August 27: Happy Birthday Tom Ford and Barbara Bach
Picking headliners for today was interesting. Tom Ford was a pretty easy choice given his multiple talents and mix of achievements, but a second choice was a little more difficult, until I decided that you simply can’t go wrong with a Bond Girl.
Tom Ford is turning 56 today. He attended several colleges before graduating from Parsons School of Design—his degree was in architecture but he was actually studying fashion design during his final year. He worked in the fashion industry for many years, at famous brand names like Perry Ellis, Gucci, and Yves Saint Laurent, and winning a number of awards. In 2006 he went independent and launched his own line of products. His list of celebrity clients has become quite lengthy; as one example, he designed Daniel Craig’s suits for the latest three James Bond films.
Ford started his own film production company in 2005. He produced, wrote, and directed his first film in 2009, an adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man. Although a first-time filmmaker, he was able to secure an excellent cast—Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Goode, etc. Firth received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor and the film received a number of accolades, including a nomination for the Golden Lion at Venice
Last year brought Ford’s second feature film, Nocturnal Animals, adapted from Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan. Once again, the cast was outstanding, featuring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal as leads, supported by Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and more. As with Ford’s first film, it was a Golden Lion nominee, and Michael Shannon was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Taylor-Johnson won a Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes, while Ford received nominations for directing and writing.
It’s Barbara Bach’s 70th birthday. She began working as a model in the mid-sixties, and married Italian businessman Augusto Gregorini in 1966. As a result, she began her screen career in Italian film and television. One of her films was a giallo (Italian style of horror film) movie called Black Belly of the Tarantula, which also starred Claudine Auger (Domino from Thunderball) and Barbara Bouchet (Miss Moneypenny in the 1967 Casino Royale). In the late seventies, she and Gregorini divorced. She met Ringo Starr when they were starring in the slapstick comedy Caveman, and the two married in 1981.
But of course, above all else, Barbara Bach is a Bond Girl. She will be remembered as Major Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Lived Me as long as people still watch the James Bond films (which is likely to be forever).
Patrick Adams is 36 today. One of the stars of USA Network’s Suits, who was nominated for a SAG Award for the show’s first season, he has also guest starred as Rex Tyler/Hourman on Legends of Tomorrow. Chandra Wilson, who is 48, is a four-time Emmy nominee and a SAG Award winner as Dr. Miranda Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy. Blake Jenner is 25; he won the second season of The Glee Project and then was cast in the role of Rider Lynn on Glee’s 4th and 5th seasons. Kyle Lowder, known for his roles on Days of Our Lives (for which he was a Daytime Emmy nominee) and The Bold and the Beautiful, is 37 today.
Our music birthday today is Daryl Dragon, who is 75. He is best known as half of the popular seventies duo Captain & Tennille, who had six singles reach #4 or higher on the Hot 100. He acquired his nickname when he was a backup musician for the Beach Boys; it was given to him by Mike Love, and stuck. He embraced it and took to wearing his trademark sea captain’s hat.
Historical figures born this date include Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973), the 36th President of the US. As President, Johnson presided over an era of change and tumult. He worked for, and signed, important legislation like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the legislation creating Medicare, just to name a few. However, his decisions about the prosecution of the Vietnam War led to deep divisions in the country. Johnson has been portrayed in film many times, including recently by Tom Wilkinson in Selma and Woody Harrelson in LBJ. Charles G. Dawes (1865-1951) was the 30th Vice President of the US, serving from 1925-1929. Many readers probably know of US Presidents winning the Nobel Peace Prize, but did you known that a Vice President has as well—Dawes was honored for his work developing a plan for the rescheduling of Germany’s World War I reparations.
We celebrate several birthdays today in the world of the written word. American novelist Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) is remembered for novels such as Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy, which offered commentary on early 20th century social conditions; the latter was adapted into the film A Place in the Sun. C. S. Forester (1899-1966) was famous as an author of historical fiction; he is remembered for his 12 novels about Horatio Hornblower of the Royal Navy, and also for The African Queen, adapted into the 1951 film. Georg Hegel (1770-1831) was one of the leading philosophers of his time and a key figure in the movement known as German Idealism. Lady Antonia Fraser is turning 85 today. She has written a number of mysteries with a journalist named Jemima Shore as their protagonist, and is also known for her biographies of historical figures like Oliver Cromwell, Mary Queen of Scots, and several more. She is the widow of the playwright Harold Pinter.
The headliners from one year ago were Aaron Paul and Paul Reubens.
Aaron Paul is turning 38 today. He stars on Hulu’s The Path, which was renewed for a third season earlier this year, and starred in the films The 9th Life of Louis Drax and Come and Find Me, which were released late last year. Paul Reubens, who is 65, has not had any major projects since Pee-wee’s Big Holliday was released by Netflix in March, 2016.
G. W. Bailey is turning 73; he stars on TNT’s Major Crimes as Lt. Louie Provenza. Charles Fleischer, who is 67, appeared in several episodes of season 2 of Starz Network’s Blunt Talk. Alexa PenaVega, who turns 29 today, has been getting a lot of TV movie work, such as Destination Wedding (aired in June) and the upcoming Enchanted Christmas. Sarah Chalke, who has most recently been a voice actress on Milo Murphy’s Law, is 41 today. Kayla Ewell is 32, and recently was a regular on the YouTube web series Me and My Grandma. Director Stephan Elliott turns 53; his latest film, Flammable Children, is in post-production. Cinematographer Robert Richardson has most recently worked on last fall’s Live By Night and the upcoming Breathe; he is 62 today.
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.