December 1: Happy Birthday Emily Mortimer and Zoë Kravitz


Today is Emily Mortimer’s 46th birthday.  Her father was Sir John Mortimer, a British barrister who also created the television series Rumpole of the Bailey.  She began performing in plays while studying at Oxford, and began working in British television in 1994.  She made her feature film debut in The Ghost and the Darkness.  As the century turned, she had some more significant supporting roles in films like Scream 3, Kenneth Branagh’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Formula 51.

Mortimer has, for the most part, been a supporting actress or a part of ensemble casts, but she has kept busy for nearly two decades.  She has had major roles in Woody Allen’s Match Point, in the two Pink Panther reboot films starring Steve Martin, in Lars and the Real Girl, and in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island and Hugo.  Every so often she gets a chance at a lead role, as in Brad Anderson’s thriller Transsiberian or the upcoming drama The Bookshop.  Next year she will play Jane Banks in Mary Poppins Returns.

Zoë Kravitz, who celebrates her 29th today, is the daughter of Grammy winner Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, of Cosby Show fame.  She studied acting for a while at SUNY-Purchase, but dropped out to begin her film career in 2007, when she appeared in the films No Reservations and The Brave One.  Many people probably know her from her appearances in some high-profile franchises: she was Angel Salvadore in X-Men: First Class, Christina in the Divergent series, and Toast the Knowing in Mad Max: Fury Road, and will play Leta Lestrange in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel.  Alongside those films, she has also found plenty of work in indie films like Treading Water, Vincent N Roxxy, and The Road Within.

Katherine LaNasa, known for her regular roles on series like Three Sisters and Satisfaction and for films such as The Campaign, is 51 today.  Nestor Carbonell, who is 50, had regular roles on series like Suddenly Susan and Bates Motel and played Mayor Anthony Garcia in the Dark Knight films.  David Hornsby, who celebrates his 42nd, is a writer and executive producer as well as recurring actor on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  Serbian actor Stefan Kapičić, who is 39, is best known in the US for being the voice and motion capture actor for Colossus in Deadpool.  The 4 foot, 4 inch Deep Roy, who is turning 60, is often seen playing characters like Keenser in the Star Trek reboot series.

Australian actor Keith Michell (1926-2015) became known for starring in the BBC’s series of televised plays, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, later broadcast in the US on PBS.  He was also a noted Shakespearean, with a lengthy stage career in England and the US.

Retired golfer Lee Trevino is 78 today.  One of the top players in the world from the mid-sixties to the mid-eighties, he won six major tournaments, including at least one win at each major except the Masters.

Georgy Zhukov (1896-1974) was one of the most important Soviet military commanders of World War II, serving in a key role in almost every major operation on the Eastern Front.  He is played by Jason Isaacs in the recent film The Death of Stalin.

December 1 headliners from last year were Woody Allen and Bette Midler.

Woody Allen is still making movies as he turns 82.  His Wonder Wheel comes out today, while he recently completed the filming of A Rainy Day in New YorkBette Midler, who is 72 today, won her second Tony Award (and first in a competitive category) for Best Actress in a Musical for starring as Dolly Levi in this year’s revival of Hello, Dolly!

Jeremy Northam, who is turning 56, played Anthony Eden on Netflix’s The CrownSarah Silverman is 47 today.  Her late night talk show, I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman, made its debut on Hulu in October.  Riz Ahmed, who turns 35, won an Emmy for starring on the miniseries The Night Of, and was nominated for a second Emmy for a guest role on Girls.  R&B singer Janelle Monáe, who is 32 today, made her feature film acting debut last year with supporting roles in Moonlight and Hidden FiguresAkiva Schaffer, one of the creators of the upcoming Freeform series Alone Together, is 40 today.  Treat Williams, who is turning 66, is a regular on Hallmark’s Chesapeake Shores.

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 December 1, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I am trying to think of what I know Emily Mortimer from. It must be the Woody Allen movies, but it seems like I knew who she was before that. Looking at her filmography, I had seen some of her earlier work, but none of it especially stood out to me.

    I have a similar reaction to Zoë Kravitz. I know I saw her in X-Men and Mad Max. It seems like I know her from something else though. Weird.

    Speaking of Woody Allen… Ugh. It’s getting harder and harder to separate the art from the artist. In the past, I have said that I was not going to concern myself with his personal life and as long as there wasn’t evidence he had committed a crime, I didn’t care. But I must admit my views on this sort of thing have changed of late and I’m willing to believe Allen’s accusers. It makes watching his movies harder.

