September 22: Happy Birthday Anna Karina and Joan Jett


Anna Karina turns 77 today.  The Danish-born actress (given name Hanne Karin Blarke Bayer), who became one of the biggest stars of French film, appeared in a Danish short film at the age of 14, and moved to Paris at 17, where according to some accounts she lived on the streets for a while before finding work as a model.  Director Jean-Luc Godard saw some of her modeling work, and ended up giving her a starring role in his film The Little Soldier.  This was the first of eight films that Godard and Karina made from 1960 to 1966 (during part of which time they were married).  Others included My Life to Live, Band of Outsiders, and Pierrot le fou.

Besides her work with Godard, Karina is known for her work with other French filmmakers like Jacques Rivette and Roger Vadim.  She has worked in German, Italian and English film as well, and made a handful of Hollywood appearances, including a cameo in The Truth About Charlie.  She has had a singing career, and sung in several of her films, has written and directed two films of her own, and is the author of four novels.

Joan Jett is celebrating her 59th birthday.  She began learning guitar at about 14, and when she moved to California with her family a year or so later, and in early 1976, she became part of the all-female, all-teenager rock band The Runaways.  The Runaways in their own time were not a big success (although they did have a substantial following in Japan), partly due to how they were marketed (one word: jailbait).  But more recently their music has been given some reconsideration on its own merits, setting aside the marketing tactics of their management.

After the Runaways split up in 1979, Jett moved on to have a lot of success recording and touring with her own band, The Blackhearts.  While “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” a #1 single in 1982, was her signature tune and biggest hit, she was by no means a one-hit wonder; she had nine additional singles reach the Hot 100 during the 1980s, two of them making the top 10.  Jett has made some film appearances, including starring in Light of Day, and even appeared on Broadway (in The Rocky Horror Show).  Kristen Stewart played her in the 2010 film The Runaways.

MyAnna Buring, the Swedish actress who has starred on the BBC series Ripper Street and their recent miniseries In the Dark, is turning 38 today.  Daniella Alonso, who is 39, has recently been a regular on Animal Kingdom and on NBC’s Revolution.  Serbian-American actress Catherine Oxenberg, who is 56, is best known for playing Amanda Carrington on Dynasty.

Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Lemon (1920-2000) was an ace pitcher for the Cleveland Indians in the forties and fifties, helping them win the World Series in 1948 and the American League in 1954.  Boxer Ingemar Johansson (1932-2009) was one of the top heavyweights in the world in the 1950s and held the world title from 1959-1960.  Lute Olson, who is 83 today, is in the Basketball Hall of Fame for his success as a college coach, primarily with the University of Arizona, who made four trips to the Final Four and won the national title in 1997 under his leadership.

Elizabeth Bear, who turns 46, is a prolific author of science fiction and fantasy.  In a little over a decade she has published over twenty novels, along with a lengthy list of short stories, two of which have won Hugo Awards.

Star Wars fans will recognize Richard Marquand (1937-1987) as the director of Return of the Jedi; he also directed the thrillers Eye of the Needle and Jagged EdgeMartha Scott (1912-2003) originated the role of Emily Webb in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town on Broadway and was an Oscar nominee when she reprised the role for the 1940 feature film.  Soprano Elisabeth Rethberg (1894-1976) was a star at the Met and in opera houses all over Europe in the 1920s and ’30s, particularly well known for her performances in several of Verdi’s operas.

Michael Faraday (1791-1867) was one of the most significant scientists of the first half of the 19th century.  His long list of accomplishments includes several experiments which considerably advanced our understanding of electricity and magnetism.

Our sci-fi oriented headliners a year ago were Billie Piper and Tatiana Maslany.

Billie Piper can look back on a very successful year as she turns 35.  She starred in a Young Vic revival of Federico García Lorca’s play Yerma, received outstanding reviews, and won all six of the major Best Actress awards given in English theater, including the Olivier Award.  She also continued her film career with the thriller City of Tiny Lights, and will be featured in the upcoming BBC/Netflix miniseries CollateralTatiana Maslany, who celebrates her 32nd, completed her fifth and final season of playing approximately 186 different characters on Orphan Black (okay, she really played “only” five major characters).  She was ineligible for this year’s Emmys due to the June premiere of the show’s fifth season, but there’s always next year.  She also stars in Stronger, which premiered at Toronto earlier this month and goes into general release today.

Bonnie Hunt, who turns 56, is doing mostly voice work these days, voicing Sally Carrera in Cars 3 and Aunt Tilly on Disney Channel’s Sofia the FirstMireille Enos is 42; she starred in the thriller Never Here, which premiered at the LA Film Festival, and on ABC’s The Catch, which was canceled after two seasons.  Rupert Penry-Jones, who was just seen recently on the last episode of The Strain, is turning 47.  Lawrence Gillard remains a regular on HBO’s The Deuce as he turns 46.  Tom Felton is 30 today; he has appeared in films such as Meagan Leavey and Feed this year.  Ukweli Roach, who is 31, has made his final appearance on Blindspot as his character died during season 2.

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 22, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I have seen 3 or 4 of Anna Karina’s movies with Godard. She is one of those European actresses who I find has an almost mesmerizing screen presence at times.

    With Joan Jett as a headliner, we now have three cases in the history of this series where we have a headliner who has been played on screen by another headliner. Joan Jett, played by Kristen Stewart, join the combinations of Maria Callas, played by Jane Seymour, and Marilyn Monroe, played by Michelle Williams.

    Last year’s headliners both had good years. Billie Piper emerged as a first-rate stage actress, while Tatiana Maslany, although not eligible for an Emmy, continued to get lots of raves for her performance on Orphan Black. Here’s hoping both their futures are bright.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joan Jett? Wow, I LOVE her. “I Hate Myself For Loving You”, The cover of “Crimson and Clover”? Come to think of it, Joan Jett has spent a career covering many songs, but I still think she’s pretty cool. but wait, when The Runaways were together, “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”? Yes!


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