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November 7: Happy Birthday Lorde and Lindsay Duncan

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Ella Yelich-O’Connor, known by her performing name of Lorde, is celebrating her 21st birthday.  Her singing career began when she and a friend won a school talent competition when she was 12.  Her friend’s father sent a couple of demo tapes to Universal Music Group, and she was signed by UMG later that year.  She began writing her own songs in the next couple of years and in 2012 self-released an EP titled The Love Club, which was followed by the release of one track from it, “Royals,” as a single—it reached #1 in the US, the UK, and several other countries, and brought the singer Grammys for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.

“Royals” was also included on Lorde’s first studio album, Pure Heroine, which came out in 2013, and was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album.  Three additional singles were released from the album, including “Team,” which reached #6 in the US.  Lorde then recorded “Yellow Flicker Beat” for the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1, and earlier this year released her second studio album, Melodrama, to critical acclaim.  She is currently in the midst of the Melodrama World Tour in support of the album.

Lindsay Duncan, who is turning 67 today, is the latest of several major theater stars we’ve had as headliners in the past few weeks.  She began working in British theater in the mid-1970s, spending several years with the Royal Exchange Theatre of Manchester.  She also spent some time with the Royal Shakespeare Company; her Shakespeare roles have included Viola in Twelfth Night, Mistress Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and the dual role of Titania and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  She starred as the Marquise de Merteuil in the original London and Broadway productions of Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, winning an Olivier Award and receiving a Tony nomination.  She later won both an Olivier and a Tony for starring in a revival of Noel Coward’s Private Lives; a portion of her performance was caught on some kind of video.

Duncan’s film career has largely been in supporting roles; some readers might recognize her for playing Helen Kingsleigh in the two Alice in Wonderland films, while she has also been in About Time, Birdman, and this year’s Gifted.  She has done a great deal of work in British television, and been nominated for a BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress three times.

Dakin Matthews, who turns 77, has had a long career in supporting parts on film, television, and stage.  He has had recurring roles on Gilmore Girls and Desperate Housewives, and played Mickey Goldmill on Broadway in Rocky the MusicalLucas Neff, who is 32 today, starred as Jimmy Chance on Raising Hope, and earlier this year was a regular on ABC’s summer series Downward Dog.  Indian actress Anushka Shetty is 36.  She works primarily in Tamil and Telugu films, is a three-time Filmfare Award winner, and earlier this year starred in Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, the second-highest grossing Indian film of all time.

Guy Gavriel Kay is 63 today.  The Canadian novelist first became known for the high fantasy trilogy The Fionavar Tapestry, published in the mid-1980s.  Since then he has written a variety of historical fantasies, generally set in analogues to particular times and places in history—The Lions of Al-Rassan, for instance, is set in a counterpart to Spain during the Reconquista.  Armstrong Sperry (1897-1976) was an author and illustrator of children’s literature.  He was best known for the Newberry Medal winning novel Call It Courage.

James Cook (1728-1779) was an English sailor and explorer remembered for his three voyages to the Pacific between 1768 and 1779.  He and his crew were the first Europeans to come into contact with the Hawaiian Islands, and in addition to his exploration work, Cook was one of the first seamen to successfully complete a long ocean voyage without significant casualties from scurvy.

Joni Mitchell and Herman Mankiewicz headlined last year’s article.

Joni Mitchell has been retired from recording and performing for several years.  However, last year, she received her ninth Grammy, for Best Album Notes for the compilation album Love Has Many Faces.  We wish her the best on her 74th birthday.

Judy Parfitt, who turns 82, remains a regular on the cast of the BBC period drama Call the MidwifeRebecca Eaton, the longtime executive producer of PBS’s Masterpiece, is turning 70.  Documentarian Morgan Spurlock is 47 today; his latest features include The Eagle Huntress (for which he was executive producer only) and Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, which screened at Toronto this year.  Twin brothers Jason and Jeremy London turn 45 today.  They both are working a lot in small-budget productions these days, and appeared together in a film titled Branded.

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.

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Posted on November 7, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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