    The other day, I spotted To Rome With Love on Netflix. When I pressed play, I didn’t even realize it was a Woody Allen movie. I had forgotten it existed. It’s lower-tier Woody, but watchable unlike some of Allen’s other movies. I found myself enjoying a lot of the surreal comedic elements, but the neurotic hand-wringing over character’s casually cheating on each other has become tedious in part because Allen has been doing it annually for decades and in part because you can’t put Allen’s personal life out of your mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a somewhat similar experience with Woody Allen’s films—I tried to rewatch Manhattan a little while back and found that it was hard to disentangle the movie from what I now know about Allen’s relationship with Stacy Nelkin.


      • I wasn’t familiar with Nelkin until you just mentioned her, but I had a similar experience when I recently rewatched Manhattan. The entire Tracy subplot is so creepy and distracting now. It was palatable when I thought it was 100% fictitious, but now that we all know it’s largely autobiographical, ick.


        • I’m most familiar with Stacey Nelkin from her role in “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (interestingly, her character had a love scene with the awesome Tom Atkins in that film, and he’s Woody Allen’s age). Plus, she was married to Barry Bostwick, and he’s older than her (only 13 years older though). Stacey Nelkin just loves the older men, I guess (many woman do, I think)!
          As for “Manhattan”, it never did much for me, neither does the real Manhattan (I think all of New York City is overrated actually).
          As for Woody Allen, he seems to have a certain mindset when it comes to his choice of females. Sure, it could happen to a guy once or twice, but I feel he’s demonstrated a clear pattern (he freaked me out when he married his adopted daughter back in, what, 1997, and they were intimate long before that, which was discovered in 1992, and that also freaked me out).


        • I was a huge Woody Allen fan in high school. When the Soon Yi story broke, I was disappointed in him, but I figured that as long as he hadn’t broken any laws it was none of my business. I still feel that way to an extent, but it’s harder and harder to overlook the creep factor especially when he weaves it into the narrative of his films.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Nelkin was also one of Warren Beatty’s castoffs.


        • I did a little reading on the court case and Mia Farrow’s allegations toward Allen. It says after Farrow found out about the Soon-Yi affair, she asked her psychiatrist “Do you think I should marry him?”

          She lost all credibility right there.


    • Woody Allen’s new movie has adult-teen sex scene

      Woody Allen’s upcoming movie contains some awkward scenes involving an older man having sex with young starlets, considering the current firestorm about sexual misconduct sparked by the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

      We’re told that a plotline in the untitled Allen flick, which is currently filming in New York, centers around a middle-aged man who is sleeping with a much younger woman, among other actresses, and, according to the script, “makes a fool of himself over every ambitious starlet and model.”

      In scenes just filmed, a character played by Rebecca Hall accuses 44-year-old actor Jude Law’s character of having sex with a 15-year-old “concubine.” In the scene, the so-called concubine — played by Elle Fanning (19 in real life) — acknowledges her relationship with Law’s much-older character, but then protests that she is 21 years old. After a discussion about his infidelity, Fanning’s character then asks Law, “Were all these women for pleasure, or were you researching a project?”

      The film also stars Selena Gomez, Liev Schreiber, Suki Waterhouse and Kelly Rohrbach.

      The plot seems perversely timed, given the mounting allegations of sexual harassment and rape against Weinstein. In a further poignant play — since Allen has faced his own allegations of sexual misconduct (which he has strenuously denied) — the director himself recently became entangled in the Weinstein scandal.

      Last week, he drew criticism when he said that it was “tragic for the poor women that were involved” and “sad for Harvey that his life is so messed up,” but warned against starting a “witch-hunt atmosphere” in Hollywood, where “every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself.”

      This is all very close to home for Allen.

      His son Ronan Farrow was the journalist behind the New Yorker’s explosive Weinstein exposé.

      Allen later released a statement saying of his strange comment, “When I said I felt sad for Harvey Weinstein, I thought it was clear the meaning was because he is a sad, sick man.”

      Allen reps didn’t respond.


    • Review Roundup: Woody Allen’s Latest Is A Creepy Piece of Sh*t? We’re Shocked!

      By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | December 1, 2017 |

      We’re a hard working bunch of folks here at Team Pajiba, keeping you up to date with Trump f***ery, celeb shenanigans, achingly personal essays, news on the latest men who suck, and of course, all the sexiness that’s fit to moisten your lions. That means, sometimes, we just don’t have enough time to cover every issue we want to. Also, there are some things we wouldn’t force on anyone, as much as TK would probably enjoy it. Fortunately, we’re all too nice a group to force anyone to subject themselves to the latest Woody Allen movie, Wonder Wheel. Call us old fashioned but some creepy old men could do without our hard work telling them they suck.

      That doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the wonderful writing done by our colleagues in the field. Indeed, we want to honor their sacrifice and have done a quick roundup of the most scathing reviews of Allen’s latest self-satisfied nostalgia fest that he probably wrote in 9 days and never re-drafted. The film is ostensibly about a miserable waitress trapped in an unhappy marriage whose affair with the token Allen stand-in (played by Justin Timberlake because of course) is threatened after he expresses interest in her step-daughter. Do you see where this is going? Because literally every other critic did too. Make sure you give these critics some much deserved clicks. Spoilers ahoy but honestly, do you really care?

