November 13: Happy Birthday Gerard Butler and Steve Zahn


Gerard Butler, who as you can possibly tell from the above photo is Scottish, is celebrating his 48th today.  He studied law at the University of Glasgow and worked for a short time at an Edinburgh law firm, before beginning an acting career in a theatrical adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting (also the source for Danny Boyle’s film).  He made his film debut in Mrs. Brown in 1997 and appeared in a bit part in Tomorrow Never Dies the same year.

Butler moved to Los Angeles a couple of years later and began getting starring roles in films in the early 2000s.  Films like Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life and The Phantom of the Opera were high-profile productions, but not financial successes; however, he had a breakthrough in 2007 when he starred as the historical character of King Leonidas of Sparta, in a film that very, very loosely retold some historical events.

Whatever else 300 was (or wasn’t), it was a financial success, the biggest of Butler’s career to date.  In the past decade, Butler has held on to his leading man status, starring as an adventurous marine biologist in Nim’s Island, a Secret Service superagent in Olympus Has Fallen and its sequel London Has Fallen, the real life figure of Sam Childers in Machine Gun Preacher, and voicing Stoick the Vast in How to Train Your Dragon and its sequel.  He stars in the current release Geostorm and the upcoming Den of Thieves and Hunter Killer.

Steve Zahn is 50 today.  Zahn studied at the American Repertory Theater training program and was one of the founders of the Malaparte Theater company in 1991; one of the other founders was Ethan Hawke.  His first notable film role was in Reality Bites in 1994, and earlier in his career he was often found in “slacker-sidekick” roles, in films such as Out of Sight or That Thing You Do!  He won an Independent Spirit Award for his role in Happy, Texas.  One of the roles that helped him move away from being exclusively associated with comedy was as journalist Adam Penenberg in Shattered Glass.

Zahn has remained largely a supporting player, although he has had occasional lead roles, starring with Jennifer Aniston in Management, for instance.  He played Frank Hefley in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (which also featured Devon Bostick), has often been a sidekick in action films like Sahara and Rescue Dawn, and in recent years has appeared in critically acclaimed films such as Dallas Buyers Club and Captain Fantastic.

English actress Caroline Goodall turns 58 today.  She played Oskar Schindler’s wife in Schindler’s List and also had prominent roles in 1990s films like Hook and Cliffhanger; later she played Mia Thermopolis’s mother in the Princess Diaries films.  She has had a significant stage and television career in England—recently she played the Duchess of York in The White Queen and its sequel series, The White Princess.

Louis Brandeis (1856-1941) was an America lawyer and activist who led early 20th century efforts to regulate and control the excesses of free-market capitalism, and later became the first Jewish-American appointed to the US Supreme Court.  St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was one of the leading theologians and philosophers of the early Christian church, known for writing his autobiographical Confessions and the classic philosophy text The City of God.

The headliners one year ago today were Whoopi Goldberg and Garry Marshall.

Whoopi Goldberg, who celebrates her 62nd, continues to co-host The View on ABC, and received another Daytime Emmy nomination for doing so.  She appeared in the recent feature 9/11.

Joe Mantegna, who turns 70, remains a regular on Criminal Minds as David Rossi and makes occasional voice acting appearances on The SimpsonsDevon Bostick celebrates his 26th.  He has finished his regular role on The 100, as his character Jasper Jordan is dead; he appeared earlier this year in Bong Joon-ho’s OkjaNeil Flynn, currently starring on the final season of The Middle, turns 57.  Frances Conroy is 64.  She was a regular on the sole season of Spike’s The Mist, and has returned to American Horror Story for its seventh season, titled CultChris Noth, who turns 63, will star on the upcoming crime drama Gone, adapted from One Kick by Chelsea Cain.

Don Gordon (1926-2017), who passed away earlier this year, was in the cast of Legion, the director’s cut of Exorcist III released last fall.

Apologies to Jimmy Kimmel, who is 50 today, but we ran out of time. 🙂

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 13, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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