December 18: Happy Birthday Christina Aguilera and Katie Holmes


Pop star Christina Aguilera is turning 37.  She won a talent show at the age of 8, and in 1990 appeared on Star Search, and she was known for singing the national anthem at Pittsburgh area sports events, such as Steelers or Pirates games.  In 1993 she joined the cast of the early 1990s version of The Mickey Mouse Club, where her costars included past headliners Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell and Britney Spears.  Her first big success as a singer came when she made a recording of “Reflection,” the theme for Disney’s Mulan, which reached #19 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Aguilera released her self-titled debut album in 1999.  Christina Aguilera included three singles that became #1 hits, and also helped bring her a Grammy, her first of five, for Best New Artist, in 2000.

Aguilera has released six additional studio albums, with another reportedly in the making.  She has won four additional Grammys, and had at least a dozen top 20 singles.  Next year she will make another attempt at getting a film career going, appearing in Drake Doremus’s Zoe.

Katie Holmes is celebrating her 39th today.  She began modeling in high school, took part in an International Modeling and Talent Association competition, and would up being cast in a supporting role in Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm.  Subsequent to that she auditioned for several television producers, ending up with her first starring role, as Joey Potter on Dawson’s Creek.

During and immediately after Dawson’s Creek’s run, Holmes made a number of feature film appearances.  She made a venture, almost obligatory for young performers of her generation, into high school horror with Disturbing Behavior, and also made straight thrillers like Abandon and Phone Booth.  Her venture into big budget action, as Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins, did not impress critics, but she got some favorable notices for her work in the indie film Pieces of April.

Starting around 2005, Holmes’ career seemed almost swallowed up, for several years, by the hoopla surrounding her marriage to Tom Cruise.  More recently, she has been keeping busy, but out of the spotlight.  She played Jackie Kennedy on a pair of TV miniseries, and has done indie films such as Miss Meadows and Touched with Fire.  Her directing debut, in last year’s All We Had, received mixed reviews, and earlier this year she had a supporting role in Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky.

Australian singer-songwriter Sia Furla, often billed simply as Sia, is 42 today.  She is a nine-time Grammy nominee, including receiving Record of the Year and Song of the Year nominations for her 2014 single “Chandelier.”  Italian actress Claudia Gerini, who turns 46, is a five-time Donatello Award nominee and might be known to American viewers for her roles in films like Under the Tuscan Sun, The Passion of the Christ, or John Wick: Chapter 2.

Character actor Ossie Davis (1917-2005) had a long stage and screen career; many may remember his roles in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever.

Our December 18 headliners last year were a couple of moderately famous people named Steven Spielberg and Brad Pitt.

Steven Spielberg is turning 71.  His latest directing effort, The Post, had a premiere last week and goes into limited release this Friday; early reviews have been positive.  He is also directing the upcoming Ready Player One, a cyperpunk sci-fi film which comes out next March, while rumors about a fifth Indiana Jones film abound.  Brad Pitt, who turns 54, has remained active as an actor and a producer.  He starred in this year’s War Machine, and has producing credits on a number of other films, including Okja and Brad’s Status.

Ray Liotta, who continues as a regular on Shades of Blue, turns 63 today.  Rachel Griffiths, who is 49, starred on the ABC miniseries When We Rise.  Also 49 is Casper Van Dien, who starred in the action comedy All About the MoneyCicely Tyson, still working at 93, had a supporting role in Richard Linklater’s Last Flag FlyingJosh Dallas, who turns 39, has left the role of Prince Charming on Once Upon a Time after six seasons.  Ashley Benson, who is celebrating her 28th, has wrapped the final season of Pretty Little LiarsKari Byron, who currently hosts Netflix’s White Rabbit Project, is turning 43.  Bridgit Mendler, who turns 25, released her EP Nemesis last fall.

Keith Richards, who is celebrating his 74th, remains active with the Rolling Stones, who just recently completed their No Filter Tour; the Stones’ latest album, Blue & Lonesome, is up for a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album.

Roger Smith (1932-2017), known for his starring role on 77 Sunset Strip and his long marriage to Ann-Margret, died earlier this year at 84.

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 18, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I loved Katie Holmes in “Pieces of April”; I thought that film was amazing.
    Christina Aguilera never grabbed me: I was doing something else during the late 1990’s pop song stage (committing crimes with Neneh Cherry, doing the Buffalo Stance mostly), but it seems she has skills to pay the bills, and be a star, so I’m happy for her.
    Ossie Davis, I thought he was super; heck, he brought dignity to 1985’s “Avenging Angel” ; Okay, it’s a collection/film I love; I have the DVD “The Angel Collection” and everything. For what it’s worth, I prefer Donna Wilkes over Betsey Russell, who doesn’t really do it for me. She’s okay, and all, I just want a different angel, like Kate Jackson.


