November 19: Happy Birthday Allison Janney and Laura Osnes
Seven-time Emmy winner Allison Janney is turning 58 today. She studied at Kenyon College, where she was in a play directed by Kenyon alumnus Paul Newman. She did further study at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and began her stage and screen career in the late 1980s. She had supporting roles in a long list of 1990s films, but her breakthrough didn’t come until the end of the decade. She starred in a 1998 Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, and received a Tony nomination. A year later, she was cast in the role of C. J. Gregg on The West Wing, and became the breakout star of the series, winning four Emmys in its seven-season run.
Janney also won a pair of SAG Awards and was a four-time Golden Globe nominee for The West Wing. She has had significant roles in films such as Juno, The Help, Liberal Arts (much of which was filmed at her alma mater, Kenyon College), and Spy. She received a second Tony nomination for starring in the original Broadway production of the musical 9 to 5. She received an Emmy for a guest appearance on Masters of Sex, and has won two more for starring as Bonnie Plunkett on CBS’s Mom, which recently began its fifth season.
One of Broadway’s up-and-coming stars, Laura Osnes celebrates her 32nd birthday today. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for a year, dropping out to work in regional musical theater in the Minneapolis area. Her big break came when she was chosen to participate in the 2007 reality series Grease: You’re the One That I Want! As one of the winners in the show’s competition, she made her Broadway debut as Sandy in the 2007 revival of Grease.
Osnes then went on to appear in the 2008 revival of South Pacific, replacing Kelli O’Hara in the role of Nellie Forbush when O’Hara went on maternity leave. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in the role of Hope Harcourt in the 2011 revival of Anything Goes, in which she costarred with Sutton Foster. She has been a Tony nominee for Best Lead Actress in a Musical twice, for the original production of Bonnie & Clyde, and a 2014 revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and won a Drama Desk Award for the latter show. This year she starred in the new musical Bandstand, and received her fourth Drama Desk Award nomination.
Barry Jenkins turns 38. The director and writer is best known for the 2016 Best Picture winner, Moonlight, for which he personally shared the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and received a Best Director nomination. Writer Paul Weitz, an Oscar nominee for About a Boy and a developer and executive producer of Mozart in the Jungle, celebrates his 52nd. Jason Scott Lee, who is 51, is known for starring in the early 1990s films Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (as the title character, no relation) and The Jungle Book (as Mowgli). Erika Alexander, who starred on Fox’s Living Single in the mid-1990s, is 48 today. One of her costars on Living Single was T. C. Carson, who is turning 59.
Charles I of England (1600-1649) is remembered as the king whose actions set off the English Civil War, which he lost, and for subsequently being executed by order of Parliament. James A. Garfield (1831-1881) was elected 20th President of the US in 1880, but served only a few months of his term. He was shot by lawyer Charles Guiteau in July of 1881 and eventually died in September of that year. Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) was no relation to Mahatma Gandhi, but was the daughter of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru; she was India’s prime minister herself for much of the period from 1966 to her assassination—by her own bodyguards, no less—in 1984.
The headliners on November 19 of last year were Jodie Foster and Meg Ryan.
Jodie Foster, who is turning 55, will be starring in an upcoming film titled Hotel Artemis, and directed an episode in the upcoming 4th season of the British anthology series Black Mirror. Meg Ryan, who is 56, made her directing debut with last year’s Ithaca, and also starred in the World War 2 era drama.
Kathleen Quinlan, who turns 63, stars in the upcoming ADDicted. Reid Scott, who continues as a regular on HBO’s Veep, is 40 today. Adam Driver, who is celebrating his 34th, appeared earlier this year in Logan Lucky, and will pick up Kylo Ren’s lightsaber again in The Last Jedi. Douglas Henshall, who turns 52, and Mark Bonnar, celebrating his 49th, will both return to their roles on the BBC Scotland’s Shetland, which begins a fourth season in December. Katherine Kelly, who is 38, has joined the season 6 cast of the Cinemax/Sky 1 series Strike Back. Sandrine Holt, who is turning 45, will star on ABC’s upcoming midseason drama The Crossing. Larry King continues to host television talk as he turns 84; his programs Larry King Now and Politicking With Larry King air on Hulu and other networks.
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.