September 11: Happy Birthday Brian De Palma and Amy Madigan


Brian De Palma is celebrating his 77th today.  He made his first feature, The Wedding Party, featuring a very young Robert De Niro, in 1963, but it was not released until 1969.  He made several documentaries in the sixties, and re-teamed with De Niro for the 1968 film Greetings, which won a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.  In the early 1970s, he made his first forays into the psychological thriller genre, films such as Sisters and Obsession that some have found Hitchcockian.

Then he became a pioneer of another sort, when in 1976 he directed the film adaptation of the first novel by a not-yet-world-famous Stephen King.

Carrie was a financial success and resulted in Oscar nominations for Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie.  His filmography since then has included several more of his psychological thrillers, such as Blow Out and Body Double, along with erotic thrillers like 2012’s Passion.  He has made a number of gangster films, such as the 1983 version of Scarface, The Untouchables, and Carlito’s Way, along with venturing into war movies (Casualties of War), big budget action (Mission: Impossible), and sci-fi (Mission to Mars).  He is now at work on his first feature since 2012, a crime thriller titled Domino starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Carice van Houten.

Amy Madigan is turning 67 today.  She graduated from Marquette and was the lead singer of a band for part of the 1970s, before beginning an acting career in the early eighties.  She was nominated for a Golden Globe for New Actress of the Year for her film debut in Love Child, and in 1984 she had prominent roles in Places in the Heart (in which she appeared with her husband Ed Harris—the two have been married since 1983), and as the mercenary McCoy in Walter Hill’s Streets of Fire.

Madigan was an Oscar nominee for Twice in a Lifetime, and won a Golden Globe for the TV movie Roe vs. Wade.  Her stage career includes well-received performances in an Off-Broadway production of Beth Henley’s The Lucky Spot, and on Broadway as Stella Kowalski in a revival of A Streetcar Named Desire.  Her other notable screen performances have included TV movies such as A Bright Shining Lie and Just a Dream, and features such as Field of Dreams (as Annie Kinsella) and Gone Baby Gone (as Bea McCready).

Earl Holliman, who turns 89, is remembered for winning a Golden Globe for The Rainmaker, appearing in films like The Big Combo and The Sons of Katie Elder, and for co-starring as Sgt. Bill Crowley on Police WomanJohn Curran, known for directing films like The Painted Veil and the upcoming Chappaquiddick, is turning 57.  Hayden Szeto, who turns 32, had a major role in the coming of age drama The Edge of Seventeen and will appear in the upcoming Truth or Dare.

Tommy Shaw, who is 64 today, is a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter best known for his work with the progressive rock band Styx; along with Dennis DeYoung he was one of their main songwriters in their heyday.  Charles Kelley, who celebrates his 36th, is a member of the Grammy-winning country trio Lady Antebellum.  Leo Kottke, who is 72, is a legend in folk circles as an acoustic guitar player known for his instrumental compositions.  English singer-songwriter Richard Ashcroft, who is 46, was the lead singer of the alt-rock band The Verve, and has had four solo albums chart at #3 or higher in the UK.

Moby (given name Richard Hall) turns 52.  A major figure in the dance-oriented subgenre of electronic music known as techno, Moby has sold some 20 million records worldwide and been nominated for six Grammys.

Tom Landry (1924-2000) became the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants of the NFL while still playing in the Giants’ defensive backfield.  During his time as a Giants’ assistant coach they won the 1956 NFL title.  In 1960, the NFL expanded, and the Dallas Cowboys hired Landry as their first head coach—and the only one they had for nearly 30 years.  Landry was one of the designers of the “4-3” defensive alignment that has been a standard in the NFL for over fifty years.

Jessica Mitford (1917-1996) was an English-born journalist and activist who spent most of her adult life in the US.  She is remembered for her reporting on the civil rights movement, for her investigative book The American Way of Death, and for her memoir Hons and RebelsEduard Hanslick (1825-1904) was a German musicologist and writer, remembered for his influential book The Beautiful in Music, and for being one of the first influential music critics.

A year ago, September 11 headliners were John Hawkes and Harry Connick, Jr.

John Hawkes, who turns 58, starred in Small Town Crime, which screened at South by Southwest, and in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which was shown at Venice earlier this month.  Harry Connick, Jr., who has been hosting his own syndicated talk show, Harry, since one day after his birthday last year, turns 50.

Tony Gilroy, whose most recent project has been writing and producing the upcoming High Wire Act, is turning 61.  Virginia Madsen, who celebrates her 56th, played Kimble Hookstraten in season 1 of Designated SurvivorScott Patterson is 59.  He starred in the indie film Yellow Fever and returned to the role of Luke Danes on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the LifeRoxann Dawson, also turning 59, is primarily a TV director these days, with recent credits on House of Cards and The AmericansChris “Ludacris” Bridges, who turns 40, has a ninth studio album in the works and returned to the role of Tej Parker in The Fate of the FuriousTaraji Henson, who starred as Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures, a Best Picture nominee, and continues to star on Fox’s Empire, is turning 47.  Laura Wright is also 47; she continues to appear as Carly Corinthos on General Hospital and was nominated for another Daytime Emmy.  Tyler Hoechlin, who turns 30, continues to make guest appearances on Supergirl as one Clark Kent, and appears in the new British thriller Stratton.  Also turning 30 is Elizabeth Henstridge, who continues to star as Jemma Simmons on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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 11, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Also born on this day:

    Carl Zeiss – the German inventor of the optical instrument
    Ferdinand Marcos – the notorious Filipino dicatator
    Arvo Pärt – Estonian classical composer and one of the figureheds of minimalism
    Mickey Hart – drummer/percussionist and musicologist, most famous for his stint in the Grateful Dead
    John Martyn – influential English folk musician
    Jon Moss – English drummer, most famous for being in the Culture Club
    Kristy McNichol – once famous American actress and teen idol
    Ted Leo – American singer/songwriter, the main man in Ted Leo & The Pharmacists; one of the leading lights in the Americana subgenre
    Ben Lee – cult Aussie singer/songwriter and occasional actor
    Éric Abidal – retired French defensive footballer, won titles for Lyon and Barcelona


  2. Just want to note that Kristy McNichol was not overlooked; she is in last year’s article.


  3. Brian De Palma is a pretty significant director, although not one of my favorites. Carrie is definitely a landmark in the horror genre. His “big” movies, such as Scarface and Mission: Impossible, have never blown me away.

    My favorite Amy Madigan role is as McCoy in Streets of Fire. The part was not originally written for a woman, but Madigan, as I understand, met with Walter Hill and essentially talked her way into the part.

    Tom Landry was one of the NFL’s most successful and respected coaches in the 1970s, taking the Cowboys to five Super Bowls, winning twice and losing two times to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a pair of epic battles. He may have held onto the job for too long, though; the game seemed to have passed him by by the mid 1980s.


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