November 25: Happy Birthday Dougray Scott and Charlaine Harris


Scottish actor Dougray Scott is turning 52 today.  After completing his university education he worked in theater for several years before beginning his screen career.  His first major role was as a regular on series 5 of the British drama Soldier Soldier in 1995.  Film audiences first really became aware of him when he starred opposite Drew Barrymore as Prince Henry, in the Cinderella retelling Ever After.  In 2000, he played the primary villain in Mission: Impossible 2, and a year later he starred in the World War 2 thriller Enigma with Kate Winslet.

At that point in his career, Scott seemed like he was establishing himself as a star, but these days it’s more likely that people have heard of the roles he missed out on—when M:I-2 went over the schedule during filming, he had to drop out of the role of Wolverine in X-Men, while he was also rumored to be a replacement for Pierce Brosnan as James Bond (how credible those rumors were is not a subject I have time to research).  At any rate, within a few years he was relegated to playing supporting roles, generally in lower-profile films, although he did play Arthur Miller in My Week With Marilyn.  His most recent gig has been as a regular on Crackle’s Snatch, which premiered in March of this year and was renewed for a second season.

Novelist Charlaine Harris is celebrating her 66th.  She grew up in the Mississippi Delta area, and began writing plays while attending Rhodes College in Tennessee.  Her first novel, Sweet and Deadly, was published in 1981, but it wasn’t until the start of the 1990s that she began writing her first well-known books, the Aurora Teagarden series, about a librarian who is part of a club of amateur sleuths.  The Shakespeare series, featuring another amateur detective, Lily Bard, followed, as did the Harper Connelly and Midnight, Texas series.

Harris’s most successful books, however, were the Southern Vampire Mysteries, featuring telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse.  The first in the series, Dead Until Dark, came out in 2001 and won an Anthony Award; by the time Harris brought it to a close, it had reached thirteen novels and eighteen short stories.  HBO developed the novels into the series True Blood, which ran for seven seasons and starred Anna Paquin as Sookie.

In addition to True Blood, Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series was adapted into a series of Hallmark TV movies starring Candice Cameron Bure, while NBC’s Midnight, Texas was a summer series earlier this year—no word at present on whether it will get a second season.

Natalia Cordova-Buckley, who plays Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (she will be a regular as of season 5), and also in the online miniseries Slingshot, is 35 today.  Amy Seimetz, who turns 36, is best known as the co-creator of Starz’s The Girlfriend ExperienceTracey Walter, who turns 70, may be remembered for roles such as Conan’s sidekick Malak in Conan the Destroyer and Bob the Goon in BatmanMark Frost, who turns 64, was the co-creator of Twin Peaks along with David Lynch, wrote the screenplays for the two mid-2000s Fantastic Four films, and has written a number of novels.

Last year’s November 25 headliners were Joel Kinnaman and Ricardo Montalban.

Joel Kinnaman is turning 38 today.  He has been a regular on House of Cards as Governor Will Conway for the last two seasons, but that part of his career is now in limbo, as Netflix suspended production of season 6 after Kevin Spacey’s firing.  On the good news side, he has been announced as the lead of another upcoming Netflix series, an adaptation of Richard K. Morgan’s novel Altered Carbon.

Jill Hennessy, who will star in the upcoming Canadian series Crawford, celebrates her 49th.  Christina Applegate, who turns 46, returns to her role of Gwendolyn James for A Bad Moms Christmas (apparently with a smaller part than the first film).  Billy Burke turns 51; his CBS series Zoo was canceled after its third season.  Another series cancellation victim is Jill Flint, formerly of The Night Shift; she is 40 today.  Jerry Ferrara, who is celebrating his 38th, remains a regular on Power.  Katie Cassidy is 31 today; she now plays Dinah Laurel Lance/Black Siren on Arrow (with the usual crossovers to other Arrowverse series), and also stars in two upcoming movies.  Gaspard Ulliel, who is turning 33, won his second Cesar Award earlier this year, for Best Actor for It’s Only the End of the WorldJohn Laroquette, who is 70, will return for the upcoming fourth season of TNT’s The Librarians.

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 25, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Dougray Scott, the man who would be Wolverine. Do you think he has a dart board with Tom Cruise’s face on it? He showed up on Fear the Walking Dead last year which was the first time I had seen him in a while. Despite not being in one of the longest-running franchises in recent history, Scott seems to have made out all right. And let’s face it, no one was going to make a better Wolverine than Jackman.

    After watching a few seasons of HBO’s True Blood, I read a couple of Charlaine Harris’ novels. I am looking forward to Mark Frost’s latest Twin Peaks book which addresses some of the unanswered questions from the recent TV revival.

    Christina Applegate is someone I think could have and should have been a bigger star. What does Jennifer Aniston have going for her that Applegate doesn’t? I don’t know.


  2. Dougray Scott missed his shot at big stardom but he was a good leading man in Enigma, a film I’ve always liked.

    Tracey Walter I remember as Joker’s right-hand goon in Batman—Joker would always say “Gun, Bob,” whenever he was ready to shoot someone, and Bob would hand him the gun. The last time in the movie that this happens, Joker shoots Bob!


    • When Batman came out, Tracey Walter was familiar to me, but I couldn’t place him. He’s played a lot of goofy sidekick/goon roles. For a guy whose name most people don’t know, his filmography is insanely long.


