October 2: Happy Birthday Sting and Samantha Barks
Our two headliners today both performed at a 2012 event called an Indoor Garden Party, sponsored and hosted by Russell Crowe and Alan Banks. However, the only pics from the event I found that included both of them were basically pictures of Sting, with Samantha off to the side and in the background.
Gordon Sumner, universally known by his performing name of Sting, is turning 66 today. In the early-mid 1970s, he worked for a time as a bus conductor, earned an education degree and taught school, and played with several jazz bands. In 1977, he joined Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers to form the new wave band The Police. Sting was the band’s bassist, lead singer, and primary songwriter. Before they effectively disbanded in 1984, they won six Grammys and had a dozen singles hit the US Hot 100, including one that reached #1 and won the Grammy for Song of the Year.
Beginning in 1985, Sting began a successful solo career. As a solo performer, he has incorporated a wide variety of styles into his music, including jazz, reggae, classical and more. He has won ten Grammys as a solo performer to go with six with The Police, and been nominated for four Oscars for best Original Song. In 2007 and 2008 he reunited with Copeland and Summers for the highly successful Police Reunion Tour. Sting has also had an acting career; his most notable role may have been Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in David Lynch’s Dune.
Samantha Barks is celebrating her 27th today. She released her first album, on an independent label, in 2007, but first became well known as a contestant on I’d Do Anything, coming in third. She was then cast as Sally Bowles in a British national touring company of Cabaret. However, the role she was most associated with in her first years of performing was Eponine in Les Misérables. Barks joined the cast of the West End production of Les Miz in June of 2010, sang Eponine in the 25th Anniversary concert peformance in October of that year, and then was cast in the 2012 feature film adaptation.
In the past five years Barks had continued working in film; she appeared earlier this year in Bitter Harvest and Interlude in Prague. However, her primary commitment seems to be to musical theater. She has played Velma Kelly in a Hollywood Bowl production of Chicago and Nancy Sikes in a UK touring company of Oliver! She has starred in productions of two musicals by Jason Robert Brown, The Last Five Years and Honeymoon in Vegas. Last year, she released an album blending show tunes and pop numbers, Samantha Barks. Most recently, she has been cast as Vivian in a musical adaptation of Pretty Woman, which is scheduled to arrive on Broadway next fall.
Brazilian-American actress Camilla Belle turns 31 today. In the mid-2000s she drew some notice for films like The Ballad of Jack and Rose, the thriller The Quiet, and a couple of years later the sci-fi thriller Push; however, since then her roles have largely been in low-profile films. Brianna Brown, who turns 38, played Taylor Stoppard on the first three seasons of Devious Maids. Taiwanese-American actress Michelle Krusiec starred on NBC’s Saturday morning show One World and in the lesbian romance Saving Face; she turns 43 today.
Nat Turner (1800-1831) was an African-American slave who led a slave revolt in 1831 that has taken its name from him. It was suppressed in just a couple of days, Turner and over fifty other blacks were executed, but the revolt had the effect of hardening the Southern states of the US on the slavery issue. Paul von Hindenberg (1847-1934) was one of Germany’s top military leaders in the First World War, and then was the Weimar Republic’s second elected President from 1925 until his death. He is remembered unfavorably for his indifference to preserving democracy and his role in facilitating Adolf Hitler’s eventual takeover of the government
One year ago our headliners were Lorraine Bracco and Groucho Marx.
Lorraine Bracco celebrates her 63rd. Her latest appearance was on Blue Bloods as the new Mayor of New York; it remains to be seen if this will develop into a recurring role, as previous mayors have been on the series. Writer and producer Terence Winter, who is 57, was the creator of HBO’s Vinyl, which ran for one season, and is the writer of a biopic of Andy Warhol scheduled to star Jared Leto. Maribel Verdu continues to be a fixture in Spanish film as she turns 47; her latest film was Abracadabra. Kelly Ripa, also 47, continues to host Live with…; currently it is Live with Kelly and Ryan as she was joined by new cohost Ryan Seacrest earlier this year. Tara Lynne Barr continues to be a regular on Hulu’s Casual as she turns 24. Last fall, Gillian Welch, who is turning 50, commemorated the 20th anniversary of her first album by releasing Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg.
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.