      Sam Adams (Slate):

      Allen has constructed an entire world, including an elaborate replica of Coney Island’s boardwalk, for the purposes of once more indicting his former partner and exonerating himself. But the fact that he has to construct that world himself, and not only that, but to filter it through a thick layer of theatrical artifice, feels strangely like an admission. He’s not changing his story, but even its most careful presentation—and, to the extent it is possible to separate form from content, Wonder Wheel is a beautiful movie, elegantly designed and shot—still seems like a hollow, trumped-up fraud.

      Manohla Dargis (New York Times):

      At one point, after Ginny has turned into Blanche DuBois, she announces, “When it comes to love we often turn out to be our own worst enemy.” And not for the first time you wonder what Mr. Allen, who has long blurred fact and fiction, thinks he’s doing here. He couldn’t have anticipated that his name would be in the news because of the allegations of sexual abuse upending the entertainment industry. Yet how could we not think of him… Critics have often uneasily ignored his history, but he himself seems perversely intent on invoking it.

      Kenneth Turan (L.A. Times):

      “Oh, God, spare me the bad drama,” a character in Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” implores. Would that we could be so fortunate… Getting audiences to respond enthusiastically to uninspired plotting and tepid lines like “I’ve become consumed with jealousy” and “the bad blood between us runs too deep” is likely a bridge too far… And though they are ultimately prisoners of Allen’s script, “Wonder Wheel’s” actors try their hardest in a losing cause. This is especially true of star Kate Winslet, valiantly throwing herself into her performance as if her lines were real gems instead of cubic zirconium.

      Chris Nashawaty (Entertainment Weekly):

      There’s an old saying: It’s nice to take a stroll down memory lane, but you wouldn’t want to buy a house there. At 82, Woody Allen has become memory lane’s most famous homeowner.

      Alissa Wilkinson (Vox):

      It’s always dangerous to assume a movie is actually about its creator. But in some cases it’s merited, especially when the filmmaker has taken pains throughout his career to invite the comparison… Mickey is stuck on himself, seemingly trying to simultaneously be the hero and writer of two dramas, one Greek, one O’Neill, but both set in a heightened version of rough-and-tumble Coney Island. Everyone else serves his whims, and the people around him are diminished as a result, turned into stock characters to stroke his own ego — which makes for bad drama and bad living alike.

      A.A. Dowd (AV Club):

      What the hell is anyone to make of Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel, in which a self-proclaimed romantic entertains leaving his lover for her much younger stepdaughter? Separating the man from the art is always difficult when it comes to the legendary New York neurotic of American moviemaking, whose personal life remains an enduring source of controversy and scrutiny, both for the sexual abuse allegation that’s hung over it since the early ’90s and for the fact that, yes, he married his ex-girlfriend’s adopted daughter. But Allen, who still operates at the clockwork clip of one or two movies a year, doesn’t make it any easier to approach his work on its own terms; he possesses what may be a pathological need to throw a spotlight over his own experiences, relationships, and hangups. Even by those standards, Wonder Wheel is uncomfortably revealing, its real-life parallels too blatant to be anything but intentional. But to what end?

      Alan Scherstuhl (Village Voice):

      Here’s a Woody Allen movie about a “moody” and “crazy” washed-up redheaded actress furious that her lover has jilted her for her kinda-sorta daughter. The redhead does something unconscionable to punish the couple and then has to find a way to live with it. Meanwhile, her much younger son, a creature of aimless rage, lights fire after fire around the Coney Island boardwalk, the place where Allen’s most beloved character — Annie Hall’s Alvy Singer — grew up. The little pyro is happy to watch the world he’s inherited burn. In Allen’s mind, is the kid Ronan Farrow?

      Current Rotten Tomatoes rating: 41%.


    • Emily Mortimer was in the 2007 Ryan Gosling vehicle, “Lars and the Real Girl” (it’s VERY different, and I like it!), but the Woddy Allen film your thinking of that she was in was 2004’s “Match Point”, where she’s something of a put upon wife.


  2. Emily Mortimer is a very talented and versatile actress who has never gotten that one role that could have let her break out as a star. She was very enjoyable in the otherwise very ordinary Pink Panther films with Steve Martin, a terrific Hitchcock-style heroine in Transsiberian, and delightful in Formula 51.

    I also know Zoë Kravitz largely from X-Men: First Class and Fury Road; she certainly seems to get a lot of work these days.

    I remember Keith Michell from the very end of the seventies and beginning of the 1980s when the BBC Television Shakespeare series was running on PBS; he played Marc Antony in Julius Caesar and may have appeared in one or two other plays in the series.


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