October 28: Happy Birthday Joaquin Phoenix and Matt Smith


Three-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix is celebrating his 43rd today.  He began acting in a couple of TV guest appearances with his older brother River, and made his feature film debut in Space Camp in 1986 (billed, as he often was early in his career, as Leaf Phoenix).  Later in the decade he starred in Russkies and had a supporting role in Parenthood, but then took several years off from film, a period punctuated by River’s 1993 death.

Joaquin returned to film in 1995 in a significant role in To Die For and then starred with Liv Tyler in Inventing the Abbotts.  In the next several years he had starring roles in films like Clay Pigeons and Buffalo Soldiers, and prominent supporting parts in the likes of The Yard and Signs.  Most significantly, he picked up his first two Oscar nominations, for Best Supporting Actor for Gladiator, and five years later for Best Actor for Walk the Line.

Phoenix took some time off beginning in the late 2000s.  Between 2008 and 2012, he appeared in only one feature, the mockumentary I’m Still Here.  He returned to regular film work in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, for which he received another Best Actor nomination.  His starring roles since then have included Inherent Vice, Irrational Man, and this year’s You Were Never Really Here, and he will star with Rooney Mara in the upcoming Mary Magdalene.

Matt Smith is turning 35 today.  He made his professional acting debut while still attending the University of East Anglia, playing Thomas Becket in a National Youth Theatre production of Murder in the Cathedral.  He made his screen debut in pair of British television adaptations of two of Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart novels (interestingly, in light of his future career, they starred Billie Piper).  His career in feature films has included Bert and Dickie, Terminator: Genisys, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  He currently plays Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, on The Crown, and will star in the upcoming Mapplethorpe as the title character.  But his best known role is still probably as the Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who; Smith was the youngest actor ever to play an incarnation of the Doctor.

Jake Kasdan is 43 today.  He made a few acting appearances as a child and teen in his father Lawrence’s films, and made his debut as a writer and director with Zero Effect in 1998.  He has subsequently directed films like Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Bad Teacher, and this year’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.  He has also worked on television as a director and producer on series like New Girl and Fresh Off the Boat.

Chris Bauer, who is 51 today, is currently a regular on HBO’s The DeuceMichael Stahl-David, who starred in Cloverfield and plays Robert F. Kennedy in the upcoming LBJ, and is a regular on season 3 of Narcos, is 35.  Joe Thomas, who celebrates his 34th, is known for starring on the British sitcom The Inbetweeners and in its feature film follow-ups, and currently stars on the BBC’s White Gold.

Bowie Kuhn (1926-2007) was the fifth Commissioner of Baseball, holding the position from 1969-1984.  During his tenure he saw baseball go through the upheaval created by free agency and dealt with disputes with owners like Charles O. Finley and Ted Turner.  Today is the most likely birth date of Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), also known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, who was one of the leading intellectual figures of the Renaissance.  A priest and philosopher, he was known for writing books like In Praise of Folly, as well as for a scholarly edition of the New Testament in both Greek and Latin.

Last year’s very full article on this date featured Julia Roberts and Jane Alexander as headliners.

Julia Roberts celebrates her 50th.  She was featured in last year’s Money Monster and stars in the upcoming film Wonder, and on a new Amazon series, Homecoming, created by Sam EsmailJane Alexander, who turns 78, made her first feature film appearance in about four years in Three Christs, which screened at Toronto.

Annie Potts, who is 65, had a cameo last year in Ghostbusters, and starred in Two for One and the upcoming Happy AnniversaryDaphne Zuniga, who celebrates her 55th, has made a number of TV movies in the last two years and also keeps busy with her environmental activism.  Lauren Holly, seen earlier this year in the horror film The Blackcoat’s Daughter, is 54.  Andy Richter, who is 51, continues to cohost Conan and appeared earlier this year in Girlfriend’s DayKevin Macdonald, who celebrates his 50th, is working on a documentary about Whitney Houston.

Gwendoline Christie, who turns 39 today, will return as Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, while her character on Game of Thrones, Brienne of Tarth, is still alive (no mean feat on that series).  Troian Bellisario, who is 32, wrote, produced and starred in this year’s Feed and will appear in Richard Linklater’s upcoming Where’d You Go BernadetteFinn Wittrock, who is 33, had a small role in La La Land and will appear in A Futile and Stupid GestureNolan Gould is 19; he returns to the role of Luke Dunphy on Modern FamilyBrad Paisley, who is turning 45, released his eleventh studio album, Love and War, earlier this year, and has been busy with his Weekend Warrior World Tour.  Novelist Anne Perry is 79.  She has begun a new series featuring Daniel Pitt, son of her longtime protagonists Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, with the novel Twenty-One Days.

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 28, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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