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November 8: Happy Birthday Richard Curtis and Alain Delon

1108CurtisDelon

Writer and director Richard Curtis is turning 61 today.  He has a connection to both of yesterday’s headliners—he was born in New Zealand, like Lorde, while Lindsay Duncan had a prominent role in his film About Time.  He moved to England as boy and studied literature at Oxford, where he met Rowan Atkinson.  The two had a lengthy partnership in British television, working together on Not the Nine O’Clock News, Blackadder, and Mr. Bean.  Curtis also created the popular British sitcom The Vicar of Dibley.

Curtis began working in film when he wrote the 1989 film The Tall Guy, but really became known for his Oscar-nominated screenplay for Four Weddings and a Funeral.  He subsequently wrote the scripts for films such as Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s Diary, before making his directing debut in 2003 with Love Actually.

Curtis’s subsequent filmography includes writing and directing The Boat That Rocked and About Time.  His writing projects have included Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, War Horse, and the Emmy-winning TV movie The Girl in the Café.  Earlier this year, he wrote and directed the TV short sequel to Love Actually, titled Red Nose Day Actually.

Alain Delon celebrates his 82nd today.  After an inauspicious period of service in the French Navy—he spent a lot of time in the brig and was dishonorably discharged—he worked in a variety of jobs before joining his friend, actress Brigitte Auber, to visit the Cannes Film Festival.  There he ended up making the contacts that led to the start of his acting career.  He made his acting debut in the 1957 film Send a Woman When the Devil Fails, and soon had moved up to leading roles.

Delon had a breakthrough year in 1960.  He became the first actor to play Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley in an adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley that was titled Purple Noon, and also starred in the title role of Luchino Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers.  He starred in two further Italian classics of the early 1960s, Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Eclisse (with Monica Vitti) and Visconti’s The Leopard, before taking a stab at Hollywood stardom, unsuccessfully.  In 1967, he worked for the first time with Jean-Pierre Melville, starring as hitman Jef Costello in The Samourai, a film that has influenced the likes of Walter Hill and John Woo, to name a couple of examples.

Delon remained an active star well into the 1990s, and won a Cesar Award for Best Actor for Bertrand Blier’s Our Story, but his greatest work and greatest cultural impact was done in the 1960s.

Jessica Lowndes, who turns 29, is known for starring as Adrianna Tate-Duncan on 90210.  Keir O’Donnell, known for a variety of film and television roles including regular ones on My Generation and Sun Records, turns 39.  Azura Skye, who is 36 today, was a regular on Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane (as Jane Cooper) and Working the Engels, and made a memorable guest appearance on Buffy as Cassie Newton.

Kazuo Ishiguro, who is celebrating his 63rd birthday, is the most recent Nobel Prize winner for Literature.  His best known novels include The Remains of the Day, which won the Man Booker Prize, and Never Let Me Go.

Milton Bradley (1836-1911) was a pioneer in the board gaming industry and the founder of the company which bears his name.  Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922) is also a name that is remembered; he invented the psychological test that bears his name.  Dorothy Day (1897-1980) was an American journalist and social reformer who is remembered as the founder and longtime editor of the Catholic Worker newspaper.

Our November 8 headliners last year were Bonnie Raitt and Parker Posey.

Bonnie Raitt, who turns 68, has spent most of the last two years touring in support of her latest studio album, Dig in DeepParker Posey is celebrating her 49th.  She will appear in the upcoming caper film The Brits Are Coming and star on Netflix’s reboot of Lost in Space as Dr. Smith.

Alfre Woodard, who is 65 today, has several films out this year and is part of the cast of Disney’s remake of The Lion KingTara Reid, who returned to the role of April Wexler for Sharknado 5, is 42.  Gretchen Mol, who is 45, had a supporting role in Manchester by the Sea, and was a regular on season 1 of Hulu’s ChanceMatthew Rhys, who turns 43 today, received two Emmy nominations in the past year—for the second consecutive year for starring on The Americans, and for a guest appearance on GirlsDania Ramirez, who joined the season 7 cast of Once Upon a Time as Cinderella, is turning 38 today.  Genre-straddling singer Rickie Lee Jones, who is 63, does not have any new albums out, but is scheduled to release an autobiography next year.

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist (1960-2017) died earlier this year of lung cancer.  He had completed several upcoming films prior to his death, including two dramas involving submarines, Hunter Killer and Kursk.

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 8, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A couple of favorites of mine today. I first encountered Richard Curtis’s work, I think, in The Girl in the Café, and Love Actually is a favorite of mine which I rewatch every year around Christmas.

    Alain Delon was a good Tom Ripley in Purple Noon (the character has been well served on film), and terrific in The Samurai. He was one of the best examples of the kind of lead actor who went over well in the sixties—a European counterpart to McQueen or someone like that—and his Jef Costello was one of the prototypes for every cool hit man or gangster you’ve seen in film in the last 50 years.

    I hadn’t realized until I wrote this up that Michael Nyqvist had died. He will be missed—he was very good in the Millennium trilogy and a good villain in Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol.

    Like

  2. The birthday series is going to take tomorrow off, owing to a scarcity of potential headliners. Back on Friday.

    Like

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