October 11: Happy Birthday Stephen Moyer and Elmore Leonard


Stephen Moyer is turning 48 today.  He graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and worked in English theater for several years.  He began working in British television in the early 1990s, and made his film debut in 1997.  Two of his early film roles involved starring in a pair of period piece/swashbucklers, Prince Valiant (opposite Katherine Heigl) and Princess of Thieves (opposite Keira Knightley).  His subsequent film roles have been supporting roles for the most part—unlike his television career.

After around fifteen years of work in film and television, Moyer got his big break in 2008.  He was cast in HBO’s adaptation of Charlaine Harris’s The Southern Vampire Mysteries novels—titled True Blood for television—in the role of Bill Compton.  Not only did he remain with the series for its entire seven-season run, he ended up marrying his costar, Anna Paquin.  Since the end of True Blood’s run, Moyer has had major roles on FX’s The Bastard Executioner and Fox’s Shots Fired, before landing a starring role on Fox’s just-premiered The Gifted.

Elmore Leonard (1925-2013), one of the most talented and prolific authors of genre fiction of the last century, grew up in Detroit, graduated from the University of Detroit, and worked for an ad agency for a number of years while building a writing career on the side.  His first short story, “Trail of the Apaches,” was published in 1951, and for much of the fifties and sixties, he was known for Western fiction, such as the novels Last Stand at Saber River and Hombre.

At the end of the sixties, as the market for Western novels began to dry up, Leonard began the long list of novels that earned him the reputation as one of the finest authors of American crime fiction ever.  He was sometimes known as the “Dickens of Detroit” for his many memorable novels set in that urban area, such as 52 Pickup, Unknown Man #89, or City Primeval.  Another favorite Leonard setting was Florida, the scene of novels such as LaBrava and Rum Punch, while Out of Sight travels between both locales.

For sixty years, since the 1957 Westerns 3:10 to Yuma and The Tall T, Leonard’s fiction has been adapted to film and television over two dozen times.  We have had some discussion of the film adaptations here; the one thing that virtually everyone agrees on is that the “Big Three” of Elmore Leonard adaptations, at least when it comes to his crime stories, are the 1990s triptych of Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, and Out of Sight.

Sean Patrick Flanery is 52 today.  He played the title character on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, as well as in several direct-to-video and TV movies, and also is known for playing Connor McManus in the Boondock Saints films.  Also 52 is Lennie James, who plays Morgan Jones on The Walking Dead and is currently seen in Blade Runner 2049Claudia Black, who is turning 45, is best known for her work in sci-fi series; she was Aeryn Sun on Farscape and Vala Mal Doran on Stargate SG-1Bradley James, who starred on the BBC’s Merlin as Arthur Pendragon and more recently as Damien Thorn on A&E’s Damien, is 34.  Constance Zimmer, who is 47, has been an Emmy nominee in her current role as Quinn King on Lifetime’s UnREAL.

Amitabh Bachchan, one of the biggest stars in Bollywood, turns 75 today.  He has been nominated for a record 41 Filmfare Awards during his career, and has won fifteen times, several of them for Best Actor.  South Korean actress Bae Doo-na is celebrating her 38th.  She has starred in Korean films like Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and The Host, made her Hollywood debt in Jupiter Ascending, and is currently a regular on Netflix’s Sense8.

English actress Jean Alexander (1926-2016) was known for her two very long-running roles on British television, as Hilda Ogden for over 20 years on the soap opera Coronation Street, and as Auntie Wainwright for nearly as long on the sitcom Last of the Summer Wine.

Joan Cusack and Jane Krakowski were the headliners on this date last year.

Joan Cusack is turning 55 today.  She appeared earlier this year in Snatched, and was part of the cast of Brie Larson’s directing debut, Unicorn Store, which screened at Toronto.  She will return to the role of Jessie for Toy Story 4Jane Krakowski, who is celebrating her 49th, continues in her regular role on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Emily Deschanel, who wrapped the final season of Bones earlier this year, is celebrating her 41st birthday.  Matt Bomer, who is 40, starred as Monroe Stahr on Amazon’s The Last Tycoon, a short-lived series based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final novel.  Luke Perry, who is turning 51, is currently a regular as Fred Andrews on RiverdaleDavid Morse is 64; he recently starred on WGN’s Outsiders, which was canceled after two seasons.  Dawn French, who stars on the British series Delicious, is turning 60.

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 11, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. If you’re an X-Men fan, give The Gifted a look. It’s solid.


  2. I was never a True Blood viewer; in fact, the one thing I know Stephen Moyer from was Princess of Thieves, a very early Keira Knightley film (I think it was a British TV movie) about a daughter of Robin Hood.

    Elmore Leonard was a terrific writer, famous for his unpretentious, no-frills prose; I have read about 9 or 10 of his novels through the past few years, not to mention seeing a lot of those film adaptations of his books. As I noted, we had some discussion of those film adaptations here previously. My favorites remain that “big three” from the 1990s, with Out of Sight, narrowly, being my first choice. Life of Crime is also good, 52 Pickup is pretty good, and Killshot is at least watchable. If you are a fan of Westerns as well as crime films, you have a wider selection when it comes to good Leonard adaptations. Hombre is excellent, both versions of 3:10 to Yuma are very good, and so are The Tall T and Valdez is Coming.


  3. So, tomorrow is Hugh Jackman’s birthday, and in honor of it (and more to the point, owing to it not being the birthday of very many other celebrities), the birthday series will be taking another day off. 🙂


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