  2. Katie Holmes has always seemed to have a likable screen personality, but a little bit lightweight, at least for some of the films she was appearing in. The indie film scene appears to be pretty good for her these days.

    I’ve never been into the late nineties/early aughts pop princesses, but Christina Aguilera has always seemed to me to be the most respected of them as a musician.

    Another off day tomorrow–with two light days in terms of big birthdays, I’m consolidating Tuesday and Wednesday.


    • That’s the biggest criticism that I’ve read about Katie Holmes as an actress. She’s one of those performers who when surrounded by better actors such as in “Batman Begins” and “Thank You for Smoking”, it makes her flaws and weakness much more obvious. This probably explains why her movie career never really got off of the ground despite the attention that she received for her marriage to Tom Cruise.


    • I have to agree with you; Katie Holmes, outside “Pieces of April” has been basic otherwise, at least to me. Maybe she got busy with her outside life, but i think she’s been good. maybe she needs broadway!
      This sounds silly, but I liked Brittany Spears a bit more than Christina Aguilera (blame “Rolling Stone” magazine). Overall, I’m generally not interested in that era (okay, maybe Mandy Moore, who did “Saved!” and I who I think has Diane Lane qlualties? Yes).


      • 15 Terrible Performances That Ruined Movie Franchises


        Katie Holmes is not typically a name we associate with franchises. We think of her as Joey Potter, as the former wife of Tom Cruise, as a dedicated mom, and as someone who’s now making a comeback after years spent in seeming oblivion. But way before any of that drama happened, Holmes appeared as Bruce Wayne’s love interest Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins. Overall, the film received rave reviews but it was Holmes’ performance that took it downhill.

        Emotionless and wooden, Holmes played Rachel as any other cookie cutter love interest, and boy, did audiences catch on to her lack on enthusiasm. Thankfully, the role went to Maggie Gyllenhaal in the next movie, which offered minor improvements over Holmes’ performance.


        • While I’d agree that Katie Holmes didn’t set the world on fire in Batman Begins, it is silly to put her on a list of “performances that ruined movie franchises.”

          Liked by 1 person

        • Agreed.

          I’d say the same thing about Orlando Bloom in Pirates. But if you want clicks, you have to set out bait.


        • 13 Biggest Mistakes The Batman Movies Ever Made

          Batman Begins – Katie Holmes As Rachel Dawes

          When Christopher Nolan finally brought Batman back to screens in 2005, discerning fans rejoiced. Here, at last, was an intelligent filmmaker with a strong track record in telling sophisticated stories with real visual panache and excellent performances, set to reboot the whole series, and he’d cast one of the most exciting young actors of the time in the title role.

          However, while Nolan, Christian Bale and the bulk of the Batman Begins cast were inspired choices, there was one rather notable thorn in the side of the whole endeavour: Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, an original character introduced in the film as a childhood sweetheart of Bruce Wayne, and an ally of the fledgling Dark Knight.

          Now, lest we pin the blame entirely on Holmes, it should be considered that Rachel is a pretty perfunctory character. She exists solely to be the voice of Bruce Wayne’s conscience, and later a damsel in distress for him to rescue – hardly the meatiest of roles for any actress.

          Even so, whether it was down to Nolan and David Goyer’s script or Holmes’ bland performance, Rachel is a dull, unmemorable character who adds virtually nothing of substance to the otherwise excellent Batman Begins.

          It’s never been entirely confirmed whether Holmes jumped or was pushed when it came to Rachel’s return in The Dark Knight – both the actress and the director have attributed her absence to a scheduling conflict.

          But either way, the character’s second and last appearance in the Batman movies was in the form of Maggie Gyllenhaal. (Which might make things a bit weird if, as rumored, her brother Jake becomes the next Batman…)


  3. I think Cristina was never a teen pop artist. Her image and her music were very mature. And she’s more relevant today than Britney, Avril, Mandy, Jessica … who are seen as a joke now. I dont like Christina as person, she is a diva like Mariah … But I am happy that she had a bigger and more consistent career than Britney or Jessica, who I never considered them real artists.

    Katie Holmes always seemed very nice and a solvent actress. I liked her a lot more than Michelle Williams …


    • Huh…I see your points. In a vacuum, like Christina Aguilera’s talent more than a Britney Spears, but so far I think they both did well for themselves (Britney traveled a rougher road; I had a nervous breakdown too, it isn’t a good thing).


      • I knew Britney had problems, but I did not know about the nervous breakdown. It is admirable that it has come out of that. I searched wikipedia and she had two albums of some success after that and she has a 30 million dollar contract in Vegas. I’m happy for her and also for you. It must be hard.

        But I think that, even conditioned by her problems, Britney did not have the potential to be a great artist and reinvent herself. Obviously, I hate the teen pop era of the late 90s … I would only save Christina and Destiny’s Child.


    • While “joke” might apply to some of the others you name, it certainly does not apply to Mandy Moore, who is a recent Golden Globe nominee who headlines a hit TV series.


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