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January 18: Happy Birthday Kevin Costner and Takeshi Kitano

0118CostnerKitano

Oscar and Emmy winner Kevin Costner is celebrating his 63rd birthday.  He studied business at Cal State-Fullerton, but also became interested in acting during his senior year there.  Costner’s WTHH article and comment thread have a wealth of information on his career, so I’m going to focus on a couple of particular aspects.

While Costner is known for a wide range of films, having starred in The Untouchables, Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, JFK, and The Bodyguard, to name just a few, several of his most important films have been Westerns.  His breakthrough role was as Jake in Lawrence Kasdan’s Silverado, and he later rejoined Kasdan to star in Wyatt Earp.  He won his two Oscars for producing and directing the 1990 Best Picture winner, Dances With Wolves.  And he had another critical and commercial success directing, producing, and starring in Open Range.

Costner has mostly worked in feature films, but he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Miniseries for starring on History Channel’s Hatfields & McCoys as Devil Anse Hatfield, and he will headline the Paramount Network’s first scripted series, Yellowstone, which premieres this summer.  He has also had a music career, as the founder and lead singer of the country-rock band Kevin Costner & Modern West.

Takeshi Kitano, often known as “Beat Takeshi,” is turning 71 today.  In his native Japan, he is known as a comedian—part of a highly successful duo called Two Beat in the seventies and eighties—and as a television host.  He has gained international recognition as a film actor and director.  He began acting in the late sixties, and has appeared in films such as the Japanese-British production Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Johnny Mnemonic, Battle Royale, and last year’s Ghost in the Shell.

As a director, Kitano is known for a number of crime dramas, often centered either on yakuza or on cops, or both.  He made his debut with Violent Cop in 1989; as in most of his directing efforts, he also starred.  An exception to his usual subject matter was A Scene at the Sea from 1991, which won Blue Ribbon Awards (one of Japan’s top film awards) for Best Film and Best Director.  His output as a director also includes films such as Sonatine, Brother, and the Outrage trilogy.  His most acclaimed film is probably the 1997 crime film Hana-bi, which won him Blue Ribbons for Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor, along with other honors that included a European Film Award and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Joanna Newsom, who turns 36, is an indie folk musician known for albums like Ys and Divers, and has also made a few film and television appearances, notably in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent ViceIngvild Deila, a Norwegian actress who works primarily in England, is 31.  She had a bit part in Avengers: Age of Ultron and played Princess Leia (with Carrie Fisher’s face digitally superimposed on her) in Rogue OneSam Strike, who played the title character in last year’s Leatherface, is 24 today.  Australian actor Sean Keenan, who is 25, is known for starring on Australian television as the title character of the children’s series Lockie Leonard.  Karan Bran, known for the Disney channel series Jessie and its spinoff series Bunk’d, is turning 19.  Faye McKeever, best known as a regular on the British sitcom Trollied, is turning 33.

Mark Rylance and Cary Grant were the January 18 headliners a year ago.

Sir Mark Rylance is celebrating his 58th birthday.  He had a significant role in the ensemble cast of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, and will appear in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Ready Player One.  Naturally, he also found time for some stage work, starring on the West End in Nice Fish, which he also co-wrote with Louis Jenkins, and on Broadway in Claire van Kampen’s Farinelli and the King (van Kampen is his wife, by the way).

Dave Bautista is turning 49.  Last year he returned to the role of Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, starred in the action thriller Stupe, and played Sapper Morton in Blade Runner 2049Jesse L. Martin, who shares a birthday with Bautista, continues to star as Joe West on The Flash.  Director David Ayer is 50 today; his latest film was the urban fantasy/crime thriller BrightJason Segel, who starred in the sci-fi romance The Discovery, is 38 today.  German actress Antje Traue, who turns 37, starred in Bye Bye Germany, scheduled for a US release in March.  Zane Holtz, who celebrates his 31st, will appear in the upcoming action thriller Hunter Killer.

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.

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Posted on January 18, 2018, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Favorite Kevin Costner movie? Off the top of my head I am going to say Bull Durham. Least favorite? That’s a tough call, but I’m still mad at Wyatt Earp.

    Who would have ever guessed Dave Bautista would have an actual acting career? He’s been really good in supporting roles. Not just Guardians. He was one of the better things in Spectre.

    The CW shows employ a lot of talent performers. Jesse L. Martin brings a lot of warmth to The Flash. Every now and then, they let him sing too.

    I would have liked to have seen what David Ayer could have done with Suicide Squad if he wasn’t forced to make it over a long weekend.

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  2. I find Kevin Costner’s output to be a very mixed bag, but I definitely do enjoy Open Range. Bull Durham I really should get back to; it’s one of those that I may never have seen all the way through. Wyatt Earp was long and slow and is overshadowed, as a Wyatt Earp film, by the contemporary, and better Tombstone.

    I’ve checked out a few of Takeshi Kitano’s films through the years—I can remember Sonatine, Hana-bi, and Outrage—and they’re worth a look.

    Dave Bautista has certainly carved out a nice little niche for himself as a tough guy supporting player in action films.

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    • Based on the comments in the recent bracket game, I probably do not like Bull Durham as much as some of the readers around here. But I would definitely say it is worth revisiting. Especially if you have never watched it all the way through. I don’t think I have ever given Open Range a full viewing. I may have to remedy that.

      With Kasdan and Costner having birthdays in close proximity, Wyatt Earp has come up a few times. It came out at a time when I was working as a movie theater manager. Back then, I had to watch every single print we got sometime during the week before the official release date. This meant I would see the movie before reviews, so I usually had no idea what I was sitting down to watch. This was pre-internet so there often wasn’t a lot of information out there before a movie was released. Anyway, my point is, I had no reason to think Wyatt Earp would be anything but excellent given the talent involved.

      Of course you couldn’t start watching a print until the place was closed up, money deposited, inventory counted, counters cleaned, etc. That meant you were always watching movies late. Movie theater managers are night owls by necessity. We didn’t get Wyatt Earp started until around 1:00 am and it was over three hours long. A slow three hour movie in the afternoon is one thing, but when it is pushing 4:00 in the morning, you just get angry. I found myself cursing Costner, Kasdan and pretty much everyone else involved in making that movie as I fought to keep my eyes open.

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      • LOL. I had the same experience as a theater manager with “Pulp Fiction”. 2 hours and 40 minutes, and I had to start it after 1 AM! Not one of my favorite movie experiences.

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        • I got to see Pulp Fiction with an audience which made for a terrific viewing. But when Jackie Brown came out, I had to screen it. All my friends were excited to see it, so I let them come over. It was around midnight and the theater was mostly empty. Everyone who was there was expecting Pulp Fiction 2. You could feel the excitement slowly deflating. We all liked the movie, but it was late and it wasn’t what we thought it was going to be.

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  3. Happy Birthday to my Celebrity Husband, Kevin Costner!!! Favorite is probably “Bull Durham”. Least favorite… “The Good Daughter” was awful. (Yes, I am a completist, and have seen almost all of his work.)

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