January 7: Happy Birthday Haley Bennett and Ruth Negga
For the first time in a while I’ve found a usable photo with our headliners together—in the above from left to right you have Claire Danes, Ruth Negga, Reese Witherspoon, and Haley Bennett at an event sponsored by Tiffany & Co.
Haley Bennett turns 30 today. She made her film debut as a teenage pop singer in Music and Lyrics, and has at times flirted with a singing career. In the next several years she had a number of roles without ever really breaking out. She appeared in several horror films, such as The Haunting of Nikki Harley and The Hole, in the teen comedy College, in the indie trama Arcadia Lost, and more. In 2016 she may have turned a corner as she appeared in prominent roles in a number of high profile films, including the period romance Rules Don’t Apply, the mystery-thriller The Girl on the Train, and as a frontier widow in The Magnificent Seven.
Bennett was cast in Terrence Malick’s Song to Song, but her scenes were cut; however, she starred in last year’s Thank You for Your Service, and will star with Chris Evans in the upcoming The Red Sea Diving Resort.
Ruth Negga, who celebrates her 36th birthday, currently stars on AMC’s Preacher as Tulip O’Hare. Born in Ethiopia, but with a Irish mother, she became known from her work in Irish and British film and television. She appeared in films like Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto and the Irish horror film Isolation. On television she has appeared on the BBC’s crime drama Criminal Justice and had a recurring role as Raina on the first two seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. She won an Irish Film & Television Award for starring as singer Shirley Bassey on a BBC TV movie. Negga is best known for her Oscar and Golden Globe nominated role as Mildred Loving in the 2016 historical drama Loving.
Dustin Diamond, who is 41 today, will be remembered by some for his over a decade as Samuel “Screech” Powers on the Saved by the Bell franchise. Douglas Bourne, better known as Doug E. Doug, was also familiar to 1990s audiences for his roles in films like Cool Runnings and the remake of That Darn Cat, and on Cosby; he turns 48. German actor Max Riemelt, who is 34, stars as one of the eight “sensates” on Netflix’s Sense8, and also starred in last year’s Berlin Syndrome with Teresa Palmer and in the German vampire film We Are the Night. Kevin Rahm, currently a regular on Lethal Weapon as Captain Avery, turns 47 today. English director Tom Hardy, who is 38 today, is known for his BAFTA-nominated short film Cubs and for directing the 2016 BBC miniseries adaptation of War & Peace.
Sammo Hung, who celebrates his 66th, has a long line of credits in Hong Kong cinema, especially martial arts films—as an actor, stunt performer and fight choreographer, producer and director. He worked on a number of Jackie Chan’s films and was involved in several of Michelle Yeoh’s early films.
Last year on this date, Jeremy Renner and Nicolas Cage were the headliners.
Jeremy Renner celebrates his 47th. He will return to the role of Clint Barton/Hawkeye for Avengers: Infinity War and the as-yet untitled fourth Avengers film, but not to the role of William Brandt for Mission: Impossible 6. He also stars in the upcoming comedy Tag. Nicolas Cage is now 54. He continues in the same pattern noted in last year’s article—“an actor who, apparently, will never turn down a role, and who never seems to get a good one.” His WTHH article is full of details of his formerly successful career.
Lyndsy Fonseca, who turns 31, was seen last year in the low-profile feature Curvature and the TV movie The Haunted. Robert Sheehan, who appeared last year in the disaster film Geostorm and will star in the upcoming Bad Samaritan, is 30 today. Lauren Cohan, who is 36 today, continues to play Maggie Greene on The Walking Dead, and played Leila Steinberg in All Eyez on Me. Brett Dalton, who is 35, starred in the romantic drama Lost in Florence. Irrfan Khan remains active in Bollywood as he turns 51, receiving another round of acting accolades for last year’s film Hindi Medium. Clint Mansell, who is 55, scored the films Ghost in the Shell and Loving Vincent last year and also wrote the score of the upcoming Mute.
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.