September 3: Happy Birthday Charlie Sheen and Noah Baumbach


Carlos Estévez, better known as Charlie Sheen, is turning 52 today.  The youngest son of actor Martin Sheen, he made a few uncredited appearances in his father’s films in the 1970s, before emerging as a prominent young star in the eighties. Between 1984 and 1990, he had major roles in Red Dawn, Lucas, Platoon, Young Guns, and The Rookie, to name a few—along with a famous cameo in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  Maybe his most famous role was as Bud Fox in Wall Street.

Sheen continued working in film throughout the 1990s, but in less prestigious movies and poorer parts.  But just as people might have been about to write him off, he made a comeback on television.  After replacing Michael J. Fox as the star of Spin City for its final seasons, he landed the lead role of Charlie Harper on Two and a Half Men.  He headlined the hit series for eight seasons and was a three-time Emmy nominee.  After his firing from that show, he bounced back again as the star of Anger Management.  Earlier this year, Sheen appeared in his first feature film in four years, Mad Families.

Sheen’s array of personal problems are among the most well known of anyone in the entertainment world—in last year’s article, I observed that “he seems to be a magnet for bad publicity.”  The disclosure of his being diagnosed with HIV, however, may have generated some sympathy for the troubled actor.

Independent filmmaker Noah Baumbach celebrates his 48th today.  He comes from a literary family—his father is novelist and film critic Jonathan Baumbach.  After graduating from Vassar, he worked briefly for The New Yorker, before writing and directing his first feature, Kicking and Screaming, which came out in 1995.  He followed that up two years later with Mr. Jealousy.  He then spent much of the next eight years—aside from co-writing Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou—trying to get funding for a film that was at least partly autobiographical.  When The Squid and the Whale finally came out in 2005, Baumbach received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

While none of Baumbach’s subsequent features have brought him additional Oscar notice, they have received a lot of recognition of the film festival award, film critic society award, and indie film award varieties.  Greenberg, for instance, was nominated for the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, as well as several Independent Spirit Awards including Best Feature.  Mistress America, which he co-wrote with Greta Gerwig, received a lot of screenwriting award nominations.  Baumbach’s latest, The Meyerowitz Stories, was screened at Cannes earlier this year.

Maria Bamford turns 47 today.  She has been working as a comedian for around 20 years, and currently stars, as a fictionalized version of herself, on Netflix’s Lady DynamiteHolt McCallany, who is 54, is also a regular on a Netflix series, starring on Mindhunter as Bill Tench.  Paz de la Huerta, a regular on the first two seasons of Boardwalk Empire, is 33 today.  Ashley Jones, who celebrates her 41st, is best known for her soap opera work, particularly her long run on The Bold and the Beautiful as Bridget Forrester (she succeeded Jennifer Finnigan in the role).

English-born playwright Caryl Churchill is turning 79.  She has won several Obie Awards in playwriting categories and one of her plays, Serious Money, is also an Olivier Award winner for Best New Play.  Kiran Desai, who is 46, is an Indian novelist best known for her book The Inheritance of Loss, which won the Man Booker Prize for 2006.

Shaun White, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding in the men’s halfpipe, is 31 today.  He is also a 13-time gold medalist in snowboarding at the Winter X Games.

Finally, our “hall of infamy” birthday today is James “Whitey” Bulger.  Bulger, who is 88 today, was a leading figure in the Boston mob for several decades, and then a fugitive who evaded the FBI for over 16 years until his 2011 arrest.  Johnny Depp played Bulger in the 2015 film Black Mass.

A year ago on this date, Garrett Hedlund and Eileen Brennan were the headliners.

Garrett Hedlund, who is 33, co-starred in last fall’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, and had a major role in Mudbound, which premiered at Sundance and will stream on Netflix this fall.  Pauline Collins is 77.  The stage great starred opposite Dame Joan Collins (no relation) in the road comedy The Time of Their Lives, out earlier this year.  Clare Kramer, who celebrates her 43rd, will be in an indie film titled The Griddle House, also slated to feature her fellow Buffy veterans Amber Benson and Charisma Carpenter.  Nick Wechsler, who plays the recurring role of Eddie Rixton on Chicago PD, is 39.

Finally, while I covered singer and actress Kitty Carlisle (1910-2007) in last year’s article, it’s worth recalling her role in a film that we had some recent coverage of at this blog.

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 September 3, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Wow, Charlie Sheen: honestly, I’ve always kind of liked him. He seems good with guys (sports players, general guy buddies), but terrible with women (he’s seemed to have tried it all and it’s just been a disasterpiece). However, I feel there’s something about him that draws me in (especially a film like 1987’s “No Man’s Land”; I think that’s Charlie Sheen acting, but still being Charlie Sheen, without COMPLETELY being Charlie Sheen) , and, like Ally Sheedy, he wrote a book of poems (unlike her work, I’ve never read “A Peace of My Mind”).
    James “Whitey” Bulger, yeah, I followed his story for years. It seems he ruled South Boston with an iron fist for years (he had a political brother as well). Weird wow he got busted; his girlfriend got her hair done at this one saloon a lot, and it looks like things happened from there).


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