December 9: Happy Birthday John Malkovich and Felicity Huffman


John Malkovich is turning 64 today.  After studying theater at Illinois State University, he became a charter member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company.  He won an Obie Award for Steppenwolf’s Off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard’s True West in 1983.  In 1984 he made both his feature film and Broadway debuts.  The former was as the blind boarder Mr. Will in Places in the Heart, for which he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination; the latter was as Biff Loman in a revival of Death of a Salesman.  Malkovich won an Emmy for a 1985 TV movie of the latter, in the same role.  Later in the 1980s, he appeared in films like The Glass Menagerie (as Tom Wingfield), Dangerous Liasons (as Vicomte de Valmont), and Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun.

In 1993, Malkovich appeared as the would-be Presidential assassin, Mitch Leary, in In the Line of Fire, and received his second Oscar nomination.

Malkovich has remained one of Hollywood’s busiest actors for most of his career.  He has moved easily between genres and between lead and character roles.  He starred as director F. W. Murnau in Shadow of the Vampire, Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley in Ripley’s Game and as painter Gustav Klimt in Klimt, and played a fictionalized version of himself in Being John Malkovich.  He has ventured into action films as a villain, in Con Air, and as a hero’s wacky sidekick, in the RED films.  He made his directing debut with the 2002 Spanish-American production The Dancer Upstairs.  His latest films include Deepwater Horizon and this year’s The Wilde Wedding.  And that’s just a sampling of his work.

Felicity Huffman, who turns 55, attended NYU and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and did a lot of stage work in the 1980s and 1990s.  She made her Broadway debut in David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow in 1988, and won an Obie Award for an Off-Broadway production of Mamet’s The Cryptogram.  One of her first major film roles was in Mamet’s The Spanish Prisoner in 1997.

Huffman’s biggest film role has undoubtedly been her Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning lead role as Bree Osbourne in Transamerica.  She has had quite a good career in televsion.  She was a Golden Globe nominee for Sports Night, and starred on ABC’s Desperate Housewives for all of its eight seasons, winning a Primetime Emmy and a SAG Award during the show’s run.  Most recently she was a regular on all three seasons of the anthology series American Crime, receiving an Emmy nomination for each season.

Richard Brooks, who stars as Patrick Patterson on BET’s Being Mary Jane, is also 55 today.  Toby Huss, who turns 51, was a regular on AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, which just ended its third and final season in October.  Michael Nouri, who is 72, might be remembered for his starring roles in the 1980s films Flashdance and The Hidden.

Buck Henry, who is celebrating his 87th, has been an Oscar nominee as a screenwriter, for The Graduate, and a director, for Heaven Can Wait.  He also wrote films like The Owl and the Pussycat and What’s Up Doc, was a co-creator of Get Smart, and was known for his frequent late-1970s appearances as a guest host on Saturday Night Live.

Singer-songwriter and music producer and publisher Kara DioGuardi turns 47.  She has written or cowritten hits like Kylie Minogue’s “Spinning Around,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Walk Away” and Ashlee Simpson’s “Pieces of Me,” and been a judge on American Idol for two seasons.

Gustav II of Sweden, usually known as Gustavus Adolphus (1594-1632) and nicknamed “The Lion of the North,” was probably the leading military commander of his generation, known for his role in the Thirty Years War as a commander on the Protestant side.  During his reign, Sweden became one of Europe’s leading powers, and remained one for around a century.

A year ago, our December 9 headliners were Judi Dench and Kirk Douglas.

Dame Judi Dench celebrates her 83rd today.  This year she appeared in Justin Chadwick’s Tulip Fever, returned to the role of Queen Victoria in Victoria & Abdul, and played the Princess Dragomiroff in the recent release Murder on the Orient Express.  She is starring in the upcoming spy drama Red JoanKirk Douglas has been retired for a number of years now, but the mere fact that he is the second legend of Hollywood’s Golden Age to celebrate his 101st birthday this year is worthy of mention (Olivia de Havilland was the first).

Beau Bridges, who turns 76, was recently seen in The Mountain Between Us and will also appear in the upcoming Galveston.  Onetime Klingon Michael Dorn, who is 65, will appear in the upcoming sci-fi film The Man from Earth: HoloceneSimon Helberg turns 37; he continues to appear as Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory and was a Golden Globe nominee for Stephen Frears’s Florence Foster JenkinsJesse Metcalfe, who remains a regular on Chesapeake Shores, turns 39.  Joshua Sasse, who is 30, will be looking for a new project after No Tomorrow was canceled after one season.

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 9, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I first saw John Malkovich way back in his film debut in Places in the Heart, which I think was screened on campus my senior year in college. I’ve enjoyed a lot of his work over the years, from his creep villain in In the Line of Fire to his goofy but lethal sidekick to Bruce Willis in RED.

    Buck Henry created Get Smart with Mel Brooks. Once the series began, Brooks had little further involvement, but Henry remained involved for the first two seasons.

    Another day off tomorrow, as there’s no one on the Dec. 10 birthday list who screams “headliner” at me except the ones I already used last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I like John Malkovich and Felicity Huffman, same with Buck Henry (he nailed that one “Saturday Night Live” episode, right?).


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