September 10: Happy Birthday Joe Perry and Amy Irving
Joe Perry becomes our latest rock guitar great to headline in the series, as he turns 67 today. While he has done some recording as a solo artist and with the Joe Perry Project, he is best known for his work as a member of Aerosmith; except for a hiatus of about 5 years, he has been their lead guitarist, and Steven Tyler’s frequent songwriting partner, since the band’s founding. Aerosmith are one of the best-selling hard rock bands of all time, possibly the top sellers of all, depending on where you draw the line between “hard rock” and “not hard rock.”
Aerosmith came into existence in 1970 when Steven Tyler and his band at the time played at the same venue as Jam Band, which included Perry, drummer Joey Kramer, and bassist Tom Hamilton. The four decided to merge into a new band, and after about a year were joined by rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford in Aerosmith’s classic, and current, lineup. They had great commercial success in the seventies, went through some tough times during which Perry and Whitford temporarily left the band, and then reunited in 1984 to enjoy more success, receiving their first Grammy nomination in 1990 for a song written by Perry and Tyler.
In July 2016, Perry collapsed onstage at a concert with his side project group Hollywood Vampires, but recovered and has resumed touring with Aerosmith on their Aero-Vederci Baby! farewell tour.
For our next headliner, I found a very interesting old picture of her with Carrie Fisher and Teri Garr.
Amy Irving (on the left above) is celebrating her 64th today. She studied at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, began working in television in the mid-seventies, and made her feature film debut as Sue Snell in Carrie. While she never became a first rank star, she has had a variety of major film roles through the years, including an Oscar-nominated performance in Yentl, along with starring roles in films such as The Competition, Micki and Maude, and Benefit of the Doubt; she was also part of the ensemble cast of Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic. In 1988, she had a very good year, providing the singing voice of Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and receiving a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for Crossing Delancey.
Irving had some significant television roles; she was a Golden Globe nominee in the title role of the TV movie Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna, and played the recurring role of Emily Sloane on Alias. On stage, she had her first major Broadway role when she replaced Jane Seymour as Constanze in the original Broadway production of Amadeus, and won an Obie Award for a 1988 production of Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca. We have a little coverage here pertaining to the subject of why her career wasn’t bigger.
Canadian actress Elyse Levesque, who turns 32, has been a regular on Stargate Universe and on Cedar Cove, and more recently had recurring parts on The Originals and Orphan Black. Buffy fans will remember Harry Groener as Mayor Wilkins (“Well, gosh”); Groener, who turns 66, has a lengthy list of TV guest appearances and is a two-time Tony nominee for his work in musical theater. Pêpê Rapazote, the Portuguese actor who was a regular on season 3 of Narcos, is turning 47.
Antonio Hardy, known as Big Daddy Kane, turns 49. He is considered one of the finest hip hop MC’s of all time.
Baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson turns 54. “The Big Unit”—one of the all-time great sports nicknames—did not get emerge as one of the game’s most dominant pitchers until he was nearly thirty, but was a ten-time All Star and won five Cy Young Awards (the second highest total ever behind Roger Clemens), and retired with 303 wins. Sprinter Jim Hines, who is 71, was the first man to run the 100 meter dash in under 10 seconds—he won the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in 9.95 seconds, setting a world’s record lasting for fifteen years. Buck Buchanan (1940-1992) became the first African-American to be the #1 choice in a professional football draft when the Kansas City Chiefs, then of the AFL, picked him in 1963. He made six AFL All-Star teams, two Pro Bowls, and led the Chiefs to a win in Super Bowl IV, on his way to the Football Hall of Fame. Don “the Dragon” Wilson, who turns 63, was a champion kickboxer who made a number of film appearances. Most of them were in martial arts-oriented films, but he also was seen in Say Anything and Batman Forever.
Two of the great popularizers of science of our time were born on this date. Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist who was the co-developer of the influential theory of “punctuated equlibrium,” a major contribution to evolutionary biology. He also authored regular essays on science for a general audience, published for over 25 years in Natural History and regularly collected in books like Ever Since Darwin and The Panda’s Thumb. Jared Diamond, who celebrates his 80th, holds a Ph.D. in physiology, but is known for his books like The Third Chimpanzee and the Pulitzer Prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel, which collect insights from a wide range of disciplines.
September 10 headliners from last year were Colin Firth and Guy Ritchie.
Colin Firth has been keeping busy as he turns 57. He returned as Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Baby, and his Harry Hart may have been resurrected for Kingsman: The Golden Circle. He also appeared in the TV short Red Nose Day Actually and has several upcoming films, including The Mercy and Mary Poppins Returns. Guy Ritchie, who is 49, saw his latest directing effort, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, turn into one of the year’s bigger bombs. He is now working on a live action remake of Disney’s Aladdin.
Chris Columbus, who turns 59, is primarily a producer these days, as with last year’s Tallulah and this year’s I Kill Giants. Kate Burton, who continues to be seen as Sally Langston on Scandal, is 60 today. Philip Baker Hall is still working at 86; this year he has been in Person to Person and The Last Word, both of which premiered at Sundance. Ryan Phillippe celebrates his 43rd. He currently stars as Bob Lee Swagger on USA Network’s Shooter, adapted from Stephen Hunter’s novels and now in its second season. Luke and Harry Treadaway are 33. Luke starred earlier this year in a West End revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, while Harry is a regular on the Audience network series Mr. Mercedes. Dancer Misty Copeland remains a principal with the American Ballet Theater as she turns 35, and will be featured in Disney’s upcoming The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
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 10, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Amy Irving, Don Wilson, Guy Ritchie, Harry Groener, Jared Diamond, Joe Perry, Randy Johnson, Ryan Phillippe, Stephen Jay Gould. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.