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September 26: Happy Birthday Jill Soloway and George Gershwin

0926SolowayGershwin

Two-time Emmy winner Jill Soloway, known as a television producer, director and writer, and also as a playwright, novelist and comedian, is turning 52 today.  After studying at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Soloway began a television career as writer for series like Baby Blues and Nikki.  They then moved on to work as a writer and executive producer for HBO’s Six Feet Under (Soloway is on record as preferring to be referred to by the “singular they” pronoun).

Soloway has written and directed two films, the short Una Hora Por Favora and the feature Afternoon Delight, winning the Directing Award at Sundance for the latter.  They also wrote the novella Jodi K and co-created the Amazon series I Love Dick.  However, Soloway is best known as the creator of another Amazon web series, Transparent, which just had its fourth season premiere.  They have won two Emmys for directing on Transparent, which has received eight Emmys total in its first three seasons and is the first Amazon series to win a major award.

George Gershwin (1898-1937) grew up in Brooklyn and Manhattan, learned piano at a fairly early age, and dropped out of school at fifteen to work as a song plugger.  Within two years he had sold a song of his own for the first time—but far from the last.  He had his first nationwide hit song at twenty-one, and in 1924 he and his older brother Ira collaborated—George composing, Ira writing the lyrics—on the musical Lady Be Good; the original production starred Fred Astaire and his sister Adele.

Gershwin is one of the most important and original American composers of “serious” music—orchestral music and opera.  His jazz-influenced compositions, especially Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, and the opera Porgy and Bess, are some of the most important American contributions to world music.  But he also remained a man of the theater.  He and Ira continued to collaborate on musicals, the most famous of which is Of Thee I Sing, the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  In his last years, before his death at 38 of a brain tumor, he also moved into scoring for films such as the Astaire/Rogers musical Shall We Dance.

Mary Beth Hurt turns 71 today.  She was a three-time Tony nominee during the seventies and eighties, and received a BAFTA Award nomination for her film debut in Woody Allen’s Interiors.  Her other major films include The World According to Garp, Parents, and The Dead GirlPhilip Bosco, who is 87, has had a long stage career that has brought him six Tony nominations, with a win for Best Actor in a Play for Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor.  He has also had a long screen career and has won a Daytime Emmy.

Sheri Moon Zombie, who turns 47, is known for her collaboration with her husband, director and heavy metal musician Rob Zombie, on both music videos and horror films like House of 1000 Corpses and The Lords of SalemTalulah Riley, who is 32 today, is known for playing Annabelle Fritton in two St. Trinian’s films and more recently as Angela on Westworld (she has been moved from recurring to regular status for season 2).  Emma Rigby, who celebrates her 28th, was a regular on Hollyoaks for over four years and more recently played the Red Queen on ABC’s Once Upon a Time in WonderlandCharlotte Spencer, who starred on the recent BBC horror series The Living and the Dead, is turning 26.

John Chapman, known as Johnny Appleseed (1774-1845), was a pioneer of American conservation, as well as an early American folk hero.  He spent much of his adult life introducing apple tree cultivation across several states of the old Midwest region.

On this day a year ago, our headliners were Linda Hamilton and Olivia Newton-John.

Linda Hamilton is turning 61 today.  There was some recent buzz around the news that Hamilton will be returning to the Terminator franchise as Sarah Connor in the as-yet untitled sixth film.  Olivia Newton-John, who is 69, released two albums near the end of last year, Liv On and Friends for Christmas.  However, earlier this year she some bad news when she found that her breast cancer had returned.

Jim Caviezel, whose latest film The Ballad of Lefty Brown will be out in December, turns 49 today.  Melissa Sue Anderson, who is 55, will be doing her first film work in several years in the upcoming The Brits are ComingShawn Stockman of Boyz II Men is 45 today; the R&B band has a new album, Under the Streetlight, coming out next month.  Director David Slade, most recently an executive producer and director on Starz’ adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, is turning 48.  Lysette Anthony, who is 54, is our second Hollyoaks birthday today; she plays Marnie Nightingale.  She also appeared in the British crime film We Still Steal the Old WaySerena Williams, who celebrates her 35th, won the Australian Open earlier this year and gave birth to daughter Alexis on the 1st of this month.  Carlene Carter, who collaborated with John Mellencamp on his recent album Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, is turning 62.

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 26, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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