December 25: Happy Birthday Jimmy Buffett and Rick Berman
Musician (and businessman) Jimmy Buffett is turning 71 today. He grew up on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Alabama and attended the University of Southern Mississippi, and worked as the first mate on a yacht and as a writer for Billboard while he got his music career started. His first album, Down to Earth, was a folk rock album, and he also tried to make it as a country performer, but over time he developed a unique blending of folk, rock, country and other influences that has been called “Caribbean rock and roll” or “Gulf and western music.”
Buffett was very successful in the mid-to-late seventies. He had two Platinum albums and several hit singles in this era, and all of the “Big 8” songs that are part of the play list at all of his concerts date from this period. Including this one:
Although he is no longer a hitmaker, Buffett continues to tour and record regularly. He has written a fair amount of film music—the score for the film Hoot, and contributions to the soundtracks of movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Urban Cowboy. He has written a bestselling autobiography and some novels and collections of short stories. And he is known for a number of business ventures, notably two restaurant chains, the Margaritaville Cafe and Cheeseburger in Paradise casual dining chains.
For the second straight day we have a significant Star Trek birthday, as Rick Berman turns 72 (the same birthday Nicholas Meyer celebrated yesterday). Berman graduated from the University of Wisconsin and worked for a number of years as a documentary filmmaker. He was a producer of PBS’s The Big Blue Marble, a children’s series which won several Daytime Emmys, from 1977-1982, following which he became an executive at Paramount Network Television.
In 1987, Berman was recruited by Gene Roddenberry to work on the production of Star Trek: The Next Generation. As Roddenberry’s health declined, Berman took on a larger role in the series, becoming executive producer in 1989, and becoming the head of the franchise on Roddenberry’s death in 1991. Berman went on to be the co-creator of three additional Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. He was also the producer of the four feature films which featured the cast of The Next Generation.
Dutch actress Gaite Jansen is 26; she is a rising star in her home country who has also worked on the English TV series Peaky Blinders and Line of Duty. English actress Perdita Weeks, known for her work in miniseries like Lost in Austen and The Promise, is 32. Actor and comedian Dean Cameron turns 55; some may remember his roles in comedies like Summer School or Ski School, part of a very lengthy filmography.
Our Christmas Day headliners last year were Sissy Spacek and Humphrey Bogart.
Sissy Spacek is turning 68 today. She has two major upcoming projects. She will be a regular on the upcoming Hulu series Castle Rock, a psychological horror series adapted from the works of Stephen King. She will also have a major role in the upcoming feature The Old Man and the Gun, adapted from an article by journalist David Grann.
German actress Hanna Schygulla, seen earlier this year in the Italian feature Fortunata/Lucky, which screened at Cannes, is 74 today. C.C.H. Pounder, who turns 65, remains a regular on NCIS: New Orleans, and will reportedly return to the role of Mo’at for Avatar 2. Rachel Keller celebrates her 25th; she will return to the role of Sydney Barrett for season 2 of FX’s Legion. Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky is 56. His thriller Die Hölle came out earlier this year; however, his English-language film Patient Zero appears to be in limbo at this time. Scottish singer Annie Lennox, who is 63, has not released any new albums since 2014’s Nostalgia, but is still keeping a high profile with her social activism; she will assume the office of Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University next year.
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.