August 21: Happy Birthday Hayden Panettiere and Kacey Musgraves
One of our headliners today stars as a country singer on Nashville. The other is a rising star of country music who has guest starred on Nashville. I actually found a photo of Hayden and Kacey taken when the latter made that guest appearance, but it was not very good.
It’s Hayden Panettiere’s 28th birthday today. The daughter of a soap opera actress, she had regular roles on One Life to Live and Guiding Light during the 1990s, and at the end of the decade had small parts in the feature films Message in a Bottle and Remember the Titans. She became well known in the late 2000s for playing the virtually indestructible cheerleader, Claire Bennet, on NBC’s Heroes. She was the title character in the film adaptation of Larry Doyle’s I Love You, Beth Cooper and also has had prominent roles in Scream 4 and The Forger.
In 2012 Panettiere began starring on Nashville as the aspiring country superstar Juliette Barnes. Nashville aired for four seasons on ABC and now is carried on CMT; it was renewed for a sixth season. Panettiere has been nominated twice for Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actress during the show’s run, and the series has also given her something of a music career, as several of the songs she has recorded for the soundtrack albums have become successful singles.
Kacey Musgraves is celebrating her 29th today. She began writing songs, and learning mandolin and guitar, as a young girl. She made some independent, self-released albums as a teen and appeared on the fifth season of USA Network’s Nashville Star. In 2012 she was signed by Mercury Nashville, and her first studio album, Same Trailer Different Park, came out a year later. It reached #1 on the Country chart and brought her a pair of Grammys.
Since then Musgraves has released a second studio album, Pageant Material, which also reached #1, as well as a Christmas album. She has toured as an opening act for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Katy Perry, and George Strait, and headlined her own Same Tour Different Trailer tour in 2016. Several of her singles have hit the US Country chart, including the one which won her a Grammy for Best Country Song.
Annet Mahendru turns 28 today. She plays Nina Kriolva on The Americans, and has appeared in the indie features Escape from Tomorrow and Bridge and Tunnel. RJ Mitte, who is 25, is best known for playing Walter White, Jr., aka Flynn, on Breaking Bad; Mitte, like his character, has cerebral palsy. Nathan Jones, who is turning 48, is an Australian wrestler who is sometimes cast in film when an enormous henchman character is needed, such as Rictus Erectus in Mad Max: Fury Road.
Usain Bolt is celebrating his 31st. “Lightning Bolt” is often considered the greatest sprinter in track and field history, and is renowned for his “triple double” of winning the men’s 100 and 200 meter dashes at three consecutive Olympics, from 2008-2016. He holds the world records in both races as well.
Frank Perry (1930-1995) was a prominent independent filmmaker of the sixties and seventies, known for films like David and Lisa and The Swimmer. He was also the director and writer of the multiple-Razzie “winner” Mommie Dearest.
Students of the American Revolution would recognize the name of Banastre Tarleton (1754-1833) who was famous, or infamous, depending on your perspective, as the leader of the Loyalist British Legion, and for his ruthless approach to the war. Tarleton’s Legion, however, was nearly destroyed by Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens. Tarleton was the model (a loose one) for the character of Col. Tavington in The Patriot, and was a character in the movie Amazing Grace, played by Ciaran Hinds.
On this day a year ago, our headliners were Kim Cattrall and Kenny Rogers.
Kim Cattrall is turning 61. Her most recent projects have included starring on the HBO Canada series Sensitive Skin and a BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Witness for the Prosecution. Kenny Rogers, who is 79, is in the final stages of his farewell concert tour, which will conclude later this year.
Alicia Witt is celebrating her 42nd. She seems to have made her last appearance as Autumn Chase on Nashville, but she returned to the Twin Peaks revival as Gersten Hayward for at least one episode and appears to have one or two feature film projects that are ongoing. Carrie-Anne Moss, who is seen regularly as Jeri Hogarth on Jessica Jones and other related MCU television series, is turning 50.
Finally, today was the birth date of one of the leading figures of Termite Terrace, the Warner Brothers cartoon production facility, Friz Freleng (1906-1995), so how about a look back at one of his cartoons:
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.