe).

The headliners on this date last year were Dustin Hoffman and J. C. Chasez.

It’s Dustin Hoffman’s 80th birthday today.  He had a supporting role in The Meyerowitz Stories, which premiered earlier this year at Cannes.  J. C. Chasez, who is 41, appeared as himself in the movie Opening Night.

Donald Bellisario turns 82 and remains an executive producer of NCISDavid “The Edge” Evans, who has been on U2’s Joshua Tree Tour, turns 56 today.  Robin Quivers continues to co-host The Howard Stern Show as she turns 65.

Peyton List, who is 31, starred on The CW’s Frequency, which was canceled earlier this year after one season.  She should not be confused with Disney Channel star Peyton Roi List, from Jessie and Bunk’d.  Also seeing her show canceled was Lindsay Sloane of The Odd Couple, who is turning 40.  Meagan Good, seen earlier this year in the Netflix film Deuces, turns 36.  Katie Leung, who is 30 today, had a small part in T2 Trainspotting and will appear in Martin Campbell’s upcoming The Foreigner.

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 August 8, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I first knew Keith Carradine through his singing; his recording of “I’m Easy” from Nashville (which he also wrote) was a fairly big hit around 1976, and I can remember hearing it on the radio a lot. Over the years I’ve caught up with a fair number of his film performances—he gave a lot of interesting ones even though he was never a really major star.

    A lot of Robert Siodmak’s films are hard to get ahold of today, but his three with Burt Lancaster are all terrific.

    Meagan Good and Lindsay Sloane are two actresses I enjoy seeing show up in any kind of film or TV project.

    And today was certainly a big day in the world of physics.


  2. WP used to track this for me, but if they do I can’t find where it is located. I believe today marks your 365th consecutive posting, no? Tomorrow is the anniversary but as of today you have published an entire year’s worth of content. Congrats and thanks for all your contributions. Looking forward to Year Two!


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