    • What if Dougray Scott had played Wolverine in “X-Men” and not Hugh Jackman?

      At the turn of the millennium things were looking up for actor Dougray Scott. He had been hand selected by Tom Cruise to be the villain in the anxiously awaited sequel to the megastar’s 1996 blockbuster “Mission: Impossible” and he was all set to follow that up with what might have been a breakout role as Wolverine in Bryan Singer’s big screen adaptation of the X-Men comic book series. But when the production schedule of “Mission: Impossible II” went long, Singer had to make a snap decision and settled on an unknown by the name of Hugh Jackman.

      What if Dougray Scott had played Wolverine in “X-Men” and not Hugh Jackman?

      Three things that might not have happened:

      We could have been robbed of one of the finest Oscar telecasts in history. That would be the one held in early 2009 celebrating the films of 2008 (the year “Slumdog Millionaire” dominated the scene). Oscars producer Laurence Mark and director Bill Condon tapped Jackman to host that year, a very unique choice but one with a bit of synergy, seeing as “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” was set to open two months later. Without an already extensive history with the franchise (and therefore, without such a film to “promote” by his presence on the show), would Jackman have still been picked? Maybe at some point along the way, since he got his start as a song and dance man on stage after all. But it’s highly unlikely this would have been the year and we’d have been robbed of one of the best hosts the typically taxing telecast has ever seen.
      Hugh Jackman would have seen a very different start to his career. Getting your start as Wolverine in an “X-Men” movie, of all things, pretty much sets you on a fanboy path from the start. But coming off of musical performances in shows like “Oklahoma!” and “The Boy from Oz,” it seems a stretch to think that, without this serendipity, Jackman would have launched onto the movie scene in such a populist sort of film. So would we have even ever really seen him in things like “Swordfish” or “Van Helsing?” It’s possible he would have landed in, and maybe stuck with, more prestigious projects like “Les Misérables” and, well, “The Prestige.”
      Scott’s “what if” career still wouldn’t have mirrored Jackman’s real one. It’s tough to say this with any certainty because, as a result of missing out on such a high profile role, Scott didn’t necessarily get a chance to choose from the same projects Jackman did (more on that below). When you look at Scott’s career, you don’t exactly see similar choices being made throughout. He probably wouldn’t have gone on to be the heartthrob/romantic comedy “star” that Jackman became, though he obviously would have had a much bigger, or at least more popularly recognizable, career on his own terms if he had been fitted for the claws.

      Three things that might have happened:

      Hugh Jackman would definitely still be a big deal. No matter how he was going to get his start, I think it’s pretty clear he was made for this business. He has the charisma and inner light of a full-on movie star, and if it wasn’t going to be “X-Men” that launched him onto the map, I have every confidence that it would have been something else. It might have been something less overt without the pop culture trappings, but we were always going to know this guy’s work on the big screen.
      It goes without saying, Scott’s opportunities would have been much different. This ties in with the note above, but when you’re Hugh Jackman and you spark in a superhero movie that makes decent bank, you suddenly have such variety as “Kate & Leopold” and “The Fountain” and “Real Steel” to choose from. Scott never saw that big a door open for him, but if he had played the most exciting character in the first film adaptation of the X-Men comic book series, you can bet it would have been a different story. Whether he would have made good on the opportunity, we’ll never know, but he certainly would have had a different pile of scripts on his desk.
      People might care about “Mission: Impossible II” a little more? Sure, John Woo’s is largely considered the weakest of the franchise, but it had its fans in 2000. After all — OMG! — it was the MTV Movie Award winner for Best Movie! But it feels mostly forgotten, perhaps willfully, in the 13 years since its release. However, I’m betting that it would have taken on a whole new curiosity factor with kids today talking about, “Hey, you know that guy that played Wolverine? He was a bad guy in a ‘Mission: Impossible’ movie! With Tom Cruise! Seriously!” And now I feel old.

      Did history work out for the best?

      Yes. Hugh Jackman is always a great cheerleader for his movies and that’s been particularly the case on the “X-Men” franchise. He could have just shown up, done the work and moved on to the next thing, but being who he is, he never stops taking it seriously and he always serves as a wonderful steward for the character of Wolverine. I’m sure Dougray Scott would have been committed, too, but the charismatic spark Jackman has afforded really means a lot. And it’s interesting to note that a respected actor launched onto the scene in a superhero movie that came at the dawn of a decade that would eventually be bursting at the seams with similar brand product.


  3. The birthday series will take tomorrow off, because there is hardly anyone to write about who wasn’t covered extensively in last year’s article. 🙂


  4. I think you’ve done an amazing job with the articles anyway (If I wasn’t so sad about my mom and selling house, I would have been as committed as usual). You’ve just been accurate and amazing in your coverage; Dan Rather would be proud, so would Jessica Savitch, or Sela Ward (who I always thought was gorgeous) who once played Jessica Savitch!


  5. Oh my goodness, John Larroquette? I love him in “Night Court” (sure, he’s a cad, but he helped out bailff Roz with her diabetic situation, and I think his Dan Fielding character has a good heart). I also like Markie Post’s Christine Sullivan character, since she’s innocent and smart at the same time, which sets up the laughs.
    I also liked “The John Larroquette Show” (I feel Elizabeth Berridge was outstanding as her role as a cop, and as a funny lady; since she’s married to Kevin Corrigan, they may have shared a joke or two, at least we hope! Then again, rock me Amadeus!).


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