December 2: Happy Birthday Lucy Liu and Julie Harris


Lucy Liu is turning 49 today.  She studied at Michigan and began working in film and television in the early 1990s.  She began getting larger film roles later in the decade, in films like City of Industry and Payback, and also landed two regular roles on television.  CBS’s Pearl was canceled after one season, but in 1998 she joined the regular cast of Ally McBeal as Ling Woo, for which she received an Emmy nomination.

Early in the 2000s, Liu appeared in what are probably her most famous film roles, as Alex Munday in the Charlie’s Angels films, and as the assassin O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill.  She also was a kidnapped princess in Shanghai Noon and a perky and quirky romantic lead in Lucky Number Slevin.  These days, most of her feature film work is as a voice actor—she is the voice of Silvermist in the Disney Fairies series and Master Viper in the Kung Fu Panda franchise.  For the last five years, she has also been back on series television, as Joan Watson in Elementary, which will return for season 6 next year.

Julie Harris (1924-2013) was one of the most distinguished American stage actresses ever—her ten Tony nominations in acting categories are tied with Chita Rivera for the most ever, and her five acting Tonys (all in the Best Actress in a Play category) trail only Audra McDonald.  She made her Broadway debut in 1945, and won her first Tony in the role of Sally Bowles in John Van Druten’s I Am a Camera.  She subsequently won Tonys for Jean Anouilh’s The Lark, Pierre Barrilet’s Forty Carats, James Prideaux’s The Last of Mrs. Lincoln, and William Luce’s one-actress play The Belle of Amherst.  She was also noted for playing Frankie Addams in The Member of the Wedding and Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie.

Harris was a three time Emmy winner for her television work, for the TV movies Little Moon of Alban and Victoria Regina and the documentary Not For Ourselves Alone.  She received her only Oscar nomination for the film version of The Member of the Wedding (as Frankie Addams again) and also brought her stage role of Sally Bowles in I Am a Camera to the big screen.  But her most memorable screen role may have been starring opposite James Dean, as Abra Bacon in East of Eden.

Alfred Enoch, who turns 29, played Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films, and went on to be a regular on the first three seasons of ABC’s How to Get Away with MurderRena Sofer, who is 49 today, is best known for her work in soap operas; she was a Daytime Emmy winner during her run on General Hospital.  Actress and singer Jana Kramer, who was a regular for four seasons on One Tree Hill and has had two Top 10 Country albums, is turning 34.  Joe Lo Truglio, who is 47, plays Charles Boyle on Brooklyn Nine-NineWilson Heredia, who is celebrating his 46th, won a Tony Award in the role of Angel Dumont Schunard in Rent, which he also played on the West End and in the film adaptation.

French painter Georges Seurat (1859-1891) was a major innovator who developed the techniques known as chromoluminarism and pointilism.  His most famous painting was probably A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, which inspired Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sunday in the Park with George.

Britney Spears and Maria Callas were our headliners on this date a year ago.

Britney Spears is turning 36 today.  She has divided the past year between her Britney: Piece of Me live show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas (her residency there ends in December) and the Britney: Live in Concert tour.

Daniela Ruah continues to star as Kensi Blye on NCIS: Los Angeles as she turns 34; the series is in its ninth season.  Brendan Coyle, who turns 55, will be a regular on the BBC’s upcoming supernatural drama RequiemNelly Furtado celebrates her 39th.  She released her sixth studio album, The Ride, earlier this year.

Finally, to remember the birth date of musical theater and film musical great Adolph Green (1914-2002), let’s have a number from one of the musicals he contributed lyrics to (lyrics cowritten with Betty Comden; music by Leonard Bernstein).

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 2, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Whatever happened to Nelly Furtado?

    Nelly Furtado landed some of the biggest hits of 2006 — then everything changed.

    A DECADE ago, Nelly Furtado was one of the biggest pop stars in the world.

    Her third album, Loose, had sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, delivering a slew of hit singles including Promiscuous, Maneater and Say It Right.

    Having burst onto the scene with the quirky debut single I’m Like A Bird back in 2000, it seemed the Canadian singer had finally entered the big leagues — a world-famous, hit-making pop star to rival the likes of Britney and Beyonce.

    Then everything changed.

    As her fame and its accompanying pressures grew, Furtado suffered a breakdown in the most public way.

    Furtado on stage in Germany in 2007 during her Loose world tour. Picture: AFP/Michael GottschalkSource:AFP

    “I had a nervous breakdown on stage. I was on the Loose tour and my daughter was with me — I was being a mum and a singer on the road. I was exhausted,” she later revealed to the Mail on Sunday.

    “Then one night I went on stage and I suddenly realised how stressed-out I was. I actually cried my way through the first two songs.

    “I took a break from music and went home. And I realised that being at home and having the whole family experience was what I was seeking.”

    “Fame took me by surprise,” she admitted.

    “It was too much too soon. After two years of intense touring and partying I’d spend hours alone in my LA home, just staring at the floor. I felt like a fraud, believing that people liked me for my image and not my music.”

    Furtado didn’t immediately try to replicate the success of Loose — her follow-up was a low-key Spanish-language album, Mi Plan.

    But when time came to properly rejoin the pop world, with 2012’s long-awaited but uneven The Spirit Indestructible, the results were disastrous: it sold just 3 per cent as much as Loose in its opening week in the US, then quickly disappeared from charts worldwide.

    Furtado’s 2006 album Loose sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.Source:News Limited

    “I have had a lot of ups and downs in my career on a commercial level, so I’m very bulletproof in that way,” she said at the time.

    “We’ll see what happens and just keep on chugging along.”

    From there, Furtado took five years out from the music business, parting ways with her record company and making frequent visits to Kenya as part of her work with non-profit organisation Free The Children.

    “I took some time to pursue some personal passions. I did everything from pottery classes to sewing classes. I took a playwriting class at the University of Toronto to pursue a few ideas I had. It was a time of self-development,” she told Billboard this year.

    Now 38, mother to a teenage daughter and an independent artist for the first time in her career, Furtado is prepping her sixth studio album The Ride, due for release this Friday. Its sound is a world away from Loose: Relaxed, lo-fi, soulful indie-pop. There’s not a hit in sight, but Furtado says she’s more than OK with that.

    “When you tour internationally and have this big circus following you, it can be quite overwhelming. I’m a quiet kind of person,” she told Entertainment Tonight.

    “This era is raw. I own this album, I’m a fully independent artist, and that’s really cool. I can put a song out and have it be heard by people in a few days. It’s very organic.”


  2. With regard to Julie Harris, people thought it was a stretch when Stockard Channing (aged 33) played the supposedly 18 year old Rizzo in Grease,

    But Julie Harris outdid her by playing a the 12 year old Frankie in the movie Member of the Wedding for which she received an Oscar nomination.
    Harris was 27 at the time.


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