December 29: Happy Birthday Jude Law and Diego Luna


Our two headliners today will both appear in Woody Allen’s upcoming film A Rainy Day in New York.

Jude Law is turning 45 today; he is our WTHH birthday for today.  The English actor began his career with the National Youth Music Theatre while in his teens, and has worked regularly on stage for around thirty years now.  He has been nominated for three Olivier Awards and two Tonys; one of each came for starring in a 2009 revival of Hamlet that played on the West End and later on Broadway.  One of his early television appearances came in the Granada Television Sherlock Holmes series—interesting in light of his subsequent film career.  More recently he starred as the fictitious Pope Pius XIII in the Italian series The Young Pope.

However, most people probably know Law from his film work.  He began working in film in the early 1990s.  He began to be known for films like Wilde and Gattaca, but his breakthrough role came in 1999 as Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley; he won a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor and received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.  He received a second Oscar nomination, for Best Actor, in Cold Mountain, and in the early 2000s also starred in films like A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Closer.  He never really made that breakthrough as an A-list leading man, but remained well-known, and in 2009 landed a role as one of the great sidekicks in literary and film history.

Although he still gets periodic lead roles, in films like Dom Hemingway and Black Sea, Law has largely settled into the status of a prominent supporting player.  He has appeared recently in the action comedy Spy, in the biopic Genius (as novelist Thomas Wolfe) and in Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.  In addition to that Woody Allen film, next year Law will play a young Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Diego Luna celebrates his 38th birthday today.  He grew up in Mexico City and began working in telenovelas as a boy.  By the end of the 1990s, he was starring in Mexican features such as The Comet and A Sweet Scent of Death.  In 2001, he starred with Gael Garcia Bernal in the highly-acclaimed Y Tu Mamá También, the first of several projects where he and Bernal (friends since childhood) collaborated, as costars, and later as producers.  Some of his subsequent Spanish-language films have included Nicotina, Rudo et Cursi, and Casa de mi padre.

Luna made his Hollywood debut in 2000 in a small role in Before Night Falls.  His first big role was in Open Range in 2003, and he went on to prominent roles in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Criminal, Milk, and Elysium.  He made his American directing debut with the biopic César Chávez, and starred in this year’s Flatliners.  American audiences are most likely to recognize him as Cassian Andor from Rogue One.

Charlotte Riley, who turns 36 today, starred on the recent BBC miniseries Close to the Enemy and the future history BBC movie King Charles IIIKevin Weisman, who is 47, plays the regular role of Dale Yorkes on the new Hulu series Marvel’s Runaways.  Chilean actress Leonor Varela, known for starring in the TV movie Cleopatra and her role in Blade II, turns 45 today.  Maria Dizzia, who is 43, is a prominent stage actress who was a Tony nominee for Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room; she recently appeared in the remake of Going in Style as Michael Caine’s daughter.  Paris Berelc, who turns 19 today, will star as one of the title characters of the upcoming Netflix series Alexa & Katie.

Swedish actress Viveca Lindfors (1920-1995) had a run as a Hollywood leading lady in films like Adventures of Don Juan and Dark City, and also won an Emmy for a guest appearance on Life Goes On.

Historical birthdays today include Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), the 17th President of the US.  Johnson was the only Senator from a Confederate state (Tennessee) not to resign from the Senate, and became Abraham Lincoln’s running mate in the 1864 election.  Succeeding to the presidency on Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson’s repeated clashes with Congress over Reconstruction led to his being impeached.  Tom Bradley (1917-1998) became the first African-American mayor of Los Angeles in 1973, and held the office for 20 years.

Last year, Jon Voight and Mary Tyler Moore were headliners on this date.

Jon Voight turns 79 today.  His latest feature film role was in this year’s Same Kind of Different as Me.  He also continues in the regular role of Mickey Donovan on Showtime’s Ray Donovan, and for a number of years has been rumored to be involved in a biopic about Ronald Reagan.

Ted Danson, who is one of the stars of NBC’s The Good Place, is turning 70 today.  Patricia Clarkson celebrates her 58th.  She won a British Independent Film Award for this year’s The Party, and will star with Amy Adams in the upcoming HBO miniseries Sharp ObjectsJennifer Ehle, who starred in the Broadway production of J. T. Rogers’s new play Oslo, is turning 48.  Mekhi Phifer turns 43; his latest film role was in Chocolate City: Vegas StripShawn Hatosy, who is 42, returns to the role of Pope Cody for season 3 of Animal Kingdom early next year.  Danny McBride, who celebrates his 41st, played Tennessee Faris in Alien: Covenant and is the writer and star of the upcoming The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter.  Our second Ray Donovan birthday today is Katherine Moennig, who plays Lena Barnum; Moennig is 40.

Alison Brie turns 35 today.  She stars in the Netflix series GLOW, plays journalist Lally Weymouth in The Post (currently in limited release), and plays the girlfriend of Dave Franco’s character in The Disaster Artist (she and Franco were married earlier this year).  Iain De Caestecker, who celebrates his 30th, continues to play Leo Fitz on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and will appear in the upcoming World War 2 horror film OverlordJane Levy, seen this year on Hulu’s There’s…Johnny! and in I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, turns 28.  Dylan Minnette, who is 21, starred as Clay Jensen on 13 Reasons Why and had a cameo in The Disaster ArtistTori Anderson is 29; after her series No Tomorrow was canceled she picked up a recurring role on BlindspotMarianne Faithfull, who is 71, was the subject of Sandrine Bonnaire’s new documentary Marianne Faithfull fleur d’âme.

Seven-time Emmy winner Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017) passed away last January at the age of 80.  Dina Merrill (1923-2017), known for films like Operation Petticoat and Butterfield 8, died last May at 93.

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 29, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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