December 30: Happy Birthday Eliza Dushku and Jeff Lynne


Today is Eliza Dushku’s 37th birthday.  She made a number of film appearances in the early-mid 1990s—she was Robert De Niro’s daughter in This Boy’s Life, Paul Reiser’s daughter in Bye Bye Love (where one of her costars was Amber Benson, interestingly), and most famously, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter in True Lies.  In 1998, she got her first big role on television, as the sometimes-rogue Slayer Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

After her time on Buffy and Angel, Dushku has twice gotten lead roles on series television, on Tru Calling and Dollhouse, neither of which made it to a third season.  She has had a few prominent film roles: she was a cheerleader in the medium-sized hit Bring It On, a jewel thief in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and a Final Girl in Wrong Turn.  Recently she has voiced Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk in a few Marvel animated adaptations and played the female lead in a TV movie adaptation of The Saint.  Recent reports have her involved in a television adaptation of Glen Cook’s novels of The Black Company, as a producer as well as starring as The Lady.

Jeff Lynne is turning 70 today.  He began his musical career as a teenager, performing with a variety of English bands, including The Idle Race and The Move.  In 1970, Lynne and several other alumni of The Move set out to create a rock band which would have a bit of a “classical” sound, incorporating violins and cellos.  The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO to fans) released their first album in 1971.  Beginning with 1974’s “Can’t Get It Out of My Head,” they had seven singles reach the Top Ten in the US over a period of about 8 years (not counting one they recorded with Olivia Newton-John for the movie Xanadu).

The ELO disbanded in 1986, but briefly reformed in 2000 for a single album, and came back again, starting in 2014, as Jeff Lynne’s ELO.  Lynne has released a pair of solo albums in the intervening years.  He has also been a member of the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys, who also have included Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty.  Lynne and the rest of the ELO were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Lucy Punch, currently starring on the British sitcom Motherland, is turning 40; she has also had prominent roles in recent films like The Meddler and The Female Brain.  Fans of the Evil Dead franchise will want to note the 59th birthday of Ellen Sandweiss, who has played Cheryl Williams in several installments.  George Newburn, who is 53, has played the character of Charlie on Scandal for the show’s entire run—after six years as a recurring character, he was promoted to regular this season.  Sheryl Lee Ralph, who is 61, was a Tony nominee for the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, won an Independent Spirit Award for the 1991 film To Sleep With Anger, and played Dee Mitchell on Moesha.

Country singer Suzy Bogguss, who also turns 61 today, had several Top Ten Country hits in the 1990s, including covers of Nanci Griffith’s “Outbound Plane” and John Hiatt’s “Drive South.”

Patti Smith and LeBron James headlined last year’s article on this date.

Patti Smith, the poet laureate of punk rock, is turning 71.  She released her latest book, titled Devotion, earlier this year, and also appeared as herself in Terrence Malick’s latest film, Song to SongLeBron James celebrates his 33rd birthday.  In the 2016-17 NBA season he made his 13th consecutive All-Star Game, and lead Cleveland to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive season, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors.

Kristin Kreuk is 35 today; she will star on the upcoming CBC legal drama Burden of TruthCaity Lotz, who plays Sara Lance/White Canary in the Arrowverse (mostly on Legends of Tomorrow these days), is turning 31.  Tracey Ullman turns 58; her latest project is the BBC series Tracey Breaks the NewsBryan Burk, whose latest projects as a producer include Mission Impossible 6 and Westworld, is 49 today.  Tyrese Gibson, who is 39 today, returned as Roman Pearce in The Fate of the Furious and is a recurring character on Fox’s StarRuss Tamblyn, who is 83, returned as Dr. Lawrence Jacoby for Showtime’s Twin Peaks.  Former Monkee Michael Nesmith, who is 75, released the live album At The BBC Paris Theatre earlier this year.  Noel Paul Stookey, formerly of Peter, Paul, and Mary, released the EP Summerfallwinterspring this year; he is celebrating his 80th.  English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding, who is 31, recorded the song “First Time” with Norwegian artist Kygo, for his Stargazing EP.

Matt Lauer, who turns 60, has been in the news lately—Google his name along with “door locking button” to find out why, if you don’t already know.

Joe Bologna (1934-2017), known for films like My Favorite Year, Blame it on Rio, and Transylvania 6-5000, died of pancreatic cancer this summer at 82.

Finally, today our blog’s creator, lebeau himself, celebrates a birthday.

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 30, 2017, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the birthday shout-out! As celebrity birthdays go, I’m pretty happy with today’s crop (Matt Lauer excepted). I share my birthday with my favorite Slayer (the evil one), the lead singer for ELO, half of the Monkees, Lana Lang, White Canary, a Twin Peaks alumn and a voice of Superman.


  2. I’ve always liked Eliza Dushku, ever since True Lies and especially her Buffy days. As a fan of the Black Company books, I am cautiously excited by her upcoming project. Please, please, please let it be good! 🙂

    Now, how about a little musical bonus, courtesy of Suzy Bogguss:


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