December 16: Happy Birthday Krysten Ritter and James Mangold


Krysten Ritter is turning 36 today.  She began working part-time as a model in high school and did so full time after she graduated.  She got her first film role in 2001, and over the years her film career developed to the point where she has had major roles in films like Confessions of a Shopaholic, She’s Out of My League, and this year’s The Hero.  During the 2000s, she appeared in recurring roles on Veronica Mars (as Gia Goodman, a role she returned to in the feature film), Gilmore Girls, and Breaking Bad.  She has had regular roles on the short-lived series Gravity and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23.  Her breakthrough role came when she was cast in the title role of Jessica Jones in 2015.  After the show’s successful first season, Ritter continued as Jessica on The Defenders; the second season of Jessica Jones will be released next March.

Director and writer James Mangold is celebrating his 54th.  He studied at the California Institute of the Arts, where his mentor was director-turned-professor Alexander Mackendrick.  After he graduated from CalArts, he wrote the screenplay for Disney’s Oliver & Company, and then earned an MFA at Columbia.  His debut film as a director, 1995’s Heavy, brought him the Special Jury Prize for Directing at Sundance.

Mangold has directed two actresses in Oscar-winning performances—Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted, and Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line.  His other directing efforts include Cop Land, Kate & Leopold, the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, and the action comedy Knight and Day.  Most recently, he directed The Wolverine in 2013, and followed up by writing and directing this year’s Logan.

Xander Berkeley, who is 62 today, has had a long career as a supporting player in film and television; he currently plays Gregory on The Walking DeadJonathan Scarfe, who stars on Syfy’s Van Helsing as Axel Miller, celebrates his 42nd.  J. B. Smoove, who is 52, is best known for playing Leon Black on Curb Your Enthusiasm and for his regular role on CBS’s The Millers.

Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536) was prominent as the first of the six wives of Henry VIII of England, the mother of a daughter who became Queen Mary I, and the wife who Henry divorced when she could not bear him a son.  She is also remembered today as a promoter of women’s education.  She has been portrayed on screen and stage many times, including by Maria Doyle Kennedy on The Tudors and by Ana Torrent in The Other Boleyn Girl.

Last year on this date, we had Shane Black and Liv Ullmann as the headliners.

Shane Black turns 56 today.  His “re-imagining” of The Predator comes out in August of next year.  One of his future projects is Doc Savage, a film adaptation of the pulp fiction tales of the “Man of Bronze.”

Theo James, who turns 32, starred in this year’s Backstabbing for Beginners, and will appear in Drake Doremus’s upcoming Zoe.  Also appearing in Zoe will be Miranda Otto, who is 50 today.  Stephan James, who is 24, was a regular on Fox’s Shots Fired, and stars in an upcoming adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could TalkBenjamin Bratt, who celebrates his 54th, remains a regular on Fox’s Star.

Finally, as those who recall last year’s article (or followed the link) know, we have two big, but very different music birthdays today.

Benny Andersson, who is 71, co-write virtually all of ABBA’s biggest hits, including this one:

We should also remember that today is the most likely birth date of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827):

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 16, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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