November 12: Happy Birthday Ryan Gosling and Neil Young


Two-time Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling is celebrating his 37th birthday today.  The Canadian actor made his screen debut in the early 1990s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club and then worked in Canadian television as a teenager, starring on Breaker High and then on Young Hercules.  He made his first notable film appearance in Remember the Titans in 2000, and in the next few years began to build a solid filmography, with major roles in Murder By Numbers, The United States of Leland, and The Notebook, a romantic drama with Rachel McAdams which was his first major financial success.

Gosling received his first nomination for Best Actor for the 2006 indie film Half Nelson, and his first Golden Globe nomination a year later for Lars and the Real Girl.  He then took a sabbatical from film work, pursuing a music career as part of the indie rock band Dead Man’s Bones.  He returned to film with several starring roles in 2010 and 2011, including the romantic comedy Crazy Stupid Love, his first pairing with Emma Stone, and the contemporary noir thriller Drive.

Gosling received Golden Globe nominations for Crazy Stupid Love as well as Blue Valentine and The Ides of March.  In the past few years, he has re-teamed with Stone in Gangster Squad and La La Land, winning a Golden Globe and receiving his second Oscar nomination for the latter.  He also starred in The Big Short, The Nice Guys, and Blade Runner 2049, made his directing debut with Lost River, and will play astronaut Neil Armstrong in next year’s First Man.

Neil Young is turning 72.  He began playing in several bands while in school in Winnepeg, and while playing the local coffee houses he made the acquaintance of Stephen Stills and Joni Mitchell.  By 1966 he had moved to Los Angeles, where he, Stills, Richie Furay and a few others formed Buffalo Springfield.  They released three albums in their roughly two years together and had a Top Ten single with “For What It’s Worth.”

When Buffalo Springfield split up, Young embarked on a solo career, generally joined by a backup band credited as Crazy Horse.  He has released 38 studio albums in nearly 50 years of recording and touring; the latest, Hitchhiker, came out in September.  He has also periodically combined with Stills, David Crosby and Graham Nash to form the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY); they last performed together in 2013.  While he has, rather surprisingly, won only two Grammys in his career, he is one of the most influential rock songwriters of his time—surpassed, maybe, only by Bob Dylan—who is a major influence on country music at the same time as he is known as the “godfather of grunge.”

Angela Watson, who is 42, will be remembered by fans of the 1990s sitcom Step by Step for her role as Karen Foster.  She went on to become an advocate for the rights of child performers, having found that her parents had spent the bulk of her earnings from seven years on network TV.  Ben Aldridge, one of the stars of the British sitcom Our Girl, is turning 32.  French director Patrice Leconte turns 70 today.  He has directed films like Monsieur Hire (a finalist for the Palme d’Or at Cannes), Ridicule (which won Cesars for Best Film and Best Director and was a Best Foreign Language Film nominee), Girl on the Bridge (nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film), and Man on the Train (a finalist for the Golden Lion at Venice).  Nima Nourizadeh, who is turning 40, is an Iranian-born director who made his debut with the comedy Project X, and more recently directed the action comedy America Ultra.

Tonya Harding is turning 47.  The retired figure skater was a silver medalist at the world championships in 1991, and was the second female skater ever to land a triple axel jump in international competition.  Her on-ice record, however, will always be overshadowed by her involvement in the 1994 attack on her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, at the 1994 US Olympic Trials.  Margot Robbie plays Harding in the biopic I, Tonya, which premiered at Toronto and goes into general release in December.

Heading a diverse group of historical birthdays is Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), who was one of the organizers of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, which was the first major meeting of its sort to address the issue of women’s rights in the US, and a longtime activist for women’s rights and women’s suffrage.  Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) was a Chinese physician who served as the first president of the provisional government of the Republic of China in 1912.  Harry Blackmun (1908-1999) served as a justice of the US Supreme Court for nearly 25 years, during which time his most famous decision was the majority opinion in Roe v. WadeAlexander Borodin (1833-1887) was one of the five Russian composers known as the “Mighty Handful.”  He is remembered for his three symphonies and his tone poem In the Steppes of Central Asia.  French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is most famous for his bronze sculpture The Thinker.

Anne Hathaway and Grace Kelly were our headliners last year on this date.

Anne Hathaway, who celebrates her 35th, starred in the sci-fi comedy Colossal, which screened at Toronto in 2016 and was released earlier this year to favorable reviews.  She will star in Ocean’s Eight, which will come out next June, and in Steven Knight’s upcoming Serenity.

Megan Mullally, who is turning 59, has returned to the role of Karen Walker for the revival of Will & Grace, which not only has come back for a ninth season, but has been renewed for a tenth.  Radha Mitchell turns 44; her latest film was the religious drama The ShackAlexandra Maria Lara is 39.  She appeared in the sci-fi disaster film Geostorm, Dean Devlin’s directing debut.  Wallace Shawn, who is 74, was a voice actor in this year’s Animal Crackers and will appear in next year’s Book Club.

Richelle Mead is 41; her latest novel is The Midnight Jewel, out earlier this year.  Celtic musician Sharon Shannon, who released her latest album, Sacred Earth, earlier this year, is celebreting her 49th.  Russell Westbrook turns 29.  He completed a historic NBA season earlier this year, becoming the second player in the league’s history to average a “triple double” for the entire season—the first was Oscar Robertson—and winning the MVP award.

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 November 12, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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