November 28: Happy Birthday Karen Gillan and Mary Elizabeth Winstead
It’s Karen Gillan’s 30th birthday today. She grew up in the Highlands of Scotland, and thnm moved first to Edinburgh and then to London to study acting. Her first acting role was a guest spot which, appropriately for a Scottish actress, was on Rebus (a series adapted from Ian Rankin’s novels). She was part of the main cast of the sketch comedy series The Kevin Bishop Show, and made appearances on Harley Street, The Well, and an episode of Doctor Who during the Tenth Doctor era. The latter turned out to be a foretaste of the role that would first make her well known, when she was cast as the initial Companion to the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy Pond (the one who was “made of legs”).
Gillan made her first feature film appearance in Outcast in 2010, and two years later had her first starring role, in We’ll Take Manhattan. She has since starred in Not Another Happy Ending and Oculus, and had supporting roles in films like In a Valley of Violence and this year’s The Circle (and a small part in The Big Short). She will star in the upcoming Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and make her writing and directing debut with next year’s The Party’s Just Beginning. Her best-known film role to date has almost certainly been as Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She first appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, returned this year in the sequel to that film, and is scheduled to appear in Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled sequel.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is celebrating her 33rd birthday. She began acting in her early teens in guest spots on television, and in her first regular role played Jessica Bennett on the first season of Passions. She was also a regular on the short-lived CBS series Wolf Lake. She began working regularly in feature films in the mid-2000s. Some of her roles, in films such as Black Christmas and Final Destination 3, seemed to put her in the scream queen category, but she also appeared in non-horror films such as Sky High and Live Free or Die Hard (as Lucy McClane). She had some decent lead roles, playing Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and the tenacious survivor Dr. Kate Lloyd in the 2011 version of The Thing.
Winstead continues to work regularly in film, with recent starring roles in Alex of Venice and 10 Cloverfield Lane (the latter being, surprise, a horror film), and will play the title character in the upcoming All About Nina. She has also returned to series television lately—in the past couple of years she has had four regular roles, although she has yet to find a series with any staying power. Most recently she was a regular on season 3 of Fargo.
S. Epatha Merkerson, who is turning 65 today, is best known for her long run—she appeared in more episodes of the series than any other cast member—on Law & Order as Anita Van Buren. She won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for starring in the TV movie Lackawanna Blues, and her stage career has brought her two Tony nominations.
Joe Cole, who turns 29, was a regular on the BBC crime drama Peaky Blinders, and has had major roles in films like Green Room and the recent release Thank You For Your Service. Aimee Garcia, a regular on Fox’s Lucifer also known for her roles on Dexter and George Lopez, is 39 today. Korean-American actor Daniel Henney, who turns 38 today, is a regular on Criminal Minds and also starred on the Korean series My Lovely Sam Soon. Emun Elliott, our second Scottish actor in today’s article, is 34; he has done a lot of British television work, most recently on the series Clique and Trust Me. German actress Emilia Schüle, who is 25, was acclaimed for her starring role in the recent film High Society.
Our November 28 headliners last year were Ed Harris and Alfonso Cuarón.
Ed Harris is turning 67 today. He will return to Westworld for its second season, and in the past year appeared in films such as Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! and the recent release Geostorm. Alfonso Cuarón celebrates his 56th. His latest feature is Roma, which was filmed last fall in Mexico City and is scheduled for release next year.
Johnny Simmons, who turns 31, was a regular on the single season of Netflix’s Girlboss, and starred in last fall’s The Late Bloomer, directed by Kevin Pollak. Alan Ritchson, who is 33 today, also starred on a one-season series, Syfy’s Blood Drive. Louise Bourgoin is 36; the French actress starred in two films this year, Under the Same Roof and L’Un dans l’autre, both comedies. Ryan Kwanten, who stars in the upcoming disaster/thriller film The Hurricane Heist, directed by Rob Cohen, is 41 today.
Our two WTHH birthdays today are director Joe Dante, who is 71, and who most recently has produced the upcoming horror film Camp Cold Brook, and Judd Nelson, who appears in the upcoming Billionaire Boys Club, who turns 58. Their WTHH articles are here and here.
Jon Stewart, who is 55 today, remains an executive producer of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Agnieszka Holland, who is turning 69, received the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival for her latest feature, Spoor. Randy Newman celebrates his 74th. He released his eleventh studio album, Dark Matter, earlier this year, and also composed the scores for The Meyerowitz Stories and Cars 3. Also releasing a new studio album—his seventh, Tremaine—this year was Trey Songz, who is 33 today.
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 28, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged Alfonso Cuaron, Ed Harris, Joe Cole, Karen Gillan, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Randy Newman, Ryan Kwanten, S. Epatha Merkerson. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.