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September 4: Happy Birthday Damon Wayans and Whitney Cummings

0904WayansCummings

Damon Wayans, Sr., (as we should refer to him since Damon Jr. also has a fairly successful acting career going) is celebrating birthday number 57 today.  He is the middle brother of five, and one of nine siblings total, most of whom have had at least something of an entertainment career.  Damon Sr. began his career as a stand-up comic in 1982.  He appeared on Saturday Night Live for one season, and had prominent roles in films like Earth Girls Are Easy and The Last Boy Scout.  His first big success came with the Fox sketch comedy series In Living Color.  He and his brother Keenen were the series’ co-creators, along with being major members of the cast.

Most of Wayans’s subsequent career is discussed at length in his WTHH article.  That article, however, does not capture his recent comeback.  As of last fall he stars as Roger Murtaugh on Fox’s series Lethal Weapon, based on the film series of the same name.  The first season of the series was reasonably successful—while it received only mixed critical reaction, it did fairly well in the ratings, outdrawing every show in its timeslot other than Survivor.  The second season premieres later this month.

Writer, actress and comedian Whitney Cummings is turning 35 today.  After graduating from Penn, she moved to Los Angeles, where she began working in stand-up comedy and also for MTV’s Punk’d.  Within a few years she was being singled out as someone to watch in comedy by Variety and Entertainment Weekly.  In 2011, she created two sitcoms which were picked up by networks.  Whitney, which she also starred in, was canceled after two seasons on NBC, but she had more success with 2 Broke Girls, which finished a six season run on CBS earlier this year.

Jennifer Salt, who turns 73 today, was a reasonably well-known actress in the 1970s, starring in Brian De Palma’s Sisters with her onetime roommate Margot Kidder, and in the role of Eunice Tate on Soap.  More recently she has done a lot of writing and producing, especially on several of Ryan Murphy’s projects—she co-wrote the screenplay for Eat Pray Love, was a writer and producer on Nip/Tuck, and currently works in the same capacities on American Horror Story.

French filmmaker Cédric Klapisch is 56 today.  He has been nominated for nine Cesar Awards as a director, producer, and writer.  His most highly regarded films include Family Resemblances and The Spanish ApartmentKyle Mooney, who is 33, has been a cast member of Saturday Night Live since 2013, and also starred in and co-wrote the recent release Brigsby BearCharlotte Le Bon, a French Canadian actress known for films such as Yves Saint Laurent (for which she was a Cesar nominee) and The Walk, is 31 today.  Max Greenfield, who celebrates his 37th, has been an Emmy and Golden Globe nominee as Schmidt on New Girl.  Martial artist and actor Jason David Frank, known for his involvement in several versions of the Power Rangers franchise, is 44.  John DiMaggio, who is 49, is a voice actor who is likely best known for his Annie Award winning work on Futurama.

In sports, Dawn Fraser, the first swimmer in Olympic history to win a gold medal in the same event at three straight Olympics, is 80.  She won the women’s 100 meter freestyle at the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games.  Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, who is 76, made one All-Star game in his baseball career, but is very well known for his long career as a television announcer for the Red Sox, White Sox, and Yankees.

Director Edward Dmytryk (1908-1999) was known for his film noir work in the 1940s, making films like Murder, My Sweet (adapted from Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely) and Crossfire (which brought him a Best Director nomination).  After being blacklisted for a few years, he came back in the 1950s and directed such films as The Caine Mutiny, a Best Picture nominee, and the revisionist Western WarlockRoy William Neill (1887-1946) also made a film noir or two, but is best known for directing eleven of the Sherlock Holmes pictures starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.  Jennie Lee (1848-1925) was a 19th century stage actress who worked on a number of silent films in the last decade-plus of her life, including several directed by D. W. Griffith and John Ford.

A year ago, September 4 headliners were Beyoncé and Khandi Alexander.

Beyoncé is celebrating her 36th today.  Her latest album, Lemonade, received nine nominations for the 59th Grammys and won two, although she lost out on Album of the Year to Adele.  Earlier this year, she also gave birth to twins.  Khandi Alexander, who is 60, still makes recurring appearances as Maya Pope on Scandal.

Wes Bentley is turning 39.  He appeared in several episodes of the latest season of American Horror Story, and starred in the remake of Pete’s Dragon and the thriller Broken VowsIone Skye, who is 47, made her latest film appearance in the Netflix release XOXONoah Taylor, who joins the cast of season 2 of AMC’s Preacher, is turning 48.  Carter Jenkins is celebrating his 26th; he is a regular on Freeform’s Famous in Love.

For a musical finale for today, let’s close with a Grammy-nominated single from Beyoncé’s latest album.

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.

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Posted on September 4, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’m not especially familiar with the work of today’s headliners, although their current/recent TV projects both seem worth checking out.

    I was acquainted with some of Jennifer Salt’s film work in the 1970s—I’ve seen Sisters and one or two others—but I was not aware of how busy she has been of late as a writer and producer.

    Edward Dmytryk wasn’t really in the first rank of directors, but he made some interesting films. Murder, My Sweet, with Dick Powell as Philip Marlowe, may be the closest any film version has come to Chandler’s conception of the character. Crossfire has one of Robert Ryan’s great sociopath characters, and Warlock is an early case of a revisionist Western with a great cast—Henry Fonda, Richard Widmark, and DeForest Kelley in a supporting part all stand out.

    Like

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