August 18: Happy Birthday Christian Slater and Robert Redford


Last year on this date, we had the first case during the birthday series of three WTHH subjects with birthdays.  I went with two of them as the headliners then, so today we’ll pick up the other fellow, along with another film actor who people may just have a tiny awareness of.

Christian Slater is turning 48 today.  There is a very detailed review of most of his career in his WTHH article, so I will just hit a few high points.  He made his acting debut as a child, on television on One Life to Live and on Broadway as Winthrop Paroo in The Music Man.  Highlights of his film career have included starring roles in Heathers, True Romance, and Broken Arrow, along with major supporting roles in The Name of the Rose, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and Interview with the Vampire.  As that WTHH article outlines, his star faded after the mid-nineties, but of late he’s been making a comeback as the title character (but not the lead) on Mr. Robot, which has brought him his first major acting award, a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television.

Robert Redford, who is 81, began acting on television in the early 1960s, and was an Emmy nominee for an episode of the anthology series Alcoa Premiere.  His first credited film role was in the 1962 Korean War film War Hunt, and he won a Golden Globe for 1965’s Inside Daisy Clover.  However, it was in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid that he emerged for the first time as a major box office star.  He went on to star in a number of the best-known films of the 1970s, including The Candidate, The Sting (the 1973 Best Picture winner, which brought Redford an Oscar nomination), Three Days of the Condor, and another Best Picture nominee, in which Redford played reporter Bob Woodward.

Redford had a long-standing desire to direct, and made a successful directing debut with Ordinary People in 1980—the film won Best Picture while Redford was honored as Best Director.  Redford later would receive Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director for 1994’s Quiz Show.  He starred in another Best Picture winner in 1985, Out of Africa.  His most recent films have included the remake of Pete’s Dragon and The Discovery, which came out last summer and earlier this year, respectively.

Kaitlin Olson, one of the many Groundlings alumni to make it in film or television, is 42.  She has been a regular on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as “Sweet Dee” Reynolds for the show’s entire run and also stars on Fox’s The MickRichard Harmon, who celebrates his 26th, plays John Murphy on The 100, and as of season 3 is a regular.

Science fiction writer Brian Aldiss turns 92.  He has won Hugo and Nebula Awards, but may be best known for the anthologies he has edited, including several editions of The Year’s Best Science Fiction, and for his history of science fiction, Trillion Year SpreePaula Danziger (1944-2004) was a well-known author of children’s and young adult fiction; one of her most prominent books was her debut novel, The Cat Ate My GymsuitBrian Bendis, who turns 50, is best known for his work in comics.  He is the creator of a string of noirish comic series that all take place in a common universe, such as Jinx and Goldfish, as well as a prominent author for Marvel over the last 15-20 years.

Two Baseball Hall of Famers had birth dates today.  Roberto Clemente (1934-1972) spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and made 15 All-Star Games.  The first Latin American/Caribbean player to make the Hall of Fame, he was also known for his charitable work.  He died in a plane crash in December, 1972, when he was delivering aid to survivors of a huge earthquake in Nicaragua.  Burleigh Grimes (1893-1985) won 270 games in his career, but is best remembered as the last pitcher to legally use a spitball in the major leagues.  The pitch was banned in 1920, but a “grandfather clause” allowed pitchers already in the majors who used the pitch to continue to do so—Grimes was the last of those to remain active.

Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) was one of the leaders of the Corps of Discovery, also known as the Lewis & Clark Expedition, the first American journey through the western US, from 1804-1806.  He was later made Governor of the Louisiana Territory by Thomas Jefferson, but died of a gunshot wound, in somewhat mysterious circumstances, in 1809.

Last year our headliners were Madeleine Stowe and Edward Norton.  Their WTHH pages are here and here, respectively.

Madeleine Stowe’s most recent activity was a guest appearance on Syfy’s 12 Monkeys.  She turns 59 today.  Edward Norton, who is 48, starred in Collateral Beauty, out last December, and will be working as a voice actor in Wes Anderson’s upcoming Isle of Dogs.

Denis Leary was the creator and star of FX’s Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, which ended its second and final season last September.  He is turning 60.  Craig Bierko, who is 53, continues to be star on Lifetime’s Unreal, which returns for a third season early next year.  Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who is the recurring character Julius Rowe on Suits, is 47.  Andy Samberg remains a star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine as he turns 39, and was a producer and co-star of the just-released Brigsby BearSarita Choudhury, who is 51, continues to appear in the recurring role of Sofia Varma on BlindspotMartin Mull, who is 74 today, will appear in the upcoming film A Futile and Stupid GestureMaia Mitchell continues to star in The Fosters and is also in the upcoming Hot Summer Nights, which premiered at South by Southwest; she is turning 24.

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 18, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Christian Slater is not really one of my favorites, but he did star in two movies that I really like, Heathers and True Romance.

    Likewise, I’m not as big a fan of Robert Redford as I am of some other top 1970s stars such as Newman or Pacino, but he’s done some pretty important work. I like Three Days of the Condor when I’m in the mood for an intelligent thriller, and All the President’s Men captures the history it’s portraying very well.

    I am just old enough to have been aware of Roberto Clemente when he was still playing baseball, and to remember when he died. There were four great players, all of them right fielders, who entered the major leagues around 1954-1956, and all played into the early-mid 1970s. Henry Aaron was the best of them all, Frank Robinson would rank just a little behind Aaron, and the other two, both among the 6 or 8 best right fielders ever, were Clemente and Al Kaline.


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