October 3: Happy Birthday Lena Headey and Neve Campbell


Lena Headey is celebrating her 44th birthday today.  She made her film debut as a teenager in the 1992 English film Waterland, and two years later had a prominent role as Kitty Brydon in Disney’s live action version of The Jungle Book.  For the next decade or so she worked steadily in supporting roles, but around 2005 she began to get some larger parts.  In 2005, she starred with Piper Perabo in the lesbian rom-com Imagine Me and You and was a heroine alongside The Brothers Grimm.  Since then she has played Queen Gorgo of Sparta in the two 300 films, starred in the Anglo-German production The Red Baron, and played the villainous Ma-Ma Madrigal in Dredd.

These days Headey is best known for her television work.  That side of her career also developed slowly, alongside her film career.   She largely worked in British television, with a handful of appearances in American TV movies and miniseries, until 2008.  That year, she was cast as the title character of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles; while the show lasted only two seasons, it did develop a loyal fanbase.  Headey’s best known television role began in 2011, when she was cast as Cersei Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones, for which she was nominated for three consecutive Emmys from 2014-16.

Yes, I know—some of you who are GOT fans probably wanted a different Cersei scene.  That one, however, would have been NSFW.

Headey shares her birthday with our other headliner today, Neve Campbell.  Most of Campbell’s career is covered in detail in her WTHH article, so we’ll just be hitting some high points here.  After working in Canadian film and television for a few years, Campbell first became well-known for starring as Julia Salinger on Party of Five beginning in 1994.  In 1996, she had her first major film roles.  She had a major role in the supernatural thriller The Craft, and then appeared in her most iconic film role, as one of the greatest of Final Girls, Sidney Prescott in Scream.

For a few years in the late 1990s, Campbell had a lot of buzz around her name, although other than the first 2 or 3 Scream films, she’s never been in a film that would even remotely qualify as a hit.  Wild Things has something of a cult following, but most of her filmography consists of small, indie-style films.  The most interesting may be The Company, which she co-wrote and co-produced, and which was partly inspired by her injury-shortened dance career.  Campbell lived in London for several years in the 2000s, making her West End debut in 2006.  She has had a nice comeback in the past two years, playing political consultant Leann Harvey on seasons 4 and 5 of House of Cards.

A third actress celebrates her 44th birthday today—Keiko Agena, who is best known for playing Lane Kim, Rory Gilmore’s best friend on Gilmore Girls.  Earlier this year she appeared in several episodes of 13 Reasons WhyJessica Parker Kennedy, who turns 33, is best known for playing Max on Black SailsSeth Gabel, who is 36, starred as Cotton Mather on Salem and was also a regular on season 4 of FringeAlanna Ubach is turning 42; she is a regular on Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce and played Serena McGuire in the Legally Blonde films.

Kevin Richardson is 46 today.  He is best known as a member of the boy band/dance pop group the Backstreet Boys, who are currently working on a ninth studio album.  American composer Steve Reich, one of the leaders of the minimalist movement in modern music, is celebrating his 81st.

Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938) was an America writer known primarily for a series of autobiographical novels, the first of which was Look Homeward, Angel.  Many of Wolfe’s contemporaries, such as William Faulkner and Sinclair Lewis, thought him the most talented American writer of his generation prior to his death of TB at 37.  James Herriot (1916-1995) was the pen name of Alf Wright, an English veterinarian who became well known in the 1970s for writing several collections of stories of animals and their owners.  They were published under various titles over the years; American readers would know titles like All Things Bright and Beautiful and All Creatures Great and Small.

Alicia Vikander and Gwen Stefani were our headliners on October 3 a year ago.

Alicia Vikander is turning 29.  This year she has appeared in Tulip Fever and in two films which recently screened at Toronto, Submergence and Euphoria.  Meanwhile, many readers have probably seen trailers for her big starring role for next year in Tomb RaiderGwen Stefani, who turns 48, spent much of 2016 on her This Is What the Truth Feels Like Tour, and also was involved in the animated feature Trolls, voicing the character of DJ Suki and performing on several tracks of the soundtrack.  Her holiday album, You Make It Feel Like Christmas, which includes several traditional numbers and some original compositions, comes out at the end of this week.

Director Denis Villeneuve, who is 50, directed last year’s Arrival, which received eight Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Director; his next film is Blade Runner 2049, which premieres tonight and goes into general release Friday.  Tessa Thompson turns 34; she played Charlotte Hale on Westworld and will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok.  She also will be featured in Annihilation, a sci-fi thriller adapted from the first of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy.  Clive Owen, seen earlier this year in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, is celebrating is 53rd.  Seann William Scott, who is 41, starred in the recent release Goon: Last of the EnforcersJack Wagner, who is 58, is a regular on the Canadian series When Calls the HeartLindsey Buckingham is turning 68.  He and Christine McVie released a studio album in June, titled simply Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie; they, and the rest of Fleetwood Mac, continue to tour regularly.  Blues artist Keb’ Mo’, who is 66, also released a collaboration album this year, TajMo (with fellow bluesman Taj Mahal).

I’ll give Lindsey Buckingham and the Mac the final word for today:

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

  1. I went with another pair of headliners who share a birthday today. Lena Headey has been around longer than some people might thing, since it took her over a decade before she started getting good parts on a regular basis. I thought she and Piper Perabo made a sweet couple in Imagine Me and You, and she was a good villain in the underrated Dredd.

    Neve Campbell, one of my past crushes, has had a nice run on House of Cards, but it seems, from what I have read (I don’t watch the show regularly) like it is virtually certain that her character is now dead (although there are those who insist “but they didn’t show the body”). It’s been nice to see her back in the spotlight the past two years.

    Denis Villeneuve seems to be in the middle of a very nice run as a director.

    I worked in my local public library when I was in high school in the mid-late 1970s, and I can remember how James Herriot’s books were extremely popular—the kind the library needed to get multiple copies of just to keep up with reader demand.


  2. Today’s birthday article is getting higher-than-normal activity(likes and retweets) on Twitter. Mostly seems to be Neve Campbell fans expressing their approval.


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