October 18: Happy Birthday Zac Efron and Freida Pinto


Zac Efron turns 30 today.  He began acting while he was still in high school; one of his early roles was a guest appearance on Firefly playing a young Simon Tam.  He then was cast as Cameron Bale on The WB’s Summerland; a recurring character at first, he was promoted to regular status for the show’s second and final season.  His breakthrough role came in 2006, when he was cast as Troy Bolton in what became a three film series, a Disney Channel movie with the appropriate title High School Musical.

In just over a decade since his breakthrough, Efron has worked steadily and been fairly successful, although he is not a first-rank star.  He has starred in romantic dramas like Charlie St. Cloud and The Lucky One, and in Richard Linklater’s period drama Me and Orson Welles.  He has also had a prominent role in the financially successful Neighbors films.  This year he has been seen in Baywatch and The Disaster Artist, and will costar with Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Show.

Indian actress Freida Pinto celebrates her 33rd today.  She worked for a few years as a model before being cast as one of the romantic leads in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, which was an international hit and won eight Oscars including Best Picture.  That probably remains her best known role to date, but she has had major roles in a variety of films since, including Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Immortals, Knight of Cups, and Andy Serkis’s upcoming Jungle Book.  She also appeared earlier this year in the Sky Atlantic/Showtime miniseries Guerrilla.

Nic Pizzolatto, who turns 42 today, was the creator of the HBO anthology crime series True Detective, for which he received Emmy nominations as a producer and writer.  He also wrote the screenplay for last year’s The Magnificent Seven, and has written the screenplay adapting his novel Galveston for the screen.  Arliss Howard, known for his roles in films such as Full Metal Jacket, Natural Born Killers, and Concussion, is 63 today.  Toby Regbo, who is 26, was one of the stars of The CW’s Reign, and played Jim Hawkins on a British miniseries adaptation of Treasure Island.

Whoa, Nellie, it’s Keith Jackson’s 89th birthday today.  Jackson began his career as a sportscaster in 1952, and during over fifty years in the business he covered baseball, basketball, the Olympic Games, and the NFL, but was best known for announcing college football.

Inger Stevens (1934-1970) was the star of ABC’s The Farmer’s Daughter in the mid-1960s and a leading lady in films like Firecreek and Hang ‘Em High, before her death of a drug overdose at 35.  Chinese-American actor Victor Sen Yung (1915-1980) had a long career as a character actor, including playing one of Charlie Chan’s sons in nearly twenty programmers in that durable series, and later appearing as the Cartwright’s cook, Hop Sing, on over 100 episodes of Bonanza.

Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736) is known for his long career as a general in the service of the Hapsburg Empire, including holding commands in several wars against the Ottoman Turks as well as in the War of the League of Augsburg and the War of the Spanish Succession against France.  He also left his mark on the landscape of Vienna, with his impressive palaces, the Stadtpalais (his winter residence) and the Belvedere complex (his summer home).

A year ago on October 18, our headliners were Wynton Marsalis and George C. Scott.

Wynton Marsalis is turning 56 today.  His latest album, The Music of John Lewis, recorded with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, came out in March of this year.  Chinese actress Zhou Xun has appeared in her first films in about 3 years this year, such as the acclaimed drama Our Time Will ComeJean-Claude Van Damme, our WTHH birthday, is still doing his kind of movies as he turns 57, such as Kill ‘Em All, which came out earlier this year.  Joe Morton is 70; he reprises the role of Dr. Silas Stone in Justice League later this year.  Television writer-producer Chuck Lorre, who is turning 65, has two new series this fall, Netflix’s Disjointed and CBS’s Young Sheldon, the latter a spinoff/prequel of The Big Bang TheoryCarly Schroeder, who appeared earlier this year in One of Us, celebrates her 27th.  Tyler Posey is 26; with Teen Wolf now ended, he will join the season 3 cast of Scream and appear in an upcoming horror film, Truth or Dare.

Finally, as today was the birth date of Lotte Lenya (1898-1981, covered in last year’s article), let’s recall a moment from her role in The Threepenny Opera (music by her husband, Kurt Weill, English lyrics by Marc Blitzstein).

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 18, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. My youngest discovered High School Musical earlier this year. I now know all the songs.


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